The race between MSPs and Tier 1 carriers to deploy NFVs and SDNs

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 4, 2015 1:55:47 PM

A new report from Technology Business Research says it might be 2017 before Tier 1 service providers actually deploy network function virtualization (NFVs) software and software-defined networks (SDNs) in production environments.

The irony is that smaller more nimble managed service providers (MSPs) are already beating Tier 1 carriers to the punch.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Quiz: Can you pass the cloud backup vocab quiz?

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Aug 3, 2015 4:15:00 PM

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When people in the IT channel talk about cloud backup and data protection, they practically use their own language, and it's not easily deciphered by people outside the industry. From storage devices and business planning tools to techniques used by solution providers, there's more than one way to say almost anything in the IT channel. We know it’s difficult to keep it all straight, but you might just know more than you think.

Test your cloud backup knowledge by taking this fun quiz. Find out how well you know your cloud backup vocabulary and how you stack up against others in the channel. After you’ve completed the quiz below, share your results with your peers—and see if any of them can manage to do better!

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Topics: Cloud Backup and Recovery

Ask Intronis: As an MSP, how can I efficiently manage my IT help desk tickets?

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Aug 3, 2015 9:11:19 AM

Q: As my managed services business grows, we’re monitoring more IT environments and receiving more support tickets. It gets chaotic and can be hard to keep up! We need a more organized process for responding to support calls. How can we streamline the ticketing process to more efficiently respond to our customers?

That sounds overwhelming, but the good news is it doesn’t have to be. There are a number of different tools and solutions available to help you manage the ticketing process, and in a short amount of time, you can develop the resources you need to support your customers more easily.

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Topics: Ask Intronis

Making the financial case for moving to the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 31, 2015 8:00:00 AM

At this point, it’s not a question of if organizations are going to embrace cloud computing but a question of to what degree they'll embrace it and in what form. Increasingly, organizations of all sizes are looking to IT service providers to help them figure that out.

new study from Cloud Cruiser, a provider of IT financial management applications, finds that nearly three quarters (72 percent) of IT organizations rated their ability to track cloud usage and costs as either very or extremely important. The primary reason IT organizations want this ability is to better forecast and compare costs, but they also indicated a desire to either chargeback or at least “showback” usage of cloud services to various lines of business.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

UI vs. UX: The difference and why it matters

Posted by Chris Fisk on Jul 30, 2015 12:30:00 PM

As a UX designer at Intronis, I often find the need to explain the difference between User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). What I usually tell people is that UI design is all about the look and feel of an interface, whether it’s a video game (the industry I worked in for years before joining Intronis) or a data protection management portal.

The UI process involves arranging information within a workspace, placing buttons and fields so they’re intuitive to use, and applying color in a way that both facilitates the task and promotes the brand. The goal of UI work is to simplify processes by clearly informing users what they need to do and how they need to do it.

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Topics: Intronis ECHOplatform

SMBs’ top objections to Windows Server 2003 migration

Posted by Anne Campbell on Jul 30, 2015 9:47:00 AM

July 14, the date for Windows Server 2003 end of life, has come and gone. The last-minute rush to try to migrate to a new OS before the deadline is over. But there are still a significant number of SMBs that continue to run Windows Server 2003 despite the risks caused by EOL, and these holdouts represent a big opportunity for IT service providers.

In fact, 61 percent of businesses in Spiceworks’ network are still running at least one instance of Server 2003, according to a report released by Spiceworks in March 2015. That adds up to millions of installations in a mix of physical and virtualized environments.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Microsoft Windows

Social media is a great “in” for IT sales and marketing

Posted by Marie Rourke on Jul 29, 2015 5:11:00 PM

Recent reports show that people want, and in many cases expect, businesses (like yours) to have a social media presence. When you don’t, it begs the question why not? If your social status is slim to none, it probably won’t make or break a deal, but it certainly will prevent you from getting to know more about your customers, partners, and prospects—and vice versa.  

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Topics: Social Media

It's time for IT service providers to tap into the Internet of Things

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 28, 2015 9:34:00 AM

While the Internet of Things (IoT) might be an overly broad set of technology buzzwords these days, a new survey from Red Hat suggests the concept has definitely captured the imaginations of end customers. The challenge and opportunity now is for IT service providers to turn that enthusiasm into an actual practical set of applications that create meaningful value to businesses.

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Topics: IT Services Trends, IoT

Ask Intronis: What’s the benefit of selling cloud backup as a telecom service provider (TSP)?

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Jul 27, 2015 11:34:00 AM

Q: I run a telecom services business that I believe needs a new go-to-market strategy. Right now, we provide a wide array of telecommunication services to SMB customers, including telephone, video conferencing, broadband, and WAN solutions. But I’ve seen growing competition in my market, and want to head off losing business to other providers. How can I differentiate my business? If we sell backup as a new service offering, what new revenue opportunities could this create for us?

It can be tough out there for a telecom service provider. Many in the industry are struggling to win new business. While the market for these services is getting pretty crowded, you have opportunities to help you stand out from the competition, and you’re right: selling cloud backup is one of these opportunities.

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Topics: Ask Intronis

7 easy ways for MSPs to improve their business

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Jul 27, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Today’s managed services industry is becoming increasingly crowded with service providers competing for attention and dollars from small business prospects. Some IT service providers cite a lack of sales expertise as their primary obstacle to winning new business, while others struggle with business planning or finding the best way to package their services. MSPs need to change the way they’re looking at these problems and discover new ways to address them.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, MSP Marketing

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