The coming of the Strategic Service Provider

Orange County, CA - Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company, which publishes CRN, said the evolution toward the Strategic Service Provider model marks the fourth major shift in channel nomenclature since the publication's founding in 1982. When the channel was born its constituents were known as Resellers, a business model CRN declared essentially dead in 1990 in favor of VARs (value-added resellers). VARs evolved into Solution Providers, a term that incorporates both Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). And now CRN heralds the dawn of the Strategic Service Provider era.”

That is what Steven Burke wrote recently in a story titled, The New Channel Model: Rise Of The Strategic Service Provider.

What is the “channel” and who is CRN? The channel is a term coined long ago by the folks at computer industry publication CRN back in the early 1980s when they were known as Computer Reseller News. The channel, as it is known, is the group of players that brings to you, the end-user, all the PCs, servers, monitors, Microsoft Windows, Adobe products, network cables, printers, scanners, et al that you buy constantly. The channel is your computer dealer and the...

The coming of the Strategic Service Provider2016-06-15T23:27:37-07:00

What the heck *&#@ did you say about custom software development?

Here is a guest article from Tim Martin of Action Point (www.action-point.com ). I asked for permission to run his blog because it is a very important message. The only thing missing is his unique Irish accent. Tim writes:

What the *&#@ did you just say?

This was the reaction I got from a potential client after our initial meeting to discuss their need for a customized software.  Two days later we signed a contract and they have become one of our most valued clients.

 

It’s about time for a little straight talk around here…

As the head of business development in the US for Action Point I’ve never been accused of being indirect or subtle. In the technology industry in general but especially when dealing with custom software companies, straight talk is a rare commodity. So what did I say to the client?...

What the heck *&#@ did you say about custom software development?2016-03-28T15:00:00-07:00

What is it like to upgrade to Windows 10?

I finally got around to upgrading my Lenovo notebook from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. I can tell you in short it was a relatively fast and easy upgrade. My Lenovo is fairly quick and I have all solid state drive storage so that probably helped make things go fast.

Here is how my upgrade went:

  • I did the pre-download option of Windows 10 so all the files were already on my system when I started the upgrade.
  • Once launched the Lenovo ran for about five minutes with a green screen of...
What is it like to upgrade to Windows 10?2019-05-14T07:29:29-07:00

10 days to Save Big on Taxes for Equipment Purchases

Orange County, CA - You have Less Than 10 Days to Save Big on Tax Write-offs for Equipment Purchases.  You need to act now.

The Section 179 deduction, named for a provision in the federal tax law, allows a small business to deduct -up front- the entire cost of equipment ranging from computers to furniture to vehicles and machinery. The deduction is normally $25,000, but for the past years our lawmakers in DC have increased that amount substantially.

I have some great news for you.  Here is an excerpt an article on The Hill regarding Section 179 updates.  It says recent legislation was passed to raise the instant depreciation level to $500,000. 

10 days to Save Big on Taxes for Equipment Purchases2017-09-18T00:36:18-07:00

Your Computer Is About to Get 100 Million Times More Powerful

Costa Mesa, CA - I have been following quantum computing for a few years.  Each year researchers get a little closer to making quantum computing a reality in our lives.Here is an article on the latest research being done by [...]

Your Computer Is About to Get 100 Million Times More Powerful2015-12-15T20:35:40-08:00

What 12 Security Things Should I Focus on to Be Defensible in 2016?

Here is a sneak-peek and what is likely my most important blog for the upcoming New Year.  This is just a partial teaser....

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Irvine, CA - I was recently asked by a roundtable of CEOs to advise them on network security.  They had a lot of questions and a lot of misinformation.  I was surprised as this was a group of technology company CEOs and what I quickly found out is that they did not know much more than my non-tech company CEO clients.  From that discussion they asked me to come back and present to them a short list of actions they should take in 2016 to better secure their systems.  Initially I wanted to present them with a list of 10 things they should focus upon.  For anyone that knows, it is easy to create a list of 100 things that should be done to secure a system. However, I decided in order to make the list actionable and not overwhelming I needed to focus on the 10 things I have seen in the past year or two that have caused the most real-life grief for our new and existing clients.  I wanted to keep the list to 10 items, but I had to fudge a bit and expand to 12 core items. Then I added three bonus items for those who are over-achievers and another three for those in regulated businesses like healthcare, financial services and Sarbanes-Oxley.

This list is not complete nor absolute.  It is a list I have created largely in order of my perceived importance based upon the real-life hacks, breaches and other maladies related to failures of network security to keep the bad guys out.  You will need to assess the requirements that are appropriate for your firm.  If you are looking for a good place to start, I offer up my suggestions below.

1.       You need to do a vulnerability assessment or security assessment.  It is impossible for you to know what actions you should take to properly secure your systems without first doing an assessment.  Assessments are common practice at many firms, yet completely ignored at others.  It is fairly easy for you to order a vulnerability assessment and the best part is that it takes very little time and participation from you and your IT staff.  The cost for this service ranges from a few thousand dollars for a very small firm to several tens-of-thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for larger enterprises.  These should be done at least once per year just like your financial audit.

2.       Patching for Software Security Updates is perhaps one of the most overlooked and under-rated security measures you can implement to better secure your systems.  I maintain that good software patching measures are in some ways more important than your firewall.  A firewall is a formidable device that once it gets set-up has a number of ports opened up so that your firm can transact business.  That is where it gets weak.  Through these legitimately opened ports attackers will send nasty payloads that compromise your system, often without you knowing.  Imagine a hardened castle all buttoned up, but the draw bridge must be opened in order to conduct commerce.  Through that legitimately opened bridge come the sneak attacks, the scammers, crooks, mischievous and spies....

What 12 Security Things Should I Focus on to Be Defensible in 2016?2015-11-12T03:10:52-08:00

You’re the Non-technical Boss with Responsibility for the Network…

How do you know your most important functions of your network are working?  How do you manage technical people whose work you don’t fully understand?  This week I have seven simple questions to ask and I provide you some tips on what answers you should expect.

Backup and Disaster Recovery is one of the most important functions in Information Technology management to assure the future viability of your firm.  But backup and DR is a function you don’t really know is working until you really need it and that is not the time to find out it is not working as planned.  My recommendation is that you bring this topic up in your next meeting with your IT team.  Here are the questions I suggest you ask:

1.       How is our backup system running?  (Let your IT person talk.  Be patient and don’t interrupt.  Let them tell you all they can.)

2.       Are we getting any error messages from the backups? (Error messages are not....

You’re the Non-technical Boss with Responsibility for the Network…2015-10-07T22:13:17-07:00

Google to Offer Irvine, California Residents with Blazing-Fast Broadband Speed

If you didn’t ready know, Alvaka Networks is located in Irvine, California. Irvine is known for their tech industry and is the 3rd largest city in Orange County with a population that is skyrocketing. This may be why Google has decided to expand their fiber broadband service in one of the fastest growing tech hubs. As of now, this gigabit service will only be available to residential customers. So what does this mean for the competition such as AT&T, Time Warner and Cox communication who have been slow to offer high-speed options at affordable prices? The average broadband speed across the U.S. is just under 12 megabits per second. Google Fiber’s network offers basic monthly Internet for $70 per month, or Internet and television for $130 monthly.

Google to Offer Irvine, California Residents with Blazing-Fast Broadband Speed2015-09-11T22:26:24-07:00

This just in on Apple Watch Sales at #2

In my household we have purchased three Apple Watches.  I like mine, but it does have a few quirks.  It is in the first generation so that is to be expected. 3.6 million Apple Watches shipped in Q2 2015, says [...]

This just in on Apple Watch Sales at #22017-09-18T00:41:58-07:00
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