Goodbye August. Goodbye summer. Heck, at least we're heading into a three-day weekend here in the United States. After a busy week at VMworld (here's our compiled coverage), we're busy pulling back the curtain on our fifth-annual MSPmentor 250 list including something new called Locked in the NOC. In between all that, here's a look at seven managed services blogs and MSP news stories that the MSPmentor team didn't have a chance to write for the week ending Aug. 31, 2012.
7. Coming Soon: Upcoming conferences we're watching closely include Symantec Partner Engage, Tigerpaw User Summit and Salesforce Dreamforce.
6. Done Deal: A major east coast MSP just acquired another business. Financial terms are signed. Announcement coming...
5. MSP M&A Advisor: We've been writing a lot about MSP merger and acquisition advisors. Here's another one for your list: Austin Dale Group (based in Austin), is another boutique firm focused on the IT market, including MSPs and software solution providers. The company offers exit planning, valuations, financial coaching, and M&A advisory services.
4. Our Next Move: I'm obsessed with something called Pisces. It's from Nine Lives Media's parent company -- Penton Media. Stay tuned.
3. Office 365 Migrations: Quest OnDemand Migration for Email is a new solution, hosted on Windows Azure, to help customers migrate to Office 365. The interesting twist: As you'll recall, Dell is buying Quest Software. So you can imagine similar Quest tools in the future that migrate on-premises customers into Dell's cloud data centers.
2. Windows 8 Sales Hook: Instead of pitching Windows 8 to customers, focus the conversation on the BYOD (bring your own device) trend. Two channel chiefs -- one from the virtualization market, the other from a major PC provider -- both told me they think the Windows 8 opportunity is more about helping customers with the BYOD tidal wave. Let end-users bring what they want to work (including, soon, Windows 8 tablets) but assure the customer that you can manage provisioning, security, connectivity and other related issues.
1. MSPmentor 250 Background: As the fifth-annual MSPmentor 250 rolls out, please keep in mind that we made numerous changes to our approach this year. A few examples:
- Only one honoree per company: In previous years, we had some companies with three -- even four -- honorees. But the MSP market has grown and diversified... worldwide. To make sure we're covering the expanding ecosystem this year's list has only one honoree per company.
- Names you already know: If you're a four-time MSPmentor 250 honoree (2008-2011), chances are you did not make this year's list because your name is already firmly familiar with our readership.
- Names for All Time: We've also moved industry luminaries out of the MSPmentor 250 and onto that new Locked in the NOC list. Our thesis: If you were starting an MSP today, who would you lock in your NOC to instantly gain executive, sales, marketing, technical and community expertise?