Seven Managed Services Blogs MSPmentor Didn't Write: Jan. 28

Greetings from 30,000 feet. I'm on a Red Eye flight from San Francisco to New York, following a busy week of meetings in Silicon Valley. I'm tired... but optimistic. Silicon Valley companies are upbeat about business; they're hiring; and quite a few of them are talking managed services -- and Talkin' Cloud. Locked in meetings portions of this week, here are seven blog entries MSPmentor didn't have a chance to write for the week ending January 28, 2011.

7. Critical Mass: CBTS, a division of Cincinnati Bell, has earned Cisco's Managed Services Master Certification. This is part of a larger industry trend. Cisco overhauled its managed services partner program in September 2009, allowing Master MSPs to offer their Cisco-certified NOCs (network operation centers) out to peer MSPs. At the same time, we've been watching a range of Cisco-centric partners push beyond managed services into cloud services. Examples include ePlus, FusionStorm and Long View Systems.

6. Triple Play: Instead of killing the channel, the cloud is creating SaaS and managed services opportunities, asserts SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin. Sales at the open source CRM specialist rose more than 50 percent in 2010 vs. 2009, Augustin says. But here's the interesting part: Roughly 60 to 70 percent of those sales involve channel partners. And the partners are focused on three different market opportunities. One-third of the channel engagements involves on-premise SugarCRM, one-third involves SugarCRM's on-demand version, and the final third involve partners who host SugarCRM on their own or manage SugarCRM running on public clouds like Amazon.com or Rackspace. TalkinCloud FastChat Video will share more thoughts from Augustin in a few days.

5. Money From Down Under: Australia money may soon flow into the North American managed services market. One MSPmentor tipster claims an Australia-based company may open its wallet, potentially acquiring U.S.-based managed services businesses. We're digging for details.

4. Look Under the Hood...: Axcient CEO Justin Moore is calling on VARs and MSPs to truly study the source of online backup and business continuity technology. Numerous online backup companies promote their SaaS offerings to the channel, Moore concedes, but only a few of those SaaS providers have actually developed their own intellectual property in-house. Bottom line: Moore thinks Axcient can compete on in-house innovation and home-grown technology.

3. ...But Tell a Friend: Meanwhile, Doyenz -- a cloud-based disaster recovery specialist -- has launched a partner referral program for the channel. Specifically, Doyenz partners are now eligible for up to $1,000 for referring a new partner who signs a contract with Doyenz.

2. Thank You: A side note... Talkin' Cloud (MSPmentor's new sister site) saw traffic rise more than 50 percent so far in January 2011 vs. December 2010. Traffic across our channel brands (MSPmentor, The VAR Guy, VARtweet, MSPtweet and Talkin' Cloud) grew roughly 22 percent in January 2011 vs. January 2010. We considered sharing those stats via a 50-page online slide show. Instead, we figured we'd simply say thank you for visiting MSPmentor and our sister sites. We appreciate your readership and the ongoing dialog with you.

1. The Internet Will Win: Vodafone's decision to shut down service in Egypt this week will be a business case study for decades to come. Should service providers really pull the plug amid government demands -- or is there a higher moral obligation to keep the circuits live during a national crisis? Either way, I'm betting hackers and innovators will get Internet traffic flowing in and out of Egypt with workarounds. In the meantime the silence is deafening.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

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