A Blog From The Editors Of Business Solutions Magazine

An MSP's Real-World Insight On The Healthcare Vertical

An MSP's Real-World Insight On The Healthcare Vertical

The healthcare industry stands yearly as one of the most lucrative markets for IT solutions providers and there’s no indication of that changing. Because the opportunities are so varied, I’m very excited to report that our March issue of Business Solutions is going to have a very healthcare-focused slant to most of the articles.  Continue Reading...
Overcome the #1 Sales Objection to Managed Services. Here’s How.

Overcome the #1 Sales Objection to Managed Services. Here’s How.

Studies show that managed services providers as a whole are struggling to convert their customers over to a recurring revenue model. While attending an N-able by SolarWinds conference, former MSP Gary Pica, CEO and founder of TruMethods, an MSP mentoring company, addressed this pain point to an engaged audience of managed services providers. Pica shared a story from his managed services days when he presented a plan to convert...  Continue Reading...
How The Target Credit Card Breach Could Have Been Avoided

How The Target Credit Card Breach Could Have Been Avoided

By now, you’ve probably heard about the credit card data breach that occurred at Target and other retail chains over the holidays. While Target hasn’t released all the details of what happened, malware was supposedly involved and many believe the culprit was a nasty bit of software known as BlackPOS. Some are also speculating that malware similar to BlackPOS, called Reedum, was to blame. Regardless of the questions being...  Continue Reading...
Are Retail VARs Missing The Customer Experience Bandwagon?

Are Retail VARs Missing The Customer Experience Bandwagon?

BSM's Jim Roddy reports two trends from  Retail’s BIG Show, hosted by the NRF in New York City last week: one, the top issue retailers care about today is enhancing the customer experience, and two, channel executives told me they believe more  than 90 percent of retail resellers aren’t helping their clients enhance the customer experience.  Continue Reading...
What Retail VARs Missed At NRF 2014

What Retail VARs Missed At NRF 2014

NRF wrapped up the other day in NYC’s Jacob Javits Convention Center. I’m sure every exhibitor on the floor could tell you how or why they have some new innovation that will reshape the industry. Most are just buying into their own marketing hype and are self-delusional. I was on the lookout for the information and news that would matter most to retail VARs. Following are some of my notes from the show.   Continue Reading...
Retail VARs: Show Some Appreciation!

Retail VARs: Show Some Appreciation!

Many of these columns include my strongly recommending, no, urging, you to take action on adopting new technologies or adjusting your business model to include more recurring revenue. This month, I’d like to take a break to put a spotlight on what I think are some impressive actions and to publicly hand out some kudos.  Continue Reading...
Ditch Your “Wait-And-See” Approach To Selling BDR In 4 Easy Steps

Ditch Your “Wait-And-See” Approach To Selling BDR In 4 Easy Steps

Because the majority of my conversations are with VARs and MSPs that sell BDR (backup and disaster recovery) services, I sometimes have to remind myself that not all resellers are proactively selling BDR and/or experiencing great success. A recent study conducted by cloud backup vendor Intronis in conjunction with the 2112 Group and Business Solutions magazine revealed a very different picture: 44 percent of the more than 350 channel partners ...  Continue Reading...
Avoid These 4 Deadly Sins Of Managed Services

Avoid These 4 Deadly Sins Of Managed Services

During a conversation I had with Bob Lawson, product director at GFI MAX, we discussed the major pitfalls MSPs run into that can sabotage their practices.  Continue Reading...
7 Must-Haves Before You Hire A Salesperson

7 Must-Haves Before You Hire A Salesperson

I was glancing over my notes from IT Nation and came across some gems concerning hiring a salesperson. During his presentation entitled "How to Hire, Fire, Compensate & Ensure Success of a Sales Professional," Alex Rogers, CEO of CharTec, shared his 7 must-haves before you hire a salesperson. I couldn't find these anywhere online so I thought I'd share them here.  Continue Reading...
It's Time To Respect The 'Free' POS Model

It's Time To Respect The 'Free' POS Model

As we wrap up our February issue, which includes a feature article on a NYC-based VAR doing quite well selling Harbortouch, I thought about how many resellers we've spoken with in the past couple years who've embraced the Harbortouch model of "free" POS. The booing still exists, primarily from companies in the channel that made their livings off of high margin sales, but I hear a lot more cheering than anything else nowadays.  Continue Reading...
Why Now Is The Right Time To Sell Backup & Recovery To Retailers

Why Now Is The Right Time To Sell Backup & Recovery To Retailers

If you're a retail IT VAR interested in adding recurring revenue sources to your line card, listen up. In the world of managed services, one of the leading, most profitable offerings is backup and recovery, or BDR (backup and disaster recovery), or business continuity. While speaking with some BDR experts for an upcoming magazine article, editor Jay McCall added in some questions about BDR opportunities in the retail vertical. Their...  Continue Reading...
What Goodies Will NRF 2014 Hold In Store For The Retail Channel?

What Goodies Will NRF 2014 Hold In Store For The Retail Channel?

Next week is the NRF BIG Show, the biggest retail technology show of the year. While I’m not looking forward to the frigid temperatures and windy streets of NYC, I am looking forward to seeing the next step in the evolution of retail IT. This event is really a mixed bag for me. There’s so much to see and, unfortunately, not all of the solutions on display will be sold through the reseller channel. I’m on the...  Continue Reading...
Converting To As-a-Service? Take Your Time.

Converting To As-a-Service? Take Your Time.

By far, the biggest objection I hear to converting from break-fix to the As-a-Service model is the change in cash flow. Experts and MSPs who've already made the transition have very clear advice: make the transition in stages and as your company can accomodate.  Continue Reading...
Best Channel Vendors 2014: Always Room For Improvement

Best Channel Vendors 2014: Always Room For Improvement

You should have found in your mailbox this week the January 2014 issue of Business Solutions magazine, which contains the results of our annual Best Channel Vendors survey. This is the sixth year we've run this survey which gives us a lot of data to analyze. One fun thing I did last year with the winner's list was to apply conditional color formatting to the scores to create a heat map. I did it again for this...  Continue Reading...
Where Retail IT VARs Should Focus In 2014

Where Retail IT VARs Should Focus In 2014

I’m not a fan of articles where the writer uses their “wisdom” to make educated guesses and then emphatically recommends you take actions that could affect your business adversely. I’d rather leverage research and real-world data to make statements you can feel more confident about embracing.  Continue Reading...

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