Friday, February 27, 2009

ASCII Success Summit - Los Angeles 2009

Last week I attended the ASCII Success Summit in Los Angeles.

There were about 100 VARs who attended the show. I didn't get to see all the presentations as they divided the group in half in order to fit in all the presentations that day. In the future ASCII should either let members determine which presentation they want to attend or allow speakers to talk to all attending members.

The two best presentations at the event were Kent Erickson (ASCII member) from Pointivity and Ron Gavlick from Zenith Infotech.

Kent Erickson's presentation focused on the shift in the IT industry from traditional hardware sales and break/fix services to hosted services and cloud computing.

To view Kent's presentation online, click here:

Ron's presentation focused on Zenith's Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) device and the advantages of the BDR over traditional backup systems.

Other speakers at the ASCII Success Summit included:
  • Evolve Partners on Microsoft BPOS
  • ASCII Member, John Endter for Microsoft Response Point
  • ASCII Member, Dave Seibert for StorageCraft
  • ASCII Member, David Lawrence for Efolder
  • Autotask
  • Storage Guardian
  • Matt Makowicz – Managed Services Books
  • ARRC – HaaS Strategy
  • Reflexion
In talking with the attendees and ASCII members you can still see there's a big divide and difference in the IT market between traditional VARs (break/fix) and the MSP industry. Many of the smaller VARs are just getting into MSP or only entered into the MSP market with the last 6 months. Even fewer VARs are offering hosted services, they are still providing on-premise solutions with large hardware capital expenses which involve labor intensive support and ongoing maintenaince.

I had great conversations with many of the VARs about the value of adding hosted solutions as another sales tool. A handful mentioned they are reselling Google Apps and Google Email to their customers, but when questioned about revenue all them said they are not making any revenue off the sale of Google Apps/Gmail but provided the service to the customer to maintain the relationship and desktop support and desktop sales. The same goes for and other online applications. The traditional VAR is being squeezed out of the market and companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are providing cloud based hosting services direct to customers with little or no revenue opportunities to the VARs.

It will be interesting to see how VARs move forward and what solutions they adopt, especially cloud or hosted solutions over the next year.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Email Archiving Now Available for Partners

Thanks to all the attendees for our email archiving solution webinar today. This new addition will greatly benefit partners who target the various vertical by bundling it up with other products and services to create a valuable package offering. With the explosion of laws and compliance regulations, partners can use Pointivity's email archiving and compliance solution to help their customers with SOX, SEC, FINRA and other guidelines all on a pay-as-you-go model.

We also appreciate the insightful information on archiving and compliance from the Global Relay team.

If you miss out on the webinar, you can login to our partner portal to get the latest updates on this new addition but you must be a Pointivity partner. If you're interested in becoming a Pointivity partner you can easily sign up here and start offering your customer your own cloud of hosted services.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Walk in the Clouds

In the February issue of the VSR (Vertical Systems Reseller) magazine, VSR sorted through the cloud hype and asked Kent Erickson, President and CEO, Pointivity, as well as several other VARs and vendors to ferret out these seven facts that VARs should know before breaking into cloud computing. Read the article here

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pointivity Ranked Amongst the Top 100 World’s Most Progressive MSPs by MSPmentor

Thanks to Joe for the great webcast on The MSPmentor 100 (2008-2009 edition).

MSPmentor 100 list rankings are un-sponsored and based purely on research by examining the world’s most progressive managed service providers.

This year Pointivity was ranked at #20 in revenue, #25 in devices managed and #53 in overall ranking.

Instead of ranking MSPs merely by total revenue, MSPmentor calculates an index measurement using such metrics as overall managed services revenue, overall managed services revenue growth, percentage managed services revenue growth, managed services revenue per employee, number of devices managed, and other data points comparing fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2007. This index approach ensures small, midsize and large MSPs from around the world are recognized on the MSPmentor 100.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pointivity Services Delivery in 2009

We would first like to thank all of our customers for allowing Pointivity to serve your outsourced Information Technology needs. For 15 years, we have had the pleasure of interacting face to face with the majority of our Systems Integration and Advanced Hosting customers. These relationships that we have built are the core of the Pointivity values and we look forward to continuing working with all of you in the same manner in the future.

Since 1999, Pointivity has been delivering solutions to our customers that have provided a substantial ROI in comparison to traditional internal IT staffing and capital expenditure. Pointivity gained momentum during the first financial crisis in early 2000 with our offerings and we are now positioned again to leverage our financial knowledge and technology expertise to support our customers through the current economic downturn.

In today’s world, we are certain that you have been bombarded with advertisements and information related to new technologies as well as the news that Corporations must cut costs due to the state of the economy and its effects on all businesses. Server Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Consolidation, Collaboration, Security, Outsourcing, and Managed Services are all buzz words that continue to be used to capture the attention of the cost conscience business owner. All of this information likely leaves business owners and decision makers wondering what they can do strategically that will reduce costs and continue to support profitability and growth while taking advantage of new technology.

The Pointivity technology strategy is simple: never forget the basics, implement only proven technologies, and reduce costs while increasing productivity for the customer.

The Pointivity Outsourced IT Services Platform has evolved over 10 years and consists of flexible offerings that accommodate everything from on-site PC/network support all the way up to a model that provides end-to-end total outsourcing of a company’s IT requirements. Some of our larger customers do not maintain any internal IT staff and rely solely on Pointivity for everything from PC Anti-Virus to custom application development.

When it comes to technology support and implementation, the Pointivity solution carries a significant advantage. Our staff manages and maintains all of the aforementioned technologies on a 24x7x365 basis and has been doing so for the past 10 years. In addition, our staff not only implements a technology or service once and then revisits as needed, they continue to improve the technology implementation each and every day for thousands of end users. Although our services are focused on delivering day to day service and support to our Hosted and Managed Outsourced customers, Pointivity is able to extend this knowledge and expertise to on-site implementations more effectively due to our “always up to speed” culture.

The Pointivity data center architecture is has been designed from the outset taking into consideration shared resources and consolidation, and is now taking advantage of server virtualization technologies which will allow our customers to enjoy the benefits without making any changes to their existing day to day operations or expenditures. New customers and addendums/renewals for existing customers will continue to be implemented using proven virtualization technologies that will allow reduced pricing and enhanced service features such as disaster recovery and increased redundancy.

Pointivity is continuing to enhance its Service Delivery Platform to benefit all of our customers. Whether you are a hosted customer or an outsourced IT customer, we have been adding products that will support your business objectives and/or reduce costs. We have recently introduced some world class product offerings that provide an immediate ROI when they are compared to an on-site implementation and internal with support;

Hosted E-mail supported by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
Hosted Mobility with Blackberry and ActiveSync Support
Hosted E-mail Encryption and File encryption
Hosted Message Archiving for compliance
Hosted Internet Messaging and Collaboration with compliance and archiving support
Hosted SPAM Filtering with Anti-Virus support
Hosted Internet Content Filtering
Backup and Disaster Recovery Appliance with or without support for Geographical Replication

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Parallels Summit 2009 - A Big Success!

Parallels Summit 2009 was a big success this year and thanks to the Parallels team for putting on a great show! Attendees could clearly see why Parallels is becoming the industry leader in this space.

Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels, provided the key note speech to about 1,000 attendees.

Serguei's presentation focused on the latest industry trends and he identified the channel falling into 5 different computing or cloud models.
1) Google Cloud, 2) Microsoft Cloud, 3) Other Platform Clouds (HP, IBM, Apple, EMC, Yahoo, Amazon, Facebook, Adobe and more), 4) Channel Clouds like Pointivity (mass market hosting, Telco, SaaS VARs, MSPs) and 5) In house clouds (large companies).

Serguei noted the keys to partner success are to become a one stop shop, differentiate your product offering and focus on customer and partner retention. Many VARs will not have the resources to support large product lines and it will be important for VARs without hosting expertise to partner with hosting providers who can support and train their staff both on the technology and on how to sell and position these products in the marketplace. Serguei noted there's a huge demand both from customers and within the IT industry for cloud and SaaS computing solutions.

The show included a great set of speakers most notably Morris Miller (founder of Rackspace) and Bill McNee (Saugatuck Technology). Morris focused on the importance of POSITIONING and provided a month by month/year by year historical overview of Rackspace's go-to-market strategies and product positioning strategies. Bill McNee provided in-depth research on the current SaaS industry and provided an end-user / CEO perspective of the hosting industry.

Over 160 companies utilize Parallels Automation and thanks to Parallels team for promoting Pointivity in your presentations!

Another big announcement was the release of Parallels SaaS module which now includes over 200 products that can be delivered through one interface. If you are a ISV or have a hosting solution product, please check out APS Standard has an open API directly to Parallels Automation engine, allowing any ISV product to be integrated with the Parallels engine. By leveraging this API you can get access to hundreds of master distributors and master resellers worldwide. If you need any help on getting your product integrated with Parallels, please feel free to contact

The two best additions to APS Standard and Parallels Automation at the show were Global Relay's message archiving and Open Exchange email replacement for Exchange Server. Both products are much needed in the SaaS and hosting industry and offer tremendous value to end-users and companies looking to outsource complex email services on a low cost, month to month, pay as you go option.