Now that fall is here it seems like every week is super busy, and this week has been no exception. Our blogger Dan Kobialka spent the beginning of the week covering the Continuum Navigate 2014 conference in Boston for you. But there are a number of blogs we didn't have time to write this week. Here's your list.
7. Security. While it’s always been important, in the wake of breaches over the past year at retailers, healthcare providers it’s risen to top of mind for organizations. That’s why you saw Earthlink name a Chief Security Officer for the first time this year. And that’s why your customers may be looking for the equivalent from you. You’ve heard of the virtual CIO. How about the virtual CSO?
6. Speaking of security, a new vulnerability comparable in scope to Heartbleed was revealed this week and hackers quickly launched exploits. Popularly known as Shellshock, this flaw in the open-source GNU Bash shell is found in nearly all Linux distributions, as well as in the Apple OS X operating system, Computerworld reports. Linux vendors quickly issued patches and Amazon Web Services automatically updated Linux virtual machines with patches before they were deployed.
5. Meanwhile, some MSP platform providers weighed in on the new vulnerability. Alistair Forbes, GM at GFI Max said: “We have already updated our systems to ensure that we are not vulnerable to this exploit and we encourage our managed service provider customers to take a proactive approach to identification and remediation of security threats to their customers such as this.
“We see managed security services as one of the major growth opportunities for MSPs in the years to come – every year the number and sophistication of threats grow at an increasing rate and the complexity of the problem is such that most small and medium sized businesses are unlikely to be able to cope with this alone. MSPs that can create and articulate a proposition around managed security have an opportunity to grow their business and strengthen their engagement with their customers by providing assurance to them in this high profile and high risk area.”
3. More competition coming. Distributors have been partnering with service providers for years to enable traditional resellers to dip their toes into recurring revenue and service offerings. The most recent example is maybe the Tech Data/Earthlink partnership. But there are other new market entries, too, in the managed services business. For instance, telcos have recognized that managed services can offer something beyond utility margins and these companies are investing in adding IT services to the mix. And copier dealers, who have always been experts in leasing and now even may be marketing those options as “hardware as a service,” are finding an easier entry into the managed services space than they have in years past. Are you ready for this new competition?
2. MSP 2.0. I’ve heard this term bandied about quite a bit lately, and it has different definitions for different people. I've talked to several of those people lately. But for all of us it’s the next era of managed services. It’s more automated, it’s smarter (and leverages analytics to get that way), it also leverages best practices and builds on lessons learned from the mistakes and successes of MSP 1.0. That’s just touching on the surface. Stay tuned for much more on this.
1. Can taking breaks make you more productive? That’s what my friend, colleague and The VAR Guy blogger Elliot Markowitz says in Debunking the Habits of Highly Productive People. I’m hoping to test this out for a few hours this weekend, while I also remember that: “A recent study from a team of European researchers suggests that feeling guilty about being a coach potato does more harm than good, and if ‘vegging out’ is needed, do it guilt-free.” Happy Friday.