Thursday, April 11, 2024

AI Nagging - Technology Nagging at a Whole New Level

 Almost since the day the Internet became public, we've had nagware. You know what I mean: Software and apps that get you to install on the promise that there is some FREE benefit. But, whether they have any actual usefulness in the free version, they proceed to nag you to upgrade.

In the most benevolent incarnation, these apps have a simple "nag screen" that you bypass every time you open them. For many of us, this is simply the cost of free software. 

But real nagware is much more than one nag screen. It constantly interrupts you. It constantly begs you to upgrade. In other words, the nagging gets in the way of using the software. Many of us choose to uninstall rather than put up with the constant nagging.

Enter AI . . .

Artificial Intelligence is insanely hot. Some might say irrationally hot, given how few actual AI-enabled applications there are. We're probably at the end of the Peak of Inflated Expectations on the Gartner Hype Cycle (see and we're quickly moving to the Trough of Disillusionment.

For me, a LOT of that disillusionment is the nagging nature of AI chat bots, plugins, and all kinds of "features" I just don't need. These annoyances are filling up my taskbar and the periphery of almost every web site I visit. 

In the 1990's it was, "Do you want fries with that?" Today it's, "Do you want AI with that?" For me - 99% of the time - the answer is NO.

The most annoying is on my phone. Every time there's an update, all the nagging AI turns back on. Personally, I hate predictive text. I know what I want to say. I really do. If you want to offer spell checking, I'll look at that. If you were offering a thesaurus of words that might help me improve my thoughts or better express the full intellectual concept in my head, I might use that.

But what's being offered is the most common next word most commonly used by the most common English-speaking people in North America. It is regression to the mean. It takes all uniqueness that I might have and replaces it with the most average thing anyone has ever said. 

Next up is . . . everything Microsoft. I literally cannot open or use any Microsoft product without having to disable or ignore opportunities for them to up-sell me on technology I don't want. I used to think the EU was going overboard by making Microsoft split up their technology.

Note: I might want AI to help me from time to time. I'm certainly not opposed to it. I do want the option. But I don't want it shoved down my throat like a goose on a feeding tube.

Right now, the state of AI for most users is that it is as annoying pop-up advertisements. I would actually pay money for an app that disabled all offers to add or enable AI to my daily routine.

At this moment in history, I am losing productivity because a noticeable percentage of my work day is spent saying NO to AI!

When it comes to interruption marketing, I have never understood how advertisers came to believe that they could annoy prospects into buying their products and services. In my opinion, that's where we are with AI. First, there's no much "there" there. Second, they feel like they have to push it on me a thousand times in order to get me to jump onboard.

That's not being a good marketing or a good netizen. I want the right to be left alone!


Tuesday, April 09, 2024

The ASCII Group Celebrates 40 Years of Empowering IT Professionals Through Community

My friends as ASCII slipped this under my door . . .

The ASCII Group Celebrates 40 Years of Empowering IT Professionals Through Community

Washington, DC – April 9, 2024 –The ASCII Group, the original MSP community of the channel, proudly commemorates its 40th anniversary, marking four decades of unwavering commitment to its members and the IT industry at large. Established in 1984 by visionary entrepreneur Alan D. Weinberger, ASCII has been at the forefront of empowering Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and fostering collaboration, growth, and innovation.

Founded in Washington D.C. by Weinberger, alongside 40 ex-franchisees of a software chain, The ASCII Group stemmed from Weinberger's recognition of the pivotal role specialized IT professionals played in the burgeoning IT revolution. Since then, ASCII has remained resolute in its commitment to providing unparalleled support, resources, peer-to-peer education, and networking opportunities to IT professionals across North America while upholding a vendor-neutral stance.

"The ASCII Group celebrates a remarkable milestone! Their steadfast support spanning four decades has not only propelled the IT community forward but has also been instrumental in the growth and success of my company, A2Z Business IT,” said Carl de Prado, ASCII member since 2014. “ASCII's dedication to fostering connections and offering invaluable resources has made a significant difference. Here's to their profound impact on businesses like ours and to many more years of innovation and empowerment!"

Continuing its mission to equip like-minded IT professionals with the necessary tools for business growth, The ASCII Group has expanded its programs, services, and opportunities over the past four decades to meet the evolving needs of its members. By staying attuned to industry trends and embracing emerging technologies, ASCII has incorporated new committees (including its newly established AI Pit Crew), peer groups and networks within its regular community while staying connected with cutting-edge vendor partners and channel developments.

"We take immense pride in reaching this significant landmark in ASCII's history," stated Alan Weinberger, CEO of The ASCII Group. "Looking forward, our commitment to empowering our members and understanding their needs remains steadfast. Additionally, I am deeply proud of the dedicated ASCII team I have assembled. With many staff members having been with me for decades, we have shared this journey together."

The ASCII Group will commemorate its 40-year journey throughout the year, culminating in an anniversary celebration at its ASCII Edge event in Newark, New Jersey, on April 17.

For more information about ASCII Edge, visit

About The ASCII Group, Inc:

The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, MSSPs and Solution Providers. The Group has members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national and international reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of leading and major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit



Friday, March 22, 2024

Newbie Terminology: What Is A "Channel" and Why Do I Care?

Our industry has so much jargon that we sometimes fail to define our terms. Folks new to IT consulting (and some older folks as well) might not be familiar with the term "Channel." In fact, some people use the term so broadly that they refer to the entire IT community as the channel. Here are some thoughts, intended to clarity.

The the broadest sense of the word, a channel is an industry-specific ecosystem that includes all the actors from the manufacturer or developer, through the distributor and consultant, to the end end user. One simple channel is displayed in this diagram.

In the IT channel, manufacturers include all the brand names you know and might resell. These might include hardware , software, and services. Distributors include aggregators (so, for example, both Ingram Micro and Sherweb).

From a broader perspective, the channel includes industry magazines, news web sites, industry analysts, podcasters, bloggers, membership communities, and all the folks who put on various events.

We frequently refer to manufacturers and developers as Vendors. Vendors make the physical and digital stuff we sell, including services. And, of course, there are combinations. Some distributors create services, so they are both the developer and the distributor of their services. And some developers combine their creations with others' creations or services and begin to look like mini-distributors.

From time to time, you might hear the terms channel-only or channel-friendly. Channel-only vendors only sell directly to IT consultants (their resellers) or through distributors. They do not sell to end-user clients. The most channel-conscious vendors will connect end users to their resellers.

Channel-friendly companies might be very friendly to their resellers, or they might be less friendly. As a rule, the companies that call themselves channel-friendly try to sell through the channel. But, all too often, they also sell directly to end users. 

And that brings us to the natural tension in channel relationships: It is very tempting for vendors to sell directly to end users and cut out the "middleman." That's you. In the big picture, there's nothing wrong with this - unless the vendor has promised to only sell through the channel. All vendors have this temptation. Over time, fewer and fewer of them manage to resist the temptation completely.

Many vendors openly sell through the channel and directly. Perhaps the largest companies you deal with on this front are Microsoft, HP, and Cisco. If you're an IT reseller, you probably refer to this as vendors competing with their channel partners (resellers). Recently, I heard this referred to as co-selling. When Microsoft first admitted that they were going to go all-out to compete their "partners," they referred to it as disintermediation (see this blog post).

If you ever need a great example of how companies do a bad job of managing channel partnerships, ask someone about their relationship with Dell. Time and time again, Dell revamps their partner program. They promise to protect you and never sell against you. They let you register prospects, so their inside sales people know to leave them alone.

But . . . they also do nothing to change the incentives of inside sales people. And because those folks make money by poaching your clients, they poach your clients. Sales people will do what they are paid to do. So, beware of the actions of your vendor "partners" in addition to their words.

Microsoft has been very honest about their approach. As they were dismantling their partner network and renaming it to eliminate the word partner, their message was: You won't make any money by reselling our products. But you'll make money selling services related to our products. Shockingly, that didn't work very well. So, now you can make a little money. But you have to sell a lot of licenses to make it worth your while.

-- -- -- 

Your Action Steps

If you're new to the concept of channel sales, or the IT channel, you need to decide how much you care. Some people do not include profit from resale into their business model. So, sometimes they make money and sometimes not. Instead, their profit comes 100% from labor - consultation. 

Other companies make a point of working with channel-only vendors whenever possible. This gives them a direct channel for acquiring products and services, and maybe even new clients. And they know that their "partner" will not be competing against them. Note: As I mentioned, pure-play channel-only vendors are becoming harder to find.

Here are a few actions to consider. First, determine how much you care. Will you seek channel-only vendors (or "channel first" or "channel friendly)? Second, evaluate your current suppliers. You may need to have discussions on forums or at conferences to find out how channel friendly your current vendors are. 

Third, learn about the channel commitment of future vendors. Remember, the channel-focused commitment goes both ways. For vendors, the commitment to channel-only sales is a tough decision. They are rewarded when MSPs commit to working as much as possible with channel-only vendors. Building a solution stack made up of exclusively channel-only vendors rewards those vendors who have made the decision to forego direct sales.

-- -- --

Please let me know if you are new to the channel and would like me to give my two cents on other terminology you've heard. Welcome - and good luck!


Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Unpopular Truth about KPIs, SLAs, and SMB IT - Webinar April 10th

The Unpopular Truth about KPIs, SLAs, and SMB IT

We all love to measure things. And we’re eager to learn the “industry standards” for successful businesses so we can see how we stack up. But we can also get carried away by measuring too much, measuring the wrong things, and implementing changes when we don’t actually understand the implications of what we’re measuring.

Please join me for a free webinar

April 10th
9:00 AM Pacific / Noon Eastern

Register Now:

Way back in January, I promised a focus on creating a "systems" approach to your IT business. In this informative and entertaining webinar, I begin to show you how to implement that approach. Critical to that success is to implement measures that help your business more than they hurt.

Note: I takes a very different approach from most “coaches” who are really just trying to sell something else. I am not selling anything in this webinar.

Here's a hint about my approach: Most KPIs are useless or harmful to your business. I believe you should measure frequently but make changes infrequently. Most importantly, you should not hold employees accountable for most of what you measure! But don't worry - I won't leave you hanging. There are things you should measure. More importantly, there's an overall view of your business that will lead to success.

This will be a different kinds of webinar. It is scheduled for 90 minutes and will go over if there are lots of questions. The first 60 minutes will be the primary presentation. After that, we’ll dig into some very specific examples along with Q&A. Join us – and take the time to improve your business dramatically.

As always, I promise that I will NOT waste your time! My goal is to help you to be as successful as possible. This webinar will lighten your workload, reduce your stress, and give you a better understanding of how your business works.


Friday, March 08, 2024

Women in Tech 2024: A Failing Report Card

I'm sorry to post this on International Women's Day, but the IT industry has been failing women for . . . well, forever.

As the father of a smart, nerdy, left-brained woman, I have tried to do what I can in my business and profession to improve the environment for women in our industry. But I'm sad to report that our industry has been headed in the wrong direction for decades. Like my daughter, MOST women with aptitude for this industry never give it serious consideration as a career.

Only 27% of women ever consider a career in tech. This compares to 62% of men.* There are two primary reasons for this. The well-documented reason is that women do not advance in tech careers the way men do. The stats on this are overwhelming and not improving. We need to create paths for women to move up.

Women in IT 2024 - heading in the wrong direction

The other major reason is that women simply do not choose to enter our industry at all. Why? They do not feel welcome. While we as an industry make some effort to increase awareness and advancement, we have failed on making women feel like this is a great career choice for them.

"The numbers" are one thing. But numbers can change when attitudes change and women feel welcome to be part of our industry.

Note: The focus of my concern is not women in marketing, support services, or front office. Where we are failing is female business owners and female technicians. Those of us who are active in the industry can all name ten or even twenty women in these roles in the SMB IT community. And that is a very, very sad number.

A lot of the stats are driven by large companies (with 10,000 or more employees each). In the SMB space, the numbers are much, much worse. Twenty years ago, more than ten percent of conference attendees in the SMB space were women. Today, it's around three percent.

This is not just about "awareness training" and educating mid-marketing hiring managers. We have active discrimination against women in our industry

No one wants to talk about it publicly, but many women do not feel safe or welcome at many in-person events in our industry. So, they opt out and visible numbers reflect this. 

More than half of the women in our industry say that they have experienced sexual harassment.** But if you ask a group of women in a live setting, they will all jump on that statistic and say it is way too low. Many will argue that the number is closer to 100%.

In "Big Tech," women are about 27% of the employment force. This number is down from just a few years ago. And the situation is worse in SMB. Nationwide, women own about forty percent of all small businesses. That sounds great. But no one would argue that the numbers for SMB IT are anywhere near that.

We Need a More Realistic Action Plan

I have served on several committees with names that focus on women in IT, but time and time again, the results are the same: These committees are filled with lots of people from sales, marketing, and management, often from larger companies. There are few or no women who own small businesses or are technicians in small businesses.

These groups are very good at getting articles published and good PR. And we need that! But we also need to do more to reach out to young women and make them feel welcome in this industry. We have started the good work of making women more visible in our industry. But we are clearly failing to make them feel welcome

And we are failing at the only thing that will make a difference in the long-run: Convincing women to start IT consulting businesses or choose a career as helpdesk engineers.

A few years ago, I offered $100 stipend to any woman in our industry who wanted to attend a specific conference I was being paid to speak at. The result was tremendous - twenty-five women attended an event with about a hundred total attendees. This was NOT about the money. They could all afford $100. The difference was: There was a concerted effort to invite women and make them feel welcome.

I fully admit: I don't have the answer.

I don't know how we overcome this sixty-year-old challenge.

But we have to do something. Our daughters are missing out because they are opting out. Our industry  and community are missing out because we have alienated half of our potential membership. And women are missing out because IT consulting is a GREAT career. Technicians earn good money. And we generally have flexible hours. Business owners in IT can build a very nice lifestyle. And the flexibility for owners is better than just about any industry, anywhere.

It starts with awareness. I hope there are a few men still reading to the end of this blog. Why? Because it's the men who have to make this happen. We need to figure out ways to make this industry a place where the entire population feels welcome. 

There's an interesting irony in all of this: Tech people tend to be REALLY smart. We solve puzzles for a living. We figure things out. So we absolutely can solve this problem if we try. We just have to decide, as an industry, that it's time to try. It's time to actively encourage women to get into IT, to get the training, get the jobs, and start the businesses.

I'm sorry I don't have the answers, but I do have the faith that we can do anything we set our minds to. We can make women feel welcome and safe at our conferences. We can welcome them to our meetings and events. We can start today to figuring this out.

I am open to any suggestions you might have. Throw them in the comments. 

It's International Women's Day. And I celebrate all the amazing women I've had the pleasure of working with. I just wish more of them were in the industry I call home.

-- -- --

 * AI Bees has a nice historical summary and some sobering statistics here:

 ** Jessica Hubbert has a great collection of stats on the Exploding Topics web site, here:


Thursday, March 07, 2024

Do You Own Client Configurations?

Recently, I've come across a new way of looking at the services we deliver: MSPs claim to "own" the configuration of their clients' equipment.

Example One: The firewall configuration is our unique intellectual property. The argument here is that the MSP takes an off-the-shelf firewall and adds their secret sauce to create a unique device. And, by extension, another MSP might be able to learn all the configuration details and thereby improve their own firewall configurations.

Example Two: An MSP has been leasing equipment to a client, including the Domain Controller. The out-going MSP refuses to share directory access so the in-coming MSP can build a backup DC and then update the FSMO roles and promote it to primary. Again, the argue boils down to secret sauce. Somehow, the configuration of the Active Directory is proprietary technology.

I strongly object to this line of thinking for several reasons. Here are the top three.

First: This is simply unprofessional behavior. While thinly veiled, the real motivation here is that the outgoing MSP (the one losing the client) believes that holding onto this information will somehow do something positive for their business. They are sore losers. And this kind of behavior will only piss off the client (and other professionals involved). 

I always think it's a good policy to lose gracefully, if you have to lose. If you handle it well, that client might see the error in their ways and invite you back some day. On more than one occasion, I've lost a client who wanted us back a year later. If we held their equipment or configurations hostage, they would never have wanted to come back.

We'll come back to this.

Second: The client has paid for the configuration work. Unless you have a contract to the contrary, the client pays you to configure all their hardware, software, and services. It's absurd to think that the selection of inputs and menu options is somehow unique and beyond the common practices of every single IT consultant in your market. 

Clearly, the operating system of a firewall is the intellectual property of the firewall designer. But the configuration of a specific firewall is not really some kind of secret sauce, right? That’s just a collection of settings enabled by the OS.

I have seen this kind of behavior (trying to keep owners out of their firewalls, routers, switches, servers, services, etc.) for thirty years. It never works. Ever. Once a client has decided to change IT consultants, the out-going MSP has lost the job. It's too late to try to hang on by denying the client access to the configurations and settings they've already paid for as "work for hire."

A few years ago, I went looking for consultants that would help me fine-tune my Google ads. Some of them were upfront about the configuration changes they would make to my Google Ads account: They considered their genius to be so great that, if I were to ever leave them, I had to agree that they would set my entire account back to what it was on the day they took over. This was written into their contract. 

Of course, I did not hire any of these folks. I think it's a horrible practice, BUT they were not being unprofessional or dishonest. They made it clear up front, so I could choose whether to do business with them. 

Third: There is no secret sauce. Aside from being unprofessional, all of this behavior assumes that an MSP has some amazing Secret Sauce that no on else possesses. I've only been in this business professionally for thirty years, but I have never actually met anyone who has secret sauce. 

Firewalls can be configured well or poorly. Active Directory can be set up sloppily or precisely. Documentation of these might be thorough or sparse - or even non-existent. So, the only "secret" is to do your job well and to act as professionally as you can. Work a bit harder than your competition. Work a bit smarter. Be more consistent. Have better daily practices.

I have long argued that Secret Sauce comes in a clear glass jar with the ingredients labeled on the back. In other words: Everyone knows what it is! If you are dedicated to great service, and providing excellent technical support, then you will always have customers who love you. Your unique selling proposition is the totality of your company, your employees, your processes, and your documentation.

Who needs secret sauce when you have YOU, your processes, your employees, and your excellent habits? 

I hope this trend of claiming "intellectual property" for doing your job is short lived. It is just the latest manifestation of unprofessional people pretending to be professional IT consultants and making our industry look bad in the process. Every time one of these losers gets away with thing kind of behavior, one more client has a story about how horrible IT consultants behave. That reduces trust in all future relationships with IT professionals.

Once again, the warning goes out: Don't let our industry slide into the kind of reputation enjoyed by car salesmen!


Monday, March 04, 2024

The ASCII Group Introduces the Channel Legacy Partnership Awards at ASCII Edge Events 2024

The ASCII Group Introduces the Channel Legacy Partnership Awards at ASCII Edge Events 2024

Washington, DC – March 4, 2024 – The ASCII Group, a renowned membership-based community of independent North American Managed Service Providers (MSPs), is pleased to announce the introduction of the Channel Legacy Partnership Awards at ASCII Edge Events 2024. As The ASCII Group commemorates its 40th anniversary this year, they are honoring channel vendors who have demonstrated unwavering commitment by partnering with the ASCII community for 20 years or more.

The Channel Legacy Partnership Awards serve as a testament to the enduring relationships between The ASCII Group and its esteemed channel vendors. Through their sustained partnerships, they have played a pivotal role in fostering growth, facilitating networking opportunities, and driving innovation within the MSP community. 

Legacy Awards will be presented at ASCII Edge, the premier multi-city events where nearly 2,000 industry professionals, technology vendors, and leaders come together for two power-packed days of collaboration and growth. With events in nine cities across North America, ASCII Edge is specifically curated for the modern MSP. 

"We are delighted to introduce the Channel Legacy Partnership Awards as part of our 40th-anniversary celebrations," said Alan Weinberger, Chairman and CEO of The ASCII Group. "These awards are a tribute to the exceptional dedication and contributions of our long-standing channel partners. Their steadfast commitment to The ASCII Group and its members exemplifies the spirit of collaboration and community that defines our organization."

The first Channel Legacy Partnership Awards were presented on February 29 at ASCII Edge Costa Mesa, and the recipients included Kaseya, D&H, CompTIA, and Sophos.

"We are proud to celebrate these exceptional channel vendors who have been by our side for over two decades," added Weinberger. "Their commitment to The ASCII Group and the community at large is truly commendable."

For more information about ASCII Edge Events 2024, please visit

About The ASCII Group, Inc:

The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, MSSPs and Solution Providers. The Group has members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national and international reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of leading and major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit


Thursday, February 29, 2024

The ASCII Group Launches AI Committee to Drive Industry Advancement

 Announcement . . . live from the ASCII Edge event in Southern California . . .

The ASCII Group MSP Business Community Launches AI Committee to Drive Industry Advancement

Washington, DC – Feb 29, 2024 – The ASCII Group, a renowned membership-based community of independent North American Managed Service Providers (MSPs), today announced the establishment of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Committee. As the tech landscape continues to evolve, The ASCII Group recognizes the critical importance of preparing its members for the next phase of industry evolution – the integration of AI technologies into their service offerings.

In an industry marked by rapid transformations, MSPs have consistently demonstrated resilience and adaptability, transitioning from resellers to Value-Added Resellers (VARs) and then to MSPs. As AI rapidly progresses, the managed services sector anticipates significant transformative shifts. While AI integration offers unprecedented efficiency and innovation, challenges persist, such as optimizing operations and tailoring customer solutions. Nevertheless, forward-thinking organizations can seize opportunities by strategically and responsibly embracing AI, unlocking new avenues for growth and differentiation.

The newly established AI Committee, dubbed the 'ASCII AI Pit Crew,' serves as a central hub for knowledge sharing. The objectives of the group include 4 pillars: Identify – Define key areas for future service delivery within the market; Research – Conduct thorough research to assess and validate potential solutions that meet identified market needs; Partner – Forge strategic partnerships with new services to enhance offerings for the community; and Engage – Empower the community by providing market-ready campaigns for the promotion of these AI services.

"Just as our members successfully navigated previous industry shifts, we are committed to equipping them with the tools necessary to embrace the potential of AI," said Jerry Koutavas, President, The ASCII Group. "One of the challenges MSPs face is identifying emerging trends before they become mainstream and through the ASCII AI Pit Crew, our members will have analysis and insight enabling them to stay ahead of the curve and seize new opportunities in the AI space."

The committee is comprised of ASCII members including Mike Bloomfield, Carl de Prado, Kathy Durfee, Lynette Furr, Michael Goldstein, Denase Harris, Lisa Hendrickson, Jason Knowles, Joshua Liberman, Rob Lloyd, Stephen Monk, Jay Parisi, Srikanth Pinnaka, and Craig Vickers.

For more information about The ASCII Group and its AI Committee, visit

About The ASCII Group, Inc:

The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, MSSPs and Solution Providers. The Group has members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national and international reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of leading and major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit



Monday, February 26, 2024

Leap Day Say - One Day Only - Save 29% off Everything

Maybe I'm not very creative - but that's okay because YOU can save 29% off everything at our store on February 29th.

I thought about limiting my promotion to expensive stuff, or downloads only, or up to a certain amount. But I'm a big believer in simplicity.

So, we're holding a sale and the only rules are:

1) To take advantage of it, you need to browse to

2) On February 29th you'll see a code that takes your purchase price to 29% off your entire order.

3) The sale is on a timer, and I live in the Pacific Time Zone.

You can browse the store now, of course, and even fill up your shopping cart. Don't forget to come back and finish the sales on Thursday.

I recommend you set yourself a reminder. This .ICS file might be helpful:

What Will You Find?

Great resources for IT Consultants! Authors include Erick Simpson, Manuel Palachuk Amy Babinchak, Debbie Leoni, Jenifer Novak Landers, Dana Goulston, plus me (Karl Palachuk). When no author is lists, the book or resource is by me.

Titles Include:

  • Absolutely Unbreakable Rules of Service Delivery, The 
  • Best I.T. Sales and Marketing BOOK EVER! (Erick Simpson)
  • Best I.T. Service Delivery BOOK EVER! (Erick Simpson)
  • Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER! (Erick Simpson)
  • Business Plan Worksheets – Free
  • Cleaning Up Your Email (Manuel Palachuk)
  • Cloud Services in a Month
  • Core Competency Matrix (Manuel Palachuk)
  • Culture and Compass: Cultivate a Successful Environment (Manuel Palachuk)
  • Five Tools That Could Transform Your Company Overnight (Manuel Palachuk)
  • Fully Expressed Living (Jenifer Novak Landers)
  • Getting to the Next Level (Manuel Palachuk)
  • Guide to a Successful Managed Services Practice (Erick Simpson)
  • How To Build A Valuable Local LinkedIn Network (Amy Babinchak)
  • How To Document Any Process (Manuel Palachuk)
  • How to Hold a Hugely Successful Event (Amy Babinchak)
  • I Am Fearless (Debbie Leoni)
  • Karl’s Cloud Readiness Checklist – Free
  • Karl’s FAMOUS 68-Point Checklist - Free
  • Managed Services in a Month – 3rd Edition
  • Managed Services Operations Manual – 4 Volume Set
  • Meditating with Pebbles Audio – Free
  • Most Important Documents Every Company Must Have (Manuel Palachuk)
  • Network Documentation Workbook Ebook
  • Network Migration Workbook – 2nd ed. (Karl W. Palachuk and Manuel Palachuk)
  • Process Control for the IT Industry (Manuel Palachuk)
  • Project Management for Small Business Consultants (Dana Goulston and Karl W. Palachuk)
  • Quick Start Guided Meditation – Free
  • Quote Me On This: The Wit and Wisdom of Coleman Cox
  • Relax Focus Succeed – Revised Edition
  • Relax Focus Succeed | An Audio Introduction – Free
  • RFS Sample Chapter – Workaholism – Free
  • Service Agreements for SMB Consultants – Revised Ed.
  • Small Biz Quickstart Workbook
  • SOP: Monthly Maintenance Checklist
  • Standards & Procedures Seed Document (Manuel Palachuk)
  • Successes that Happened without any Effort 
  • Taking Your Business to Version 3.0 and Beyond (Manuel Palachuk)
  • Ten Golden Rules of PSA and Service Ticket Systems Training Webinar (Manuel Palachuk)
  • The IT Consultant’s Year of Intention
  • Working and Tracking Time in Real-Time Whitepaper (Manuel Palachuk)

PLUS there are bundles - so you'll save even more. The bundles are good any time. But when you take off another 29%, they awesome.

Note to Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community Members: You already have access to ALL of my books and white papers inside the Community. They are free in all e-formats. What you will find in our store includes 1) Paperback books, and 2) books and white papers by other authors.

All Community members can find a huge discount code for the store anytime among your regular discounts at It's not quite 29%, but it's pretty good. 

Please join us for the big sale - February 29th!


Friday, February 16, 2024

NEW - Version 4.0 of my Famous 68-Point Checklist

Karl’s Famous 68-Point Checklist – Version 4.0

Way back in 2005, I published the "68 Point Checklist" as a place for consultants to get started with network documentation and network assessments. This checklist is now famous. Well, at least it's Internet Famous. Google 68-point checklist and you'll find it! 

And now - I totally revised and update the checklist. So now you can get a Free download of Version 4.0  - Copyright 2024.

Over the years, the "famous" 68-point checklist has been used by thousands of IT Professionals to begin their network audits, provide monthly maintenance of client computers, and generally keep client computers tuned up and working great. Best of all, this checklist is FREE for the taking.

You can find it at

Best of all - You can use this checklist to create your own. there might be technologies you don't implement or support. Cross them off. You might specialize in something that only mentioned once in the checklist: Drill down.

As always, I offer up tools like this as a place to start. You need to edit and update to fit your business, your clients, your prospects, and your service offering. 

It's hard to edit a blank page. So here's a place to start.

This checklist will become the basis for your network analysis for new clients. That makes it a key component of your marketing process (see the video), and great fodder for a network report. Once someone signs a contract, you might install your remote monitoring tools and have great visibility into all of their network. But in a sales call, you don't have that.

The checklist also includes information you can't get from an RMM tool, like, "Why did you request this analysis?" and "Does the client have a copy of their documentation?"

NOTE: This is a major - and very detailed - update. It is a lot longer and will take longer to execute than Version 3.0. If you need a simpler version, you may wish to also download Version 3.0, also on our store site. 

No credit card required.