GUEST BLOG: Become the Trusted Security Advisor Your Clients Need

These days, every organization needs someone they can trust for advice on IT security. Global enterprises like the Wall Street banks can afford to put one or more trusted security advisors on staff; but down on Main Street, most folks have to look outside the organization for trusted security advice, just as they do for trusted IT advice. And that represents a great opportunity for MSPs who make the right investments in security knowledge and offer the right mix of security solutions.

Traditionally, anti-malware has been the leading edge of security selling by MSPs and it still represents a golden opportunity for adding revenue to IT contracts, if you can get past some of the current linguistic confusion about malware protection. Here’s how I would boil it down for prospective clients: “the best way to keep malicious code off your systems is a properly licensed, appropriately configured, fully-supported anti-malware solution that is both comprehensive and centrally managed.” And in my opinion, the best way to implement this approach in all but the largest organizations is through an MSP who really understands the security landscape and can offer the kind of flexible billing that today’s business environment demands.

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GUEST BLOG: Documentation – The Next Frontier for Kaseya VSA Customers


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Few would argue that to deliver a great service, and profit at the same time, we need to focus energy on people, technology and process. Sadly, process is often the most overlooked of these three key areas. Why is that? It’s because it’s perceived as a difficult, painful thing to fix. But is the ROI there to fix it?

Technology is supposed to make us more efficient and make life easier, but does it? It is estimated that IT staff typically spend 20-30% of their time looking for information. This is costing an average of $19,000 per employee per year, without factoring in the opportunity cost associated with making productive use of this wasted time.

Where does all the wasted time go?

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Security You Can Take to the Bank

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How Banks and Credit Unions Can Safeguard Data and Ace Audits

In today’s rough and tumble environment where hackers no know bounds, every financial institution, regardless the size, has to beef up security and remain ever vigilant.

According to recent surveys, 83% of the financial leaders who responded felt that data is their most important asset, and 79% said that having a strong technology infrastructure was critical to ward off cyberattacks. Unfortunately while most feel that security is a top IT budget priority, fewer than one in five believe they have strong security in place.

It shouldn’t be that way – nor does it need to be. Smaller banks may feel that they can’t afford to implement measures to detect and prevent security breaches. The truth is they can’t afford not to. Let’s look at why security is so important to financial institutions, and how even the smallest institutions can achieve their security goals without “breaking the bank.”

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Is the Trusted Advisor Still the Pinnacle of MSP-Dom?


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The term ‘trusted advisor’ has been perhaps a bit overused, maybe way way overused. Even abused. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s something MSPs are wise to strive for.

You all know the story about the MSP market moving away from break/fix to offer richer services, and becoming a strategic partner.

Being a trusted advisor means you help clients spot the future, find the technologies that offer specific competitive advantage, then pilot, deploy and manage these new technologies.

Trends over the last few years have only made this movement more important. Much of this has to do with the cloud, which is rapidly on the move, and the staying power of on-premises infrastructure. With that, there is a need to manage and integrate both environments, often resulting in hybrid clouds.
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Building Word Power – How Good is Your MSP Vocabulary?

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The world of Managed Service Providers (MSP) is a specialized one, and there are terms just for this industry.

We’ll walk through a few key terms specific to MSPs, as well as technologies MSPs should be familiar with. Play along at home and see how well you do!

Different Styles of Solution Providers

The terms that refer to IT providers in the channel can be a bit confusing, as they are sometimes misused, and there are a lot of gray areas and overlap.

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GUEST BLOG: Why Your Sales/Marketing Automation Investment Won’t Bear Results

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There’s so much more to MSP Marketing & Sales Enablement than just software implementation

MSP sales and marketing enablement has gained a lot of popularity. More and more MSPs are looking to leverage sales and marketing automation platforms in a bid to improve their overall sales figures. The truth is, purchasing a sales or marketing automation platform alone will never help.

This blog talks about the groundwork you need to build for your sales and marketing enablement program to work for you.
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The Patch Management Crisis and How to Solve It

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Most end users, and even some IT pros, feel pretty safe if they have up-to-date anti-virus/antimalware, firewalls turned on, and complex passwords in place. This overlooks one of the biggest threats to your PC and network – poor or non-existent patching.

The vast majority of successful exploits are against unpatched machines, some 85% according to US-CERT, part of the US Department of Homeland Security.

Why is This So Bad?

While viruses can be a nuisance (and often worse) to unprotected machines, the kind of attacks aimed at unpatched machines can be far worse. These are targeted at doing real damage – stealing data, escalation of privilege, releasing bots, gaining deep entry into the network, and worse.
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Hottest 2016 Markets for the Ambitious MSP

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Two top organizations that carefully track Managed Service Providers (MSP) and the channel recently released their research and views on the hot technologies for 2016. These predictions aren’t ironclad, but they do give some insight into what the market and IT consumers are thinking. You might even get a new business idea or two from these lists.

Smart MSPs don’t stand still. Often they launch new services that are adjacent to ones they already have, making an easy and natural extension for existing clients. Some take a bolder stance, and go into brand new businesses that are hot, but have little to do with the existing service portfolio.

CompTIA, a long standing organization that serves the channel, releases its IT Industry Outlook 2016, an annual report. This free, extensive report, examines the overall IT market, the state of the channel, and the hottest technologies.

Meanwhile the Channelnomics Top Technologies for Growth in 2016 report is available for free in its executive summary form.

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The Encyclopedia of MSP Measurement

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The famous business book “Managing by Measuring,” by Mark T. Czarnecki, praises the virtues of tracking operations and making decisions based on what you can learn from measurements. Smart MSPs do the same thing, and use many metrics to drive strategies and shorter-term tactics.

These metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) define how well the organization is doing, and are critical to assessing your company’s value.

There are so many available metrics, that you can waste a lot of valuable time trying track them all. Instead choose the metrics that fit your company, and track those closely. We bring you 15 of our favorites.
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How Banks Can Stop Fearing the IT Audit

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There are few things people fear more than a tax audit. If you are an IT pro in a community bank or credit union, the pain of an individual tax audit is multiplied many fold when it comes time for a business-wide IT audit. These audits can happen anytime, not just once a year, and financial IT pros must always be prepared.

Making sure that you constantly stay in compliance with company policies, and the many and sundry local and federal rules and regulations, can be a nightmare. That’s only part of the issue — proving that you are in compliance by acing an audit is just as hard on IT and IT Ops departments. These groups must show that their organization is in compliance, including that patches are up-to-date, security is proven to be tight, and deep and careful activity logs are kept to record who has done what on the network.

In a recent survey of audit professionals, respondents were asked about audit practices. The results:
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