Sunday, June 28, 2015

Learn about Tech Soup's Global Partner Network - Live Tuesday, June 30th

The Globalization of SMB Webinar Series

from Small Biz Thoughts

The world is becoming very flat and very small. In other words, we're more connected than ever before. Things that seemed "exotic" twenty-five years ago are very common today. How does this affect the Small and Medium Business consultant?

For more details on this series, visit

This series addresses many aspects of the globalization of SMB, featuring guests who have experience working across borders, across oceans, and across lots of time zones.

Next Show:

June 30th, 2015
Chris Worman - Tech Soup GlobalRichard Tubb

Our June guest is Chris Worman, TechSoup’s Senior Director, Marketing and Communications.

Chris formerly worked in TechSoup’s Warsaw office supporting their Global Partner network, and prior to that, operated their partner NGO in Romania. With the combination of Chris’ knowledge of the TechSoup Donations, and other Programs, along with his practical experience operating and supporting NGOs that operate the TechSoup donation programs in other countries, he is the perfect person to provide insight on how to best leverage the TechSoup programs from various countries.

UPDATE: This webinar was recorded and may be found at

Prior guests have included:

- Vijay Nyayapati from Computer Support Company in Auckland, NZ.

- Richard Tubb from

- Dave Sobel from MAXfocus

- Ken Edwards from Maverick Mesa Computers

- Robert Crane - Director of CIAOPS (Computer Information Agency)

- Harry Brelsford fouder, SMB Nation

See all the past webinars at


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Build Your Brand Through Successful, Profitable Service Delivery - October 1, 2015

Your Brand Is Everything
A Four-HourJam-Packed Event!
October 1, 2015 – Redmond, WA
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

All-New Workshop
Residence Inn, Redmond
7575 164th Ave. N.E.
Redmond, WA, 98052

Join us in Redmond – or get all the material recorded after the event! This year’s SMB Preday Seminar is on Build Your Brand Through Successful, Profitable Service Delivery. It will be 100% practical and up to date.

Featuring . . .
Topic One – Brand Development and Implementation in the Small Consulting Business
Topic Two – Brand Management and Maintenance in the Small Consulting Business

Sign Up Now

This year’s SMB Preday seminar will include some “workshop” sessions to help you get started building your processes and branding.

Branding is much more than marketing. We’ll look at branding from several angles, including both internal processes and the face you present to clients and prospects.
I guarantee you’ve never see s seminar like this in the Small Business consulting community!
Your Registration includes a recording of the entire workshop – at no additional cost!

Agenda: SMB Preday 2015

One of the on-going themes for the year at Small Biz Thoughts is This is a Year to Thrive. One huge of “thriving” is to build a business that does exactly what you want it to do.

It markets to the right prospects.
It signs the right clients.
It offers the right services.
It delivers them flawlessly.
It hires the right people.
It trains them well.
It has great processes.
… and executes them perfectly.
It is profitable.
And it fulfills the long-term goals of the owners.
All of that – ALL OF THAT – is branding. Marketing is an important piece of that, but everything else is also an important piece of that.

Good SOPs make all the difference in creating long-term success in your service business. This seminar brings together these two topics in one four-hour workshop. You will walk away with some standardized processes. But more importantly, you’ll walk away with a process for creating, implementing, and fine-tuning SOPs.

We will also talk about successful project management in the small business space – and then help you create a standard process for managing all of your projects going forward.
If you’re ready to stop pondering and Take Action to build standard operating procedures and build a successful project management system, register now!
You should plan on a lot of audience participation. Everyone has experiences to share. We will finish with a specific timeline action plan to help you transition to your new operating model.

Act Now to receive these bonuses:
·         Super Early Bird Registration price only $99
·         Access to all workshop materials electronically after the event
·         Audio recording of the Workshop

Register Now – Only $99

Trainer / Coach: Karl W. Palachuk

Author, Blogger, Managed Service Provider

Karl W. Palachuk is a Managed Service Provider, a business coach, and the author of fifteen books. His books include Managed Services in a Month and The Network Documentation Workbook.

His latest books are Project Management in Small Business and The Managed Services Operations Manual – a four volume set!

Karl has been named SBSer of the Year by SMB Nation; he has frequently appeared on the MSPmentor 250 list and the SMB 150 list by SMB Technology Network (SMBTN) and SMB PC magazine. And he was just named as one of the ChannelPro SMB 20/20 Visionaries.
Karl’s blog – Small Biz Thoughts – is extremely popular in the SMB and Managed Services community.
·         Web site:
·         Twitter: @karlpalachuk
·         LinkedIn: in/karlpalachuk
·         Facebook: karlpalachuk

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Webinar: Everything You Need to Know to Sell Managed Security and Compliance

MAX 2015 Preview Webinar:

In the build-up to their big MAXfocus users conference in September, the good folks at MAX are holding a series of "MSP Expert" webinars.

Conference details here:

The next webinar is going to feature Steven Rutkovitz, CEO of Choice Technologies, Inc. Here are the details:

Everything You Need to Know to Sell Managed Security and Compliance

Steven Rutkovitz CEO, Choice Technologies, Inc

Date: Jun 30, 2015 11:00 AM EDT at:

Choice Technologies uses MAXfocus to deliver security services. Steve Rutkovitz, CEO of Choice Technologies will reveal their secrets for success as an MSP.  Utilizing their trademarked “Assess. Address. Maintain.” Choice demonstrates business value from security as a service.   Choice has racked up impressive numbers and margins - developing a security service offering over the past four years.

Key takeaways
• Understanding how selling Security as a Service is similar, but can be different from selling IT managed services

• MSPs looking to move towards Security as a Service can learn from one of the best success stories in the Channel.

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The previous MSP Experts webinar got rave reviews. This one should be great!

You can check out past webinars and other MAXfocus videos on their YouTube channel at

If you're interested in checking out my webinar with MAX on the Three Killer Procedures That Will Make You More Profitable Today, click here:


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Third Tier Announces Their First Product - Be The Cloud

 Mark your calendars.

Tonight - June 10 - 7:00 PM Eastern

Join Amy Babinchak and Philip Elder as they introduce Be The Cloud.

Amy sent me the following note:

Be The Cloud is a hardware/software solution designed and built by our own Philip Elder. You know Phil as the Cluster MVP, Hyper-V expert at Third Tier and all around hardware guru. He’s also a former SBS MVP and has taken all of this knowledge and rolled it into a solution so IT firms can make good money providing a cloud solution to clients. It’s called Be The Cloud, because that is what it does for you and your clients are going to love it.

The webinar launch will give you an overview of what this looks like from your clients point of view and for your bottom line.

Join at:

For more information right away, visit the Be The Cloud page at Third Tier.


Tuesday, June 09, 2015

MAX Backup Disrupts Disaster Recovery Market with Per-Device Pricing Model

I got a note from my friends over at MAX today.

The new MAX Backup solution will be based on per-device pricing, with no charges for data storage. This is great news, especially for larger clients whose data store seems to keep growing. Now you can offer them flat-fee backup pricing, which makes budgeting much easier.

If you're a current MAX user, you'll find the backup setup on your dashboard menu. See below.

If you want a free 30 day trial, Click Here and fill out the form.

Here's the official press release:

- - - - -

MAX Backup Disrupts Disaster Recovery Market with Per-device Pricing Model Including Storage

EDINBURGH – 9 June 2015 – LogicNow  has today announced the launch of its new pricing strategy for MAX Backup. MAX Backup is part of MAXfocus, the world’s most widely trusted managed service provider (MSP) and IT support platform. MAX Backup becomes the first full disaster recovery solution to be charged per device for both servers and workstations, rather than by data usage. The move makes it more practical for MSPs and IT service providers to sell comprehensive disaster recovery services with predictable costs for themselves and their customers.

Traditionally, organizations have been charged per device for most services with the exception of disaster recovery. However, MSPs find that charging for data usage instead of per device can create uncertainty in the minds of customers and therefore obstacles to selling the service. They also face challenges with their larger customers resulting from the continually increasing data volumes, and therefore costs, under a storage-based charging model. By offering backup and disaster recovery services charged per device, MSPs can sell the service more easily and in a way that is more predictable and economical for their customers.

The new MAX Backup pricing model will make it much easier for IT service providers to offer a full mission-critical Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution - delivering the most up-to-the minute protection and minimizing time to recovery by making standby images available in as few as five minutes after failure. This combination of best-in-class recovery point and recovery time objectives with certainty about costs to them and their customers puts MSPs in a position to satisfy even the most demanding of customer requirements.

“Per-device pricing enables our MSP partners to know their margins when quoting new business, making it much easier to sell. Regardless of growth in data, MSPs can deliver a differentiated Disaster Recovery as a Service offering with a predictable price point,” said Chris Groot, VP Sales, MAX Backup & Recovery. “Today, we have more than 4,500 IT service providers using MAX Backup. Having spoken with many of them, there is a big appetite for this charging model. We expect to grow this area of our business tenfold in the next two years.”
MAX Backup will offer a flexible charging model based on data usage for customers backing up smaller amounts of data that may not require a per device pricing structure.

About LogicNow
LogicNow was created when GFI Software restructured to support rapid growth across its portfolio. LogicNow, which includes MAXfocus (formerly GFI MAX), IASO hybrid cloud back-up and ControlNow (formerly GFI Cloud and Mail Essentials Online), delivers SaaS technologies under a subscription model. As the world’s most widely-trusted managed service provider & IT support platform, MAXfocus has a decade of technology expertise, the backing of a 12,000-strong community and the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the MSP market. IASO is one of the leading brands in hybrid cloud backup, disaster recovery software and cloud storage for MSPs, large enterprises, telecommunication and hosting providers. ControlNow is an IT management solution for thousands of corporations and is winning market share from traditional on-premise competitors as companies’ IT becomes more complex and fragmented and the need for management in the cloud increases.

For more information
Julie Molloy
Tel: +44 7703 672130

For media inquiries
Pazia Dwyer   
Tel: 703-390-1509

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Thursday, June 04, 2015

SMB Nation / O365 Nation Online broadcast: Get Connected, August 4-5, 2015

SMB Nation is holding an online "Connected Event" August 4-5 focused on Office 365, Windows 10, and Azure.

As their web site says:

"Bringing together Office 365 and Win10 experts, thought leaders, and a wide range of IT Professionals, THE Get Connected event provides you the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and tools you need to support your organization. Learn how to incorporate the industry best practices at more than 20 educational sessions tailored to Office 365 and Win10. Join us to learn and explore bench marking features of Office 365 and Win 10 via this two day online conference August 4 and 5th, 2015, from the comfort of your desk."

The fun starts at 7:00 AM (Pacific) on Tuesday, August 4th. Sessions go through 4:00 PM that day. On the 5th, sessions are 7:00 AM until 1:30 PM.

Topics scheduled so far include:

  • Office 365 Licensing

  • Office 365 Click-To-Run Deployment

  • Making Money with clients on Office 365

  • Line of Business Apps/Integration

  • SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business

  • Migration

  • Introduction to Windows 10

  • Windows 10 Security

  • Windows 10 and Universal Applications

  • Windows 10 and the Internet of Things

  • Windows 10 Sales and Support Opportunities

Information on all the sessions, plus registration information is all here (


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Twitter Chat for MSPs . . . Feedback Needed

You know what I haven't seen in the MSP / SMB community? A Twitter chat!

Maybe I missed it. But I don't think I've ever seen a Tweet chat or Twitter chat in this community. So I'm going to hold one. If it seems successful, I'll look into doing it again.

I've created a quickie form for you to give feedback. No email required. Just fill it out and hit submit. Go to (Thanks)

(Free graphic courtesy of Pixabay -

Whatza Twitter Chat?

Here are the basics.

A Twitter chat is an online event in which a number of Twitter users get together at a pre-determined time to discuss a specific subject. The organizer selects a #hashtag, which is used by everyone who participates or lurks.

For watchers/lurkers and participants, it's easiest if you use a tool such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to follow the action.

Generally, the organization starts with a few questions and gets the conversation going. Participants respond to one or more questions. As you can imagine, it's possible to have two or three conversations going at once within the #hashtag "channel."

Just as with online forums or newsgroups, Tweet chats work best if people are courteous and respectful to one another.

I think we'll start with a 30 minute chat. If it's going strong, we can hang out longer. And I promise to invite some really smart people to participate. Including YOU!

Next Step: Picking a Topic and a Time Slot

Off the top of my head, I think the following topics would be good. If you're interested in something else, please fill out the form!

  • SOPs - Standard Operating Procedures
  • Service Delivery Best Practices
  • Employee Challenges
  • Project Management Best Practices
  • Relax Focus Succeed(R)
  • Managed Services in a Month

The form also has options for days of the week and times of the day. So you can leave comments here, but please also fill out the form.

. . . And we'll see how soon we can get this going!


Monday, June 01, 2015

Official Launch Date: Windows 10 Available July 29th

This morning the Windows Blog announced that Windows 10 will be available July 29th.

You can "Reserve" a copy - for free if you have the right operating system - at Click Here.

And click here for Questions About the Free Upgrade to Windows 10.

The official announcement is on the Windows Blog Here.

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Now I have to repeat some information I posted yesterday: You might want to sign up for the FREE Windows 10 launch events being sponsored by and SMB Nation.

See that post here: Windows 10 Tour Stops.

Sign Up for the Tour Here: 

Sponsored by Microsoft, these events are FREE and will be held at Microsoft locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Redmond and Austin.

Events will be held in the following cities:

-- New York City, New York – June 2, 2015 <-- b="" tomorrow="">
-- Los Angeles, California – June 9, 2015
-- Fort Lauderdale, Florida – June 23, 2015
-- Redmond, Washington (info coming soon)
-- Austin, Texas (info coming soon)

Sign Up for the Tour Here: 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Grab one of the FIVE Windows 10 Tour Stops in June

In the next few months, Windows 10 will change your business.

I know that sounds dramatic, but it's certainly true. The reason is very simple. When Windows 10 is released, Windows 8.1 becomes N-1. In other words, there will be no more source for Windows 7. OEM vendors who sell a "downgraded" version will be able to pre-load machines with Windows 8.1, but who the hell wants that?

[Side note: reports that Windows 10 may be released as soon as August 31st.]

ANYWAY . . .

In the next few months, Windows 10 will change your business.

Now comes the first U.S. opportunity to attend an official training and preview event for Windows 10.

SMB Nation has announced that they are working with Microsoft and to conduct a pilot preview tour in five U.S. cities during June.

Says Harry Brelsford:
"We want to emphasize the INDEPENDENT nature of this learning opportunity. As an outsider looking in, we will take you behind the curtain, allowing you to discover the 'real' Windows 10 in advance of everyone else. Attendance is limited to 50 qualified participants, so sign up immediately!"

Sign Up for the Tour Here: 

Sponsored by Microsoft, these events are FREE and will be held at Microsoft locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Redmond and Austin.

This tour is great for:
-  Managed Service Providers (MSPs)
-  Partners
-  Consultants
-  IT Pros

The content is primarily technical in nature. As a BONUS, you will participate in a focus group exercise that will help shape Microsoft’s Windows 10 strategy. This is a rare opportunity to influence a product as a real-world professional.

The tour will cover the following:
• Intro to Windows 10 and a Full Overview
• New Features in Windows 10
• The Windows 10 Mobile Story
• The Windows 10 Developer Story
• Windows 10 Security
• Universal Applications
• Cortana
• Microsoft Edge
• Continuum for Phones
• Windows 10 and Office 365 – Success Together
• Windows 10 for the Internet of Things
• Deploying Windows 10
and much more…

You will enjoy learning from our expert trainer, Onuora Amobi, the editor at

Events will be held in the following cities:

-- New York City, New York – June 2, 2015
-- Los Angeles, California – June 9, 2015
-- Fort Lauderdale, Florida – June 23, 2015
-- Redmond, Washington (info coming soon)
-- Austin, Texas (info coming soon)

Sign Up for the Tour Here: 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Myth of the Millennial Economy

Back around the year 2000 we were told that there was a "new economy." The new "Internet economy" emerged in the mid 1990's and exploded in 2002.

The so-called new economy created a bubble on Wall Street because people were throwing money at any company with a dot com name. Companies were no longer valued based on the old fashioned notion of profit. How quaint.

No, the new economy was based on a completely different valuation: Market share, defined as users without regard to profit. The thinking was simple. We'll give away our product or service until we own all the users. Then we'll start charging.

This was flawed reasoning on several counts. First, as soon as something new emerged, competition for users also emerged. So no one could ever own all the users. Second, a lot of people will try anything for free and nothing if they have to pay.

Eventually, the whole "new economy" was a massive house of cards built on electrons instead of sound economic principles. People got rich - stupid rich - by raising money for a golden future that could never come to fruition.

The .com bubble burst.

Skip ahead to today. We don't have a bubble brewing, but we do have a new false economy brewing. For years now we've been told about how the world just has to change for the "millennial" generation and those who come after.

Millennials (or "Generation Y") are those folks born about 1980-1999. This is now the largest age cohort in our economy - larger than the baby boomers. And as the boomers die off, the millennials will constitute a larger and larger percentage of the population.

So what is the fake economy? We've been told that there are certain traits of the millennials that we have to bend to. In particular, we're told that we have to treat them differently as employees and consumers. For example, they insist on working less and earning more. They want more benefits more quickly. They want everything to be like a video game. They have no attention span, and can't learn big, complex things.

In my opinion, all of that just sounds stupid.

The millennials are beginning to learn the truth: You have to work really hard in this life to get ahead. And it has always been the case that those who don't work harder or smarter will be part of the less paid masses. Period. Being born in a certain year and being surrounded by technology doesn't change that economic reality.

Here are a few things to consider.

First, the top 1%, 5%, and 10% of any profession will always make the most difference in any generation. They'll be responsible for all of the innovation and take home the vast majority of all the money. Period. Fact.

Second, those who are self-disciplined and train themselves in the really hard jobs are the ones who get to be in the top 10%. Someone will always decide to focus on the hard jobs and therefore move up the ladder. Anyone CAN but only the top 10% will. Period. Fact.

Third, the people who are hiring, firing, and promoting employees care about performance, not your birth year. In any generation, a company has to earn money. Those who help a company earn more or save more will be rewarded. Those who simply cost money will be targeted for replacement (by cheaper labor, automation, and outsourcing). Period. Fact.

Fourth, if the attitudes of any group look like those attributed to the millennials, they will be passed over. People who want to skip the step where you work hard and pay your dues will simply self-select themselves out of the top 10%. Sorry. Fact.

In any generation, only a few people push themselves to the top. It's true of every profession. It always has been true. It always will be true. If the millennials think the laws of economics will be different for them, they have a hard lesson ahead.

It would be horrible for such a large cohort of the economy to simply opt out of the top 10%. Someone will fill that space, either those who are older or those who are younger.

The unchanged facts are:
- Life owes you nothing.
- Those with high levels of self-discipline always excel.
- Those who take on the hard jobs force themselves to learn the highest-paying skills.
- Anyone with normal skills and intelligence can push themselves into the top 10%, top 5%, and top 1%.

As with all economics, there are few action plans that can be applied to "everyone." But any one single person can succeed. Any one person can choose to be self-disciplined. Any one person can stop focusing on today's rewards and begin focusing on the long-term goals. Any one person can choose to do the hard work.

The good news for millennials is that they appear to be learning about reality. Maybe they're a bit surprised or disappointed. But I've hired several and found them to be hard working and dedicated.

So maybe all the reports about the millennials were always just as wrong as they sound.

Beware pundits who tell you that the most fundamental rules of anything have changed. When big, macro-economic rules change, they change very slowly.