The 5 Things Every CEO Needs To Know About The Cloud

Mike Walsh Keynote

Today’s guest post was written by Mike Walsh, Founder and CEO of Tomorrow, a consumer innovation research lab. Hear him present on what it takes to lead a 21st century IT organization in his keynote address at Kaseya Connect, “Business Re-Imagined.” This post first appeared on Mike’s blog.

By now, you have heard, read and seen more about the Cloud than you probably ever wanted. And, for those of you who live in corner offices – you are almost certainly wondering why everyone keeps bothering you with something that surely belongs in the dark realms of your IT department. But from Amazon’s new self-serve super computing platforms, Google’s low cost enterprise productivity tools to Apple’s vision for online entertainment – the Cloud is a business revolution that no CEO can ignore. Here is your cheat sheet on the top 5 strategic issues that you need to know about.

1. Cure Yourself Of Cubicles

A client of mine wanted to transform their staid bank headquarters into an office of the future. Most offices are designed to a simple formula – 70% desks and 30% communal spaces. The bank, to their credit – flipped the equation, replacing traditional cubicles with cafe style public spaces and meeting areas. Even better, in lieu of desks every employee was given a locker for their personal possessions and a Macbook Air to do their work. Staff loved the new offices – but there was just one problem. IT had installed old school productivity software on all the new Macbooks which ran unbearably slowly and at times, failed to work properly at all.

Just as important as rethinking the spaces you work in, is challenging the tools you work with. Meeting in cafes to discuss projects is great – but you have to go one step further. When your teams can easily collaborate on documents, projects and presentations by simply accessing a Web browser or mobile application – you can start really creating a culture of innovation and disruptive thinking.

2. Reboot Your IT Department

IT departments, until very recently, believed that their manifest destiny was to defend the fortress at all costs. The outside world was full of threats – hackers, viruses and malware – and their role was to build high walls that kept marauders out, and some of the wayward employees in. Things have changed. Instead of a fortress, the role of IT is closer to managing a marketplace. And more importantly – as any CEO or business leader will admit these days – the suits really need the geeks to make their innovation agenda a reality. Open digital platforms, data sharing with strategic partners or the adoption of new ‘software as a service’ tools are the mark of a 21st century company. And that requires a new type of IT manager.

Moving forward, you may no longer need massive server rooms in your building or teams of technicians to keep your fleet of devices and systems running. What you will need are smart, young technology innovators who can identify the best global enterprise platforms to partner with, assess the new generation Cloud based security risks, and help educate your people on how to manage passwords and their personal identities online. Put simply – this is a shift from ‘no’ to ‘know’.

3. Win On Customer Experience

How easy is it for your customers to do business with you? How many pieces of paper, forms, approval processes and other impediments to getting deals done has ‘traditional business practices’ put in the way of winning on customer experience? One of the great advantages of new Cloud based platforms is that they offer companies a chance to fundamentally transform how they engage, serve and ultimately delight their customers.

Here’s a simple example. Some time ago my company moved to Freshbooks – an entirely Cloud based invoicing platform. The benefits to my customers were immediate. Rather than paper invoices, my clients were emailed electronic invoices, which displayed in real time the status of payments as well as the entire history of prior billing transactions. From my perspective, there were also some unexpected benefits. The moment one of my clients receives and opens my invoice, I am informed – forever ending those infamous ‘cheque is in the mail’ or ‘your invoice never arrived’ conversations. Further, using clever comparative data analytics, I can also see how my business is performing on payment collections compared to other companies of my size and billings.

4. Disrupt Your Industry

If you could create a new product or service, at a fraction of the normal price but with a better service proposition for your customers – would you do it? Or would you wait for one of your competitors to disrupt your industry first?

Last week I was speaking to the CEO of an accounting software company. For many years they had enjoyed a comfortable business selling practice management software to accounting firms. However in recent years, new Cloud based platforms had made life difficult – not just for them, but for many of their clients. When I asked the CEO to explain – he said that the problem was not that their competitor was giving away partner editions of their software away for free but rather the existence of a cheap Cloud based solution had led to the creation of thousands of cut price accountants, working out of cafes who were now making life difficult for traditional, high cost bean counters. Take this as your warning – from professional services, to healthcare, finance and retail – the disruptive impact of the Cloud on your industry is only just beginning.

5. Move To A New Cost Curve

The final, and perhaps most important thing you need to know about the Cloud is its impact on costs. In a traditional IT based organisation, costs are a step function. Launching a new division, adding more people or planning a new product or service will in the short term dramatically shift your cost base to a new level, which over time is hopefully amortised over new revenue growth.

The Cloud offers leaders a very different calculus. Even the smallest of companies or startups can access world class applications, storage or computation services on a per user basis, allowing them to ramp up very quickly as demand increases. Think about it. Could Instagram have scaled to millions of users and sold for a billion dollars in twelve months on a traditional technology development model? And even if you can’t imagine how your organisation could innovate as nimbly as an Internet startup – what would happen if one of your competitors did?

The Cloud is not just a topic for technology types – the broader implications of on-demand, web delivered services is a strategic discussion that belongs in the boardroom, not in the basement.

Here’s my advice – plan an executive team meeting in the near future to brainstorm the issues raised by these five points, and while you are at it – put the most important question of all on the agenda. Can new technology not only change, but help you re-imagine the way you do business?

Building The World’s Fastest Remote Desktop Management: Part 1

In 2004 I installed my first Kaseya Agent and launched my first Kaseya remote desktop management session. Never before had I been able to remotely access a NAT’d device without a mapped IP.  It connected in 60-180 seconds, most of the time, and I was awestruck!

Fast forward 10 years and the game has changed -and so must we.  On May 30th, 2014 we will release our new Kaseya Remote Control solution as part of VSA 7.0.

Kaseya Remote Control

The focus for this project has been on 3 key objectives:

  • Connect in 6 seconds
  • Connect 99% of the time
  • Perform well over latent connections

To meet these objectives, fundamental changes were required.   VSA 7.0 brings new code, new methods, and new technology to the product.

Agent to Server Persistence

The VSA Server and Agent have a small yet powerful addition in 7.0. These additions establish a lightweight, always-on connection between server and agent.  Because of this persistent connection, commands can be sent, received and responded to in milliseconds.  In the case of Remote Control, the admin can initiate a remote access request and receive a response from the agent in near real-time.  This addition increases the time-to-connect speed substantially!

Non-Sequential Communication Channels

Current Kaseya technology communicates in a very sequential manner, meaning there is a “wait in line” restriction that may slow down on-demand requests. With the new communication layer, remote control requests no longer get queued behind other activities on the agent. In addition, we now perform all activities required to set up a remote control session in parallel. For example, if end user permission is required to start a session, connectivity will be established behind the scenes in the meantime, so it’s ready to go when the user is.

Video Codec and Hardware Acceleration

Unlike many competitors’ solutions, Kaseya Remote Control is built using a video codec.  Large video streaming firms like Netflix and Hulu use similar codecs to send hi-def movies to your computer.   With the advent of these services, innovation in video codec technology continues to grow.  Most has been focused on increasing video quality (i.e. hi-def) while reducing the bandwidth required.  As the demand for 4K video increases, this technology will only become more efficient.  Leveraging these efficiencies will only increase our performance.

Leveraging hardware acceleration is another area of opportunity.  By using well known video codec technology it is possible to leverage the GPU, to perform hardware acceleration, on both the admin and endpoint.  This drives increased performance and responsiveness.  Additionally, with more people watching video on their mobile devices, it is possible to leverage mobile GPU’s,  therefore ensuring the user experience is never compromised, no matter the device.

And We Are Just Getting Started

The best thing about this remote desktop management project is that we are just getting started.  We believe it will be faster, more reliable and perform well under any circumstances.  If you want a sneak peek at our new Kaseya Remote Control and you are an existing Kaseya customer, come join us in Las Vegas for Kaseya Connect, our annual user conference.  We hope to see you there.

Stay tuned for Part 2 as we take a deeper look at the technology behind Kaseya Remote Control.

Four Burning Questions that Will Be Answered at Kaseya Connect 2014

CLOUD1.) What are some of the disruptive trends facing IT professionals today and how do I overcome them?

Cloud computing, mobility and big data demand unprecedented scalability, reliability, speed, performance and usability. These are the big disruptive trends that are completely transforming the way that organizations conduct business. They also pose big challenges and big opportunities for today’s MSPs and IT organizations. At Kaseya Connect, our CTO, Prakash Khot will dive deep into some of the key trends and use cases that are driving change within organizations, he’ll define some of the challenges they represent for IT, and lay out principles for an ideal management platform that will help IT professionals manage transformation in the era of cloud computing, mobility and big data.

2.) What is going on with remote control?

Remote control sessions depend upon various pieces of technology such as signaling, encryption, messaging, video codec, dynamic buffering, P2P, PsuedoTCP and Relay. The Kaseya team has been busy rebuilding our entire remote control solution from the ground up with a focus on speed, performance and reliability. At Kaseya Connect, our product experts will reveal the latest on the next generation of Kaseya’s remote control.

3.) How can I take my Kaseya administrator skills to the next level?

Kaseya Connect includes a number of sessions specifically focused on helping you develop your advanced administrator skill set in Kaseya Virtual System Administrator, Kaseya Traverse, Kaseya BYOD Suite and Mobile Device Management. Those looking to become a Kaseya Certified Administrator (KCA), should also look into attending our Pre-Conference Training. In the two days leading up to the Kaseya Connect, we’ll be offering a course for experienced Kaseya administrators who want to take the KCA exam and get certified and a boot camp course especially designed for those who are new to Kaseya and want to get on the right path to eventually becoming a KCA.

4.) What can I learn from other companies using Kaseya solutions?

Nothing beats hearing from other Kaseya users so you can benefit from their best practices and lessons learned from their years of experience with Kaseya’s solutions. That’s why the Kaseya Connect agenda is full of customer driven panels, case study sessions and best practices sessions. Attend Kaseya Connect and benefit from the wisdom of other successful Kaseya customers such as Anchor Point IT Solutions, CodeBlue, CWPS (Connected WorkPlace Solutions), Shield Watch, UTG Solutions and more.

If you haven’t decided to attend Kaseya Connect this year, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Kaseya Connect and get answers to all of your burning questions. Register today.

SaaSy and Smart

Is it time to get SaaSy and Smart with your IT Management solution?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has become the solution for many areas of today’s businesses – CRM, HRM, ERP, Email, accounting, collaboration, field services, project management, office applications, recruiting, travel, etc., etc. Examples include Salesforce, NetSuite, BaseCamp, Office 365, Google Docs, QuickBooks, GoToMeeting, Concur, Taleo, Constant Contact; the list goes on. Arguably, most of these SaaS solutions are delivering the features, security, availability, and performance demanded by business managers. SaaS has become a way of improving services, freeing up resources, and reducing overall costs.

SaaS

So can SaaS for IT Management do this same thing for IT managers?

IT management is becoming increasingly challenging. Mobility, BYOD, virtualization, Cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc. are all driving up IT complexity and making it difficult to keep management control. The technology is changing so fast it is impossible to keep up. Dr. James Canton, World Leading Authority on the Extreme Future, said, “Technology is changing at warp speed. If you were to disappear and come back after 90 days, the Net would have doubled, bandwidth would have increased by a third, and there would be a half a dozen innovations you would have missed.” If you are an IT Manager, you are afraid to take a vacation!

The right SaaS IT management solution may be just what is needed to help IT managers regain control of their ever-changing and complex world. With the right capabilities, SaaS IT management can allow the focus to be on keeping critical IT services working well for customers and users, rather than buying another tool, integrating another module, and updated another management software release.

Of course, for the hardcore IT manager, accessing his or her IT management solution from the cloud could be a bit scary. However, with the proper investigation and careful selection, SaaS is the IT Management answer for more and more IT organizations. But choosing the right solution can be difficult. So as you think about SaaS as a possibility, here are eight things to consider:

  1. SaaS Management Features: First and foremost, the SaaS solution must deliver the IT management features you need. It should be able to manage your entire IT environment – on-premise, cloud, and mobile – integrated into a single command center. It must allow you to manage every asset regardless of where it is: in the office, at home, or on-the-road. And you must be able to accomplish management actions with policy-based automation. Automation is the key to efficiency, and doing more with your current staff.
  2. Cloud Architecture: Look for a SaaS solution that is secure, reliable, and highly available. In particular, it must include secure, reliable access from the SaaS IT Management software to all of your IT assets, especially to the devices of your home office and mobile workforce. Technologies, such as FIPS certified 256-bit AES encryption, as part of smart agent technology, can allow easy anytime, anywhere, secure access.
  3. Breadth of Coverage: The SaaS IT management capabilities must be both wide and deep. Wide, meaning it addresses the full spectrum of management needs, such as monitoring, remote control, asset management, software deployment, patch management, anti-virus, backup, and security. And deep, meaning delivering these capabilities with a strong set of features — as in policy-based, automated deployment, configuration, execution, update, log, reporting, monitoring and remediation.
  4. Well Integrated: Too often, SaaS IT management offerings are limited to one or two functions. They provide remote control, or anti-virus, or patch, but do not integrate them all together. Insist on an integrated answer. Avoid choosing a SaaS solution that still requires inefficient, ineffective, “swivel-chair” or “Ctrl Alt” management.
  5. Manages Diverse Platforms: The platforms and devices you need to manage continue to proliferate. Windows and Linux, PCs and Mac, Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry mobile devices, networks, storage, servers, applications, physical and virtual – all need to be covered by the SaaS solution. With many companies moving to BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) and the IoT (Internet of Things), the challenge will only become greater. The SaaS vendor must be able to address these diverse platforms today, and have an architectural approach and a vision to cover your future needs.
  6. Fast Time-to-Value: One of the key reasons to move to a SaaS IT Management solution is agility, the ability to respond to demands, and move quickly. This can only be achieved if the SaaS vendor has the deep discovery, policy-based automation, and templates to help you begin managing new infrastructure and assets quickly and easily. Ease of implementation is key here.
  7. Simple Pricing: Avoid complex pricing models, based on a confusing selection of management modules, devices priced by size, number of CPUs, admin and user seats, etc. It will be difficult to keep track, and over time, your costs will grow beyond where you intended. Look for complete management packages, with simple pay-as-you-go, device-based pricing modules.
  8. SaaS Philosophy: Choose a SaaS IT management provider who is committed to SaaS, and has the financial strength to stay the course. A vendor with a focus on SaaS is more likely to have the architectural design, multi-tenancy, scale, security, and reliability features to ensure a positive experience today and tomorrow.

These eight areas provide an overview of the top considerations for SaaS IT Management. Over the coming weeks, I will explore each of these areas in a bit more depth. In the meantime, visit the Kaseya SaaS solution area to explore:

Give us your thoughts on SaaS!

Author: Tom Hayes

Get on the Path to Become a Kaseya Certified Administrator at Kaseya Connect

Did you know that Kaseya Connect attendees can also register for valuable pre-conference training? Make the most of your trip to Las Vegas by taking advantage of one of Kaseya’s pre-conference training options. Registered Kaseya Connect attendees may choose from the following courses:

training

Kaseya Certified Administrator (KCA): Test Prep and Exam

April 12 – 13, 2014, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Special Kaseya Connect Pricing: $995

This 2-day training class is for experienced Kaseya administrators who do not need a training program, but simply want to take the Kaseya Certified Administrator exam. Attendees will use this session to understand how the exam is structured, review key concepts on the exam, and then sit the exam.  This session is for those already experienced with Kaseya Virtual System Administrator (VSA) and already comfortable with general system configuration, agent deployment, audit, live connect and remote control, and have strong exposure to functions such as Patch Management, Ticketing, Info Center, Monitoring, and Agent Procedures.  During this test prep session, candidates will be provided with the virtual lab environment utilized for the practicum on the exam, and run through sample hands-on exercises to prepare.   On day 2, participants will take the Kaseya Certified Administrator exam, proctored by a Kaseya representative.  Note: A “pass” on the exam is not guaranteed, but for those who do not pass, the training platform and a re-test will be extended for 30 days after the conference.

Kaseya Certified Administrator (KCA): Quick Start Boot Camp 

April 12 – 13, 2014, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Special Kaseya Connect Pricing: $1500 (a $2500 value)

During this expert led, 2-day in-person workshop, administrators who are new to Kaseya will get started on the path to becoming a Kaseya Certified Administrator through an introduction to the core functions of the VSA. Topics will include Agent Deployment, Views, Templates, Agent Menu, Audit, Remote Control, Live Connect, Patch Management, Monitoring, Policy Management and Agent Procedure. Participants will be provided with a virtual lab environment and hands-on lab exercises during the course. After the course, participants will be given 90-days of access to the virtual lab environment, during which the remaining hands-on labs can be completed while preparing for the KCA exam. Students will have one attempt at the KCA exam during their training period.

Don’t miss the opportunity to combine valuable training with your Kaseya Connect registration while our early bird conference rate is still in effect through February 28. Register now for Kaseya Connect and our pre-conference training to guarantee your seat. Space is limited, and participation is reserved on a first-come first-served basis, so sign up early.

MSP Pricing Results of 2013 Global Survey

2013-MSP-pricing-survey-resultsAre you confident that your pricing strategy is optimized for success? Do you know how your pricing strategy – and effectiveness – compares to your managed service provider (MSP) peers around the world?

To ensure you’re making informed pricing decisions, Kaseya has once again gathered data from more than 1,000 MSP customers, including some of the largest and most progressive MSP firms in the market today. In addition to overall pricing insight, this year’s survey takes a deep dive into today’s biggest IT service management trends – cloud and BYOD.

Check out the full MSP pricing report to see how your peers respond to the following questions:

What is your sales performance (CAGR during the past 3 years)?

A whopping 41% have seen growth of over 10%

What do you expect to be the top IT problem or need for your clients in 2014?

More devices on the network and the need for automation top the charts

What pricing model do you use?

A mixed bag, but a tiered model is most common

What is the average size of your monthly managed services contract?

30% are over $5,000

What is your pricing outlook for 2014?

30% are increasing prices

Get more insight, including cloud and BYOD pricing data, in our free MSP pricing report.

Kaseya Connect Early Bird Rate Extended Through February 21

The early bird registration discount for Kaseya Connect has been extended for an additional week. Register through February 21 and receive the special discounted rate of $695, a $200 savings over the standard rate of $895.

header

The Kaseya Connect agenda is packed with opportunities to gain actionable insights, learn best practices and network with other Kaseya users:

  • Learn more about Kaseya’s strategy, vision and product roadmap
  • Hear forward looking insights on the market from Kaseya executives and other industry experts
  • Listen to Kaseya customers discuss their experiences, accomplishments and lessons learned working with Kaseya solutions
  • Connect and interact with your peers, Kaseya executives, and members of the Kaseya partner community

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Kaseya Connect at a substantial savings. Register today to take advantage of our early bird rate.

For more information about Kaseya Connect 2014,please visit www.kaseyaconnect.com. We look forward to hosting you in Las Vegas.

Kaseya Connect 2014 Registration is Now Open!

Kaseya Connect 2014

We are so excited to open registration for Kaseya Connect 2014!  Kaseya Connect is the premier event for our user community.  This can’t miss event will provide you with the strategic insights, practical knowledge and new relationships you need to derive even greater value from your Kaseya investment.

This year we are moving the conference into the bigger space over at Mandalay Bay so that everyone can have a seat to hear from our world class speakers and customers!  The early bird rate is available now as well as some special rates for a limited number of rooms at Mandalay Bay so get registered.  If you need some help asking your boss we’ve got that over at KaseyaConnect.com as well!

 

 

 

Happy New Year from Kaseya!

Happy New Year from Kaseya !

2013 was a banner year for Kaseya including new ownership, new products, new execs, but most of all new horizons.  2013 was filled with many wonderful changes, but it’s the future that brings us such excitement — a future with a clear focus on building trust. This means building trust with our customers, trust in our team members, and trust in our products.

With the Winter release just around the corner, we can’t help but be a little giddy for the New Year and hope that you share the same excitement.  The mid-year horizon includes some fantastic new features and functionality building on our industry leading framework that continues to power the world’s top MSPs and IT departments.

So as 2014 kicks into gear we wish you nothing but prosperity, productivity, perfect patching, and persistently good backups.

Happy New Year from Kaseya!

Happy Holidays from Kaseya!

HappyHolidays

Page 4 of 44« First...«23456»102030...Last »