Tuesday, July 21, 2015

With ServiceDesk 2.2, MAX Moves into the PSA Market

I received a note this morning from the folks over at LogicNow - the makers of MAXfocus. With "ServiceDesk 2.2" MAX's service desk is moving into the full "PSA" space - professional services automation.

I've been using the MAX ServiceDesk for about a year now. And it has been a good ticketing system. With the changes in version 2.2, it is quickly moving into the PSA space. Here's their official announcement:

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DURHAM, NC – 21 July 2015 – LogicNow has today announced the launch of a major update to MAX ServiceDesk, part of the MAXfocus product suite, the world’s most widely trusted managed service provider (MSP) and IT support platform. ServiceDesk 2.2 has a streamlined user interface with specific improvements to help MSPs improve productivity and manage their workload more efficiently.

The updates to MAX ServiceDesk are in response to feedback from LogicNow’s 12,000-strong community of customers, partners, MSPs and industry leaders. The improvements are focused on providing MSPs better management of agent scheduling, time tracking, issue and customer management and further focuses on helping MSP’s improve their day-to-day operations.

The new user interface reflects a continued focus on making MAX ServiceDesk easier and more intuitive, shortening the training time for new team members and reducing the time taken managing customer issues. Individual client accounts can also be supervised more closely
through improved ticket management that shows the full and detailed progress of each ticket, thereby improving efficiency and customer service. New scheduling tools also enable better management of resources and engineers’ time, reducing overtime burdens.

“It is frustrating for IT Service Providers that many of the obstacles inhibiting their growth are the same as those they faced five or even ten years ago – time tracking and productivity management are still causing issues for those ambitious companies wanting to reach the next level,” says Alistair Forbes, General Manager at LogicNow. “After detailed consultation with our customer community, we have therefore developed ServiceDesk 2.2 specifically to help overcome these hurdles. Excellent customer and issue management can be a huge deciding factor in the success of an IT service provider when trying to grow or move from break/fix to MSP.”

Joe Mitchell, Business Support Engineer at Cloud Computer Services, says: “The new UI has really improved - it’s clearer and less cluttered with better access to and visibility of key information. By placing the most important information on the main dashboard screen, I get a full picture of all the queues, SLA warnings and breaches without needing to dig through menus or produce reports.

“All of our agents have seen a marked improvement in efficiency since we moved over to ServiceDesk from our previous solution. The 2.2 upgrade has further improved our internal processes for assigning tickets and accessing client data.”

“The best feature in this release - by a mile - is the custom views. I can build as many custom views as I like, so I can focus on a particular task or queue without all of the other information getting in the way. For me, getting a clear picture is key and ServiceDesk 2.2 nails that.”

The new upgrade will be available globally to new customers and across MAXfocus’ existing and growing MAX RemoteManagement client base.

About LogicNow
LogicNow is the global market leader in the delivery of integrated cloud-based IT Service Management solutions to Managed Service Providers and end user businesses. LogicNow’s products, including its integrated Remote Monitoring and Management platform, hosted email security, enterprise–grade backup and recovery solutions and its service management platform, deliver highly accessible and scalable SaaS solutions under a subscription model.

As the provider of the world’s most widely-trusted managed service provider & and IT support platform, LogicNow has a decade of cloud-based application development and deployment expertise, the backing of a 12,000-strong community and the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the MSP market.



Friday, July 17, 2015

SOP Videos Posted for Managed Services

I've finally started posting videos related to Standard Operating Procedures for Managed Service Providers! I've been meaning to do this for a long time and finally got around to it.

Here's how this will work:

1) I'll post the videos on YouTube - My channel is www.youtube.com/smallbizthoughts.

2) After that, I'll try to remember to promote the post here. But the best thing to do is to subscribe to the YouTube channel so you'll get an email from them when a new SOP Video posts.

3) I will also note the new videos in my weekly newsletter. You can subscribe to that on the link above - "Karl's SMB Email."

If you would like to see me cover a specific topic, please email me.

The sound and lighting will get better over time. Please be patient on that.

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Videos: Standard Operating Procedures for Technology Consultants

Get Paid in Advance!
Posted July 17, 2015

Service Agreement vs Service Level Agreement
Posted July 8, 2015

Managed Services Operations Manual

Standard Operating Procedures for Computer Consultants and Managed Service Providers

Buy the 4-volume set at www.smbbooks.com or www.amazon.com

Just search for "Palachuk" on Amazon.

Much More Than a Book (or four)!

This 4-volume set -- 1,100+ pages plus downloads -- is a complete business model for delivering Managed Services! The processes and policies outlined here will make you money as well as save you hundreds of hours.

Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Free White Paper - How to Put on a Successful Company Golf Event

I live in California, so golf season lasts twelves months of the year. But for many places, I understand there's an actual season for golf - and Summer's it.

Golf outings for your company can be a great way to get people together in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether it's for your established clients or hot prospects, an afternoon of golf can help you build relationships.

As you know, we tend to do business with people we know, like, and trust. Getting to know people outside the boardroom can do wonders for your business. And golf is a very popular way to do that.

But you have to do it right.

You don't want to spend too much or look completely disorganized.

We can help!

We just released a great white paper on How to Hold a Successful Company Golf Event - by well-know SMB author and reporter Rich Freeman.

It includes fifteen pages of tips on preparing for a successful event - including putting together a realistic budget. You can buy this white paper for $19.95 at SMB Books - and it's totally worth it!

Or you can head over to the Promotion Monkey web site and learn how to get it for FREE. Just go to http://www.promotionmonkey.com/golf-outing-promotion/ and follow the instructions.

Here's a peek at the table of contents:

If you're a regular reader of ChannelPro Magazine, you should be familiar with Rich Freeman's work. Rich was the founding editor and is currently senior consulting editor of ChannelPro magazine, a publication for resellers and managed service providers who serve small and midsize businesses. His work has also appeared extensively in Redmond Channel Partner magazine and on the websites of Computerworld, Network World, CIO, and InfoWorld magazines.

So . . . grab the white paper . . . and get in touch with me when it's time to plan the golf outing. We'd love to help you with shirts, golf towels, ball markers, awards, etc.



Convo Launches Next-Gen Mobile App for Growing Mobile Workforce

I received an interesting press release and thought I'd pass it along.

What do you think? Will we eliminate email? Is that possible? Is it a good idea?

SAN FRANCISCO--Convo, the leading enterprise-ready mobile messaging and collaboration platform, today announced the all-new mobile iOS and Android versions of its next-gen collaboration platform. This announcement follows the recent launch of the web and desktop app and further highlights Convo's mission of simplifying work conversations for large, globally distributed organizations.

"It's predicted that by 2018, 50% of all the work will be happening on mobile. We are already seeing that trend with current users, as more than 40% of teams in large organizations primarily use Convo on mobile," said Convo CEO Faizan Buzdar. "I take great pride in the fact that we have built both a fixed and mobile collaboration platform that companies can utilize to unearth even greater opportunities for efficiencies across their organizations. There is nothing stopping them from doing everything in Convo mobile - from casual chats to file collaboration to profile settings and key decision making."

The new Convo mobile app is now available for download on the App Store and Google Play.

New Convo for Mobile

Convo has taken a mobile-first approach in building a platform that delivers a phenomenal experience for the connected and always in-control worker.  This app is not just a companion to the web/desktop app but has features and functionality designed specifically for the mobile workforce.

  • User-friendly redesign - Based on the same premise as the web app, the new mobile app is much more beautiful, intuitive and interactive.
  • Instant search - It takes seconds to search for a specific email, chat, document, post etc. Start typing and Convo automatically completes search results from notes, links, and chat messages.
  • Easy sharing - You can add Convo to the iOS share sheet and easily share photos, links between various mobile apps. 
  • Manage user profile - Editing and managing profiles via mobile is super simple. Modify your contact info, update your picture and bio with a few taps.
  • Custom notifications - Control when and how you would like to be notified of important activities in your network.
  • In-app notifications - Quickly review all important conversations, required actions and chat conversations. 
  • Enhanced group management: Set privacy and permissions for new groups or edit previous group settings from within your mobile app.

Enterprise security

Convo's desktop and mobile platforms have the highest level of bank-grade security enterprise organizations require as they adapt to the way Generation Y wants and expects to work, which is 'mobile'. In addition to at-rest encryption and ediscovery, Convo also provides network administrators the most advanced controls over user management, data and IP domains on the network.

About Convo 

Convo is a platform for work conversations that helps large teams (like product design, health care, emergency care, editorial content creation and more) come together. More than 15,000 businesses including TechCrunch, The Next Web, CBSi, Kaiser Permanente, and NBC, to name a few, are currently on Convo. Available on web, desktop, iOS, and Android, Convo distills what is most effective in enterprise social networks, task manager, project management and productivity apps to become the best workplace collaboration software for large and agile teams.

Founded in 2012, Convo's executive team is lead by Faizan Buzdar (Founder & CEO) and is backed by Morgenthaler Ventures, the same early-stage VCs behind Lending Club, Mulesoft, Apple, Siri, and Evernote. For more information, visit www.convo.com.


John McCartney
Managing Director, West Coast
WISE Public Relations
535 Mission St. 18th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105


Monday, July 13, 2015

MAX Community Webinars Tackle Pricing Strategies and Evolution of the MSP Market

I got a note this morning from my friend Nadia Karatsoreos, the Community Manager over at MAXfocus. She is hosting two great webinars in July:

Nadia Karatsoreos
Community Manager, MAXfocus


Pricing Strategies to Optimize Your ROI

July 21, 2015
11:00 AM EDT

Are you a new MSP wondering how to price your offering and services? Have you been in the game a while, but wonder if you have set up the right pricing model? Do you want to maximize your ROI today?  MSP's all over the world are asking the questions above, so this month's MSP Profile Webinar is all about PRICING!

Join Randolph D. Carnegie, Managing Director Ken-Kor Consulting Inc and Nadia Karatsoreos, Community Manager at LogicNow, as they go over common trends, real life stories and their future vision of the MSP.

What you'll learn:
- Industry trends that MSPs need to be thinking about
- Different pricing models that you should be considering as an MSP
- How to establish and price your services to maximize your success

- Introductions
- State of the MSP Market
- MSP business models that work
- Connecting to Services
- Live Q&A
- Conclusion

Randolph D. Carnegie is the Managing Director of Ken-Kor Consulting, Inc.  a technology consulting and implementation company that provides and implements complete Information Technology Solutions for small businesses.

Register Now:


The Evolution of the MSP Market: How The Keys to Success Have Changed

July 27, 2015
1:00 PM EDT

Join Industry Expert Ryan Morris, Principal Consultant Morris Management Partners, Inc. and Nadia Karatsoreos, Community Manager as we deal with real-world challenges that MSPs from across the globe are facing. Get your questions ready - we'll be doing a live Q & A so that you can pick our brains on the things that are important to you!

What you'll learn:
- The state of the MSP market and what you need to be aware of
- Emerging MSP trends and future vision for the industry - and how you can take advantage of them

- Introductions
- State of the MSP Market
- The future vision for the MSP industry
- Live Q&A
- Conclusion

Ryan Morris, Principal Consultant for Morris Management Partners, has more than 20 years' experience in marketing, sales and management in the technology / telecom industry - specifically focused on building successful multi-tier channel solutions and profitable solution provider businesses.

Register Now:


Saturday, July 11, 2015

What's New, What's Next with Small Biz Thoughts

Goals matter.

A lot.

Four years ago I decided that I want to write more, travel more, and speak more. Since then I've released nine books. Last year was an amazing travel year for me. This year will be about the same. And I have about 30 speaking gigs a year.

When I started, I didn't have a plan. I really still don't have a detailed plan. I'm just finding more and more ways to do the things I want. Once my intention is set, I accept or decline activities partly based on how they affect my goals.

Part of the "speaking" has also involved increased activity posting webinars, online classes, and YouTube videos. Did you know I posted more than 80 Videos in the last two years?
I didn't either, until I counted them.

Now What?

As you know, I am constantly changing things around here. I enjoy trying new things and trying to find the holes no one else is filling. 2015 is no different. Here are some of the changes you'll see:

What's Out?

This week - after two great years - we are closing down the Odd Tuesdays Podcast. OT was the brain child of Monica Caraway, our long-time Marketing Manager. She did a great job. And we also had great contributions from our "Oddballs" - Amy Babinchak, Rayanne Buchianico, Bob Nitrio, and Manuel Palachuk.

We are also announcing the conclusion of the Globalization of SMB webinar series. I honestly believe that series is ahead of it's time. We had about a hundred regular followers, but no real engagement. We might resurrect this when the world catches up. :-)

What's  New?

I quietly started making some new videos this week. I've created a new playlist on my YouTube Channel. That's where you can find the new videos on SOPs. Please subscribe to my channel - www.youtube.com/smallbizthoughts - and share any videos you like. My goal is to add a new video each week.

As long as I'm set up for it, I'll probably add more non-SOP videos as well. But keep an eye out the SOP features. Your topic recommendations are welcome!

We're also going to be doing a lot more over at the SMB Community Podcast. This is where numbers matter. We have about 100 people interested in the Globalization of SMB, but we have over 3,000 people tuned into the SMB Community Podcast.

So add that to your RSS reader or iTunes. You can find all the old shows there as well. And the "search" feature is pretty good for focusing on specific topics.

Just yesterday we posted a new program on hiring within the SMB IT space. Guests are Todd Billiar and Josh Peterson. Did you know the unemployment rate is about 1-2% for technology consultants today? Tune in and find out how that affects your business:

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The bottom line: I'm going to write more, podcast more, video more. We'll see where that takes us.

And we have more changes to announce. Please make sure you're subscribed to my newsletter so you don't miss a thing.

Thank you for all your support!