Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Is It Okay that only 39% of your employees fully engage at work?

In case you missed it live, please do yourself a favor and check out the Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity presentation from ChannelCon 2021.

Of course you should watch everything ever done by CompTIA, but let's be realistic. If you want to boil it down to advice that will help your company move faster and make more money, then you need to zoom into the best bits of advice. :-)

I'm here for you. This links goes right to the beginning of the ATTD presentation:  https://youtu.be/HaWXtmpeFBw?t=2797



Are Employees "Covering"?

This was a new concept for me. It makes sense, and I kind of knew it was going on, but I didn't know it was a formal thing with a name. Covering refers to hiding parts of yourself so you feel you can fit in at work. This includes assimilating with established norms.

This behavior is particularly common for entry-level employees. They want to fit in and get ahead. So breaking norms is generally not part of their strategy for success. Over time, it becomes harder and harder to break out of the norms.

Hence the concept of "Bringing your whole self to work." When we hide pieces of who we are, we literally don't bring our full collection of talents to the job.

This can be as simple as the hobbies and interests of the leaders. Many of us are not sportsball fans, so we either opt out of those conversations with the "in" crowd, or try to pretend that we are interested. But covering is also very common regarding topics of gender, race, and even age.

Overall, this is an interesting topic that gets back to the concept of increasing diversity by creating a work environment that enables and welcomes diversity. 

Give it a listen. Comments welcome.


CompTIA's Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community

For more information, and to get involved, visit  https://connect.comptia.org/connect/communities/advancing-tech-talent-and-diversity-community


Full disclosure: I sit on the Executive Council for this community.

:-)



Monday, August 16, 2021

D&H Distributing Expands its Portfolio Through a New Agreement with Jabra

I received this note over the transom today . . .



NEWS  

For Immediate Release:

D&H DISTRIBUTING EXPANDS ITS PORTFOLIO THROUGH A NEW AGREEMENT WITH JABRA 

— New Alliance Elevates D&H’s Collaboration Portfolio with Unified Communications Audio & Video Conferencing Solutions, Fostering Seamless Collaboration for Remote, Mobile, and Hybrid Workplaces —


HARRISBURG, PA – August 16, 2021 – Major SMB and mid-market technology provider D&H Distributing announces it has signed an agreement to carry solutions from Jabra, an industry-leading provider of audio, video, and collaboration solutions for the modern workplace. This alliance expands D&H’s Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) portfolio of integrated business solutions for channel partners. The agreement also encompasses PanaCast, Jabra’s line of video collaboration solutions. This covers innovations like the PanaCast 50 intelligent video bar, which combines top-flight audio with a panoramic 4K camera to help companies seamlessly navigate the hybrid workplace. 

To support this area of growth, D&H has also extended its popular “Success Path” strategy to address the UCC category. This initiative (first introduced as “Success Path to Cloud”) provides resources and tools to help solution providers enter new areas of opportunity in the post-pandemic market. It includes a Success Path to Unified Communications webinar series to help educate partners on how to launch and optimize a UCaaS practice, or unified communications-as-a-service. Partners can visit D&H’s unified communications page, part of its www.dandh.com/cloud resource center for information and access to the webcast series.

Equipping the Hybrid Conference Space

The ability to offer cutting-edge UCC hardware, collaboration solutions, and services will help D&H partners address one of the newest opportunities of the modern workplace:  The hybrid meeting space. MSPs are being called upon to retrofit or enhance conference rooms and huddle areas to accommodate a mix of on-site and remote attendees. D&H’s team of Solutions Experts have deep experience in end-to-end UCC and ProAV deployments and can apply a comprehensive menu of Professional Services to help ensure the success of these upgrades. 

“Jabra believes in reinforcing long-term relationships with premium partners who continually provide a high-quality experience to our customers,” said Cheryle Walline, Head of Channel Sales and Distributions NA at Jabra. “D&H embodies this ideal. They have successfully sold our consumer line of products for over ten years and now expand their portfolios to include our business enterprise solutions. We embrace this expanded relationship and look forward to many more years of mutual success.”

“The hybrid conference room is becoming a necessity of the new workplace,” said Jason Bystrak, D&H’s vice president of cloud and services. “D&H has developed a level of XaaS expertise that can integrate Jabra’s high-performance, versatile unified communications solutions to maintain seamless collaboration for these new projects. As the workforce becomes more fluid, filtering back and forth between locations, organizations need intelligent solutions that will accommodate this dynamic. Industry pioneers like Jabra help make the transition successful.”   

D&H solution providers can visit www.dandh.com, or visit the distributor’s Facebook and Twitter feeds: https://www.facebook.com/DandHDistributing/ and @dandh. Call 800-877-1200 to speak to an account representative. 


About D&H Distributing 

D&H Distributing supports resellers and MSP partners in the corporate, small-to-midsize business, consumer, education, and government markets with endpoints and advanced technologies, as well as differentiated services. D&H is ready to fill new market needs created by the recent consolidation in the marketplace. As the company enters its 104th year, its vendors and partners can be confident in its ability to provide a wealth of enablement resources, multi-market expertise, credit options, and consultative services. D&H is agile in response to the needs of its VAR and MSP partners, demonstrating resilience through decades of industry mergers and market disruption, overcoming everything from wars and recessions to pandemics. 

The company works to expand the competencies of its partners in areas such as cloud services, ProAV, collaboration, UCC, mobility, esports, digital displays, smart home automation, video surveillance, digital imaging, and server networks across a range of markets. Its value proposition includes highly lauded training opportunities and partner engagement events, dedicated Solutions Specialists, certifications, professional marketing resources, and an expanding digital Cloud Marketplace. 

The distributor is headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, in the U.S. and Brampton, Ontario, in Canada with warehouses in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Fresno, CA; and Vancouver, BC, Canada. Call D&H at (800) 877-1200, visit www.dandh.com, or follow the distributor’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, https://www.facebook.com/DandHDistributing/ and @dandh.


About Jabra 

Jabra is a world leading brand in audio, video, and collaboration solutions – engineered to empower consumers and businesses. Proudly part of the GN Group, we are committed to letting people hear more, do more, and be more than they ever thought possible. Jabra engineering excellence leads the way, building on 150 years of pioneering work within the GN Group. This allows us to create integrated tools for contact centers, offices, and collaboration that help professionals work more productively from anywhere; and true wireless headphones and earbuds that let consumers better enjoy calls, music, and media. The GN Group, founded in 1869, operates in 100 countries and delivers innovation, reliability, and ease of use. GN employs 6,500 people and in 2020 reported annual revenue of DKK 13.4bn. The Jabra brand accounts for approx. DKK 8.7bn and employs 1,900 people. GN makes life sound better and is Nasdaq Copenhagen listed. www.jabra.com © 2021 GN Audio A/S. All rights reserved. Jabra® is a registered trademark of GN Audio A/S. All other trademarks included herein are the property of their respective owners (design and specifications are subject to change without notice).

#


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Apply NOW to Serve on the NSITSP Board of Directors or Committees

National Society of IT Service Providers - News and Updates


Note: We just sent out an email. If you’re not on the list or didn’t get it, you can see it here:

https://conta.cc/3xMlZ1v 

(Note on the email list: We got several non-deliverable notices. I noticed that most were from Barracuda spam filters. Be sure to whitelist this list. We are working to get an NSITSP.org account at Constant Contact. Stay tuned.)


From last week's email:

Thank you all once again for getting involved, volunteering, and attending meetings as we work to create this new membership association. We have lots of news regarding the organization, the Board, Committees, volunteering, and more. Please scan though this email. There are several calls to action.

Here’s what has happened since the last meeting:

– About fifty people have volunteered to serve at some level in the NSITSP.

– We have officially created a nonprofit 501(c)(6) corporation.

– The initial Board of Directors now has three members. This is not the final Board or final number of seats. We needed something to get the process moving. See notes below.

– We have set up a bank account, and merchant accounts, so we can take membership payments and donations. All of these are in the association name, made possible by donations from Board members.

Action Step: You can go now to the NSITSP.org web site and officially JOIN or donate via credit card or PayPal. The official membership module will be live soon. In the meantime, anyone who donates $100 or more will be switched to "paid member" status once the module is in place.

I know there’s a lot here. But it takes a lot to get this rocket off the launchpad.

— — —

Board Update

The corporate Board of Directors was officially constituted on August 6th with members Amy Babinchak, Rayanne Buchianico, and Erick Simpson. This board will guide us through getting everything set up and holding elections for additional board members, and committee members.

The Board is in the process of drafting Mission and Vision statements for approval by the membership. They will also draft a code of ethics.

The Board has appointed Karl Palachuk as the Executive Director. Karl serves at the pleasure of the Board and will manage the day-to-day activities of running the organization.


Membership

The Board has created two membership levels. Additional levels and pricing may be determined at a later date. Note that the membership fee is low enough that there’s no excuse for that to be a deterrent. Right now, we need numbers.


Registered Member (Free)

– Self-designate as MSP, VAR, Vendor, Educator, Media, etc. 

– Can attend all Member meetings as a non-voting member 

– Listed in the Membership Directory 

– Cannot serve on Committees Cannot vote in National elections 


Professional Member (Annual Fee: $ 100)

– All the benefits of Registered Members, plus the following 

– Can access all “member content” on the web site, including Forums and downloads

– Can serve on Committees (limit one named person per paid membership) 

– Can vote for Committee positions and Board of Directors (limit one vote per paid membership) 

– Limit one paid membership per company. Other employees may be Registered members. Requires two letters of character from either a client or paid level member of NSITSP (initial year only)

– Can use the NSITSP Member Logo on web site, etc.


Committee Update

The Board has agreed to form the following committees immediately. This is certainly not the final list of committees. But just enough to get us started.

The Formation Committee will be the “Committee on Committees” although that name sounded a bit too meta. They will suggest an overall structure for the organization and the committees to be created going forward.

The Legislation Committee will create “ideal” draft legislation and begin the process of organizing lobbying efforts. They may also do some work on messaging. We’ll see how this evolves.

The Finance and Fundraising Committee will draft a budget to guide our activities. As we begin to have increased expenses, they will work on both determining appropriate costs and organize raising the money to pay for things. And, of course, they will provide ongoing oversight of how money is spent.

All committees will work in conjunction with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors. The Board is very clear, as an operating principle, that this organization will be community-based organization rather than a top-down organization. Which is to say, the goal is for the Board to approve and implement the desires of the Committees and Membership, not to simply have the Committees rubber-stamp Board decisions.

That requires engagement and commitment. So far, it looks like we’ll have that.



Applying to Serve on the Board of Directors

Action Steps: Visit https://www.nsitsp.org/leadership/ to access FAQs and applications.

We have created this Board FAQ to give information about serving on the Board.

https://www.nsitsp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/FAQ-NSITSP-Board-of-Directors.pdf

And we have created this Board Application form to formally apply to serve.

https://bit.ly/nsitsp-brd-app

Everyone who filled out the Volunteer Form and expressed in interest in serving on the Board has been sent a link to the FAQ and application.


Applying to Serve on a National Committee

Action Steps: Visit https://www.nsitsp.org/leadership/ to access FAQs and applications.

We have created this Committee FAQ to give information about serving on a Committee.

https://www.nsitsp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/FAQ-NSITSP-Committee.pdf

And we have created this Committee Application form to formally apply to serve.

https://bit.ly/nsitsp-com-app

Everyone who filled out the Volunteer Form and expressed in interest in serving on a committee has been sent a link to the FAQ and application.


Meeting Date and Time

One final thing: We need to figure out a meeting date/time that works for a lot of people. Clearly the Wednesday 9AM Pacific time slot has a lot of competition from webinars and other activities.

I’ve created this form to give feedback on your preferred times/dates for general membership meetings. Of course someone won’t always be able to make a specific time, but we need to start somewhere.

Action Step: 

Please give your feedback: https://form.123formbuilder.com/5965118


Thank you.

If you have questions or feedback, please email karlp@smallbizthoughts.com.

Friday, August 06, 2021

The Unbreakable Rules of PSA – 5W11

IT Service Delivery in the 21st Century


Taught By: Manuel Palachuk

Five Tuesdays


August 10 - September 7 - Register Now

All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific


Everyone needs a PSA - Professional Services Automation tool. But in addition to simply having a PSA, you need to set it up correctly and use it wisely.

In this course, you will learn how to double your value to clients and increase your profit with these powerful golden rules of PSA Service Ticket Systems.

Coach Manuel focuses on the direct connection between your service delivery system, the value you give your clients, and your profit, and how to maximize each. He also gives an overview of Agile Service Delivery, an emerging method you must learn to stay competitive.

Whether you’re a one-person shop or have fifty employees, to be consistently profitable, you must have guidelines for how to break down the work in an organized fashion and how you will communicate with the client along the way.

You don’t have to be an MSP or even use a PSA to work efficiently and be profitable, but you do need a system and a method. These "golden" rules can be the seed for your own system if you have none, or you can adopt them in whole to enrich your existing methods. Either way, this is your opportunity to take your service delivery and your profits to the next level.

The course includes a thorough discussion of the unbreakable rules of service tickets as well as covering quality communication with every client. It will be time well spent!

Whether you're a new "Computer Consultant" or an experienced Managed Service Provider, you need to create successful processes that will propel your company forward. Nothing is more critical to making profit than having the right processes and procedures in place!

What you'll learn:

Week One: The Modern Automated Service Desk, ROI, & Model

Week Two: The Power of the Widget, Working in Real-time

Week Three: Service Delivery Automation Part 1)

Week Four: Service Delivery Automation Part 2)

Week Five: Reports & Metrics, Looking into the Future & Getting everyone onboard

-- -- --

Delivered by Manuel Palachuk, author and business coach.

Includes five weeks of webinar classes with related handouts, assignments, and "office hours" with the instructor.

This course is intended for business owners and managers. It is particularly useful for the Service Manager or Operations Manager.


Only $299

Register Now

:-)