Why one MSP decided to live (almost) off the grid

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jul 10, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Among the many great partner conversations I had at the recent ChannelNEXT Central event in Niagara Falls, Ontario, one stood out. Jeff Bawl is a technology consultant at Advanced Office Solutions, an MSP whose portfolio ranges from managed IT, print, and mobile services to business telephony and business process optimization (BPO) services. The solution provider is headquartered in Grimsby, Ontario, and runs three satellite offices, running from Brant to Niagara along the western edge of the lake.

As we talked, Jeff dropped a hint about a lifestyle choice he made long ago; he traded Web connectivity in exchange for The Tranquil Life. I knew then and there that I wanted to share Jeff’s story with our readers, and he agreed to let me follow up with him after the show. Here are the highlights of our conversation:

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas, Cloud Industry and Technology, Cloud Trends

3 epic office enhancements that tech geeks will love

Posted by Anne Campbell on May 29, 2015 11:52:45 AM

Have you ever looked around your office and thought that things looked a little dull? Do you wish those bland white walls were a little more interesting or that you had somewhere a bit more grand to sit and think? Well, these three office workers felt the same way and decided to do something about it. And tech geeks will love the ways they did it. 

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas

Video: Reverse incremental backup and recovery explained

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Feb 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM

There’s a common misconception that backup techniques are interchangeable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Numerous backup techniques have evolved over time, each leveraging available technology and optimized to suit different requirements, use cases, and environments. Many techniques offer either efficient backup or reliable recovery. Reverse incremental, a lesser-known technique, enables both. To explain how it works, let’s compare it to two commonly-used backup techniques: full and incremental.

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas, Cloud Backup and Recovery, Intronis ECHOplatform

Custom-priced productization for managed services

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jan 28, 2015 1:53:00 PM

A services manager for a large and growing MSP shared some valuable insights recently during a conversation about Intronis’ fixed pricing. He enthusiastically offered that, compared to the per-gigabyte plans he was used to working with, fixed pricing vastly simplified planning and positively transformed forecasting. Moreover, his company now had greater flexibility to bundle and value-price their service offerings.

“That’s excellent,” I said. “So do you tier your services now?”

Here the response was much less definitive. “Well sorta-kinda. I’d say we tend more to size up the work effort and then custom-price our services per customer.”

Aha! Customized pricing for managed services….

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, MSP Marketing, Innovation and Ideas, IT Services Trends, Business Development

MSP reinvention: Why you shouldn’t settle for success

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jan 20, 2015 10:54:13 AM

You’ve built up a healthy business helping entrepreneurs get the most of their IT. Your clients find solid value in your services and pay their bills on time (for the most part). Your people are diligent, creative, and thrive on collaboration.

Congratulations. You’re a star.

Still an opportunity exists for you to pursue new levels of customer enthusiasm and company growth.

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas, Business Development, Cloud Industry and Technology, Buyer Targeting, Differentiation

Node.js becoming a viable cross-platform runtime environment

Posted by Alan Earls on Oct 7, 2014 9:30:00 AM

From out of the blue, Node.js, a once obscure platform, has become the darling of many application developers. That’s because Node.js, internally, runs on a permutation of the Google V8 JavaScript engine for code execution. Pretty much everything else is JavaScript.

The result, though, is a cross-platform (OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux ) runtime environment for both server-side and networking applications. Even cloud providers are taking note of Node.js because it is lightweight and easy to work with and has benefits on both the server and client side.

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas, Cloud Industry and Technology

Cloud's true value: It drives innovation

Posted by Ron Miller on Jul 3, 2014 10:11:00 AM

There's certainly more than one value argument when it comes to cloud computing. It simplifies management, gives anyone access to infrastructure at an affordable cost, gives users access to content wherever they go, and has the potential at least for companies to lower costs moving from an OpEx to a CapEx line item.

But all of that pales in comparison to the cloud's ability to drive innovation.

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas

Fearing or embracing change: It's your choice

Posted by Ron Miller on Jun 11, 2014 1:34:00 PM

I had a small debate with some colleagues this morning about Uber, the online taxi service which is sending shock waves through the taxi industry.

It's interesting to watch the reaction to this service, which has ranged from peaceful protests to actually attacking Uber vehicles in some places.

When you threaten a person's livelihood, it can get ugly, and we've seen a similar dynamic take place in IT - without the physical violence, thank goodness.

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas

Successful CIOs Avoid Being CI-No

Posted by Ron Miller on May 22, 2014 11:11:00 AM

What are the qualities that define a progressive CIO? It was a question on the minds of people at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium yesterday in Cambridge, MA, and it turns out that progressive CIOs, to nobody's surprise I'm sure, are willing to take some chances and partner with business units on new digital-centered projects.

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas

The New IT Imperative: Building Engagement and Humanity Into The Business

Posted by Ron Miller on May 15, 2014 6:47:00 AM

Last week I attended the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit in Los Angeles and at the opening keynote, there was a message for IT. It was to get beyond the basics and find ways to build engagement into every level of the business to bring back the human element that has been removed by layers of technology and 20th century management models.

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas

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