A Blog From The Editors Of Business Solutions Magazine

Does Your Customer's Video Surveillance Pass This Test?

While at the Mobotix partner conference earlier this week, attendees got a crash course in video quality. If you aren't hip to the latest in video surveillance, you might be in for a shock. According to Dr. Magnus Ekerot, CEO USA for Mobotix, 90% of today's surveillance recordings are in CIF format. That is, 288 lines of resolution. If you're wondering what valuable evidence you can capture at that resolution, it isn't...  Continue Reading...

Do You Make This Costly Managed Services Error?

One of the conversations I have on a regular basis with VARs and MSPs entails finding out the secrets behind their double-digit growth -- especially in this difficult economy. This week I spoke with David DeCamillis, director of business development at Platte River Networks (PRN), a Denver-based IT solutions provider that's been in business since 2002 and started selling managed services less than five years ago. During my...  Continue Reading...

IP Video: A Technology You -- And Your Customers -- Will Love

Today, I spent the day surrounded by current and future Mobotix integrator partners. If you don't already know, Mobotix is a manufacturer of IP video cameras and related solutions. One thing that really struck me in speaking with various partners is that there's a definite level of excitement that comes across when they speak. I often don't find such enthusiasm when I talk with resellers of other technologies. So,...  Continue Reading...

6 Reasons Why Tape Storage Won’t Die

Attend any BDR (backup and disaster recovery) webinar or training session, and you'd swear tape backup was about a week away from extinction. Statistics are cited about how tape is a leading culprit of data corruption. Plus, when you consider the fact that solid state storage is gaining traction in the enterprise, it seems even more believable that tape really could be on its way out.  Continue Reading...

Think All BDRs Are Equal? Think Again.

Here's a sneak peek into the testing that's currently underway on seven hybrid backup solutions, which will be featured in the March 2013 issue of Business Solutions magazine. I spoke with our tester, Eric Brown, CEO of Remote Technology Management, this week, and he shared some interesting feedback . "After testing StorageCraft and seeing how well their product performed and how much flexibility they offer regarding...  Continue Reading...

RSPA INSPIRE 2013 Day 2 Recap: The Reality Of A SaaS Model

Here's what you're looking at. Both charts depict a $10,000 sale. The cost of goods is $6,000. In the top example, after you pay out the commission and take out some other costs, the sale nets you $2,560 immediately. In the next two years, you'll get some additional revenue from maintenance. After it's all said and done, after three years, that $10,000 sale yielded $3,480.  Continue Reading...

RSPA INSPIRE 2013 Day 1 Recap: Ownership Thinking 101

Hello from Curacao (pronounced cur-a-sow) in the Caribbean! I'm here at RSPA INSPIRE 2013 where day one of the event's education just kicked off.  I've really been looking forward to the education here at INSPIRE since I first spoke with Tom Bouwer, the event's three-day keynote speaker. In a pre-event article, Bouwer piqued my curiosity with his topic: ownership thinking. This morning, attendees at the...  Continue Reading...

NRF 2013 Reveals Products That Smart VARs Will Be Eager To Sell

I just returned to the office after a few days in NYC for the NRF Big Show, the retail industry's largest show of the year. There were two aspects of this show that I was particularly interested in. First, it's the place where the latest technology is revealed, and I was very interested to see how manufacturers were going to respond to consumer shopping habits with new products. Second, this show provides exhibitors a...  Continue Reading...

Don't Let This Delay Your Transition To Managed Services

One of the most common themes I see in the channel centers around a VAR's decision to become a managed services provider (MSP). So many see the value in it, but less than half actually take action to make that transition. And, of those who do, only a minority become successful. A few months ago, I wrote an article about underpricing being the #1 culprit plaguing many VARs-turned-MSPs. I recently came across one other problem...  Continue Reading...

What Every MSP Ought To Know About Selling Cloud Services

I recently came across a study conducted by Avere and Gatepoint Research that highlights cloud trends based on feedback from 100 executives at companies throughout the country ranging in size from SMB to enterprise.  Continue Reading...

The Results Are In: This Was Exactly What BSM Readers Wanted

Last week, we featured the results of our RMM (remote monitoring and management) product reviews in our Networking Newsletter and Storage and Managed Services Newsletter. Both newsletters performed better than all of our 2012 Networking and Managed Services newsletters. This has been an exciting confirmation from you, our readers, who first told us in last year's survey that the one change you wanted us to make was...  Continue Reading...

If You're An MSP, You Can Sell IP Video Surveillance Too

Today I spoke with a managed services provider who was looking a few years ago to expand his line card. After examining all the opportunities out there, he settled on adding IP video surveillance solutions. Today, some three years later, IP video makes up 25% of the MSP's revenue and he's experiencing a 50% increase in profits (35% coming from IP video).  Continue Reading...

How Will AIDC Consolidation Affect Your Business In 2013?

I remember sitting on a shuttle about four years ago during a distributor partner conference, talking about the industry with the person sitting next to me. “Intermec will be sold within a year,” he told me, hinting at trouble at the Everett, WA-based company. Regardless of whether or not Intermec was truly in any trouble back then, a sale within the year didn’t happen. But, the conversation did mark the first of many times...  Continue Reading...

PCI: Does This Ugly Buck-Toothed Child Belong To Anyone?

In PCI: Who Really Cares?, I shared some survey data that pointed to a lack of awareness/caring/interest in the topic of PCI from certain solutions providers. Quotes from ISVs (software developers) led me to believe that they felt alone in the struggle of PCI standards compliance. Well, that article prompted an email from an ISV. Wishing to remain anonymous, the ISV told me about software competitors who were not on the list of ...  Continue Reading...

New Year's Resolution #1: Start Selling Managed Services

With the holidays just behind us, it's the perfect time to start thinking about setting goals for 2013. For the 60% of you (according to CompTIA's research) that still aren't selling managed services, what better time than the present to start thinking about how you can change your business from break-fix to managed services or add managed services as an option for your customers?  Continue Reading...

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