Seven Managed Services Blogs MSPmentor Didn't Write: Aug. 12

Seven Managed Services Blogs MSPmentor Didn't Write: Aug. 12

Greetings from MiFi (mobile WiFi). I'm in email catch-up mode and also sorting through some of the big news that will surface the week of August 15. But before we look ahead to the new week, here's a look back at seven managed services blog entries the MSPmentor team didn't have a chance to write for the week ending Aug. 12, 2011.

7. Help Desk Guidance: ConnectWise continues to see help desk services as a primary way for MSPs to maintain customer control while pinpointing new sales opportunities. A new ConnectWise Help Desk Kit has surfaced for the company's partners and customers.

6. Cloud Gathering: Zenith Infotech is set to host a Cloud Summit (Sept. 13-14, Pittsburgh). We've yet to see the agenda but we're curious to see what new steps, if any, Zenith has planned for its SmartStyle Computing private cloud effort for virtualization, business continuity and storage.

5. New Moves Down Under: HTG Peer Groups, which helps VARs and MSPs to build their businesses, continues to expand across Australia. The organization now has two peer groups in Australia, each of which includes a dozen VARs and MSPs. Executives representing roughly 10 of those companies will travel from Australia to Orlando, Fla., for the IT Nation conference in November, according to Scott Scrogin, president of HTG Peer Groups.

4. Here They Come: Additional PSA companies are taking a more focused approach to VARs and MSPs as customers. Commit CRM launched version 5.6 a few days ago. And NetSuite is taking new steps to promote its OpenAir PSA platform to channel partners. We'll be back soon with deeper insights on both efforts -- which differ in many ways from the efforts at Autotask, ConnectWise and Tigerpaw Software.

3. Eyes On Europe: We're starting to take a look at the Managed Services World Congress (Sept. 21-22, Berlin, Germany). It looks like big European telecom providers will dominate the event. But I'm curious to see how the the giants described their managed services strategies vs. small MSPs that grew up supporting PCs.

2. Simplicity Achieved: Here's an interesting counter-trend. While many MSPs start to use a range of platforms (Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux), ETG CEO Mike Jones has simplified his life and is down to a single platform -- Apple's iOS. Jones uses an Apple iPad and an Apple iPhone for virtually all of his computing needs.

1. Life-Work Balance: I made a decision late Thursday night (Aug. 11) to disappear with my family for the weekend. It was time for a road trip from Long Island to New England.

First stop: Visiting Nine Lives Media Inc. CEO Amy Katz's family in Massachusetts. (Nine Lives is MSPmentor's parent.) It was the first time that all "nine lives" -- us, our spouses and kids -- had ever been together. We didn't talk business during the visit. Instead, we rediscovered all of the common family values that we share.

Then, it was on to New Hampshire to make good on a promise to my late brother-in-law. We caught up with his best friend from childhood and disappeared from the grid for some more R&R. By Saturday night, we surfaced in Maine for lobster rolls and a walk on the coast.

Now, we're heading home. My wife is driving. Family is relaxing. And I'm armed with mobile WiFi. My inbox is flooded with news tips for the week of Aug. 15. I'll arrive to my home office recharged and ready to go. It was a great weekend surrounded by my closest friends and family. And I get to go back to Nine Lives Media Inc. on Monday.

In short, I've got the best of worlds with my family and with Nine Lives.

Thanks for visiting MSPmentor and our sister sites. We appreciate your continued readership and the ongoing dialog. I learn from you every day.

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