Managed Services: 7 Blogs MSPmentor Didn't Write, March 15

Managed Services: 7 Blogs MSPmentor Didn't Write, March 15

I just booked travel to CharTec's Service Operations Academy (March 21-22). I'm particularly curious to hear what trends CEO Alex Rogers is seeing in terms of managed services sales and automation. But before I pack my bags for that trip, here are seven managed services provider (MSP) news stories and blogs we didn't have a chance to write for the week of March 15, 2013.

7. Have You Heard?: VaultLogix, which offers cloud backup services to MSPs, has launched a Q2 2013 contest for certified resellers.  For every five billable clients added to VaultLogix during the contest period -- which runs from April 1 through June 30, 2013 -- partners will receive an entry in a drawing. Partners may receive up to 10 entries for this contest if they sign 50 or more new clients. The winner of the drawing will be announced by July 15, 2013 and receive Premium Bose Speakers.

6. MSPWorld: What's happening at MSPAlliance's MSPWorld conference next week (March 21-22, Orlando)?  Quite a bit of cloud content is on the agenda. We'll be reaching out to attendees to get a feel for the conversations and market trends.

5. Big Growth: Cloud Sherpas, the fast-growing cloud services brokerage, apparently has huge momentum in the Google Apps market. In fact, Cloud Sherpas says its Google Apps deployment, integration and management business will likely grow about 70 percent in 2013. We've got the exclusive details. They'll surface soon on Talkin' Cloud.

4. OpenStack: The open source cloud platform can't succeed in a big way until there's a market filled with trained OpenStack professionals -- consultants, deployment specialists, integrators, etc. Those training programs and related initiatives will emerge over the next few weeks. Mark my words. For MSPs that want to plug into public clouds (Dell, IBM, HP) or want to build private clouds, OpenStack certifications could one day become just as important as virtualization and server operating system certifications.

3. SaaS for Channel Partners: I had a really intriguing phone conversation with SaaSMax CEO Dina Moskowitz this week. In some ways you can call SaaSMax a cloud aggregator -- potentially competing with distributors like Ingram Micro Cloud and Tech Data TDCloud to give channel partners a single dashboard for SaaS application sourcing. But I think of SaaSMax more as an online mall or marketplace where channel partners can track and manage their SaaS application sales and commissions. Notes from this conversation will also surface on Talkin' Cloud soon.

2. Beating the Odds: I had some interesting meetings this week in the venture capital/angel investor world. Consider this math: I met an angel investment group that has received more than 1,600 requests for funding since around 2005. Only about 3 percent of the inquiries actually received funding -- that's about 48 companies. Of those 48 firms, only five have completed a successful exit so far.

With that math in mind consider this: ConnectWise Capital has substantially grown two key investments -- LabTech Software and Quosal -- over the past three years. ConnectWise Capital also pumped money into CharTec but I'm not sure what the financial arrangement was there. Regardless, here's my key point: It takes incredible due diligence and market knowledge to find the right early-stage companies in which to invest. Yet, ConnectWise essentially has picked three winners that are (A) still in business and (B) growing.

1. Call for Entries: Have you got a growing cloud services practice? Celebrate and promote your success. Participate in the Top 100 Cloud Services Provider survey, and see how you stack up against the world's top CSPs, cloud services brokerages and cloud services aggregators. Companies that make the list receive year-round promotion on Talkin' Cloud. And even if you don't make the final list, we'll tell you your company's worldwide ranking (if you ask).

That's it from here. Thanks for reading MSPmentor.

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