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    Your Small Business Technology Information Source!
      Roadshow! Geek Grad School for MSPs
image   Story by Harry Brelsford, CEO, SMB Nation - 

We’re back! Time to hit the road and bring the bits to YOU! No travel, no hotel and daylong advanced Office 365 and Windows 10 technical content. Over winter and spring quarter, we’ll be back in familiar NFL cities plus add a few new destinations. 

New Year’s Resolution

In 2016, it’s your chance to recommit to being a life learner. You’re in tech and every decade you have to reinvent and start over. Now is that time. So, invest one day to discover that our amazing independent content will help you navigate the sheer madness with the technology shift underway. 

Assured Outcomes

One thing you can count on is our independent outside view looking in. We take our role as community ombudsman very seriously. You will learn something you didn’t know and you’ll leave with actionable outcomes applicable at work the very next day. No high-level blue badges babbling mission fit and strategy folks – it’s bits and bytes. 

The four extended content sessions are: 

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Microsoft bizdev chief Peggy Johnson on huge acquisitions, partnering with enemies, and HoloLens

Microsoft is now building apps for competing platforms, and it feels good about it.

Peggy Johnson is Microsoft's executive vice president of business enterprise development. She sat down with Organization Insider's Matt Rosoff at IGNITION 2015, and told us about how Microsoft decides when to buy a enterprise, and its new technique of creating apps for competing platforms.

Matt Rosoff: Peggy joined Microsoft a small bit extra than a year ago ...

Peggy Johnson: A tiny more than a year ago — a year and 3 months.

Rosoff: And at the time there was a comparatively new CEO — Satya Nadella — only Microsoft's third CEO in history and I would say in the final couple of years there is been a genuine remarkable transformation in the way Microsoft treats companies that utilized to be considered competitors. I keep in mind the old days when if it wasn't invented right here, we're not going to talk about it, and Linux is cancer and Apple is the enemy. And then in the final year and a half or so, you guys have bought a bunch of small app makers for iOS and Android, which is some thing you by no means would have carried out before. You have struck a complete bunch of partnerships, you're starting to even embrace issues like Linux, so how has this happened? And what is the philosophy there? And why is Microsoft being friendlier to other platforms now than it employed to be?

Johnson: It did start off with Satya and his vision for the firm. He's truly selected to concentrate on partnerships and appear for areas of collaboration and for confident we compete with other firms, but there are so numerous areas that we can also collaborate. So you mentioned a couple of — Salesforce is one. We have a competitive product in between the two of us. But we look for locations that truly our joint clients were involved in. And we stated, "Can we integrate right here and bring additional worth and delight our joint consumers?" So we did that with Office 365 and Salesforce. And it type of opens up a lot of new value for our buyers where they can now take these two sets of data that they are gathering from these two items, put them together, and as an enterprise sort of mind that information additional.

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                    What’s The Half Life Of A Unicorn?
image   Story by Simon Crosby - 

“Cybercorns” are companies that have surpassed the magical $1 billion valuation. Several of these extraordinary ventures are Okta, Sophos, Tanium, Palantir, FireEye, Splunk, Zscaler, Lookout, CloudFlare, Illumio and AVAST.

Each has attained an enviable position as a valued solution to an important set of customer security pains. The entrepreneurs who built these companies (many of which are privately held) and the investors that backed them deserve their success. But in a world where technology is changing rapidly, and in which attackers are agile and focused, which of these unicorns will survive? What is the half–life, perhaps measured by stock value, of a cybercorn?

The most profound trends in the IT landscape are, of course, the rapid adoption of cloud services and growing mobility of the workforce. All too soon, application back-end micro-services will automatically and reliably scale as needed in the cloud, accessed by users over the public Internet.

Cybercorns that have bet on a long-lived traditional IT infrastructure are already in trouble. If the user is working in Starbucks, what value is a network security product that attempts to protect an indefensible network perimeter? If your organization is adopting Office 365, when a user opens a potentially threatening attachment, it runs in a virtual machine, in Azure.

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image   Article by Nikhil Balagopalan - 

As an IT professional, your employees count on you to provide them with access to technology that moves work efficiently forward. Part of that entails preventing siloed work and app fatigue across too many platforms. Even today, employees rely on email to communicate unstructured processes and status updates on a daily basis. Attachments and data from various tickets or vendors can become difficult to track and organize, making collaboration a challenge.
The legacy software you’re likely using to execute these many steps comes with increased risk of diminished accountability and transparency. Missing even the smallest tasks could hold up your entire enterprise. How do you organize it in such a way that tracks progress and is accessible to everyone in real time? And accomplish it all while leveraging existing investments in Office 365?
Enter Smartsheet. Smartsheet is the collaborative work management tool, that provides your users with a digital workspace to manage any aspect of their work, whether that's IT solutions, project management, product development, or more. It seamlessly integrates with many of your existing processes and applications, including Outlook, to make something as basic as email even more productive.

Smartsheet for Outlook

The Smartsheet for Outlook app allows you to better track, organize, and manage your help tickets or audits without leaving your inbox. The beta version was named the “Best Microsoft Office 365” app for its productivity capabilities that supported the release of Microsoft Graph API.
With Smartsheet for Outlook, you can create or edit Smartsheet tasks and rows, collaborate on them in real time, and keep track of progress within Outlook. This keeps pertinent info stored in the context of the project it’s related to, becoming instantly actionable and ready to share with those who need it most.
Other handy features of the Smartsheet app integration include:
●    Search relevant sheets to add to or update
●    Save email subjects as new tasks, or update existing tasks
●    Add email text to sheet discussions
●    Automatically save emailed attachments to task rows
●    Add and edit task details like status, due date, budgets, and actuals

Start by learning more about Smartsheet, or by adding the Smartsheet for Outlook app. See how Smartsheet’s collaboration and flexibility can help your users work easier and begin truly enjoying their work all over again.

image   Story by Harry Brelsford, CEO, SMB Nation - 

It’s that time of year to reflect, strategize and recharge to hit the ground running in early 2016. This blog is about making wise choices today that result in a better tomorrow. Specifically – it’s all about operations.

Forward Looking Statements

It’s old news that the SMB channel has changed. For the purposes of this blog, you can refer to recent posts from Techaisle (HERE  and HERE ). Even the New York Times chatted about technology disruptions in 2015 HERE  (albeit a somewhat different take, but the point is well taken). In 2015, you got the memo on the need to reinvent yourself. What follows is how.

Start Over

One step at a time. With channel changes at hand, it’s a fine opportunity to return to the basics and have a solid game plan of Xs and Os. Start with your operations workflow. The easiest way to improve your productivity is to become more efficient. So, challenge yourself to look at how your business works when you turn the key at 8AM. Are you using an enterprise-wide “backbone” to run your MSP practice? Or are you using a series of duct-taped, unrelated solutions trying to run your business? Are you using existing PSA/RMM/remote management solutions either inefficiently or overpaying for (or both?). If you answered affirmatively to any of the above scenarios, consider the following. There is a third-way: Atera. This start-up is out to disrupt how MSPs operate. This is a company that ate its own dog food in creating an all-in-one MSP backbone solution that include PSA, RMM and remote functionality at up to 40% less than current entrenched SMB channel legacy solutions. And consider the following: to argue that your customers should move core business operations to the cloud, you must do the same.

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January 10, 2016
Issue 10-26


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