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SMBTN Releases Autotask Template November 16, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits, Finance, IT Business, Marketing, Tools.
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Just a little over a month after announcing that it would standardize on the Autotask platform, the SMB Technology Network has officially released its new template for the platform. This release is just a starting point for us. We are committed to making consistent improvements to this platform that integrate industry best practices and SMBTN partner offerings into a professional services automation platform that fits the needs of our membership. Currently, the SMBTN/Autotask Platform offers the following:

  • A customized Autotask Template for SMBTN Business Members
  • Integration with a variety of Managed Services platforms, including hosted Kaseya from Virtual Administrator, Level Platforms, N-able, Zenith Infotech and others.
  • Integration with SMBTN’s Virtual Assistant partner, TelAssistant.
  • Integration with SMBTN’s Outsourced helpdesk partner, Cloud Services Depot.
  • Integration with SMBTN VitalSigns Financial Dashboard by CoreConnex.
  • Integration with the latest release of the SMBTN Community Toolbar.

SMBTN also understands the importance of integrating its member’s websites and marketing functions into their back office operations. With this in mind, SMBTN has begun working with Pronto Marketing on Autotask forms integration which it hopes to have available for its members in the first quarter of 2010.

Finally, SMBTN will also host its own forum on the SMBTN Community for peer support, sharing best practices and gathering ideas about future improvements to its Autotask platform.

Pricing for the SMBTN/Autotask platform starts at just $99 per month for a single user (through the end of the year) and includes Autotask Pro with the SMBTN template, Outlook integration, Client Access Portal, Quickbooks integration, Corelytics Lite Financial Dashbaord and the SMBTN Community Toolbar. For more information, visit the SMBTN Community or contact SMBTN Member Services.

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TelAssistant Offers Virtual Assistance to SMBTN Members November 16, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits, IT Business, Productivity.
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TelAssistant Virtual Assistants for ITDo you ever wish you had a real, live person to answer your phones, track you down in an emergency or just enter a service ticket into Autotask or Connectwise for you? Ever had a client complain about getting your voicemail or a delayed call back? Most IT professionals would like to have this kind of support but fear that they cannot afford it. However, much like managed services and outsourcing has changed the way we do business as IT service providers, it has impacted the way offices run in general too. Many businesses and professionals are beginning to outsource the work of receptionists and assistants to virtual assistant companies like TelAssistant.

TelAssistant is the nation’s premier provider of remote receptionist services for small to medium IT companies, entrepreneurs, small businesses and home-based businesses. SMBTN recently partnered with TelAssistant in order to permit its members to focus on taking care of clients and growing their businesses, knowing that they have a professional support staff behind them to make sure no important opportunities are missed.

TelAssistant uses the latest in technology and tailors their service to your needs. They will greet your callers, announce calls to you, route calls to any number you designate, schedule appointments, fill out work order tickets, take sales leads and even follow scripts that you put together. Best of all, you can have this level of professional support staff for less than $10 per business day.

TelAssistant Features:

  • Fast & Easy Setup: Use your current phone number or select a new one.
  • Work Ticket Completion
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Unlimited Talk Time
  • Voicemail to Email: Listen to your voicemail right from your email.
  • Other Included Features: Call Screening/ Announcing/ Routing/ Patching/ Auto Attendant, Appointment Scheduling, Sales & Work Order Form Completion, Local or 800 Number.

Best of all, SMBTN members can try this service for two weeks without obligation. Setup is complete in just 3 easy steps. For more information on how to take advantage of this free trial, please check out the details of this offer on the SMBTN Community.

SMBTN Previews Social Network for SMB IT Providers October 2, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits.
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The SMB Technology Network (SMBTN) previewed the beta edition of the SMB Technology Network Community, a social network for SMB IT providers, at SMB Nation today.  The new network will include forums, online communities, blogs, online chat, resource information and member profile information. Visitors may preview it at http://community.SMBTN.org. “While we still have some work to do, we think it is a great start,” said Jim Locke, president of SMBTN. “We hope to get a great deal of feedback from the community on the features, communities and resources that will make this a valuable tool for them.”

“I really think that the SMB Community will like what we have planned. For example, SMBTN affiliated chapters, will have the ability to post information to their own online community, host their own forums (which we plan to integrate with Twitter and LinkedIn), and be able to send weekly or monthly e-newsletters with minimal effort and at no cost to them,” he said.

The release is accompanied by the beta release of the new SMBTN Community Toolbar which is integrated with the resources found on the SMB Technology Network Community and has been updated to include new partners, tools, news feeds, podcasts, online chat, and much more.

Interested members of the SMB community may join the SMB Technology Network Community without delay by visiting http://community.smbtn.org/?xgi=7Qf8Lax by Sunday, October 4th, 2009. At that time SMBTN will begin moderating membership to ensure the privacy of its members.

SMB Technology Network Now Offering Standardized Managed Services Platform for Members October 2, 2009

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Autotask LogoThe SMB Technology Network™ (SMBTN) today announced it can now offer members a turnkey suite of solutions, including managed services, customer relationship management and billing, all standardized on Autotask’s IT business management platform. SMBTN has established partnerships with Autotask Corporation, Reflexion, OwnWebNow, Virtual Administrator, Cloud Services Depot and Speakeasy, making it possible for SMBTN members to purchase a pre-configured suite of services at a significant discount.

After several months of development, SMBTN president, Jim Locke, is pleased to offer members the consolidated product suite. “The needs of our members are best served by a standardized offering in which we can share best practices and experiences through a common application suite,” Locke says. “We have done the difficult work for our members and integrated various components and structured a best practices methodology to drive immediate ROI to our community.”

As part of this customized suite of managed services solutions, SMBTN members can purchase a single seat of the Autotask Go! Special Edition for SMBTN. This special edition, coupled with the other services offered by SMBTN, will allow members to immediately market, track and bill customers for managed services. SMBTN teamed up with Autotask to form a preconfigured database template with suggested services, workflows and price points, which is preloaded into the special edition. Autotask will also provide In-depth training and support, as well as a free copy of the Corelytics™ Lite, Autotask Edition financial dashboard to all SMBTN members.

Diskeeper Offers Managed Services Pilot Program July 30, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Alerts, Benefits, Partners.
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DiskeeperWe are pleased to announce a new pilot program that will permit SMBTN members to obtain a new managed services license for the Diskeeper Pro and Diskeeper Server products. To further sweeten the pot, Diskeeper Reseller Manager Anthony Crea will send a copy of Diskeeper’s administrator tool to anyone ordering any combination of 20 or more licenses.

The SMBTN/Diskeeper Managed Services Pilot Program can be accessed by visiting, www.bit.ly/SMBTN . As this program is currently exclusive to SMBTN, you must be a member and be registered as a Diskeeper Channel Partner

Once registered, SMBTN members can visit the Diskeeper Managed Services page to order and download Diskeeper Pro and Diskeeper Server.

Pricing is as follows:

  • Diskeeper Pro: $2.50 per month
  • Diskeeper Server: $14.00 per month

Credit card billing begins on the initial order date and recurs monthly (based on that initial order date). Software quantities can be added and removed at any time. Updates and upgrades are automatically included.

Our goal is to make this as easy as possible to order and deploy and, as this is a pilot program, we are looking for input and suggestions to make this a success for all. Please post your comments here.

SonicWall Reinstates SMBTN as a Silver Partner June 11, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Alerts, Benefits, Partners.
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After reviewing our corrected sales figures from Securematics and some conversations with management, Sonicwall has elected to reinstate SMBTN’s status as a Silver Partner, effective July 1, 2009.

In the interim, Securematics is recommending that you call SonicWall to obtain an special price authorization (SPA) on orders for equipment and subscriptions that you need to place. While SonicWall is under no obligation to grant these requests, they are aware of the situation and appear to be granting most (if not all) SPA requests made by SMBTN members to get them to the proper discount level.

We appreciate your patience in this matter and are extremly pleased that we got it resolved in short order. Many thanks to Ian Greenberg of Sonicwall and Lisa Hansen of Securematics for their hard work on behalf of the SMBTN membership.

SonicWALL Benefit Update May 15, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Alerts, Benefits.
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We were recently advised by Securematics (our fulfillment partner for Sonicwall products) that Sonicwall has changed SMBTN’s partner status from Silver Partner to Approved. At this point we are not clear on the reason for this modification. We are working diligently with our representatives at Securematics to rectify this issue and have submitted updated sales statistics to Sonicwall that document the contributions made by SMBTN members over the term of our relationship. 

Historically speaking, it was Sonicwall who proposed this partnership to the SMB Technology Network nearly five years ago and it has been wildly successful. In just the first quarter of 2009 (despite the current economy), SMBTN members sold over $46,000 of Sonicwall products and services to their clients. Hence, we hope to resolve this matter with them quickly in a manner that is beneficial to all parties.

We will continue to provide you with updates on this matter as they become available. In the interim, I encourage you to voice your concern about the program with your representative at Sonicwall or Securematics or post your comments here. If you have any specific questions about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact SMBTN Member Services.

Intoducing SMBTN VitalSigns Financial Planning Solution March 5, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits, Finance, IT Business, Tools.
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Corelytics Financial DashboardIn preparation for SMB Summit in May 2009, SMBTN is offering a program that its members can utilize to improve the current financial health and future sustainability of your company. This program will provide you with the structure and the tools to work on your business – not just in it. (Sounds familiar, huh?)

Sign up for the VitalSigns Program and receive

  • The Corelytics™ financial dashboard
  • Analysis of your company’s financial trends
  • Ongoing financial performance tracking against your goals and benchmarks
  • Business performance benchmarks for your company
  • SMBTN Member performance trends (from survey results)
  • Feedback on your chart of accounts structure
  • Periodic newsletters on program progress and key learnings
  • Quarterly analysis of progress toward goals and changes in business patterns
  • Summary of combined learnings for 2009 SMB Summit

Goal of Program
Provide a unique experience for SMBTN members who are committed to working on their business to implement a model for improved profitability and long-term sustainability.

What’s in it for me?
Use state-of-the-art tools to get a much clearer picture of current trends and financial patterns in your business, set appropriate financial performance goals and track performance against those goals and industry benchmarks.

How does it work?
A business advisor will guide you through the following steps to start the program

  1. Set up Corelytics™ financial dashboard
  2. Review trends and identify revenue and expense patterns
  3. Review company-specific benchmarking
  4. Set 7 key financial business goals

The program process will take place over a 12 month period for each participant from the date in initial setup of your dashboard.

Does it cost anything?
There is a one-time set up fee and a monthly subscription fee for Corelytics™. Business advisor support and feedback is free with your SMBTN Membership.

How do I sign up?
Sign up is easy and fast. Email or call your SMBTN business advisor representative Bob Taylor (direct: 425.533.0773) and let him know that you are interested in the program or the financial dashboard and he will get you the information you need to sign up.

SMBTN is offering the VitalSigns program to our Members in conjunction with our trusted partner CoreConnex.

New Release of SMBTN Community Toolbar December 9, 2008

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits, SMBTN, Tools.
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We have made a new release of the SMBTN Community Toolbar available for download. This release includes additional tools, resources and partner programs and adds Autotask integration, messaging, and SMB podcasts from a variety of sources. The toolbar is only a week old and is already getting quite a few hits.

We are seeking feedback and suggestions about the toolbar and hope that you will find it to be a valuable resource.

SMBTN Offers E-Folder November 20, 2008

Posted by Jim Locke in Benefits, IT Business, Partners, SMBTN, Tools.
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efolder-logo-imageNext week, the SMB Technology Network will begin offering e-Folder to its members. Guest accounts for interested members will be available on Wednesday, November 26, 2009, along with pricing information. Our eFolder web portal may be found here. To pre-register for a guest account or to obtain pricing information, please e-mail SMBTN Member Services or call them at (888) GO-SMBTN.

SMBTN members can choose to deploy either the standard SMBTN branded eFolder client or can have their own branding created and refelected to their customers. Watch for more information next week!