Seattle Mayor Boots Microsoft for Macintosh – Sign my RECALL PETITION!

Minutes before my Monday night yoga class started on Bainbridge Island (across from Seattle itself), my iPhone rang. It was a colleague shockingly informing me that Seattle Mayor-elect was part of a radio story playing on the air. The topic? Mayor McGinn’s is pulling the PCs out of City Hall and converting over to Macintosh. The significance? This isn’t some liberal town anywhere. This is uber-liberal Seattle and home to, you guessed it, Microsoft. The mayor’s first act – before he has assumed office – is just wrong!

And don’t get me wrong. I am the first to poke at Redmond when it’s warranted. But Seattle is a company town. We fly on Boeing jets, drink Starbucks coffee, read Amazon books and run Windows 7!

You can learn more about the Mayor’s decision from this other news outlets.

Seattle PI

Stranger

And here is where the weird get strange. The City of Seattle will also replace BlackBerry devices with iPhones. I love my iPhone *but* the BlackBerry is a fantastic and capable business-class mobile device. Somehow doing a “rip and replace” seems so ’90s in the era of big IT budgets but somehow out of line with recession thinking.

If you’re not aware, the Seattle Mayor election was very close. Rest assured that McGinn’s narrow victory would have been a large defeat if he had disclosed his IT intentions prior to election day in Microsoft’s home town.

So add an agreeable comment as your signature to my “electronic recall petition” and I’ll lead the charge out here on the “left coast!”

cheers…harrybbbbb

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That’s just cool – airline travel itinerary scanner from TSA reads your mobile phone screen!

It’s Friday after a long and busy week. I was curios about what topic I would write about today. Then the topic jumped out at me. I was clearing TSA security last night at the Las Vegas airport after the Windows Connections conference and heading back to Seattle. At the checkpoint, there was a scanner device and I asked what was it for. This device scans the screen of your mobile telephone where you are displaying your boarding pass. So you can clear security and board your flight without a printer boarding pass!

I actually had an old fashioned printed boarding pass on this occasion, so I didn’t use this new gizmo techno.ogy but I will try it next time!

You can read more about this ticket scanner HERE.

TGIF!

cheers….harrybbbbb

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Windows Connections – how I escaped monsoon!

Writing is a muscle that must be exercised. The other day, my son reported strong performance in mathematics but weaker results in his writing in 8th grade on Bainbridge Island, WA. This is especially concerning because (a) Bainbridge Island is home to many famous authors including the “Snow Falling on Cedars” dude and (b) I built my company SMB Nation on the written word. I shared a story with my son from long ago when I was younger and writing some of my first technical tomes and articles. One such endeavor was for a 1999-circa Small Business Server newsletter produced by Duke Publishing in Loveland, CO (best known for Windows NT Magazine). I wrote about the SBS 4.0 original release and passionately proclaimed this product would save the world (it did as we are all still here!). I can trace my early training in developing my writing muscle to this journal.

Fast forward a decade and I recently received an invitation from Penton (which acquired Duke) to attend it’s Windows Connections conference this week at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Having spent last week in Florida at the ConnectWise Summit, I saw this as an opportunity to continue to avoid the monsoon season in the Seattle area. I’m glad I attended this robust show with 2,500 attendees and outstanding, deep technical content. In the end, it wasn’t about avoiding rain but visiting with a few old friends from my early days and making heaps of new friends.

Here are my top takeaways from Windows Connections.

  • All together now. This event is actually several events in one with Windows, Exchange, SharePoint, ASP, SQL and Don Net Nuke (DNN) included. That gave attendees (IT Pros, Architects, Developers, Enterprise folks, et al) a chance to sample a full technical buffet.
  • Cross-cultural experiences. Chatting with folks at lunch, I realized that everyone in our beloved SMB channel partner space started somewhere. Many folks are from the “big leagues” of enterprise in-house IT and either (a) hit 49-years old earning a buck fifty in IT and got laid off at a Fortune One company or (2) wanted to run a SMB technology consulting practice/be a business owner. I repeatedly saw this storyline play out. I really valued these conversations.
  • Robust, capable, filling. This conference is a WIN in 2009!
  • Shadowing Roy. One of our leading SBSers, Roy Mendoza from SoCal (who attended SMB Nation Fall 2009), was at the Windows Connections event. Each evening Roy and I got together to recap the day and analyze the results. Roy was very keen on the Exchange Server 2010 track and repeatedly shared that the IT needs of a small business are exactly the same as the IT needs of an enterprise. That is, we have more in common than pulls us apart with our big brothers.
  • Is the future Fortune One or SMB? As I sit here writing my blog summary, I am grateful the general economy is rallying into recovery. But I believe, as do many attendees I spoke with at Windows Connections, that the future will be very different from the past. Will the greatest IT job creation be at the Fortune One level or in the small and medium business sector? Will you work for someone else or work for yourself. I’ll meditate when I return to Bainbridge Island and continue this conversation with you.

You can view my on-site Flip vid summary HERE from Windows Connections in Las Vegas.

You fellow Geek and gonzo journalist – cheers…harrybbbb

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Playing Softball with Syspine!

When I wrote my Response Point Primer book, I was thrilled at the chance to utilize several different Response Point configurations. I got my geek on and pushed the limits. That’s what authors (are supposed to) do. One such system was Syspine and it performed with high honors.

The “missing link” was a softphone. I noticed it at the time because I have extensive experience with our VoIP systems – many of which emphasize that softphone. The cool thing about a softphone is my world is the ability to have our mini-call center “callers” dial from the screen. Believe it or not – we used to do exactly this in the old days when we used SKYPE as our softphone for our calling campaigns. True Story!

In the past few days, the news has hit that Syspine has engineered and delivered a softphone to market. Here is the net-net:

Syspine is proud to release the new RP310 Softphone as Freeware for “My Syspine” authorized reselling partners!!

Yes…FREEWARE! Use the RP310Softphone to provide clients with IP phone extensions for PC’s and Laptops and close deals.  RP310Softphone has no licensing costs, is easy to use, has RP “Blue Button” speech recognition, and simply works wherever and whenever you need it to.

Visit www.syspine.com; Log into you’re “My Syspine Partner” account, and download the following:

  1. Technical Support Tab: Quick Guide pdf, and RP310 Softphone Freeware application
  2. Sales Tools Tab: RP310Softphone Brochure/Flyer
  3. Marketing Tab: RP310Softphone Product Graphics

Provide your clients with RP310Softphone applications and features that include:

  • “Freeware for all Response Point Phone Systems
  • Speech Recognition with RP blue button integration
  • Voice Commands to make calls, transfer, park, retrieve, etc.
  • Easy installation with Auto Discover/Auto Provision
  • Simple, easy operation…just like the Syspine 310 IP Phone.
  • Support of standard, USB and Bluetooth headsets / handsets
  • Integration with RP PC Assistant operation and functions
  • VPN Network Support
  • Screen pops with caller ID for incoming calls, w/click to answer
  • Call History with click to call
  • Changeable Skins (In a future release)

Not a “My Syspine” Authorized reselling partner? Simply go to www.syspine.com, click on “become a My Syspine Partner” and register.  It’s free, and you will have access to our Partner WebPages full of marketing, sales, technical support and product information…Including the Syspine RP310Softphone Quick Guide and Freeware application downloads.

Stay tuned for new Webinars that will cover Syspine RP310Softphone, Remote Proxy, Partner Program, and upcoming product enhancements and promotions for Syspine Microsoft Response Point systems.  As you can see…Syspine is becoming your “Universal Source” for Response Point products and services

 

Harry, I had a thought…the reason I figured we should meet and talk.

I do a print magazine.

· Tech Insight Magazine

o It is a quarterly publication

o 48 pages

o Mailed

o United States and Canada

o I get the mailing list from Intel

o It is all their registered resellers

You do a magazine. You said quarterly and that you had to raise it from 16 to 32 pages so it would survive the USPS. You also mentioned you are thinking about discontinuing the project.

My thought.

We combine the two.

For your list, we do one of two things:

· a 16 or 32 page wrap of your magazine on the outside with a 32 page version of my magazine on the inside

o mush easier of the two to do

· we run 16 or 32 pages consecutive of your magazine then run 32 pages of my magazine

For my list we would do the opposite:

· My 32 page magazine as a wrap on the outside with your 16 or 32 pages on the inside.

What is in it for you?

· Refocused distribution

· Cost cutting including layout, editorial, printing and postage

· increased opportunity to greatly increase attendance at your events.

In case you haven’t seen our Tech Insight magazine, here is a link to the latest page-turning PDF version.

http://ti.journalgraphicsdigital.com/pubs/ti/current/

John

John Martinez | Editor/Publisher

RAM |  Reseller Advocate Magazine

Address |  16292 37th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98155

Voice |  (206) 366 6680  Cell |  (206) 617 7683


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Free money from Microsoft!

In economics, there is something called a “free good” that is often delivered by the invisible hand. I personally witnessed this in Alaska growing up when, as an 18-year old, I was handed a permanent fund dividend check exceeding $2,000 USD (oil wealth distribution). Man – that was a fun weekend of fishing and other non-sense, let me tell you!

Microsoft is engaging in the same “transfer of wealth” behavior by giving it’s Small Business Specialists Community partners free money akin to an Alaskan oil dividend check. Of course all of these distirbution programs have terms and conditions (e.g. in Alaska, you had to be a resident to get the free money). This you would expect.

Watch my excitement HERE as I try to convey the “free money” from MSFT concept.

In the past week – I have also received private briefings from Microsoft USA program managers on this free money and here are the official details:

Details of the promotion are as below:

Additional Marketing Development Funds Exclusive to Small Business Specialists

Like other partners, SBSCs are eligible to receive up to $500 in marketing funds. However, unlike other partners, as an SBSC you do not need to match those funds. On top of that, your SBSC status entitles you to up to another $500 in funds to promote your business. That’s up to $1000 in marketing funds you do not need to match. The funds can be used to drive demand generation efforts through Ready-to-Go Marketing, including Events, Campaigns, and Marketing Services.

If you are new to the process, or if something is unclear to you about how it works, we can help you. Send us an email at rtgmktg@microsoft.com, and a real person will start assisting you with your particular need. All questions are welcome, so don’t leave this opportunity on the table.

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IT Control Suite bringing a paradigm shift to remote management

Last week I had the opportunity to catch-up with Ted Roller and gang from IT Control Suite and discuss its award winning channel partner offering. Award winning you say? Yes – in addition to “Best of Show – Hardware” at SMB Nation Fall 2009, IT Control Suite has won best of show at the CompTIA Breakway event and numerous other awards at numerous shows.

Watch my video interview HERE!

My fields notes are:

  • Broader RMM solution that allows resellers to make money, save money and generate more ROI to their clients
  • IT control pursuit – appliance is the hardware piece – resellers can go into net new customers and do a full assessment without installing any software on its network.
  • Green IT functionality – we give resellers ability to evaluate utility usage of customers network. Implement “green schedules”
  • Warranty status reporting on every PC and server, etc. Links to driver pages, warranty pages, etc.
  • Vulnerability scan twice -week.
  • IT Control Suite CEO sez “there is no ROI; there is just profit”
  • KEY POINT: There is no contract cost for the reseller; there is no infrastructure cost for the reseller.  If you make them successful – they will make you successful

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All together now – SonicWall’s Web API hooks popular PSA program

Last week I covered a major industry event in Orlando, the ConnectWise Summit. SonicWall was there and I had the chance to chat with Jan Sijp, a systems engineer. I really appreciated his private briefing – down to a rich technical level – about this Web-based API connector that hooks ConnectWise’s PSA product.

See my interview HERE when I chatted with Jan.

You can also read the details in the SonicWall press release below.

cheers…harrybbbb

SonicWALL and ConnectWise Raise Bar With Enhanced Integration

Management ecosystem upgrade delivers significant breakthroughs in ease-of-use and process automation, enabling tighter integration between SonicWALL and ConnectWise management applications

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SonicWALL, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNWL) , a leading secure network infrastructure company, today announced the company is working closely with ConnectWise towards deeper integration between the SonicWALL Global Management System (GMS) and ConnectWise Professional Services Automation (PSA) Software.

ConnectWise PSA will leverage the Web Services Application Programming Interface (API) which is part of the upcoming 6.0 release of SonicWALL GMS. GMS 6.0 is tentatively scheduled for release later in the fourth quarter of 2009. The required update to the ConnectWise PSA product is tentatively scheduled to be available sometime in the first half of 2010 at which time customers will be able to benefit from the enhanced integration options.

Via the Web Services API, SonicWALL GMS will serve up additional periodically scheduled SonicWALL-specific XML reports to ConnectWise PSA, which will associate the reports to specific customers, bundle SonicWALL reports with reports from other sources, thus – delivering key insight into network usage behavior to the customer.

In addition, SonicWALL GMS will provide detailed company and device information to the Customer Relationship Management portion of ConnectWise PSA allowing the IT solution provider customer to easily tie SonicWALL devices to company accounts. IT administrators will also be able to automate the retrieval of service contract levels and expiration dates from GMS for use in the warranty/ service renewal parts of ConnectWise PSA.

Thirdly, it will be possible for SonicWALL GMS alerts to trigger the automatic creation of trouble ticket in the Service Board part of ConnectWise PSA. GMS can generate many different types of alerts. For example, the administrator can create alerts for devices going offline or VPN tunnels going down.

“SonicWALL understands that customers do not use the Global Management System in a vacuum. In fact, many customers use a wide variety of software consoles to manage, report on, and monitor their IT infrastructure for either themselves or, in the case of Managed Service Providers, their customers. Customers also typically use a number of enterprise applications. Managed service providers and other IT solution providers use Professional Services Automation tools, such as ConnectWise PSA, to improve efficiencies in the operations of their business,” said Jan Sijp, Director of policy and management for SonicWALL. “It is important that SonicWALL GMS interoperates with these other applications and this is why we developed the new Web Services API. We are confident that the upcoming tighter integration between SonicWALL GMS and ConnectWise PSA will benefit many of our IT solution provider partners who deploy SonicWALL equipment and use both SonicWALL GMS and ConnectWise PSA.”

Expanded Multi-appliance Management and Reporting

The Web Services API is one of many new features available in the upcoming SonicWALL GMS 6.0 release. With GMS 6.0, SonicWALL extends appliance management beyond Network Security and Secure Remote Access to encompass Email Security and Continuous Data Protection, thereby enabling enterprises and MSPs to centrally manage an entire distributed SonicWALL security infrastructure. Features added in GMS 6.0 may include but are not limited to:

  --  With GMS 6.0, GMS administrators can define and push policies for
      Continuous Data Protection (CDP) and Email Security appliances at the
      device, device group, or global level. Expanding granular management
      coverage to the CDP and Email Security product lines greatly enlarges
      the applicability of GMS
  --  Application Firewall reporting for greater visibility into the impact
      and effectiveness of application firewall policies and thus increase
      employee productivity and efficiency of network usage
  --  Ability to run custom reports for secure remote access devices that
      allow administrators to use the raw logs collected from Aventail and
      SMB SSL VPN devices under management
  --  Support for SonicOS 5.5 extends GMS capabilities to a wider range of
      UTM appliance features, making the GMS administrator more productive

  --  An enhanced Web services API to facilitate integration between GMS and
      other management consoles and enterprise applications, greatly
      increases the productivity of the internal IT staff


  For more information please visit: http://www.sonicwall.com/.

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