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Backup and Disaster Recovery

Backup to the Future Part VI: How (and When) to Switch Your Current BDR Vendor

Posted by Joseph Tavano on April 26, 2017

How (and When) to Switch Your Current BDR Vendor

Let’s face it: switching the technology you use every day—especially if it’s a core service your business provides, like BDR—is no simple undertaking. After all the blog posts, eBooks, and discussions with account managers, in the end MSPs are responsible for migrating to a new platform, updating their endpoints, training their staff, talking with clients and much more. It takes time. It takes effort. And, if it’s not the right decision, it can cost the business profits in the short and long term.

There’s a reason why “ripping and replacing” is discussed in hushed whispers; no one looks forward to it, really, and a lot is at stake. When you decide to replace your BDR vendor, you need to be absolutely sure it’s the right move, and you need to have a well-defined plan in place to roll it out efficiently to minimize adverse impacts on your clients and the business.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Vendor Management

Introducing a New eBook to Help MSPs Overcome BDR Growth Barriers

Posted by Joseph Tavano on April 25, 2017

Introducing a New eBook to Help MSPs Overcome BDR Growth Barriers

Some MSPs have started to think that, given the commoditization of BDR as a service in the IT channel, backup and disaster recovery technology is a “settled” line of business with little variation and innovation between the major solution providers.

Think again.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Simplifying 3 Trends That Are Changing the IT Landscape

Posted by Meaghan Moraes on April 21, 2017

Simplifying 3 Trends That Are Changing the IT Landscape

Let’s face it, modern IT is complicated. With new components being continuously added to the mix, managing and securing the IT landscape requires new tools fit for the challenge. However, the last thing managed services providers (MSPs) need is yet another disparate management tool that adds more complexity to their services. Without cohesive IT and service level management, there will be serious disconnects—from servers and networks, to storage and end points. 

Amidst the changing tides of technology, MSPs can help their clients ensure IT service and business success with an integrated approach. The following are three growing trends that MSPs should understand how to embrace and capitalize on in order to achieve sustainable profitability and business growth.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, SMB Trends, Mobile Device Management and IT Mobility

Backup to the Future Part V: The Path to Better BDR Storage

Posted by Joseph Tavano on April 19, 2017

Backup to the Future Part V: The Path to Better BDR Storage

When was the last time you thought about your mobile phone plan? I know—it’s not that exciting (who actually loves their phone bill?), but there are a few areas where mobile phone pricing plans and BDR are starting to look increasingly similar. Unless you want your clients to think of your BDR services with the same disdain that’s common in the phone market, it may be a good time to think about your partnership contracts and the pricing and packaging options you are passing down to your clients, because a mobile data plan and BDR storage plans are starting to feel more similar in the marketplace than ever before.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Backup to the Future Part IV: How the Cloud Will Continue to Impact BDR Services

Posted by Joseph Tavano on April 12, 2017

Backup to the Future Part IV: How the Cloud Will Continue to Impact BDR ServicesA few years back, everyone was welcoming you to the cloud. Now that we’re all “here,” cloud services are evolving. For MSPs, this affects everything from pricing and packaging BDR products to everyday service delivery. Let’s explore a few ways that the cloud has impacted and will continue to impact BDR for managed IT service providers.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Backup to the Future Part III: BDR Commoditization Means Less MSP Differentiation

Posted by Joseph Tavano on April 5, 2017

Backup to the Future Part III: BDR Commoditization Means Less MSP Differentiation

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is now an essential product for every managed IT services provider (MSP). However, in today’s world of commoditized BDR, how can you break away and differentiate yourself from your competition?

“Backup to the Future” is a blog series that explores the state of the backup and disaster recovery as a service today—and the challenges that come with offering it—and looks forward to the ongoing new paradigms that are dramatically transforming the sector into tomorrow. Through this eight-part series, you’ll learn the forces that are shaping the business models for MSPs offering BDR today, and how to evolve to take on new business more efficiently and more profitably for long-term success. In the first post of this series, we discussed how many current BDR solutions that MSPs use today are restricting their growth and scalability. Now, it’s time to consider how exactly BDR has become so commoditized and what that means for your MSP business.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

The Best of BDR for World Backup Day

Posted by Lily Teplow on March 31, 2017

World Backup Day Best of BDR

What would you do if you lost everything? This is exactly the question that World Backup Day prompts you to consider when you land on the awareness website. Data is such a business driver today, but one small accident or failure could cause productivity and profit to come to a complete halt. For MSPs, an essential first step in building a successful business continuity plan for your clients is helping them recognize the need for backup and disaster recovery (BDR) – and what better day to start than World Backup Day?

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Topics: Industry News, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Backup to the Future Part II: Bridging the IT Skills Gap as Backup Environments Become More Complex

Posted by Joseph Tavano on March 29, 2017

Backup to the Future Part II: Bridging the IT Skills Gap as Backup Environments Become More Complex

“Backup to the Future” is a blog series that explores the state of the backup and disaster recovery as a service today—and the challenges that come with offering it—and looks forward to the ongoing new paradigms that are dramatically transforming the sector into tomorrow. Through this eight-part series, you’ll learn the forces that are shaping the business models for MSPs offering BDR today, and how to evolve to take on new business more efficiently and more profitably for long-term success.

As discussed in part one of this series, many current BDR solutions available to MSPs today feature an outdated labor model that restricts growth and scalability. In this article, we’ll dig a little deeper into one of the crucial reasons why this is so: the growing IT skills gap.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Backup to the Future: Managing the Total Cost of Ownership of BDR

Posted by Joseph Tavano on March 22, 2017

Backup to the Future: Managing the Total Cost of Ownership of BDR

“Backup to the Future” is a blog series that explores the state of the backup and disaster recovery as a service today—and the challenges that come with offering it—and looks forward to the ongoing new paradigms that are dramatically transforming the sector into tomorrow. Through this eight-part series, you’ll learn the forces that are shaping the business models for MSPs offering BDR today, and how to evolve to take on new business more efficiently and more profitably for long-term success. In this first post, we'll tackle how to manage the total cost of ownership (TCO) of BDR.

When MSPs try to calculate the ROI of a business continuity offering, they often look at the cost of the solution they’re leveraging and compare it to the BDR revenue they’ve captured. If the former is smaller than the latter, then they’re satisfied. And while there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this approach, many providers may find it difficult to ensure long-term profitability and scalability if they aren’t paying attention to the TCO of the tools they’re leveraging.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

Partner Spotlight: How 2 MSPs Leverage Continuity247 to Overcome Top BDR Challenges

Posted by Lily Teplow on March 17, 2017

Partner Spotlight: How 2 MSPs Leverage Continuity247 to Overcome Top BDR Challenges.png

Although backup and disaster recovery (BDR) has become a staple to every MSPs technology stack, many still struggle to develop a profitable and sustainable BDR line of business. Some of the common challenges we hear today include finding the right solution to fit your clients’ needs, or delivering effective data backup to clients across specific industries. Others have a hard time dealing with solutions that have become too cumbersome and time-consuming to manage, or even dealing with disaster recovery scenarios. As an MSP offering BDR services, your goal is to provide clients with reliable data backup and business continuity, but how can you do so when these challenges stand in your way?

Sometimes, the best way to succeed is to learn through others’ success. That’s why we’re sharing the stories of two Continuum partners who faced certain BDR challenges but proceeded to overcome them by leveraging Continuity247, our fully-managed BDR platform. Let's take a closer look!

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Partner Success

Self-Managed vs. Fully-Managed: How to Maximize Your BDR Profitability

Posted by Ben Barker on March 7, 2017

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When it comes to protecting your clients' systems, there is nothing more important than being able to provide reliable backups. But how much of your own internal resources are being used up to make sure that’s possible? Who is troubleshooting failed backups, performing environmental health checks, testing and verifying systems, and spinning up servers? If you aren't using a fully-managed backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution, the answer is: you are. 

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Webinar Highlights

Scalability, Cybersecurity & Cloud Services: Three eBooks to Support MSP Growth in 2017

Posted by Brandon Garcin on February 21, 2017

Three-eBooks-to-Support-MSP-Growth-in-2017.pngThe managed IT services industry is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on the latest changes, trends and best practices. Today, things like cloud computing, an increasingly-complex cybersecurity landscape and other pressures are forcing MSPs to rethink their approach to service delivery, sales and marketing, and other key aspects of the business.

To help you stay ahead of the curve and set yourself up for success in 2017, we’ve compiled three of our most popular eBooks. Check them out below!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

GitLab Data Deletion Incident Demonstrates Need for True Business Continuity

Posted by Lily Teplow on February 2, 2017

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Have you ever experienced a major un-oh moment? You know, when something goes completely awry and your mind starts to race, palms start to sweat and the classic Homer Simpson “d’oh” echoes in your head. Well, that’s what I imagine recently happened to one of the system administrators at GitLab, a web service for hosting and syncing source code. News broke on Tuesday that GitLab had suffered a major backup restoration failure following an incident of accidental data deletion. According to the tech news site The Register, the incident was caused by an admin who was working late and might have accidentally deleted the wrong folder in a planned maintenance operation.

Whoops! It’s a textbook case of human error that can happen to any business – no matter how technically advanced or experienced. Nevertheless, this unfortunate incident highlights the incredible need to provide true backup and disaster recovery (BDR) to your clients so they don’t become the next headline.

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Topics: Industry News, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Data Loss

How Often Should You Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan? [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on January 13, 2017

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Are your clients willing to test their luck this Friday the 13th? As a savvy MSP, you know that having an effective backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution and disaster recovery (DR) plan is a necessity in today’s business landscape – just in case your client opens an umbrella indoors and their whole IT network crashes. However, having these reliable solutions in place is of no value if the processes aren’t regularly tested. So, the question is this: what does your clients’ DR plan look like and when was the last time they had a DR drill test performed?

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Topics: Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, MSP Sales Chart

Who Do You Need on Your Incident Response Team?

Posted by Joseph Tavano on January 5, 2017

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As the calendar switches over to the New Year, many business owners are taking account of their processes and preparing for success in the coming year. But how many are preparing to get hacked in 2017? Security experts are predicting that data breaches will continue to increase in frequency in the coming year, so the answer is: not enough.

Unfortunately, this means that the odds of your clients suffering a data breach are higher than ever. The days of SMBs assuming “it could never happen to me” have passed, and it’s time to have a plan in place to handle a nightmare situation like a data breach. One of the first components of that plan is to build an Incident Response Team.

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Data Loss

IT Security On-the-Go: Your Travel ITinerary

Posted by Mary McCoy on December 29, 2016

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Suitcase: check. Phone charger: check. Boarding pass: check. When traveling, do you make a mental list of everything you need to remember to bring? With any business trip, there's a fair amount of planning involved, whether it's memorizing a conference schedule or booking lodging accommodations. Often, though, travelers forget about IT security, neglecting to properly prepare their devices for departure. 

According to the Kensington IT Security Survey Report, 25 percent of company employees reported IT theft in cars and transportation and more than 15 percent reported devices were stolen from their hotel or at the airport. Are you or your clients practicing unsafe IT habits on-the-go?

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

How to Develop a Go-to-Market Strategy for BDR

Posted by Mary McCoy on December 22, 2016

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"Marketing is a two-way street. You have to be aware of what potential clients are looking for, and then you have to make them aware of what you offer." 

Do you have a hard time marketing and selling your backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution? In a recent episode of MSP Radio, part one of a two-part series designed to help you define your BDR go-to-market strategy, we answered several frequently asked questions from MSPs facing the same dilemma.

Whether you need guidance establishing the right market to serve or don't know how to differentiate your messaging across audience segments, the following recap should help you yield a higher ROI on current BDR marketing efforts, further enabling long-term business growth and profitability!

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

What Single-Screenshot Verification Can't See

Posted by Joseph Tavano on December 15, 2016

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Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is an interesting technology to discuss with clients; when it is working well, there is little to discuss. However, when it is needed, such as in the event of a data loss event, it has to work perfectly—and, it needs to do so before that data loss event. Unlike other MSP technologies, sharing verification with your SMB clients that a BDR platform is working well allows for a natural, ongoing conversation about the BDR solution you provide, and keeps the importance of business continuity top of mind.

But what if your BDR platform’s backup verification isn’t able to provide enough information? What if it can’t capture issues that slip through the cracks? What if backups fail because the verification process missed something?

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

How to Successfully Execute Your BDR Migration Plan

Posted by Joseph Tavano on November 30, 2016

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In an IT channel that’s constantly in flux, it’s important to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate your technology and solutions. Lifting out any IT platform to switch to another is a large endeavor, but there are particular concerns when migrating from one backup and disaster recovery (BDR) platform to another.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

The Benefits of Working with a BDR Provider That Owns Its Backup Technology

Posted by Ben Austin on November 15, 2016

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Managed services providers (MSPs) are trusted advisors to their clients. By acting as virtual CIO (vCIO), safeguarding the health of IT environments and maximizing the ROI of their clients’ IT budgets, MSPs are responsible for increasing the business efficiency and profitability of the organizations they serve. This relationship often starts with the implied trust of a customer that their MSP will deliver as promised in the sales cycle, and as time rolls by, that trust becomes more tangible based on the actual experience with their MSP.

As this trust grows, so does your responsibility as your clients' MSP. One area that you have significant influence over is the handling and protection of your clients' greatest business asset: their data. This trust is at its apex in the delivery of completely reliable and modern backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Is Hard Drive Failure a Reality for SMBs? [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on November 11, 2016

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As an MSP, you understand how crucial business continuity and disaster recovery are for modern businesses. You’ve seen the downtime stats and you’ve dealt with disasters, but what does this look like from your clients’ point of view? Selling backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is a challenge for many MSPs, but it might be because small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t fully understand the need for continuous uptime. If your prospective clients don’t have a business continuity plan in place or take for granted their ability to access data 24x7x365, ask them, “could your businesses survive a disaster?”

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Data Loss, MSP Sales Chart

4 Benefits of BDR Powered by Continuous Data Protection

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 10, 2016

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There’s no denying the importance of effective backup and data protection technology in today’s IT landscape. Ensuring that customer information is properly protected – and accessible at all times – is an absolute necessity.

For Managed IT Services Providers (MSPs), the challenge lies in finding the right backup technology that can give them even a slight edge against the competition. True to its name, Continuous Data Protection (CDP) technology can provide exactly that. Here's how.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Which RAID Setups are Most Compatible with Your Backup Solution?

Posted by Joseph Tavano on November 10, 2016

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One of the more technical features of Continuity247® is the flexibility it affords in terms of RAID options for its backup appliance.

For the less technically savvy, RAID is an acronym for a redundant array of independent (or, inexpensive) disks, which affords benefits in terms of performance and redundancy by placing data across multiple disk drives instead of just one. Depending on how they are configured between a variety of disk striping and mirroring techniques, RAIDs can have a variety of benefits useful to the overall performance and stability of a system.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Podcast

6 Important OS Hardening Steps to Protect Your Clients

Posted by Hunter Smith on November 9, 2016

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According to the 2016 Duo Trusted Access Report, fifty-three percent of Mac OS users are running either the fully patched, latest version of OS X, or the previous version, compared to thirty-five percent of Windows users on Windows 10 and 8.1. That means the majority of these operating systems are outdated.

As you know, proper patch management is critical to protecting client data and uptime, but it's just one of many security considerations. With Ransomware-as-a-Service and Angler, Bedep and Neutrino exploit kit adoption on the rise, MSPs must strengthen client defenses against outside attack. When attempting to compromise a device or network, malicious actors look for any way in. Unbeknownst to many small- and medium-sized businesses, operating system vulnerabilities provide easy access. In order to provide clients with peace of mind, safeguard their sensitive information and differentiate your security services from the competition, here are six ways to harden customers' operating systems: 

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

11 Ongoing, Tedious Backup Tasks Your Techs Are Sick of

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 2, 2016

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How much time do your technicians spend managing backups for each client?

It's easily a full-time job, and yet, maybe only represents a small fraction of their responsibilities. For most MSPs, backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is just one of many offerings in their service portfolios. Clients rely on your round-the-clock technical support to power their businesses. You provide the peace of mind that the entirety of their IT environment remains secure, efficient and online. Understandably, this level of service can result in long hours and overworked technicians.

But what tasks actually consume so much of their time and effort and how much of it is avoidable? With a booming BDR market and the need for constant data accessibility, you certainly don't want technician bandwidth to be a hindrance to the growth of your business continuity services. Instead, think about how you can more efficiently support this offering internally. You should ask yourself if any of your techs are forced to carry out these 11 times, and more importantly, what this could mean for your business.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Hiring and Recruiting, Continuity247, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Using Backup Verification to Strengthen Client Communications

Posted by Joseph Tavano on November 2, 2016

You have backup verification with your BDR platform, but how are you using it to strengthen your client relationships and grow your business?

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

4 Essentials MSPs Forget When Disaster Recovery Testing

Posted by Mary McCoy on October 26, 2016

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By now, most MSPs recognize that offering backup is table stakes. Your clients can receive this service from any number of your competitors. In order to stand out and increase monthly recurring revenue (MRR), focus on the disaster recovery (DR) aspect of backup and disaster recovery (BDR). Offer your clients DR testing!

To fully capitalize on the advantages of DR testing, keep the following four best practices in mind when adding this service to your IT portfolio. 

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Why Small Medical Practices Struggle with HIPAA Compliance [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on October 21, 2016

Why Small Medical Practices Struggle with HIPAA Compliance.jpgDo you serve clients in the healthcare industry? As their MSP, you’re well aware that these organizations have a responsibility to their customers and patients to maintain the security of their data – which means that they must be HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant. HIPAA has completely changed the way electronic medical and health records are created, received, modified, transmitted or stored, yet many practices still struggle to become and remain HIPAA compliant. Not only do they face exorbitant fines for violating HIPAA law, healthcare companies also can’t afford to lose clients’ trust in their ability to safeguard patient information. So how can your managed IT services help them do just that?

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Healthcare IT, MSP Sales Chart

Use Backup Verification to Build Client Confidence

Posted by Joseph Tavano on October 19, 2016

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Backup Verification is more than just another status report—it can prove the value of your business and differentiate you from your competition. Here are a few ways to get started talking about it with your clients.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Podcast

Mirai: The IoT Botnet Malware Behind Recent DDoS Attacks

Posted by Tyler Moffitt on October 18, 2016

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Recently, the source code for the Internet of Things (IoT) botnet malware, Mirai, was released on hack forums. This type of malware was used last month in an historic distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against KrebsOnSecurity, which was estimated to have sent 650 gigabits per second of traffic from unsecured routers, IP cameras, DVRs and more to shut down the domain. Thanks to DDoS prevention measures by engineers at Akamai, the company protecting Krebs, the attack was unsuccessful; however, they report that this attack was nearly double the size of the largest one they’d previously seen.

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

4 New Encrypting Ransomware Variants to Watch Out for

Posted by Alie Perkus on October 13, 2016

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Each day, Webroot discovers 6,000 phishing sources, 80,000 new malware and potentially unwanted applications and 51,000 new mobile malware. 

Cyber threats are even more sophisticated than they were last year and as they continue to grow, the business is ever-changing. And I do mean business. With payouts in the thousands of dollars and fewer barriers to entry, cybercrime has become a lucrative opportunity for the masses. Dubbed Ransomware-as-a-Service, there are now portals where anyone can create a ransomware payload for free. No coding or scripting knowledge is required. Instead, you simply have to input your specifications for the amount to charge, ransom payment window, late fee and more. What's the catch? The portal creator gets a cut of the profit you make. Still, the payout is significant and as business ventures like this grow in popularity, ransomware will become increasingly common.

To help protect your clients against the latest attack tactics, Tyler Moffit, Senior Threat Analyst of Webroot recently joined us for the webinar, Crypto Ransomware - The Who, What, Why and How. There were many takeaways from the program, available for download below, including overviews of four new encrypting ransomware variants. 

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

How to Calculate the Cost of Downtime for Your Clients

Posted by Mary McCoy on October 11, 2016

How_to_Calculate_the_Cost_of_Downtime_for_Your_Clients.jpgHow can you help your clients truly understand how downtime hurts their business? For companies today, there is only one universal standard by which they will "get it." That standard is money. The impact on the top and/or bottom line is often the deciding factor in any business decision, including the decision to purchase your business continuity services. As your clients' trusted partner and managed IT services provider (MSP), you're responsible for minimizing service disruptions and unplanned downtime. In order to do this, you first have to help your clients understand exactly what a downtime event can cost their business.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

How BDR Can Protect SMBs Against Unplanned Data Loss [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on October 7, 2016

Do you struggle with selling your backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution? If so, you’re not alone. Selling BDR to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is a major challenge for many MSPs, especially when you’re overwhelmed with common excuses like “backup isn’t that important,” or “data loss could never happen to me!” So how can you effectively combat these misconceptions and convince potential clients that they need your managed IT services?

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, MSP Sales Chart

Mr. Robot is Shining a Light on Cybersecurity

Posted by Joseph Tavano on October 6, 2016

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image: http://www.usanetwork.com/mrrobot/photos

The show creators are paying attention to the IT industry, so it might be time to pay attention to them.

One of the breakout cable TV show hits of 2015, Mr. Robot wrapped up its second season (don’t worry, no spoilers in this article), and has been gaining traction with viewers ever since the show premiered. The show centers on Elliot Alderson, a cybersecurity engineer by day and a hacker by night. The plot has tons of twists and turns, making it easy to binge watch over the course of a rainy weekend.

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

How to Ensure Disaster Readiness as Hurricane Matthew Approaches

Posted by Mary McCoy on October 6, 2016

How to Ensure Disaster Readiness as Hurricane Matthew Approaches
Hurricane Matthew is expected to make U.S. landfall starting today continuing into the weekend, with forecasters predicting it will strengthen to a Category 4 storm by the time it hits the Southeast. If you're an MSP operating in Florida, coastal Georgia or the Carolinas, now's the time to reach out to clients and enact your business continuity plans.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

4 Simple Steps to Evaluating Cloud IaaS

Posted by Meg Swanson on October 4, 2016

When you make decisions about extending your infrastructure footprint into the cloud, you do so very intentionally. You hunt down analyst reports, ask peers for recommendations, and seek out quantitative research to compare the seemingly endless array of cloud-based options. But how can you be sure that you’re getting the most relevant information for your business case?

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Will You Be Prepared When a Downtime Event Strikes? [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on September 23, 2016

Did you know that 50% of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have no backup or disaster recovery plan in place? With all the risks that come with severe data loss and extended downtime, it’s surprising that these people aren’t doing more to safeguard their business. If you have clients or prospects that may be hesitant to invest in a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution, use this chart to help make the sale!

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, MSP Sales Chart

Introducing: A Kit That Helps You Sell Your Business Continuity Solution!

Posted by Joseph Tavano on September 21, 2016

Whether you are getting started with selling backup and disaster recovery in your MSP business or looking for a boost to your existing sales efforts, our Business Continuity Sales Success Kit can help you close more deals and win more clients. Designed to be used throughout your sales funnel, from lead generation to presentation to contract signing, this kit provides ample resources that can be completely customized to best suit your business, as well as actionable, informative and educational content—such as scripts, talk tracks and more—to train new sales team members about the unique benefits and sales propositions inherent to backup and disaster recovery platforms.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

How MDM Can Fend off Threats to Endpoint Security [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on September 16, 2016

Mobility is a necessary part of the modern workplace. Mobile devices improve business efficiency and productivity, but they also have the ability to expose and compromise company data. If your client’s endpoints aren’t being protected by a solution like Mobile Device Management (MDM), vulnerabilities have a higher likelihood of being successfully exploited. To determine if clients and prospects are ready to invest in your MDM solution, ask them this: are you fully protected against today’s endpoint security threats?

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Information Security, Mobile Device Management and IT Mobility, MSP Sales Chart

Addressing Data Security Threats from Shadow IT

Posted by Franklyn Peart on September 13, 2016

According to IDC, business file sync and share is one of, if not the most popular cloud service with small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). However, this solution often causes shadow IT–related problems and unsanctioned company data access, though it is viewed by businesses as a productivity enabler.

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Navigate 2016

3 Talking Points to Include in Your BDR Sales Presentation

Posted by Joseph Tavano on September 8, 2016

You’ve already qualified your prospect as a small- to medium-sized business that likely already knows downtime and data loss is something to worry about. They are concerned; it’s discussed in the news, it’s discussed among their peers. You’ve asked enough discovery questions to confirm their fears—downtime could absolutely crush their profits and likely put them out of business. So, now it’s time to explain that to them, offer your sales presentation, and show them the business continuity solution they absolutely need to purchase.

Here are three points you should include when making that business continuity sales presentation.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Why Disaster Recovery Testing is Essential for Your MSP Business

Posted by Joseph Tavano on September 7, 2016

Disaster Recovery (DR) Testing can prove the value of your BDR offering to your prospects and clients, but the number of MSPs offering this service is small. What are DR tests and what's involved in business continuity planning? Here's what you need to know to take advantage of this revenue opportunity.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Podcast

Why SMBs Need to Disaster-Proof Their Business [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on September 2, 2016

Are your clients’ businesses going to be able to operate normally after a disaster strikes? Catastrophes such as floods, employee error and hardware failure can wreak havoc on businesses of all sizes if their data isn’t secured properly – making the recovery process very demanding, time-consuming and expensive. This is especially true for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who haven’t taken preventative measures and preparations. Without a reliable backup solution or disaster recovery plan, how can your clients ensure that their data is protected from the elements?

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, MSP Sales Chart

The Internet of Things and Untapped MSP Opportunities

Posted by Joseph Tavano on August 24, 2016

How can MSPs gain traction in new areas of technology, such as the Internet of Things? Intel's Eric Townsend sits down with Nate Teplow and Joe Tavano to talk about this, the MSP channel, and much more.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Podcast, Internet of Things

Why SMBs Need Business Continuity & Data Management [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on August 19, 2016

Have you and your clients grown numb to statistics showing the amount of digital data being generated in today’s IT landscape? The small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) you serve rely on 24x7x365 access to a myriad of data for day-to-day operations, customer understanding and essential business metrics. Due to the abundance of business-critical information, protecting and managing big data has become their top priority. However, many SMBs have not fully connected the dots between developing and implementing business continuity as a data preservation strategy and growing business profitability as a result.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, MSP Sales Chart

Why MSPs Must Regularly Test Backups

Posted by Mary McCoy on August 18, 2016

Imagine you’re a trapeze artist for the Ringling Bros. Circus. Your brilliant blue tights shimmer as you mount the fifty-foot platform and prepare to dazzle the crowd with your aerial routine. You see the swinging bar arcing back towards you like a pendulum and crouch, mentally judging the point in time you need to leap to grab hold of it. Almost there…just a little closer…NOW!

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

How to Discuss (and Sell) Cloud Services to SMBs

Posted by Joseph Tavano on August 17, 2016

What are SMBs looking for when they say they're interested in cloud services? Chris Rimer of IBM sits down with Nate Teplow and Joe Tavano to discuss this and much more.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Podcast

Why BDR is the Answer to Costly Downtime [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on August 5, 2016

Do your clients know what an hour of downtime could cost their organization? Outages can impact businesses of all shapes and sizes and however major or minor, ultimately lead to downtime – which can be quite costly and potentially destroy a business’ margins and reputation. Without a proper backup solution in place to safeguard their valuable data, businesses risk closing up shop when a disaster strikes.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, MSP Sales Chart

Sophicity's Unique BDR Vertical: A Matter of Public Safety

Posted by Joseph Tavano on August 5, 2016

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Nathan Eisner, Chief Operations Officer of Sophicity, to discuss his backup and disaster recovery (BDR) business. As it turns out, Sophicity has a unique vertical that they specialize in: local government organizations, such as city halls, police and fire stations, and other emergency-response services. This means that when these clients experience downtime, there’s even more at stake than financial loss. For Sophicity’s clients, downtime could be a public health or public safety concern.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

IT & MSPs: Does It Make Sense to Build It All Yourself?

Posted by George Bardissi on August 4, 2016


When I first started my MSP back in the early 2000’s the “guys” that were really progressive were renting data-center space, installing servers, managing the back-end and providing hosted solutions to their customers – all before the marketing term “cloud” even picked up traction. Back then, not many businesses were willing to go down this road on their own because it was a massive investment of time and capital. Moreover, ongoing labor was needed to make that happen, and many were still concentrated on on-prem solutions.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing, Navigate 2016

Meeting Competitive BDR SLAs with a Trusted Team

Posted by Joseph Tavano on August 3, 2016

When your clients experience downtime, BDR service level agreements are all-important. What is needed to meet them?

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Podcast

Three Considerations When Evaluating BDR Platforms: The Weekly Byte [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on August 1, 2016

The Weekly Byte Episode 18

With so many backup and disaster recovery offerings in today's MSP market, it can be difficult to know what to look for when evaluating a new solution—or simply trying to make sure your current platform is up to par.

In this edition of The Weekly Byte, we explore three key considerations to keep in mind when researching BDR technology. Tune in now to learn more!

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, The Weekly Byte

Why IT Security Is a Top Concern for SMBs [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on July 29, 2016

Although security is one of the most talked about topics in the IT channel today, there’s a widespread lack of education and awareness in the workplace. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are welcoming more technology into their everyday environment, but the rapid development of this technology is also accompanied by changes in cybersecurity and Internet threats.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Information Security, SMB Trends, MSP Sales Chart

Are Your Employees Risking Sensitive Company Data? [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on July 22, 2016

In today’s job landscape, the ability to access work files and email on-the-go has become part of everyday operations. Smartphones and tablets continue to flood the workplace, and your clients’ employees are storing a lot of important data on them. So how can they ensure that the corporate data being accessed through these mobile devices stays secure?

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Information Security, Mobile Device Management and IT Mobility, MSP Sales Chart

Data Casualties in Healthcare Cyber Attacks [CHART]

Posted by Mary McCoy on July 15, 2016

Do you have any upcoming, in-person meetings with prospects in the healthcare vertical that you're hoping to close into clients? If so, you're probably working out your plan of attack. Distributing printed collateral is smart, but I recommend you also develop a formal, company-branded presentation that draws your audience in. In developing the content for your deck, keep it as customer-centric as possible. What's going to resonate with the audience you pitch to? What do they need to know in order to understand the value of your managed IT services?

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Information Security, Healthcare IT, MSP Sales Chart

The MSP's Guide to Backup and Disaster Recovery [eBook]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on July 8, 2016

Are you looking to further expand your opportunities in the backup and disaster recovery (BDR) market? The current and future small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market requirements for effective data backup, redundancy and recoverability are well understood. The Web has given rise to a new era of 24x7 computing, and the speed of business facilitated by the "born-in-the-cloud" workforce demands always-on access to business services, applications and information. Now, managed IT services providers have the ability to transform their businesses by evolving beyond traditional hardware-centric offsite backup solutions to offer software-defined, cloud-based business continuity and disaster recovery services.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

HIPAA Business Associate Violation Results in $650K Fine

Posted by Mary McCoy on July 7, 2016

The HIPAA Security Rule is in full effect! The first Business Associate HIPAA penalty made news Tuesday, following a data breach incident two years prior. Who's atoning for this cardinal data sin? The Catholic Health Care Services (CHCS) of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, a nonprofit organization now forced to pay a $650,000 fine. As a business associate legally obligated to adhere to federal regulation, CHCS is being held financially responsible for the breach of six nursing facilities, compromising 412 patients' Protected Health Information (PHI).

While many MSPs are compelled and encouraged to meet the demand for HIPAA compliance by serving the lucrative healthcare vertical, let this ruling serve as a wake-up call that there are costly consequences when MSPs themselves aren't compliant. What led to this unprecedented turn of events, and how can you prevent your MSP practice from suffering the same fate? Here's the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How, our data breach MSP debrief!

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Topics: Industry News, Information Security, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Healthcare IT, Data Loss

Ransomware Meets Healthcare: How We Protect Patient Data

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on July 6, 2016

This month a hacker with the handle "Dark Overlord" has been making news after successfully stealing thousands of healthcare records and holding them for ransom. According to Boing Boing, Dark Overlord was able to acquire 48,000 records from a healthcare organization in Farmington, Missouri; hundreds of thousands from Atlanta, Georgia and the Central/Midwest US as well as nine million patient insurance details. As if that weren't enough, on Tuesday the notorious hacker also stole the information of 34,000 New York healthcare patients. And just what kind of payout is up for grabs for greedy ransomware authors looking to exploit healthcare institutions? Dark Overlord is demanding 750 Bitcoin (or $513,682.50)! So what does this mean for MSPs?

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Topics: Data Protection, HIPAA, Healthcare IT, Continuity247

Human Error: The Biggest Risk to Client Data?

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 30, 2016

We all make mistakes. I mean, we’re only human after all. But did you know that according to CompTIA’s Trends in Information Security study, human error actually accounts for 52 percent of security and data breaches? Yikes, looks like being human can be a big cause for concern when it comes to any business’s data security.

Although human error is normal and inevitable in some cases, it can be more of a threat to businesses than most are aware of – including your clients! Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plays an important role in ensuring that these mistakes don’t turn into serious problems. Read on to discover how you can inform your clients of these threats and protect them against potential data disasters.

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Topics: Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Data Loss

MSPs, There's a Better Way to Sell BDR!

Posted by Ron Vaughn on June 29, 2016

Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) is an important business practice that ensures business continuity. Backups are saved copies of data that can be restored in the event of it being tampered with, lost or damaged. Disaster recovery deals with recovering that data after a disaster, like a system failure, fire or power outage. BDR also has virtualization capabilities. In simple terms, it acts as an extra server while the main server is down, allowing businesses to get back up and running with minimal downtime.

Disasters can obviously happen to any person and any business...so why don't people take more action? And, how should you sell your BDR solution to these people?

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Topics: Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Covering Your Webcam and Other Tips to Keep Out RATs

Posted by Yves Dorleans on June 28, 2016

Some people do it during meetings. I do it myself if I don’t want to be seen during a meeting. Even FBI Director James Comey claims that he does it sometimes!

The Internet has been buzzing about the need to cover your webcam and microphones ever since Mark Zuckerberg, whose Twitter and Pinterest accounts were recently breached likely due to poor and weak password complexity security, was spotted with a taped up webcam and microphone jack on his laptop a couple of days ago. This raises the question, are people just paranoid, or is this a best practice to stress to your clients? Is Big Brother watching you? Are there any risks of unauthorized users and intruders gaining access to your webcam and microphone to secretly eavesdrop on unsuspecting users?

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

Why a Simplified UI Should be at the Core of Your BDR Experience

Posted by Dan Zavala on June 24, 2016

User experience (UX) encompasses the interaction our partners have with our IT management platform. Here at Continuum, we can't be successful unless our partners are successful and because of that, one of our company-wide goals is to ensure that our partners have the best possible interaction when working with our platform. More importantly, we strive to make the product simple to use so it supports partners' work rather than hinder it. 

As a user experience designer, I'm responsible for optimizing how our partners interact with our platform and in particular our backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution, Continuity247®. Recently, we completed a significant redesign of Continuity247's Server Backup Manager user interface (UI) in an effort to improve the UX for partners. It was a long but rewarding process, and as with all our endeavors, our partners were central to producing the new and improved Server Backup Manager we're so excited to deliver to you today.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Website Optimization and Design

What Drives Clients to Adopt a Business Continuity Solution

Posted by Joseph Tavano on June 22, 2016

How do you get a prospect or a client to start thinking about BDR? What gets the regular SMB to realize it is an essential part of their overal business plan? How do you start that conversation?

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Podcast

From the Backup Archives: 5 Must-Read BDR Blog Posts

Posted by Mike Wojcik on June 20, 2016

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is like life-insurance for a small business. Outages can be costly, and it is up to MSPs to ensure that their clients are protected in case of a data disaster. With cyber threats becoming more and more prevalent, BDR is a front-of-mind issue for MSPs. Side note: that's why we have a whole session devoted to marketing and selling BDR at our annual user conference, Navigate, which kicks off in 100 days!

With the lucrative potential involved with adding business continuity as a revenue stream, what better time for us to head into the Backup Archive and dig out these must-read blog posts on BDR? These articles cover a wide range of topics, including fully-managed BDR solutions, business continuity planning, the advantages of cloud computing and more. So dive in and make sure your clients are doing the most they can to keep their information safe and secure! 

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Topics: Data Protection, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

How to Tell Clients Google Drive isn't BDR

Posted by Joseph Tavano on June 16, 2016

In just a few short years, services like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive have changed the way everyday people think about file storage. No longer are devices beholden to carry the burden of being a repository for the totality of one’s digital life. Nowadays, desktops, tablets and mobile phones are vectors, similar to old-style terminals, for accessing your cloud-based digital life.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

3 Common Backup and Disaster Recovery Objections - and How to Handle Them!

Posted by Gareth Goh on June 14, 2016

Buying backup and disaster recovery software is a little like buying health insurance; sure, it feels like an unnecessary purchase right now, and nobody’s ever happy about paying monthly premiums. But, just like insurance, everybody neglects backup and disaster recovery or considers it to be a superfluous luxury...until they really need it.

And, let’s face it: if your clients think “This will NEVER happen to me!” the odds are stacked against them. Consider these eye-popping statistics about disaster recovery and business continuity:

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Topics: Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Marketing and Selling Business Continuity: How to Prove Value

Posted by Brandon Garcin on June 9, 2016

Marketing and Selling Business Continuity: How MSPs Can Demonstrate ValueFor organizations across nearly all industries, data is one of today’s most valuable business assets. Businesses and consumers demand 24x7 access to information and applications, regulatory restrictions around data retention are becoming increasingly strict, and the potential risks and penalties associated with any data loss can be severe. The need for effective backup and business continuity planning—particularly in the SMB space—is clear; but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for MSPs to actually sell these services to small businesses.

BDR sales can be difficult, and the technology doesn’t sell itself; without an effective value proposition and marketing strategy, it can be difficult for solution providers to break ground in the market. When bringing a BDR offering to potential customers, there are a number of important things to keep in mind:

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

7 Steps to Avoid a CryptoWall or CryptoLocker Infection

Posted by Nick Bruno on June 9, 2016

The big words in malware these days are CryptoLocker and CryptoWall, the two stalwarts of an emerging group of malware known as “ransomware.” And that term is a very apt categorization of what this type of malicious software does: it literally holds your data and files hostage, demanding ransom payment in order to unlock and regain access to your personal information.

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Topics: Tech Quick Tips, Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

What MSPs Can Learn from the TeamViewer Breach

Posted by Mary McCoy on June 8, 2016

Last week's unsettling discovery of the TeamViewer data breach caused widespread anxiety and public outcry about the remote access tool's network security. While the remote access software company firmly denies any allegations that they were hacked, countless users (including many in the U.K.) flocked to Reddit and other social media sites to report that their accounts had been compromised, giving hackers remote access to their desktops. Although TeamViewer has faced backlash for blaming the breach on careless user behavior, no matter who's to blame in the scenario, this attack highlights the need to teach users stronger password management policies and the importance of a BDR solution. What else can MSPs take away from the TeamViewer breach, and what do users need to know?

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Topics: Industry News, Data Protection, Information Security, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Data Loss

Watch These People Try to Explain the Cloud [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on June 3, 2016

cloud.gif

The cloud can be a mysterious and confusing concept, even for those in tech and IT services. And while there’s no denying the advantages presented by cloud computing, it’s not always easy to actually explain what the cloud is to colleagues, peers or potential customers.

To find out once and for all what the cloud actually is, our own Brody Rhombus hit the streets of Boston and asked people how they define it, how it works and how they’re using it. Not surprisingly, the responses were pretty mixed – and some were pretty hilarious. Tune in now to find out what we learned!

P.S. In reality, these people are no different than your clients and end users. If you're trying to sell cloud-based IT services and solutions, you need to know how to effectively define your offerings and speak their language. If you’re looking for real advice on how to explain cloud computing to your prospects and customers, check out our eBook below.

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Topics: Data Protection, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, IT Community

The Intangible Costs of Data Breach and Data Loss

Posted by Joseph Tavano on June 2, 2016

The monetary cost of a data breach or data loss, and all the concomitant penalties that arise with it, are substantial and well documented. A single data breach can cripple or close a small business. However, for the smaller percentage that manages to survive, there are also numerous issues to deal with following a data loss event that could lead to significant monetary loss.

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Topics: Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Data Loss

What Does Ransomware Cost SMBs & What Can You Do?

Posted by Alie Perkus on June 2, 2016

About 60-70 percent of ransomware is deployed via email phishing schemes, with the remainder largely spread through malicious online downloads  Do you own a computer, iPad or smartphone? Do you have an email address? Then you are a target for ransomware, or a type of malware that locks and compromises files or entire systems unless users pay a ransom. MSPs understand this, but prospects and clients at small-and medium-sized businesses don't necessarily. Maybe they know it's a risk, but they don't think it's one they have to worry about. Have you ever heard people say they're safe because Macs don't get viruses?

In reality, cybercrime is running rampant today, and no one is safe. Ransomware, recently named the biggest cybersecurity threat by Kaspersky Lab's IT Threat Evolution in Q1 2016 report,  can infect individuals, companies, government offices and hospitals that don't enact appropriate security policy and protocol. And the costs are significant! In a recent webinar, George Anderson, Director of Product Marketing at Webroot, led a discussion on the various business consequences to educate clients about, as well as outlined how to prevent and fight ransomware. To learn more, keep reading!

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

Top 3 Questions MSPs Have About HIPAA Compliance

Posted by Nick Bruno on June 1, 2016

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance is a complex, but critical issue for many businesses. For many of these businesses who outsource their IT management needs, the onus for ensuring HIPAA compliance falls on these managed services providers (MSPs), like yourself. Your clients in the healthcare industry will likely pepper you with lots of questions and concerns around staying HIPAA compliant and avoiding the costly consequences of a HIPAA violation.

Here are the three most commonly asked questions about HIPAA compliance for MSPs. 

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, HIPAA, Healthcare IT

Do You Know How Much Your BDR Solution Actually Costs?

Posted by Alie Perkus on May 26, 2016


Which of the following backup and disaster recovery (BDR) tasks are the most time-consuming for your technicians?  A. Disaster recovery testing
B. Troubleshooting for backup failure
C. Ensuring backups and cloud sync are on schedule
D. Proactively resolving issues
E. Setup time

If you answered B, you'd be among the 59 percent of participants who voted the same way in a poll conducted in our recent webinar, Why Your BDR Solution is Costing More Than You Think. 

Still, all of these necessary yet time-consuming backup assignments are secret margin killers. If you're managing it all inhouse, ask yourself "What am I really spending on my BDR solution?"

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Why Businesses Need Backup and Disaster Recovery [SlideShare]

Posted by Mary McCoy on May 18, 2016

Are you ready to have the backup and disaster recovery (BDR) discussion with your clients and prospects? Maybe you've already tried to win them over, but haven't had any success. Why is that? More often than not, MSPs fail to sell their BDR and business continuity services because they fail to establish the need within their prospect base. As should be the case with any solution you sell, step one involves knowing who it is you're selling to and identifying what they need to know in order to be convinced.

Does the average small- and medium-sized business (SMB) you target know what BDR is or how it differs from a local backup only solution? Are the business owners you speak to aware of all the possible threats to their company's sensitive data? Do they know what's at stake if their organization experiences data loss or a breach? Probably not, yet this information all speaks to the value of your BDR solution. So to help you out, we've created this explanatory SlideShare, sharing useful messages and statistics to leverage in your next BDR sale.

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Topics: Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

4 Need-to-Know Ransomware Trends & Findings

Posted by Mary McCoy on May 12, 2016

Ransomware is everywhere right now. Whether it's in the news coverage of latest exploits or in that seemingly harmless attachment sitting in your inbox, malware is running rampant! But beyond the ransomware basics like "email phishing is a major threat vector" and "cybercriminals demand Bitcoin to unlock files," what else do you need to know? What malicious trends are on the rise and how do they impact the way you position your data security services to prospects and clients? We've scoured the Web (well, not the Dark Web) to deliver the latest cybersecurity and ransomware findings!

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Data Loss

Ignite BDR Sales by Adding IT Fire Drills to Your Backup Strategy

Posted by Brent Whitfield on May 10, 2016


A dirty secret in the data backup and disaster recovery business is that most MSPs do not test the data they back up, no matter what type of medium they use. And as a consequence, many companies find out that their backups don't work when they encounter a real IT disaster. Verifying that the data stored on production server volumes is actually being backed up, AND testing that the data is not corrupt, are key actions to take to prevent this issue. Then once you've done this, why not go the extra mile and run a full-blown fire drill? I'll explain...

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

The Birth of the Web and 3 Web Browser Threats to Bookmark

Posted by Mary McCoy on April 28, 2016

Oh what a tangled Web We Weave (WWW)!

This Saturday marks the twenty-third anniversary of the World Wide Web, the day the platform was released to the public, connecting one and all. Not to be confused with the Internet that powers it, the Web was invented by a British computer scientist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Sir Tim Berners-Lee, in 1989. Four years prior to its April 30, 1993 date of birth, the Web served as a collaborative tool for Lee and other academics and scientists. Fast forward two decades later, and the digital landscape has evolved into an increasingly interconnected arena for sharing ideas and culture.

With the explosion of data and number of connected devices storing and transmitting it, the Web isn't all fun and games. And, as history teaches us, if your clients aren't careful, they could find themselves helpless, unsuspecting house flies ensnared in the wicked tapestry of some hacker's malicious scheme. 

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

Managed IT & Cloud Services Marketing: Navigating the Buyer's Journey

Posted by Todd Hussey on April 22, 2016

Now that you have transformed your premise-based IT solutions to the cloud, and your product-focused business to a recurring revenue services model, there is one more transformation you must make. You must transform your marketing approach in order to attract and engage new prospective buyers of your cloud services.

To compete effectively in the age of digital marketing, it is vital that you fully leverage your website as a vehicle to find, nurture, qualify and convert new opportunities for your cloud solutions. Your website is a powerful asset that can function as a sales and marketing engine to drive new deals at a very low cost of acquisition - assuming you know a few basic principles of online marketing.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Cloud Computing

Cybersecurity Education & Tips for the "It Won't Happen to Me" SMB [eBook]

Posted by Mary McCoy on April 20, 2016

wile-e-coyote-danger-gif.gif

source: http://giphy.com/gifs/mTXSKTk3BsT6w

82 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses claim they're not targets for attacks as they don't have anything worth stealing.

If you struggle to successfully sell your managed security services offering, chances are your prospects and clients underestimate the need for consistent, vigilant monitoring and maintenance. They think what they're currently doing is enough. In fact, when discussing the business-crippling threat of a data compromise or data loss, you've likely heard the following objections:

  1. That will never happen to me.
  2. It's a risk I'm willing to take. 

The sad truth is that potential clients hold these beliefs because there's a widespread lack of cybersecurity education and awareness in the workplace today. In Cybersecurity Tips for Employees: The Complete Guide to Secure Behavior Online and in the Office, our newest eBook, we help MSPs bridge that gap by providing a comprehensive overview of threats and best practices with physical, email, account management, mobile and website browsing security. 

Are your contacts playing into hackers' hands without even knowing it?

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security

What is Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR)? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Lily Teplow on April 19, 2016

BDR — the three letter acronym that every managed IT services provider has seen before, but have you ever struggled to explain this service to clients or wondered if you have the right platform? An effective Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution is essential to virtually every business today, which is why we’ve created an informative infographic that takes a deeper look into what exactly BDR is, how small- and medium-sized business can benefit from it, and what to look for in an ideal BDR solution. Check it out below!

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Topics: Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Badlock/Bad Luck - What MSPs Can Do Before April 12th Patches

Posted by Mary McCoy on April 6, 2016

April 12th. Memorize that date like it's your mother's birthday. April 12th. 

In case you haven't heard, a security vulnerability called Badlock was recently discovered in Windows and Samba. While the nature of the bug has not yet been revealed, patches along with details of the flaw will be released next week, on April 12th. Ever since news of the vulnerability broke in March, hackers have been salivating at the mouth, ready to pounce. Indeed, some may have already discovered the bug. Since attackers will be eagerly awaiting the disclosure, once patches are released next week, Windows and Samba users must immediately patch their systems to prevent exploitation. This should serve as a warning to all MSPs to act now, and get your house in order. 

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Topics: Industry News, Data Protection, Information Security

Could IT Disasters Make April Fools Out of Your Clients? [QUIZ]

Posted by Mary McCoy on March 31, 2016

Could IT Disasters Make April Fools Out of Your Clients? [QUIZ]


Did you know today is World Backup Day? The day celebrates a global, independent initiative that stresses the importance of regularly backing up both personal and professional data. Since its debut in 2011, World Backup Day has become a movement in its own right with one unifying mission. People are simply asked to take the pledge and back up their important documents and precious memories on March 31st. Seems easy enough, right? Not for everyone. According to the official site, a shocking 30 percent of people have never backed up.

As an MSP charged with the health of clients' IT environments, preserving company data is a top concern. And not just today, but all year round. Often, you may have difficulty convincing certain clients that they need your fully-managed backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution. Some may think they're controlling for every disaster or are immune to data loss, but do they know that 29 percent of disasters are caused by accident? To help you make your BDR case more effectively, we've created a short quiz measuring IT disaster preparedness. Send to clients and prospects in the hopes that they'll see the value of your business continuity services and take your backup pledge!

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

3 Ways to Stay Secure When Using the Cloud

Posted by Matt Mainhart on March 30, 2016

Last month, I wrote a blog post about how to better understand the cloud, what it is and what it does. This time, I'm covering how your clients can stay secure once they move to the cloud. Having the ability to connect from anywhere certainly has its advantages, but only if potential security risks are managed and thwarted. Do your clients know how to keep themselves and their company data safe in the cloud? Share these useful tips to help ease their transition and demonstrate your authority as their strategic business advisor!

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Topics: Tech Quick Tips, Cloud Computing, Client Quick Tips

5 Tips to Beef Up Your Email Security

Posted by Joseph Tavano on March 25, 2016

You’ve implemented the strongest firewalls. Your passwords are 100 character strings that must contain Capitals, lowercases, and special characters in non-repeating patterns. You skipped over two-factor and went straight to five-factor authentication. Everything is retina scanned. Your encryption is encrypted.

And one email from a prince needing money wired to his account brought the whole thing crashing down.

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, Mobile Device Management and IT Mobility

Talking with Your Customers about Business Continuity

Posted by Ben Austin on March 22, 2016

In this industry, it’s fairly well understood how crucial business continuity and disaster recovery are to modern business. Service providers are the ones constantly dealing with hardware failures, troubleshooting network outages and making sure every technological wrinkle is ironed out as quickly as possible to avoid any momentum-killing downtime at a client site. But when you’re talking to those clients, it’s important to remember what all of this looks like from their side of the relationship.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

VIDEO: The Backup Bachelor

Posted by Tim Lewis on March 14, 2016

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Just in time for the season finale of The Bachelor on ABC, comes a brand new season of The Backup Bachelor. This season, our MSP is Claude of Claude Computing, Inc. Claude is left with an empty heart, and an empty hard drive. Claude offers the most coveted backup and disaster recovery (BDR) platform on the market, and only one business owner can have it. Watch as 25 business owners battle it out to win the top prize: the sole contract to Claude's powerful BDR solution. Who will win? It's all coming up this season on The Backup Bachelor. Watch now!

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Video

Why Fully-Managed Support is the Holy Grail for BDR Platforms

Posted by Ben Austin on March 8, 2016

For MSPs, backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is a thriving business opportunity. According to Gartner, the backup and disaster recovery market is expected to grow from $5.2 billion in 2014 to $7 billion in 2019. Getting more specific, the fastest growing segment is forecasted to be Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), which is expected to reach $5.8 billion by 2018.

Whether you’re currently offering your customers BDR or just now starting the hunt for a platform that will enable it, you need to make sure that the value provided by the solution is going to allow you to make it a profitable branch of your organization. This means picking between a variety of potential vendors, all of which will have a slightly differentiated feature set. So which feature or functionality is going to bring you the most value and allow you to maintain those profitable margins?

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Topics: Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

10 Must-Haves in a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

Posted by Yves Dorleans on March 7, 2016

10 Must-Haves in a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)


With last month's announcement that the White House plans to hire its first chief information security officer (CISO), cybersecurity continues to be a major concern and national agenda priority. According to Security Magazine, the pending appointment is "part of a larger cybersecurity defense plan that will also include a $3.1 billion fund to replace outdated IT infrastructure; a commission to study cybersecurity problems, and a program to recruit cybersecurity experts into government roles." 

And while the stakes may be a bit higher at the White House, the Oval Office isn't the only place where highly-skilled cybersecurity talent is needed. Small- and medium-sized business offices all over struggle to recruit, hire and retain security experts, and the need is great. The Symantec 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 20 found that "60 percent of all targeted attacks struck small-and medium-sized organizations" last year. As MSPs, you have a duty to the companies you protect to fulfill the duties of a chief information officer (CIO) and CISO. What all does this entail? 

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security

Why Do SMBs Outsource IT Security to MSPs?

Posted by Courtney Margossian on March 2, 2016

Why Do SMBs Outsource IT Security to MSPs?


Information security is one of the most talked about topics in the IT channel. Last week, we joined George Anderson, Product Marketing Director at Webroot, on a webinar in which we discussed why small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) outsource IT security to MSPs. George has been with Webroot for close to six years now. With an extensive background in product marketing and business development, his insight can help MSPs drive results for their managed IT services businesses. 

During the webinar George reviewed key points from Webroot's 2015 SMB Threat Report, a summary of findings gathered by surveying IT decision makers in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. The report mainly focuses on the state of organizations' preparedness to stop hackers from launching successful cyber attacks, an area of concern for any business globally. What were the results of the survey, and how can MSPs take advantage of cyber trends when prospecting and cross-selling on managed security services? We share shocking statistics and the opportunity for MSPs! 

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of February 2016

Posted by Lily Teplow on March 1, 2016

Spring is in the air, folks! Although most of us won’t miss the icy weather and all that snow, let’s take a look back on the month of February to recap our most read MSP blog posts. We covered a lot of topics this past month, including how to protect clients against Locky ransomware, a breakdown of the three main pricing packages and the difference between a fully-managed help desk and a network operations center (NOC). We even put a managed IT services twist on some of our favorite romantic comedies!

So without further ado, here are the top 5 MSP blog posts our readers couldn’t get enough of this February!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Data Protection, Network Operations Center, Help Desk

The Distinction Between Data Backup and Business Continuity

Posted by Brandon Garcin on February 29, 2016

Believe it or not, the first data backups were made on paper. Dating back as early as the 18th century, the “technology” was used in the form of paper tapes constructed from punch cards to control the functions of automated machinery such as textile looms. The concept of these cards was then further developed by IBM in the early days of data processing, where data input, storage and commands were captured using a series of hole punches.

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Topics: Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery

How Can an MSP Increase Your SMB Efficiency/Profitability?

Posted by Mary McCoy on February 25, 2016

Good IT help is hard to come by, isn't it? Sadly, the scope of IT support is no longer printer/copier configurations and Internet dial-up. With an ever-expanding digital waterfront, increased emphasis on data security and greater reliance on interconnectivity comes the need for highly skilled, reliable IT experts that can manage everything for you. Have you considered outsourcing your IT services to offload the required labor and expertise? Keep reading to learn how working with a managed services provider (MSP) helps yield greater work efficiency, scalability and profitability to help grow your business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Data Protection

Helping Clients Understand Cloud Computing and Cloud Technology

Posted by Matt Mainhart on February 17, 2016

What is the cloud? Does my data really sit on fluffy white clouds and float above the world? What happens when an airplane drives through my spreadsheet, or a bird gets stuck in my document?

The scope of cloud technology and cloud computing is growing, as is its adoption. Your prospects and clients could be using it right now and not even know it. When working with the right IT services provider, cloud technology helps small-to-medium-sized businesses scale up the IT needs of their companies much faster than setting up new hardware.

But what does this term “cloud” mean to your clients?

We wrote a whole eBook about how to explain the cloud to your clients, but here are four quick tips to help them better understand the role the cloud plays in their workday. Download our white label version at the end to use in your next email send!

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Cloud Computing, Client Quick Tips

What's the Future of the MSP in a Cloud World?

Posted by Geoff McQueen, CEO of Accelo on February 16, 2016

After years of hyperbole and derision, most technology professionals would now agree that the cloud has moved well beyond the hype curve and is now firmly in the heart of the industry - and will, along with mobile, be the dominant force shaping our sector for the foreseeable future.

Just as the likes of Dell eroded the profit margins of VARs in the late 90's and helped create the MSP revolution, the direct-service SaaS model of products like Office365 promises to disrupt the MSP business model in the years to come.

After working with hundreds of MSPs around the world from my base in the heart of tech disruption here in San Francisco, I've identified a number of patterns that smart MSPs are getting out in front of - while none of us have a crystal ball, I hope these are useful for you and your business!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing

VIDEO: What Cyber Attackers Look for in End Clients

Posted by Tim Lewis on February 11, 2016

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In this week's installment of MSPtv, we're joined again by Continuum's Chief Information Officer, Hunter Smith, as we talk about cyber attacks. Hunter discusses a recent report by the Penomen Institute, and provides insight to what the statistics released in the report could mean for MSPs. According to the Penomen Institute, hackers prefer easy targets to harder ones, and will call off an attack if it is taking too long to get through. Hunter goes over the different types of IT infrastructures and points out exactly which types hackers prefer to target. Finally, Hunter discusses the products that Continuum offers to its partners and highlights the ways that they can be used to prevent cyber attacks on end users.

Check out this latest episode and stay tuned for future MSPtv coverage on cyber attacks in the future.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Video

How Business Continuity Can Save SMBs from Severe Weather Disasters

Posted by Ben Barker on January 1, 2016

We've all seen reports of businesses losing everything due to an unexpected disaster. Whether a pipe bursts and floods an entire office or a tornado strikes and leaves a building in shambles, these stories are devastating to hear about. Still, most people seeing these stories on television, or reading about them in the newspaper or online are left with the feeling of, "that could never happen to me." Well the truth is, it can. 

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Top 2016 Cloud Computing Predictions Straight from IT Experts

Posted by Mary McCoy on December 21, 2015

Before you hunker down to watch the ball drop with noisemakers (man, those things are annoying) and a bottle of bubbly this New Years Eve, consider that 90% of organizations surveyed in the 2015 State of the Cloud Survey by RightScale are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service. Clearly, cloud computing adoption is on the rise, but what's in store for 2016 and what can MSPs do about it?

Louis Armstrong reminds us of the cloud every year when he croons "I see trees of green, and clouds of white," but we wanted to dive deeper into the cloud discussion. We asked a slew of IT experts what they expected and compiled their answers here!

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

VIDEO: An IT Christmas Story

Posted by Tim Lewis on December 18, 2015

It's that time of year again, you'll be watching 24 hours of this movie on TBS all day on Christmas day. You're probably sick of it, right? Well, I bet the IMDB fanboys didn't tell you about the exclusive director's cut of the movie, "An IT Christmas Story". This rendition centers around Ralphie, a small boy who dreams of owning a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) product of his own. However, he wishes for the worst kind of BDR product: one that is a self-managed backup platform with no DR support, private cloud storage and a long-term contract! You'll lose your data, kid! Check out the trailer now!

 

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Topics: Continuity247, Video

Explaining the Advantages of Cloud Computing

Posted by Mary McCoy on December 17, 2015

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So you're trying to get existing or prospective clients to move to the cloud, but they're skeptical and resist. Perhaps they think cloud computing and cloud storage are just some fad that will disappear as fast as it rolled in. Sure, the cloud has become a bit of a buzzword, but that's because those who use it rarely understand what it actually is or does. It's as mystical to them as a unicorn galloping in a forest while pigs fly overhead.

In order to convince more businesses to move to the cloud, you have to convince them of its business value.

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Topics: Information Security, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

How Continuity247® is Changing the BDR Landscape: MSPtv Episode 47

Posted by Tim Lewis on December 10, 2015

12-10-2015-Smith.pngIn this week's installment of MSPtv, we're joined again by Continuum's Chief Information Officer, Hunter Smith, as we dive deeper into Continuum's backup and disaster recovery (BDR) platform, Continuity247®. Hunter goes over the many benefits of Continuity247, including both the technological and business benefits, showing how Continuity247 differs from any other BDR platform in the market today.

The Continuity247 platform is integrated with a world-renowned, reliable public cloud (IBM's Cloud, Softlayer infrastructure) and is fully managed 24 hours/7 days a week by our powerful Network Operations Center (NOC), making Continuity247 the backup and disaster recovery (BDR) platform for MSPs. To learn more about how Continuity247 can change your business for the better, check out this latest episode and stay tuned for future MSPtv coverage on Continuity247.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Video

Which Cloud is Best for You?: MSPtv Episode 46

Posted by Tim Lewis on November 12, 2015

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 Public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud? What does each provide and which solution is right for you? In this week's installment of MSPtv, we're joined again by Continuum's Chief Information Officer, Hunter Smith, as he gives us the the lowdown on each of the cloud offerings, including the benefits as well as the drawbacks. We will also take a look into the infrastructure of our new backup and disaster recovery platform, Continuity247®.

Committed to upholding the strictest security standards in everything we do, we chose to align our backup strategy with IBM Softlayer for the development of our hardware-agnostic, fully managed backup and disaster recovery (BDR) platform, Continuity247. In so doing, our clients receive the regulation and security of a public cloud with the added layer of protection of a private cloud within. One of the main security features MSPs should look for in their backup solution is business-grade encryption. That means that your clients' data is encrypted right when you start backing up. Continuity247 takes this one step further by restricting access to this data with an encryption key maintained only by the MSP. 

To learn more about how to harden your cloud infrastructure and safeguard sensitive data, check out this latest episode and stay tuned for future MSPtv coverage on cybersecurity and Continuity247.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Video

VIDEO: The Great Cloud Debate 2015

Posted by Tim Lewis on November 10, 2015

The presidential primary debate season is well underway with another Republican debate taking place tonight – and while we’re not expecting the candidates to spend too much time focusing on IT, there’s no shortage of tech issues to debate today.

In the spirit of the political season, we’ve put together our own debate around one of today’s leading IT topics – the cloud. Watch below as public, private and hybrid clouds each make their case for why they should be the go-to platform of choice and debate the merits of their respective architectures!

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Topics: Information Security, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Video

Why You Won't Sacrifice Security for Scalability in a Public Cloud

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 3, 2015

Why You Won't Sacrifice Security for Scalability in a Public Cloud

According to Q3 data from Synergy Research Group, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, IBM and Google "together account for more than half of worldwide cloud infrastructure service revenues." AWS leads the pack of well-established public cloud providers with over 30% of market share. Clearly, the public cloud approach is becoming increasingly popular with MSPs today. Why are more of your peers pivoting to this newer model? These clouds help IT solutions providers scale and grow their businesses. That's the easy sell, but what about security in a public cloud? Is there a trade off? 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

How to Evaluate Cloud Hosting Platforms for Your Backups

Posted by Mary McCoy on October 28, 2015

Data is not automatically secure and accessible once it's backed up. I don't need to tell you that. When offering your end users a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution, you have to consider which data storage option is optimal. If you're like many MSPs, you know that the future of efficient data storage lies in the cloud, but which kind - public or private? What constitutes a protected environment, and how can IT solutions providers marry data security with scalable data management? To help you deliver a competitive business continuity offering, we've compiled key requirements you should look for when scoring existing cloud platforms. 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

3 Core Cloud Security Considerations for MSPs Who Offer BDR

Posted by Mary McCoy on October 22, 2015


For every action of threat, there should be an equal and opposite reaction of protective countermeasures.

OK, so that's not exactly how Isaac Newton envisioned the application of his third law of motion, but for MSPs, this must ring true. You can't afford to move to the cloud without first understanding that security is of utmost importance when dealing with any client data. Just as the scope of IT will continue to become increasingly complex and intertwined, so too will the threat landscape. Attackers will find new access points to compromise and new ways of gaining access to these entry points, all the while endangering your clients' sensitive data stored in the cloud. That's why your cloud defense strategy must be a proactive, multilayered approach. Bad guys don't think in one dimension, and neither should you.

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Topics: Information Security, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Breaking Down Public and Private Clouds

Posted by Ben Barker on October 20, 2015

Public or private? That is the question. When talking about cloud backup, you need to fully understand the differences between public and private clouds and which makes the most sense for your business. As is the case with many business decisions, there are pros and cons for both options. However, the private cloud is starting to look like an outdated, expensive alternative to the public cloud.

Let's find out why.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Scaling Your Business through Better Security

Posted by Dima Kumets on October 19, 2015

Another Navigate conference in the books...and what a fantastic event it was! In case you missed the three-day event that took place in Las Vegas almost three weeks ago, check out this short recap! As always, we were incredibly excited to see so many of our OpenDNS partners — and meet new ones. While there were many great presentations and talks, I did notice one particular theme I think is most relevant to Continuum MSPs: the focus on growing and scaling your business.

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Topics: Information Security, Cloud Computing, Navigate 2015

How to Lock Down Security with Your Cloud Provider & Backup Solution: MSPtv Episode 45

Posted by Tim Lewis on October 15, 2015


MSPs are inundated with countless cyber issues daily. In this week's installment of MSPtv, we're joined by Continuum's Chief Information Officer, Hunter Smith, as he highlights key security considerations for IT service providers who store client data in the cloud. First, there are many factors MSPs must to take into account when deciding on a public or private cloud solution for their clients' data. By leveraging a backup platform with a public cloud, you'll receive robust and resilient data storage, as well as a dedicated support team staffed to ensure the protection of your clients' data.

Committed to upholding the strictest security standards in everything we do, we chose to align our backup strategy with IBM Softlayer for the development of our hardware-agnostic, fully managed backup and disaster recovery (BDR) platform, Continuity247®. In so doing, our clients receive the regulation and security of a public cloud with the added layer of protection of a private cloud within. One of the main security features MSPs should look for in their backup solution is business-grade encryption. That means that your clients' data is encrypted right when you start backing up. Continuity247 takes this one step further by restricting access to this data with an encryption key maintained only by the MSP. 

To learn more about how to harden your cloud infrastructure and safeguard sensitive data, check out this latest episode and stay tuned for future MSPtv coverage on cybersecurity and Continuity247.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Video

Your Solution Roadmap to the Cloud - Advice from Peers

Posted by Lisa Person on October 13, 2015

Changing your business model certainly isn’t easy. Those solution providers who moved to the cloud or added a cloud practice can validate the work and complexity required to do it successfully. Whether they were responding to their clients’ current (and/or future) needs or retooling to improve their own business prospects, the path can be a bumpy one.

Today’s VARs and MSPs have to be increasingly intuitive to survive in a highly competitive business environment where customers have so many choices and so many continually shifting priorities. That’s why cloud practices are so useful today, offering the flexibility providers and their clients need to thrive. Of course, those offerings need to be continually evaluated and adapted to ensure they’re successful.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Navigate 2015

Why Cloud Security Isn't Just an MSP Fad

Posted by Webroot Ghost Blogger on July 14, 2015

Why Cloud Security Isn't Just an MSP Fad Webroot

MSPs accustomed to managing on-premise security solutions take note: your business is moving to the cloud.

Security in the cloud is growing steadily. Gartner Inc. predicts that the cloud-based security services market will grow to $3.1 billion in 2015, up from $2.1 billion last year. The company notes that growth in cloud security will “remain strong.” Market researcher Infonetics affirms that trajectory. The company states that cloud-based security service revenue will expand at a 10.8 percent compound annual growth rate through 2017, when the company projects the market will reach $9.2 billion.

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Topics: Industry News, Cloud Computing, Navigate 2015

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of June 2015

Posted by Alicia Lazzaro on July 1, 2015

With June wrapping up, we have a lot to look forward to in the coming summer months: weekends away at the beach, barbeque's that last all day and roasting marshmallows by a campfire. Even though there is a lot of fun to be had in the summer, there is still work to be done and lots of blog posts to be read. Check out some of these highlights from June, including why break-fix services are bad for your business, ways to stay secure online and the most common types of user error and how to prevent them.

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Topics: Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Data Loss, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Which Cloud Based IT Service Is Right for You?: Coach's Corner Episode 9

Posted by Ray Vrabel on June 23, 2015

Bring it in, team. In this latest episode of Continuum Coach's Corner, we're going over the many cloud based IT services you can provide to your clients. Huddle up with me, Coach Raymond Vrabel, Director of Technical Account Management at Continuum, as I give you the lowdown on the various types of cloud service offerings. You're the technology expert, but it's vital that you can explain cloud computing to business professionals and decision makers who aren't necessarily savvy on the topic. As a technology expert, you'll need to advise them on which form of cloud computing is best suited for their needs. Tune in!

 
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Topics: Cloud Computing

Using the Cloud for Scalability: So You Think You’re Secure…

Posted by Adrienne Merrick-Tagore on June 15, 2015

Most MSPs think they are providing their customers with a solid security posture by providing regular patch management, by using antivirus on endpoints, and by using firewalls to secure their customers’ networks. These are all necessary solutions, yes, but they require another layer of protection. Ideally, you’re ahead of the game and using RMM to operationalize your workflow and manage your customers’ IT. But the thing is, you need to proactively manage your security too. Firewalls and antivirus alone don’t cut it anymore.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Navigate 2015, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

MSP Myth Busters: Debunking "The Cloud"

Posted by Ben Austin on May 26, 2015

Of all the tools in an IT arsenal, none in the past decade has been quite as hyped up or misunderstood by end-clients and non-technical folks as “The Cloud.”

For some, it’s a magical silver bullet solution that is never to be understood but always to be trusted. For others, it’s an unnatural behemoth that has more harmful gaps than the Ozone layer. And still, for some unfortunate souls, it’s an impossibly complicated technology that is somehow negatively impacted during stormy weather. No, seriously.

While you’ll likely never be able to clear up all of the myths that each end-client comes across, here’s a look at some of the most common misunderstandings floating around the world of cloud computing.

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Topics: Information Security, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Enable Your MSP Business with a Cloud Data Integration

Posted by Lisa Falcone on May 18, 2015

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“Data are just summaries of thousands of stories – tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.” -Chip & Dan Heath, Authors of Made to Stick

According to Webopedia, “Big data has the potential to help businesses improve operations and make faster, more intelligent decisions.” As MSPs, the success of your clients is dependent on the reliability of your own business data. As you provide services to an array of clients, management and maintenance of all that client data can become a challenge. Keeping records up-to-date, accurate, and reflected across your business is key. That’s why many MSPs are taking interest in a data integration of their cloud softwares to streamline and simplify many of their core functions – and alleviate the need for continuous manual data entry.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Cloud Computing

How to Increase Profitability & Maintain Your Competitive Edge with Cloud Strategies: MSPtv Episode 42

Posted by Tim Lewis on May 11, 2015

 

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What is your cloud strategy? In this week’s MSPtv episode, we’re joined by Chief Advisor of Clarity Channel Advisors and Navigate 2015 speaker, Jim Lippie. Clarity Channel Advisors helps IT service providers remain relevant when increasingly, large cloud providers are dominating the market and taking revenue opportunities away from MSPs. Learn more about this phenomenon Lippie refers to as the "channel eclipse" and how you should respond. Hint: It's not enough to merely acknowledge the burgeoning cloud market by offering cloud solutions like online backup and Office 365. Reselling alone won't give you a competitive advantage and help you optimize profitability. How then do you proceed? Tune in to learn how to take advantage of the cloud opportunity by formulating effective strategies that ensure your business longevity and success!

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Cloud Computing, Video

4 Ways Microsoft Is Investing in Data Security & Compliance for Office 365

Posted by Mary McCoy on April 27, 2015

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The month of April has seen its fair share of Microsoft announcements. Between Lync Online's transition into Skype for Business and the tech community's first look at Exchange Server 2016, you may have missed or already forgotten about the key product enhancements coming to an Office 365 near you. MSPs can rejoice in the new data security measures the cloud service email provider has on their road map for the remainder of the year.

Because Microsoft understands the need for privacy in a public cloud infrastructure, especially among IT service providers who are held to strict compliance standards, Office 365 will soon be unveiling features geared at increasing administrators' control over their clients' email environments and the safety of their associated data transactions. 

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Topics: Industry News, Information Security, Cloud Computing

Why Should OE Dealers Consider Managed IT Services? MSPtv Episode 38

Posted by Tim Lewis on March 10, 2015

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If you're still on the fence about adding managed IT services to your hardware-centric business, fear no more! The benefits greatly outweigh the disadvantages. However, it's not something you can just jump right into as an Office Equipment (OE) dealer or Telecom provider. The focus of a sales conversation can drastically change depending on who you're talking to. For example, an office manager may have different motives than a system administrator. Matt Hubbell, Senior Account Manager at Continuum, sits down with us to explain how to approach these different types of prospects, why you should consider adding managed IT services to your arsenal, and how to best retain your clients. Tune in! 


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Topics: Cloud Computing, Office Equipment, Video

What is Web-Scale IT and Why Does it Matter to us Mortals?

Posted by Ben Austin on February 19, 2015

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As if we needed a new buzzword to scratch our heads at, the emergence of the term “Web-scale IT” has many doing just that. Gartner defines web-scale IT as “a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers in an enterprise IT setting.” Oh, now I get it… NOT! 

Basically, Web-scale IT is a term created to describe what titans like Google and Amazon are doing in order to achieve their head-spinning levels of scalability and agility. It’s through a series of new processes, architectures, and practices that these high levels of effectiveness in cloud services are possible. Cloud computing, agile development, DevOps and continuous delivery deployment are a few of the components that come together to form the foundation of the Web-scale IT mindset.

That’s all well and good for the giants of the software industry, but what does it mean for you? To be blunt, what this really amounts to is a new way to handle the same old problems, which simply means higher expectations for us mere mortals.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing

The 3 Choices All MSPs Must Face with the Rise of the Cloud

Posted by Chip Reaves on February 3, 2015

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We know we have to change. That’s part of the deal when you pursue a career or business in IT, you know it will always be changing.

In 2015 though, we face not just change, but choices. In particular, the rise of “The Cloud” is pushing IT Solution Providers to make choices that will define their business for years to come – choices that may determine whether their business will succeed or fail. 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing

DaaS + Data = Added Value for Your Clients

Posted by James Lippie on January 19, 2015

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I am a big believer that in order to survive and thrive, MSPs must find new ways to add more value to their clients as their current service offerings become commoditized. Service providers have been overlooking a key asset they have had access to since the inception of managed services; their client’s data. By helping your clients collect and analyze the important metrics that affect their business, you add significant value to the relationship and to your client’s operation.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Cloud Computing

Having Trouble Keeping Up with IT Labor Demands? Cut Costs with the Cloud!

Posted by James Lippie on January 15, 2015

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Many service providers view the cloud as the enemy because it has commoditized many of their revenue drivers. I’m not going to sugar-coat it; it does. But, what cloud-resistant service providers fail to understand is that they can leverage the right cloud offerings to decrease their costs and deliver satisfactory profit margins.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Industry News, Cloud Computing

Attention MSPs, Opportunity Is Knocking. Are You Equipped to Answer?

Posted by James Lippie on January 6, 2015

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Server 2003 will reach end of life in July 2015. Microsoft estimates that there are as many as 30 million instances of Server 2003 still active. In anticipation of this date, many MSPs have been capitalizing on upgrade projects for the last few years, but another important opportunity awaits. The technology landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years and has intensified over the last 12 months. As cloud options have become more cost-effective and reliable, small businesses are now contemplating if this is the right time to move their IT needs to the cloud. Opportunity is knocking!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing

Are You Prepared for the "Channel Eclipse?" Market Consolidation and the MSP Impact

Posted by James Lippie on December 10, 2014

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Every industry evolves. Companies that prepare prosper, those that don’t perish. Take the office products industry (OPI), which used to be highly fragmented with thousands of independent stationers throughout the country selling supplies to businesses. Then, in 1986, Staples created the office supply superstore. I joined Staples in 2006, twenty years after its inception, they were the biggest, most profitable of the major players including Office Depot, OfficeMax and Corporate Express. In those twenty years, four companies had essentially consolidated an industry. Today, the evolution of the office products industry continues, with Amazon becoming a major threat and talk that Staples should acquire the combination of both Office Depot and OfficeMax.  

By now you’re asking yourself, what does any of this mean to me as a technology service provider? On the surface, not a lot, but look deeper. This is a cautionary tale.

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Topics: Industry News, Cloud Computing

Transforming Your Business for the Cloud: MSPradio Episode 25

Posted by Nate Teplow on October 13, 2014

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There's a lot of talk about the cloud these days. It's obviously a big topic and is changing the IT channel drastically. There's many different theories on what the cloud will become and what the best way is to prepare for it, but ultimately, MSPs must be ready for change and be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities presented.

On this episode of MSPradio, we chat with Tim Brewer, a former MSP owner who now works with MSPs, vendors and technology companies to help them change their business model and leadership strategies. Tim tells us a little about what's going on in the cloud market and how MSPs can be ready for change.

 

Tune in this week and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

Android users: Get the Stitcher App and subscribe to our channel

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Podcast

Why Buying Direct From Cloud Providers Doesn’t Make Sense for SMB’s

Posted by Doug O'Flaherty on August 14, 2014

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Your customers are talking about The Cloud. The power of marketing has turned ‘the cloud’ into a bulldozer of a phenomenon that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. The Cloud promises easy deployment and infinite utility.

As a result, businesses are scrambling to take advantage of this sudden need to be ‘in the cloud’. The big names are well known, and SMB’s are starting to make cloud decisions on their own.

In most cases, SMBs going direct to a large Cloud provider does more harm than good. They increase their business risk, over-pay, and under-deliver. Here’s Why.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Data Protection, Cloud Computing

Managed IT Services Weekly Recap: Week of July 14th

Posted by Mary McCoy on July 19, 2014

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It's that time again. Here is your weekly serving of the hottest stories in the MSP biz! This time, we're sharing IT security vulnerabilities and cloud clickables. Have a comment about one of these headlines? Drop a line in the comments section below! Without further ado, may we present your MSP weekly digest...

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Information Security, Cloud Computing

Managed IT Services Weekly Recap: July 7th

Posted by Mary McCoy on July 12, 2014

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It's that time again. Here is your weekly serving of the hottest stories in the MSP biz! This time, we're sharing market trends and managed IT services best practices among other notable topics. Have a comment about one of these headlines? Drop a line in the comments section below! Without further ado, may we present your MSP weekly digest...

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Information Security, Cloud Computing

An In-Depth Look at the Cloud

Posted by Tim Lewis on July 11, 2014

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If your haven't made the decision to offer Cloud services to your clients yet, now is the perfect time. The Cloud gives you and your clients a chance to streamline your operations, leaving room for you to expand your MSP business. Still having second thoughts? Take a look at this week's episode of MSPtv, where we speak with the CEO and President of Commercial IT Solutions, Niklas Rosen. Watch as Nicklas gives us an in-depth look at this growing business, explaining everything from the very definition of "Cloud" to the future of the Cloud services.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Video

MSPtv Episode 25: Increasing Your MSP's Visibility Online

Posted by Tim Lewis on July 3, 2014

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What is the most used search engine? If you guessed Google, you'd be correct. The second most used? Surprisingly, YouTube! If your MSP isn't taking advantage of this lucrative SEO potential, now's the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon. In this week's episode of MSPtv, we join Aaron Booker of Varvid to discuss how having a video presence in addition to a website presence can significantly increase your business's online visibility and exposure to potential new leads.
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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Cloud Computing, Video

7 Reasons to Move Your IT Services to the Cloud [Slideshare]

Posted by Mary McCoy on June 29, 2014

Cloud IT Services

Cloud computing is undeniably one of the most talked about topics in business technology circles today. Nearly all small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) have heard that the cloud is transforming the way their peers do business, and most have been inundated with talk of how the cloud enables smaller organizations to cut IT costs and improve operational efficiency. Still unsure if a cloud computing initiative is a smart move for your business? 

Here are the 7 Reasons to Move to the Cloud…

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Topics: Cloud Computing

Managed IT Services Weekly Recap: June 30th

Posted by Mary McCoy on June 28, 2014

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Happy 4th of July weekend all! While you dig into barbecue leftovers, enjoy this serving of MSP stories and blog posts! Think we missed a notable headline? Drop a line in the comments section below! Without further ado, may we present your MSP weekly digest...

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Topics: Industry News, Tech Quick Tips, Information Security, Cloud Computing

MSPtv Episode 23: Professional Tips from SMBNation's Harry Brelsford

Posted by Tim Lewis on June 20, 2014

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With a new era of technology upon us, it's an exciting time to be an MSP! Gone are the days of on-premise equipment and Windows XP operating systems. The Cloud will soon help store and manage your data, leaving you to focus on your priority: the customer. Making this transition to mobility and security will only help your business. In this week's episode of MSPtv, SMBNation's Harry Brelsford provides insight on the future of MSPs and what everyone can do to continue improving their business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing, Video

Can't-Miss Highlights from Autotask's Community Live! Event

Posted by Mary McCoy on June 17, 2014

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Last week, we sponsored and attended Autotask's annual Community Live! conference in Miami, Florida. Were you unable to keep up with our Twitter coverage of the event? No worries! We've compiled a "Tweetstory" for you.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Industry News, Cloud Computing

Congrats to Dee Zepf, Named to 2014 CRN Women of the Channel List

Posted by Mary McCoy on June 9, 2014

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As leader of the Product team at Continuum Managed IT Services, Dee touches almost all of our partners. Last week, she was named to the 2014 CRN Women of the Channel list. The annual list highlights the accomplishments of female executives within vendor, distribution and solution provider organizations, and the impact they are having on the advancement of the IT channel industry as a whole. Dee was also recognized by CRN for the same award in 2013, as well as a 2014 Channel Chief.

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Topics: Industry News, Cloud Computing

The Top 5 Blog Posts of April

Posted by Nate Teplow on May 1, 2014

It's Nate here, your friendly Continuum blog manager. We've had some great blogs this month, and I wanted to recap them for you in one post. From vocab tests, to statistics and important business strategies, we covered a lot this past month, and had contributors both inside and out of Continuum.

Here are our top 5 blog posts from the month of April!

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Industry News, Cloud Computing

29 Statistics Every MSP Needs to Know

Posted by Nate Teplow on April 29, 2014

29-stats-every-msp-needs-to-knowThey say that numbers speak louder than words, so here are a few numbers we think shout volumes. We think it’s pretty clear that the need for managed IT services isn’t going anywhere. Check out these stats and let us know what your predictions are for the MSP industry. 

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Topics: Industry News, Tech Quick Tips, Cloud Computing, Remote Monitoring and Management, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Your 58-Word Cloud Vocabulary Test

Posted by Tom Henderson on April 8, 2014

You think you know the cloud? Test your knowledge against these technical definitions. Close answers count, because this isn't Oxford or Webster’s, just a mixture of marketing-speak and geek speak. You’re on your honor. No peeking, and be nice.

(We confess that this might be useful as a crib sheet before you interview for a sysadmin job or head to your next client presentation.)

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Topics: Industry News, Tech Quick Tips, Cloud Computing

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