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Acoustic coupler. Photo circa 1966. High bandwidth connectivity has come a long way since the days of jamming a rotary telephone handset into a giant modem. Today’s business networks are digital, complex and distributed. They demand more bandwidth than analog minds of decades past imagined. In this article, we’ll look at services offered along with bandwidth ranges, advantages and disadvantages. Types of Bandwidth Several classes of service exist for business communications; each class contains multiple service options. Because of factors including   bandwidth, latency and throughput , some are better fits for specific business applications than ...
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Bandwidth, latency and throughput describe characteristics of telecommunication and data communication links. When comparing offerings from telecom companies and Internet service providers vying for your business, it’s important to understand the relationship between these characteristics, so you get the right solutions for your business’ needs. Bandwidth   is a measure of how much data over time a communication link can handle, its capacity.   This is typically measured as kbps (kilobits – thousands of bits per second), Mbps (megabits – millions of bits per second) or Gbps (gigabits – billions of bits per second). Think of lanes on a road. A mile ...
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You’ve decided to hire an in-house marketing team (or person), but how do you find the right talent and ensure that your marketing strategy is aligned with your business vision and roadmap? In this post, we help you outline key characteristics to look for in ideal candidates. 1. Look for more marketing experience than you personally have As an entrepreneur, you might have started your career in sales or marketing. You probably have a pretty good understanding of direct marketing, digital marketing, advertising, and events. You may even be familiar with some of the newer marketing trends and tools. Therefore, you might think that it’s easier (and more cost-effective) ...
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A common question that we get from our partners is:  What are the most common critical device types that are monitored by the SIEM? StratoZen's response: "The most common devices to include in SIEM monitoring are Servers, Storage, Firewalls, Routers, Switches, UTM devices, Wireless Access points, Office 365, etc."
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Churn kills revenue growth Churn is evil. Have we mentioned that? Yeah, churn is a horrible, awful, terrible thing. Every revenue dollar you lose in churn, you have to make up for with sales. I guess if you’re a sales savant, that’s not a big deal, but for the rest of us, churn is something to be avoided at all costs. In our recent Global MSP Benchmark Survey, we found that 80% of MSPs with annual churn rates under 5% saw increased revenues last year. Among MSPs with annual churn of over 10%, only 40% recorded an increase in revenues. The lesson: if increasing revenues is your thing, you need to eliminate churn. So why do customers leave? If you sold them ...
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In the last five weeks, our own Joe Schiavone has attended three National Trade Shows in the US and Canada, during which he spoke with at least 200 Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and found one common thread. Companies struggle to keep good help and acquire new talent. The main problem facing them all has been keeping a good strong pipeline that is constantly and organically growing. The current strategy for achieving this is to look at new products or vertical markets of opportunity. This has merit but still isn’t sustainable. After analyzing their problem, we started looking at the day to day routines and approaches of their best salespeople. What we ...
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We launched our new Checklists feature to the public a week ago, and it’s already proven quite popular. But we’ve been using it in-house for a few weeks longer, and that’s helped us to learn a thing or two about how Checklists can be put to good use. So whether you’re already using Checklists and want to optimize it, or whether you’re curious and looking to get started, we’ve got some great tips for how to get the most out of this fantastic new feature. The Checklists feature allows users in IT Glue to create and assign tasks. This feature can be used in a couple of key ways. First, it can be used as a task manager, similar to Asana or Trello. Second, it ...
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Original article by Lori Boklund is here   Request for Proposal. RFP. Frontline users and vendors alike let out a collective groan at the prospect of a long, cumbersome and painful process. Vendors may opt out of participation or put forth a half-hearted effort. Frontline users increasingly find end- arounds and engage directly with vendors for discussions and demonstrations. There must be a better way for all involved! In some circumstances, a formal RFP may still be a good option, if not required. But the evaluation process needs to have real business value for all concerned. Here are a few guidelines for improving the process. Fairness and communication ...
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At some point, every growing business realizes the importance of maintaining consistent marketing to support continuous growth. But who is going to do this marketing? Think of your business as a live organism, where you, the owner, are the brain. Whatever idea is born in the brain should find its way out in an appropriate verbal or visual manner. Marketing serves as several functions of the organism: it’s the voice of your business as well as its eyes and ears. It helps to find the best way to express the idea to the outer world (with the desired outcome in mind), receives feedback, analyzes this feedback, and sends a response back to the brain. As a ...
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A great read from Joe Galvin at  Inc.com The vast majority of cyberattacks happen to small and midsize businesses. Take these four steps to protect yourself before it's too late. Picture this: It's tax season , and your HR director receives an email from someone who's pretending to be you--the CEO. The HR director thinks that the email is legit and complies with the request to send over copies of all of your employees' W2s. Days later, the email sender--who's actually a skilled hacker --uses those W2s to file a batch of fake tax returns . Cyberattacks like this happen every day. And if you're running a small or midsize company, you're a direct ...
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According to  IDG’s recent research , the technology decision-making purchase process has changed tremendously due to the incredible impact of technology on every aspect of the business. Not only that Line of Business (LOB) decision-makers are now actively involved in technology purchase process, the whole suite of decision makers is  getting much younger  with millennials taking over the wheel. Therefore, in order to keep ahead of the curve and engage with the new types of customers, the MSPs have to adjust their marketing strategy. Here are few facts you need to know about the new IT Buyer’s Journey: The average number of influencers in technology ...
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How do your clients manage their passwords? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you’re not alone. According to the findings in IT Glue’s Global Benchmark Survey, the majority of MSPs don’t know how their clients manage passwords, and when they do, the reality is pretty bleak. At IT Glue, we’ve made a way to bridge this security gap and allow you to give your clients what they really need: MyGlue . Simple, smart, secure, and offering far more  than your standard issue password manager; here are 5 reasons your clients need it. 1) Post-it notes don’t make the cut When your clients encounter a security breach, they are going to ask serious questions ...
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All business owners understand the challenge of finding the right talent for their team.  It's an even bigger challenge  in the Managed Service Provider (MSP) space as we currently have a negative unemployment rate for technical engineers.   So how do you go about finding your next rock star in such a competitive market?   The following are five tips we recommend for attracting potential candidates and getting your search for talent off on the right foot. #1 Clearly State Job Requirements Step one in ensuring you are attracting the right talent is the job description.  It is crucial to clearly state what you are looking for in your next employee, ...
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most frustrating terms for marketing departments in the small-to-medium business sector. It is tricky and difficult, and it is a game where rules are changing almost weekly. So how do you stay on top of changing SEO guidelines? Hiring an agency is not always the best solution; it can be costly, and results are never 100% guaranteed. Several years ago, I decided that maintaining SEO using only internal resources is best for any business no matter its size. This is one of the anchor statements I bring with me to whatever company I work for. Today, I’ll show that it is possible and not that difficult to handle your ...
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Liongard founders, Joe and Vin, recently sat down with Lauren Beliveau at SmarterMSP to chat about how an SMB's default settings can lead to security issues. As their MSP, you're responsible for documenting and maintaining continuous awareness of their configurations. We've already read so many headlines about open AWS S3 buckets, Admin/Admin credentials on web apps, and ANY/ANY rules on firewalls. This is why it's critical for MSPs to look towards automation because it's almost impossible to keep up with manually.  This Ask an Expert article explores how it's good to establish a golden blueprint for your customers' systems. This aligns with working to drive ...
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Got time? Probably not. According to our recent Global MSP Benchmark Survey, the biggest challenge MSPs face today is a lack of time. How do you solve that? One of the key ways is to look at the areas in which MSPs are currently wasting the most time. Every MSP is different, but understanding how MSPs waste time can shed light on areas where you should be able to reduce waste. Take a look at the top 5 time wasters for MSPs, and think about how you can streamline your processes and eliminate time waste. 1) Finding and developing good talent How difficult is it to find good techs? As the second most prominent challenge MSPs are facing, finding talent is ...
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You've likely heard the news that Microsoft is going to start requiring its CSP Program direct partners to either meet a detailed list of   new support requirements   or pay for support programs that cost up to $50,000 per year. Luckily, this isn't your only option. It's clear that Office 365 and Azure services have become staples for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) across the board. Most modern offices simply can't run without the cloud productivity and infrastructure tools Microsoft has become known for. For most MSPs, offering Office 365 services is mandatory. Clients demand them. But offering these services is becoming a bit more complex with ...
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​ From Tying Your Shoes to Implementing New Business Solutions: A few weeks ago, during the Q2 meetings, I attended the HTG IT Summit meant to help vendors better understand Total Services Providers (TSPs) and learn how to be a better partner. There, I gained insight into the 4 stages of learning. These stages rang true for me as I’ve transitioned to my role and learned the ins and outs of the Unified Communications, IT and Low Voltage industries we serve. I wanted to share the 4 stages, because I’m sure you’ll relate too. Whether it’s implementing a   new solution like selling monthly payments through Hardware as a Service (HaaS) , or onboarding a new ...
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Weaponize your SLAs

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How do your service level agreements compare with those of your competition? You don’t always know, so you need to think strategically about how you can leverage your SLAs to win new business. As the MSP space continues to become more competitive, it is important to leverage every single aspect of your business to continue to grow. The SLA is one of the single most important pieces of sales collateral that you have. Frame the Conversation A lot of MSPs get caught up in playing the price game. Sales calls focus on price in part because that’s often what the prospect wants to talk about. So why do they want to talk about price? Because they don’t know all ...
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Growing your recurring revenue selling managed services just got easier. Pax8 Stax™ gives MSPs visibility into existing cross-sell and up-sell opportunities within their existing customer base. This is accomplished by tracking total market penetration by category: productivity, integration, continuity, and security. Every product on the Pax8 line card is grouped into categories and sub-categories. By having a visual dashboard of what customers have and haven't purchased from your MSP practice, you gain an at-a-glance view of where opportunities exist. Empower 'Sales' with Actionable Data With visibility into customers' technology gaps no more than ...
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