• ChannelTrends: Scary Considerations for Building a Security Practice

    by Brian Sherman  | October 26, 2016
    With Halloween almost here, what could be scarier than building a cybersecurity practice? Those who go down that road should certainly approach it with eyes wide open. Risk will undoubtedly increase. That’s what happens when you take on such a crucial responsibility for clients; they expect nothing bad will happen to their data or their networks. Those expectations should drive higher margins ̶ but they have to be able to deliver to reap the rewards.
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  • ChannelTrends: Expand Peripheral Solutions, Increase Wallet Share and Profits

    by Brian Sherman  | October 20, 2016
    Savvy solution providers use their peripheral vision. In this case, the term doesn't refer to monitors, but to all the technologies outside the core infrastructure (servers, computing devices and network components). These solutions may be beneficial to a customer’s operations or allow them to meet other business objectives, and the list of potential peripheral offerings can be quite extensive. They also add revenue to your bottom line without having to on-board new clients.
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  • ChannelTrends: Why Your IT Services Firm Can’t Go Without Solid HR

    by Brian Sherman  | October 12, 2016
    One of the greatest concerns of IT services firms is personnel. While the financial side of the business is crucial over the long run, a vast majority of firms won't get far without a solid comprehension of human resources. The key to IT services success is putting the right people in the right positions at the right time. That requires an effective plan for hiring, training and retaining qualified and motivated employees ̶ which always sounds simpler than it is.
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  • ChannelTrends: Tech Data, Avnet and the Transformation of Distribution

    by Brian Sherman  | September 28, 2016
    Despite the negative expectations of some in the industry skeptics, a number of IT distribution companies continue to strengthen their channel value propositions and their business models. And, if the M&A activities of the last two months are any indication of what’s ahead, buckle your seat belts
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  • ChannelTrends: 6 Best Practices When Building an Advanced Security Practice

    by Brian Sherman  | September 14, 2016
    Despite the growing number of channel firms offering basic data and network protection today, it’s simply not enough just to counter the basic threats today. Security has to move from a line item in the portfolio to a more highly advanced, proactive management service. It’s a true consulting focus that can be best summarized with six industry best practices.
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  • ChannelTrends: It’s 'Go Time' for 2017 Business Planning

    by Brian Sherman  | September 07, 2016
    January 1st is no longer a reset date. Strategic planning is a 365-day event today and it is the primary role of the top organizational leader. As Geico’s commercials have reinforced for so many years “…it’s what they do.” And September (as well as October, November and December) is perhaps the most crucial time for their management teams to rise to the occasion. This is when sales and marketing leaders double their efforts to find and close the best leads, and work with their customer services counterparts to ensure long-term client success.
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  • ChannelTrends: Should Distribution Business Challenges Concern IT Pros?

    by Brian Sherman  | August 31, 2016
    With some less than stellar earnings reports by IT distributors this month, it has some questioning the long-term viability of these key channel partners. Do these financial reports indicate worse times may be ahead, or are they an indication of the efforts underway to transform services and business models to meet the needs of partners and their customers? My money's on the latter...
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  • ChannelTrends: The Rise of Encryption (and What It Means for Providers)

    by Brian Sherman  | July 19, 2016
    Encryption should be a normal part of the channel security discussion today, ensuring that clients understand the options and benefits these technologies provide. That conversation should also extend to email and backup and disaster recovery solutions. If data could eventually be transmitted across the internet, it’s a prime candidate for encryption.
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  • ChannelTrends: The MSP Customer Service Model for 2020…and Beyond

    by Brian Sherman  | June 29, 2016
    What will customer service and help desk communications look like in the future? How will solution providers change the process to address the Millennial audience? Learn how social media and other technologies will play a bigger role in future channel communications, and how savvy providers will get started even faster.
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  • ChannelTrends: Is $26 Billion for LinkedIn Too Steep a Price to Pay for Data?

    by Brian Sherman  | June 21, 2016
    When the news that Microsoft intended to purchase LinkedIn came out this week, the initial response of those in the channel ranged from disbelief to bewilderment. Many wondered why a company so heavily focused on line of business applications and infrastructure would want to own a social media site. An even larger question filling the comments sections of several publications was why would they ever pay so much?
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  • ChannelTrends: A Look at the Past, Present, and Future of the Channel

    by Brian Sherman | Dec 28, 2017
    The channel’s future won’t solely depend on IoT, cybersecurity and advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Core technology competencies such as remote monitoring and remediation, backup and disaster recovery, cloud management, and desktop/ mobility device support will be needed more than ever.
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