Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Starting a Small Business Advice

While some people are taking a holiday break, Stefan Töpfer of The Small Business Blog isn’t. His latest post targets those of us who might be making new years resolutions to “Start my own home business or small business”.

His 5-step plan is solid:

Define Your Goals
Get A Business Idea
Test Your Business Idea
Bootstrap All The Way
Stay Focused, Always!

If you are planning to start your own small business in these rough times, take some time to read or listen to the article as a podcast.

Stefan Töpfer is CEO & Chairman of WinWeb (which developed OnlineOffice - The Small Business Infrastructure). His blog, The Small Business Blog is one that I’m adding to my list to watch. Good advice and resources for small businesses!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Webinar: Minicom's Smart 2-User Series

Free Webinar Invitation
Date: December 18th, 2008
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM EST (1 hour)
Topic: Minicom's new Smart 2-User KVM Series
Speakers Include:
David Zucker, Director, Business Development - KVM Division
Ivo Petrov Director, Technical Support

Limited space is available

Minicom's Smart 2-User Family consists of four new different products. Join us for this free product introduction webinar. Learn why these products are different that any other 2-user products in the market.

Smart 216 IP – 16 port CAT5 switch with 2 remote users and 1 local user
Smart 216 – 2-user, 16 port KVM switch

Smart 232 IP – 32 port CAT5 switch with 2 remote users and 1 local user
Smart 232 - 2-user, 32 port KVM switch

These competitively priced switches have great mouse synchronization and are compatible with our remote access management tool - KVM.net® II. Combining innovative CAT5 technology and OSD management, the Smart CAT5 switches are the perfect KVM solution for SMB server and rack environments.
Limited space is available

Can't make it? Schedule a free online IP product demo with a Minicom rep at a time that is convenient for you and in the meantime download a free white paper on “KVM IP Management for Today’s IT Budget

Monday, December 15, 2008

Announcement: Minicom Partners with Alexander Schneider

Minicom recently established a partnership with Alexander Schneider Ltd, the leading solution provider for datacenters, and representatives at the forefront of the Green IT industry in Israel.

Eli Sasson, President of Minicom says: “we are happy to have Alexander Schneider as a part of our international distribution network. The reason they were chosen was because of their professional capabilities to implement advanced solutions in server rooms in most of the leading companies in Israel. Another reason is their reputation for excellent customer support, which they provide 24/7.”

According to Igal Schneider, CEO “the cooperation with Minicom enriches the offerings of solutions that Schneider provides its customers in the server room. Some customers that we currently service are Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, Visa Kal, Rafael, Elbit, Nice, Comverse, Checkpoint, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance & others…..“Minicom has a wide portfolio that fits with the SMB perfectly; furthermore, the closeness to the R&D center will enable customization of unique solutions for the Israeli market. This is a natural cooperation between both companies that believe in advanced technological solutions along with reliable support to the customer”

About Alexander Schneider Ltd.
As a leader in the field of data center management, Alexander Schneider Ltd. provides hi-performance products and Turn Key solutions for OEM systems and data center infrastructure, offering leading-edge products, integration services as well as engineering and design (NPI) capabilities. Alexander Schneider has been in business since 1963, with operations in Netanya, Israel and Rhode Island, USA.

For more information please visit their website.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SMB Nation - Bringing IT Together

In a comment in a post about getting to know SMB IT better, SMB Nation CEO Harry Brelsford was kind enough to recommend their site for inclusion in my research. After taking some time to look it over and join the “tribe”, I am pleased to see how much they offer the SMB IT professionals. There is much to learn from them.

SMB Nation reaches its audience with events and free webinars. Their next webinar: ”Not Just Another 50 cent Online Backup Service!“ is scheduled for tomorrow, December 11, 2008, 8AM PST (GMT-8).

Learn how the real VARs, MSPs and trusted advisors create revenue opportunities with remote online backup protection services. Learn how the latest compliance regulations will create long-term relationships and revenue streams for your business. Find out why those cheap backup services create a false sense of security and are not telling the whole story.

Register now at SMB Nation

They also offer most of their webinars on-demand, which is very helpful for someone who needs information right away.

I took the opportunity to get a closer look, and choose to watch “SMB Mergers and Acquisitions: Time to Sell Your SMB Practice?” It is well worth investing a little over one hour to hear their tips on how to run your business in a way that makes it ready to sell, and why you should run your business this way, even if you aren’t looking to sell.

Check out the other educational webinars available at SMB Nation.

Monday, December 08, 2008

2008 Year of The Milestone, according to Channel Web

Channel Web has published their pick of the best products of 2008.
The Test Center evaluated hundreds of products in 2008, from the palmtop to the data center and everything in between. In selecting each product of the year, Test Center editors needed to make sure that there was a critical offering to the market at large, significant value to the end user and immediate impact on how the lion's share of solution providers in the channel would think about and deliver technology.

Some of the products that made the cut are
  • Notebook - WINNER: Lenovo ThinkPad X300
  • Operating System - WINNER: Microsoft Windows Server 2008
  • Web Application - WINNER: Firefox 3.0
  • Smartphone - WINNER: iPhone 3G
  • Product Of The Year - WINNER: Intel Modular Server

See the rest of the slideshow... including reasons why they choose these products to represent the best of 2008.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Closer Look at SMB IT

I'm just getting in to the SMB IT industry from the marketing side of things and while researching, the first site that popped up in search was SMBITPROS.com. I did a quick overview and my initial impression is that this is a great resource for up to date, practical advice for this sector.

smbITpros.com cover topics that deal with SMB IT such as:
  • Finances
  • Managing
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Sales
  • Starting Up
  • Technology

This is how they describe themselves:

"smbitpros.com is the ramblings of Michael Cooch and Josh Clifford, Founder/CEO and CSO (Chief Service Officer), respectively, of Everon Technology Services, LLC. Everon is a pioneer and leader in the SMB managed services space, serving clients around the United States and a handful of offices in Europe."

Their latest post “How to compensate salespeople when they sign longer term managed services contracts?” hit home with something Minicom manufactures. If you want to hear our perspective on managed service providers, listen to this podcast by David Zucker, Minicom’s Director of Business Development of the IT & KVM Division. David will explain how “managed service providers can now sell a KVM IP device as a monthly service” using Minicom’s PX.

The Minicom Media Club offers a variety of free podcasts and archived webinars for your enjoyment.