Small Business

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We are pleased to announce that we’ve expanded our team and have recently welcomed the following people to Blue Solutions:

  • Lee Walker has joined us as our LabTech Software Specialist. He is responsible for recruiting new LabTech Channel partners and managing the existing partners using the Remote Monitoring and Management solution.
  • Danni Sparkes has joined our team as a new Internal Sales Co-ordinator.  Her role will involve producing quotes for customers and responding to sales queries in a timely and effective manner.
  • Michael Smith and Zoe Hepper have both joined us as Business Development Executives, supporting new business revenue growth by recruiting new channel partners.

A big welcome to our new team members.

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Originally published on the LabTech Blog - Author Josh Preston

As an MSP, you have two choices. You can be your own boss, be passionate about the work you do and work hard for your success. Sound good? Option two is even better. With the right preparation and foundation, you can have a business that runs so smoothly and effortlessly that you can finally take a real vacation.

Running your business with an eye on growth means changing your mindset and your business focus. Continuous growth is the goal, since it means expanding profits and staying a step (or several) ahead of your competitors. The market changes fast, but the more proactive you can be, the more you’ll be able to offer your clients. The more they depend on your services, the faster you’ll see growth in your company and your bottom line.

Here are a few big game changers to help you jump start your business growth:

1. Stay Safe
Security continues to top the list of your clients’ biggest concerns, so find a strong security platform that keeps them protected without risk. Find the perfect balance between mitigating risk and hindering productivity.

2. User First
How many devices do you have? Chances are you’ve got more than one, and so does every end user you support. Enter the shift to by user management instead of by device. Make sure you’re staying ahead of the game by supporting multiple devices.

3. Connect Everything
Data, devices and people are quickly intertwining, giving MSPs the chance to offer a number of ‘smart’ devices and opportunities. The market opportunity for the Internet of Things (IoT) is huge, so watch this one grow in the next few years and see how you can get on the bandwagon.

4. One-Stop Access
In a nutshell, virtualization allows multiple operating systems to run on one physical piece of hardware. This cost-saving trend will easily catch clients’ attention, so be sure to stay informed of what it offers.

5. Keep Compliant
Regulation and compliance requirements are an important and challenging task for many organizations. Wrap your head around the details for a few relevant verticals, and start reaching out to offer this vital service to new and current compliance-reliant clients.

Keep a close eye on these trends as they come to life, and be ready to answer any questions your clients might have about them. The more you know, the faster you establish your place as a trusted advisor—and the more your clients will thank you.

Windows10

Article originally published on the Malwarebytes website

It’s that time again, a new operating system emerges from the Microsoft incubator! While many of you might not get to experience Windows 10 just yet or even in the foreseeable future, we want you to know that when you decide to use it, Malwarebytes has got your back.

The latest versions of our Malwarebytes products supports Windows 10! And that includes:

  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Premium
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Business
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit for Business
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Remediation Tool

So one of the first things you should do after setting up your new operating system is to download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Trust me, the cyber criminals won’t wait until everyone is comfortable with Windows 10 to start targeting folks using it.

To download the latest Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your new Win 10 system, click here.

Find out more about Malwarebytes at www.bluesolutions.co.uk/malwarebytes/. Call our sales team today on 0118 9898 222 for a free trial or demo.

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Originally published by AppRiver

New Mobile Device Management (MDM) features are coming home to AppRiver Office 365 Plus, including the ability to selectively wipe mobile devices. Selective wipe of mobile units allows an administrator to revoke access to and delete corporate email that has been synced to a device, as well as specific data associated with Office 365 apps on the device, while retaining any unassociated personal data.

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Selective wipe will work across a diverse range of phones and tablets, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices and is included at no additional cost for all AppRiver Office 365 Plus plans. The addition of the selective wipe capability and MDM features listed below to the already robust Office 365 Plus arsenal ensures that your Office 365 experience remains easy, effective and affordable

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Mobile Device Management options include:

Selective wipe

Ability to perform either a full remote wipe of a corporate smartphone or tablet or a selective wipe of Office 365 company data from an employee’s device while leaving any personal data in place.

Conditional access

Set up security policies to ensure that Office 365 corporate email and documents can be accessed only on phones and tablets that are managed by your company and that are compliant with your IT policies.

Device management

Set and manage security policies, such as device-level pin lock and jailbreak or root detection, to help prevent unauthorized users from accessing corporate email and data on a lost or stolen device. 

Mobile Device Management Options introduced to AppRiver Office 365 Plus

Cloud-based management for devices that run on iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android and Windows Phone will be supported and the roll out for these capabilities will be completed in 4-6 weeks. All features will be included with all AppRiver Office 365 Plus and bundle licenses.

Contact our Sales Team today on  0118 9898 222 to find out more about Office 365

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Article by Josh Preston, Service Design Program Manager, LabTech Software

Now that you understand how switching from break-fix to managed services can flip the switch on your business success, you’re ready to start capitalizing on the benefits of managed services.

Your first step is to determine which services you’d like to provide as part of your managed services offering. A great source to help you make this decision is your existing customers. Here are a few ways to get better in tune with your market:

Ask Questions

Asking your existing customers about their specific pain points and what services they need will provide strong signals on what direction you should take. Start with a customer satisfaction survey about what services customers would like to see in the future or schedule a one-on-one meeting with some of your top clients.

Look at Recurring Trends

Check time logs and past billings to find trends in frequently requested tasks that can be included in your SLA. If you’re seeing recurring requests around patching, antivirus updates, malware removal or PC tune-ups, then you know just where to start.

Study the Market

Read up on market research to help identify key opportunity areas. Check out industry insight like CompTIA’s Trends in Managed Services report. A keen examination of industry data can shine a light on the most commonly outsourced IT services and can also help you understand what drives client decisions.

Check Out the Competition

Attend user groups and start interacting with your peers. When like-minded professionals come together in a non-competitive environment, you can discuss issues specific to your shared experiences. Participants can network and benefit from shared best practices.

Once you’ve got a handle on what your market needs most and you understand more about why businesses are outsourcing, you’ll be perfectly positioned to meet their specific needs. You can build out a plan for your managed services based on what will make you most valuable to your clients.

This is just step one in your transition to managed services. Join us next for a look at your next step, assessing your skills and filling in the gaps.

Want to know more about LabTech Software? Contact our Product Manager Jonatan Bucko on 0118 9898 210 for more information today.

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With LabTech Software's Autotask Plug-in 6.0 you can spend more time on your IT business and less time worrying about what your technology.

The Autotask Plug-in 6.0 for LabTech provides the deepest level of remote monitoring and management (RMM) integration with Autotask available on the market today. The plug-in provides seamless continuity to ensure productivity and enable worry-free automation.

Watch this video to find out more...

Got more questions about LabTech Software and Autotask? Contact our LabTech Product Manager for more information 0118 9898 210

 

Malicious Web content can expose your company to higher costs, lower productivity and legal issues. AppRiver's SecureSurf can protect your network from Web-based malware and viruses, and shield your employees from offensive content. SecureSurf requires no onsite hardware or software and it won’t require constant attention from your IT staff .

This graphic is a quick snapshot of the top 10 categories blocked by SecureSurf. It highlights how this solution works everyday to help business owners keep their company safe from web-based viruses and protect employees from undesirable websites.

Take a look and see how AppRiver will protect your network.

Want to know more about AppRiver's email and web security procucts? Contact our Product Specialist Nicola Boswell for more information.

 

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AppRiver logo largerversionIn case you missed our latest news, AppRiver, a leading provider of email messaging and Websecurity solutions, confirmed we are its first UK distributor. We're going to add all AppRiver’s products to our portfolio – including Office365 Plus and Secure Hosted Exchange, all with the additional flexibility afforded from monthly billing - a deviation to yearly contracts imposed by many other vendors. The partnership is already yielding results with two of our customers currently trialling Office365 Plus.

Our Director and co-founder Mark Charleton  commented:

“We’re extremely excited by the opportunities this partnership opens up to us, not least a customer waiting to trial one of AppRiver’s services before the ink was even dry on our agreement. With almost 20 years’ experience and seeing a lot of change in a competitive industry, we recognise the value of supporting MSPs and resellers in creating and building profitable I.T. businesses.

Our transition from box shifters to a value add distributor means we focus on working with vendors who are committed to the channel and delivering viable solutions to SMBs. AppRiver is the perfect fit for us and its products will be a key addition to our portfolio, where we’re seeing demand, particularly for email security, encryption and hosted exchange. Add to that the flexibility of offering monthly commitments instead of annual contracts, combined with its ‘phenomenal care’ package, and we’ve two great differentiators that we know will be a winning combination.”

AppRiver offers its partners a management console, designed with the two tiers needed – a portal where Blue Solutions can log in and create its partners, and then a separate portal where resellers log in and create end users. Both can be branded accordingly.

Other AppRiver Partner benefits include:

  • Recurring revenue in the rapidly growing market for email hosting and security solutions.
  • No set-up fees, up-front investments, certifications or minimum revenue requirements.
  • Affordable per-user, pay-as-you-go services that give greater flexibility and more control without hidden charges under the surface.
  • AppRiver’s Phenomenal Care™, 24/7 support to help customers navigate smoothly through any issues that arise.
  • Access to AppRiver University – its ongoing training and professional development program, offering regular webinars to keep partners up to date on the latest services release and upgrades.

We'll be bringing you more updates on the AppRiver, Office 365 and Hosted Exchange product suites. Our product specialists are available on 0118 9898 222 to help with any questions.

Is tape backup part of your disaster recovery plan?

StorageCraft banner27Jun14

Hearing that anyone is backing up their data using a tape might seem laughable these days. But anyone with a business knows that it’s easy to get into a routine and continue to use the same methods and techniques, never questioning whether they are still effective. So what’s so bad about using tapes? Here’s a few points to think about:

  • Businesses need to think about physical transportation and storage. What happens if the tapes are stolen or lost in transit?
  • If the tape drive fails, what happens to your data? Remember when the tape in your old cassettes would unravel in the tape recorder!
  • Relying on people to do the back up. What happens if your I.T. Manager gets called to a long meeting and he doesn’t get to do the backup?
  • Tape back-ups take longer to do.

Tape back-up might still have its place for archiving purposes and for certain industries (e.g. financial services), but companies can make big improvements to their disaster recovery plans by moving to solutions that combat the problems listed above. With StorageCraft ShadowProtect you’re able to develop effective disaster recovery plans with two powerful features - StorageCraft ImageManager and Headstart Restore because:

  • StorageCraft ImageManager offers local replication and consolidates data, taking copies and verifying your back-up as it’s being done. This means that you know you are restoring the correct data every time while minimising the disk space used. This free product is part of the Shadow Protect suite of products.
  • Shadowprotect Headstart Restore* is constantly restoring your data in the background to physical, virtual or server environments. This feature is available for a license fee and helps you to start a restore operation to a virtual machine, while the original production server continues to run.
  • Offsite replication is available with StorageCraft Shadowstream or Intelligent FTP. For a license fee you can send copies of backup image files to a remote server, co-location facility or data center.

Still need to understand why StorageCraft Back-up and Disaster Recovery solutions should be part of your disaster recovery plans? Watch the video below:

*Please note: Headstart Restore, Shadowstream and Intelligent FTP are all available as part of the StorageCraft licence fee