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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.


Technology Marketing Made Simple November 16, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Marketing.
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If you’re like most of us, your To Do list is long and clients come first. Marketing tasks like updating your website or putting together a newsletter always seem to be something you’ll do “next week”.  This is why we are very pleased to announce a new alliance with Pronto Marketing. Not only will they take care of your website and newsletter but they will do it for an affordable monthly cost.  Derek Brown, the CEO of Pronto Marketing, likes to think of it as “Managed Services for Marketing” but prefer to call it “marketing-as-a-service.”

Whatever you call it, Derek is the guy to deliver it. What makes him so special? Well, let’s start with the fact that Derek spent over twelve years at Microsoft, many of those leading the Windows SBS Product Marketing Team and visiting SBS user groups. Prior to his time at Microsoft, he held technology marketing positions with Tech Data, some software start-ups and value added resellers. Thus, Derek knows both our channel and its marketing challenges extremely well.

What’s unique about Pronto is their focus on execution. We’ve all got boxes of marketing materials from vendors or programs we’ve signed-up for and big plans gathering dust back in the office somewhere. If this sounds like you then I invite you to take a moment to check out Pronto Marketing and see how they can get your marketing on track for a very low cost.

The complete Pronto online marketing program is only $247 per month – but the SMBTN Business Member discount price of $197 saves you $50 per month.

  •  Professional Website–Based on the WordPress platform and customized to meet your business requirements and branding. We proactively update your website each week with new content or as you request. In addition blogging tools are integrated right into the website.   
  • Original content – our team of writers and editors create compelling content for the newsletters and website – we don’t repackage other content.
  • Monthly e-newsletter–We manage the whole process including your offers and news and all production and list management.
  • SEO and Analytics–Placement in local directories, optimized for local search and reporting on email and web
  • No Term Commitments & No Hidden Fees–Pay as you go month by month and cancel anytime. Our price includes all design and content, updates, hosting and emailing fees – everything.
  • Learn More–Get the details on the SMBTN Community.

In these times, we all need to be looking at ways to grow and strengthen our businesses. Hence, I strongly encourage you to check out what Pronto has to offer.  However, nothing is more reassuring than the successes that other SMBTN members have had with Pronto Marketing:

“It all starts with a filling out a simple questionnaire and in a short period of time you have a something that is customer ready with minimal effort on my part. I can now focus on what I need to do and that is helping my clients solve their business issues.”

Alan Helbush, MCP, SBSC –  Where To Start, Inc.

“Pronto Marketing is fast, efficient, well-organized, professional and does great work.  Our newsletter and website development have been a terrific success.  Pronto makes us look great and we would be happy to recommend them to others.”

Eric A. Adkins, CTO – Adkins Technologies

We are also working on new integration between Pronto Marketing sites and the SMBTN/Autotask Platform that will permit you to capture information about visitors to your website in your Autotask PSA software. We hope to have this ready in the first  quarter of 2010.

For more information about the Technology Marketing offering from Pronto Marketing, please visit the SMBTN Community or the Pronto Marketing website.

Social Media for SMB (Part 1) October 6, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in Marketing, Social Media.
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There was quite a debate within SMB Nation’s Social Media Panel this weekend about the value of social media and it’s return on investment. In my opinion, far too much of the discussion revolved specifically around the use of Twitter as a platform for social media. Hence, I wanted to offer this article about analytics that relate to the use of that technology in general:

Twitter Data Analysis: An Investor’s Perspective

Dell has certinly proved that Twitter has a value in our marketplace. However, they are a direct marketer of computer products and using this technology primarily to promote special deals and promotions. In the services sector, we can certainly use Twitter for promtional purposes, as well as, to communicate tips and drive traffic back to a primary business site (e.g. a website or blog).

I encourage you to take alook at this article and offer your comments on its findings and how they might relate to your business and social media efforts.

Stay tuned for more info on this topic…

LinkedIn Groups for SMB Professionals April 13, 2009

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Marketing.
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linkedinBuilding a network on Linkedin can be a tedious task but you can drastically reduce the time it takes to connect with other SMB IT professionals by joining market specific groups. Here is a list of LinkedIn Groups that we recommend you check out:

 This list is by no means intended to be comprehensive. It is just intended to jump start your LinkedIn networking efforts. If you have any groups that you find particularly helpful, please take a moment to comment on them here.

Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn November 23, 2008

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Marketing, Productivity, Tools.
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Tips on jumpstarting your productivity on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to join the SMBTN on LinkedIn group.

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more about “Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn“, posted with vodpod



Boost Business with Customized HP/Microsoft Marketing Campaigns November 8, 2008

Posted by Jim Locke in IT Business, Marketing, Partners, Promotions.
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HP/Microsoft Frontline Partner LogoHP has a new and cost-effective way for you to quickly boost your sales revenue of HP business computing systems and industry-standard servers running Microsoft operating systems and business software. To help you with the development and customization of marketing materials to use to find incremental revenue streams, we have launched a series of marketing campaigns utilizing integrated HP and Microsoft messaging. Within each campaign, you can easily and quickly customize a range of marketing materials with your logo, call to action, contact information and company profile and deploy a new campaign in mere minutes. And it’s free for you to use!


Register and utilize the new marketing campaigns and their customizable materials at www.hpmspartnermarketing.com. By using these customized deliverables for your demand generation campaigns, you may be able to find new revenue opportunities and accelerate sales of more Microsoft solutions built on reliable HP technology. So, don’t delay—get registered today!


In addition to the campaigns, there are other aspects about the website that you need to know about:

·         New Campaign: Mid-Market Infrastructure featuring HP BladeSystem running Windows Server 2008 launched earlier this week. Be the first to get this solution to your prospects.

·         Updated Campaigns: First Server, Right Server, Remote Access Solution, Upgrade the Client and Enable Your Mobile Workforce campaigns were all updated this month. Now is the time to start executing these extremely fresh campaigns.

·         Robust Incentives: Starting on 10/30, if you’re among the First 50 to customize marketing materials, you will be eligible for a $1000 subsidy good for printing or mailing services. Don’t miss this opportunity!

·         FLP Store: We just opened a store from which you can purchase FLP-branded or custom-branded promotional items with your logo.


As part of the terms and conditions to customizing and running a campaign, you are agreeing to report all campaign results. We also have a feedback form  that you can use to file any constructive criticism in order to ensure that we keep improving the campaign model we’ve created for you. Both the results and feedback data that we receive from you enable us to continue to offer updated campaigns each quarter, as well as, the ability to implement new campaigns at www.hpmspartnermarketing.com.


Have questions? Send an email to concierge@hpmspartnermarketing.com.


— The HP/Microsoft Frontline Partnership Team