Join XaaS Journal’s Jay McCall and Mike Monocello as they sit with IT industry pros to discuss the numerous services that VARs, MSPs, and TSPs can add to their portfolio to increase recurring revenue. In each episode, the panel focuses on a single service and discusses the opportunity, best practices, pitfalls to avoid, and more to help solution providers improve their businesses.
Ep. 8: Threat Spotlight: Impersonation and BEC Attacks on the Rise
No matter which technology niche an IT solution provider specializes in – unified communications, enterprise networking, cloud services – it all has to be built on a foundation of security. Cybersecurity threats can negatively impact businesses in numerous ways from slowing down productivity to bringing business to a halt and cybercriminals demanding large fees to give businesses back stolen data.
Barracuda is a leading channel-focused security vendor that helps protect businesses of all sizes from cyberthreats through a variety of products and solutions. That includes educating its partners about the latest threat trends. Recently, Barracuda released a Threat Spotlight focused on malicious accounts in BEC, or business email compromise.
To get more insights on this topic, XaaS Journal co-founder Jay McCall spoke with Olesia Klevchuk, senior product marketing manager at Barracuda Networks. Listen as Klevchuk explains how malicious attacks work, what makes them successful and what MSPs can do to protect their customers.
Ep.7: Helping Channel Partners Pivot During COVID-19
In the past couple weeks, we’ve been talking to technology solution providers about what they’ve been doing to help their customers and their employees during this difficult time.
D&H Distributing recently did something similar only on a much larger scale. The distributor hosted a Webex featuring a panel of key solution providers and a channel analyst to give its 280+ vendors deeper insights into partners’ challenges.
According to a press release from the distributor, "D&H arranged this opportunity after many of its manufacturers began asking what services and solutions SMB partners need most to achieve recovery, both in the short-term and long-term.
"SMB resellers are typically agile and resilient enough to navigate economic challenges—more so than larger enterprise counterparts with downsides such as excessive payroll or limited organizational flexibility. Many larger corporate entities must reduce capital expenditures due to lower earnings and reduced market confidence in times of economic duress, whereas SMBs typically have optimized, lean staffing and operations from the get-go. SMB resellers may be able to pivot and take advantage of business opportunities if those less-nimble enterprises falter.
"VARs who can diversify and provide a range of services, such as networking solutions, security, cloud-based services, collaborative products, ProAV, unified communications, and business continuity solutions may better weather the economic impact. This is especially true when these VARs and MSPs are able to leverage offerings from distribution and vendor partnerships."
In this interview Jason Bystrak, Vice President of the Cloud Business Unit at D&H, discusses highlights from the Webex as well as D&H’s response, such as offering dedicated credit programs, extended financing terms, new online educational resources and new as a service bundles for home workers, students and telehealth.
Ep.6: UCC Comes Home
Over the past month, there’s been a nationwide scramble to get employees set up to work from home as remote workers. In this episode, we talk to ASCII Group member Zina Hassel, president of ZLH Enterprises, a technology management services provider and expert in Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
Hassel's company is a little different from a typical VAR or MSP; her company falls more on the consultant end of the spectrum. That said, any technology solution provider (TSP) can learn a lot from ZLH—especially if they don’t have expertise in UCaaS or providing Internet services. ZLH would be the kind of company with which you could consider partnering.
In this interview, Hassel shares timely advice and insights about the importance of business continuity planning and running through “if, then” scenarios to avoid being caught off guard during these unpredictable times. She also challenges TSPs to avoid the temptation of “going dark” until things get back to normal, reminding us that those who continued marketing during the 2008 recession fared much better afterward than those who didn’t.
Ep.5: COVID-19: Phishing for At-Home Workers
Endpoint security was a challenge before COVID-19 and now it’s become even more so for two reasons:
We have more people working remotely than ever before, so it’s harder for IT pros to control the environment – devices being used to access corporate data, website behavior, etc.
Cybercriminals, not surprisingly, are trying to capitalize on this moment. Phishing emails have spiked by more than 600% since the end of February, according to Barracuda Networks. Additionally, the FBI recently reported a 4x increase in cybercrime during this pandemic.
To help protect yourself and your customers, XaaS Journal sat down with Jason Norton, product marketing manager at VIPRE Security. Norton shares how VIPRE’s partners are dealing with these challenges, including best practices they’re following and how VIPRE is supporting them.
Like other guests we’ve talked with during this pandemic, Norton's advice is a mixture of technology-focused best practices about staying safe and sane during these unusual times.
One tip that stands out is advising solution providers to sign up for alerts from CISA, an agency under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security that focuses on internet safety — at home, in the workplace and in the community. To sign up, visit CISA.gov and navigate to the “Join the Campaign” tab.
Another practical tip he mentions is the importance of keeping software updated — especially VPN software, which plays a vital role in enabling remote workers to connect to their business servers and applications. As we’ve seen with major exploits in the past, like the WannaCry ransomware attack a few years ago that infected more than 300,000 computers worldwide, every computer had one thing in common: Their software patches were at least six months out of date. So, although the frequency of attacks is going up, cybercriminals still prefer low hanging fruit.
Ep.4: The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Restaurant Industry
In this episode, we continue our series of discussions concerning the Coronavirus pandemic from the perspective of technology solution providers (TSPs). Specifically, we’ve been speaking with TSPs to hear first-hand accounts of how they’re addressing the needs of their customers and employees during these unprecedented times.
In our previous episode, we heard from Joshua Liberman, an MSP out of Albuquerque, NM who's been busy setting up his customers for remote work. We discussed the solutions he’s offering his customers and other ways he’s helping them. He also shared some great advice concerning managing his own business during these trying times. If you didn’t hear that episode, it’s definitely worth a listen.
Today, we’ve got another excellent guest in Jeremy Julian. Julian is the COO of Custom Business Solutions (CBS), based in California. CBS has been providing technology to the restaurant vertical for decades, acting as a reseller of traditional POS software and as developers of its own cloud-based suite of POS software under the NorthStar badge.
The restaurant industry is one of the most affected verticals by the Coronavirus pandemic. Some restaurants have been able to maintain basic levels of operation by offering takeout and delivery services. That’s where Julian's team has been busy helping its customers weather this storm.
This conversation is full of great anecdotes and data that anyone interested in the economy and business of technology will find valuable. Julian also discusses steps he and the CBS leadership team are taking to ensure CBS’ employees remain in a good place mentally and financially.
Ep.3: How MSP Net Sciences is Helping Customers Through the Coronavirus Pandemic
In today's episode, Jay and Mike discuss how MSPs are addressing the needs of their customers and employees during the Coronavirus pandemic.