Training and the Cryptolocker Crisis

In the past few days, it seems the Cryptolocker Crisis has again exploded on the scene. On the HTG forum and elsewhere, reports are emerging of a new variant of the ransomware that is unstoppable by many high quality, business-grade security solutions. These new variants of the malware are getting through firewall gateway scans, email security solutions, endpoint/host AV solutions, and even network based and DNS-related security measures.

This raises the obvious question: what the heck are we to do?

Unfortunately, most IT managers and MSP techs love to hunt down the latest widget to buy and to add yet another layer of defense. Alas, layered security today looks a lot more like Swiss cheese, than bullet proof glass.

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Stop Selling, Start Hiring

About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending time with members of the HTG Peer Groups in Phoenix. As a vendor, we often get "seat at the table" time, where we get to join in on the conversations with the business owners in the group.

Adding a "sales hunter" was on the agenda. One group member was at the front of the room, sharing his Quarterly Business Review (QBR) and he asked the group for advice on how to find his first sales resource.

I sat back and listened to the conversation. It is a little new for vendors to even be invited into the discussion at HTG. The last thing I wanted to do was jump in and be prescriptive.

However, in my head, I was thinking: "STOP!"

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Partners, Don't Get Ubered

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending a few days with HTG in Phoenix. I was staying offsite from the main conference hotel, which found me in quite a few Uber trips back and forth to the hotel.

I am a huge fan of Uber. Despite all the Silicon Valley hand wringing over their business tactics, as a customer I have always been pleased with Uber. They are demolishing an antiquated and unfriendly taxi cab industry, while opening up affordable transportation options to millions.

However, if you talk to Uber drivers, many are deeply unhappy. Uber is in a massive price war in many markets, repeatedly dropping the price per mile in successive waves. In Phoenix, I had about five Uber trips and every driver complained about the recent price cuts. Apparently, the pricing in Phoenix has gone from around $1.60 per mile to $0.96 per mile in about fifteen months. This is a significant drop. 

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Four Ways to Become Strategic With Your Vendors

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending some time with the folks from HTG, during their new member Fast Track orientation. Scott Scrogin asked me to share some views on how partners could work better together with vendors. I think MSPs and VARs today should aim higher. They should really be concerned with how to become strategic with their vendors. Vendors are a source of resources, support, and business insights that can assist growth oriented partners with getting to the next level.

Here are four ways partners can get strategic with their vendors:

1. Focus

It is a given that most MSPs today will have scores of vendor relationships. Naturally, that is too many to manage in a strategic manner.

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Sales is a Process, not a Person

I had another insightful week with HTG recently. eFolder had the pleasure of joining a "seat at the table" with HTG 13. The conversation revolved around building sales capacity in MSP organizations.

For many MSPs, sales is a functional skill that is difficult to master. Thousands of firms stay stuck at eight to ten employees, since the business owner is the principle sales maker and as such, is pulled in a dozen different directions. Selling is a full time job and most business owners rarely can sell well and effectively run their firms at the same time. When the firm is super small, say around five employees, yes, the business owner needs to sell everything, but as the business grows, firms need to build their own independent sales function.

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