Cognos CEO Watching Managed Services

20130227-RobAshe_800The folks at Cognos, one of the leading business intelligence software providers, are in a curious position. Cognos’s rivals are getting acquired by big players like Oracle and SAP AG. And the software industry as a whole is moving toward software as a service (SaaS) — think Salesforce.com and NetSuite.com. So where does that leave Cognos? The BI software provider has to get a better feel for SaaS, managed services and the channel. Fast. Cognos’s CEO is doing exactly that. Here’s how. Continue reading

McDonalds Meets Managed Services

McDonalds_Golden_ArchesLike a Big Mac and a large fries (Mmmmm…), IT service franchises now go hand-in-hand with managed services. The latest example: Expetec Technology Services — an IT services franchisor in 20 states and Canada — has embraced the ConnectWise managed services platform. The move comes roughly one week after the Fast-Tek franchises announced plans to leverage Kaseya and SecureMyCompany’s managed services. The bottom line: If break-fix franchises are embracing managed services, surely more sophisticated solutions providers need to do the same. Continue reading

Will MSPs Ever Trust Dell?

Michael-Dell-1024x683I may have underestimated the MSP industry’s disdain for Dell. On the one hand, I’ve personally been a Dell customer for about a decade. But as I speak with managed service providers across the industry, most of them simply don’t trust Dell. Does the PC giant deserve the benefit of the doubt? Or is Dell’s move into the managed service market doomed to fail? Continue reading

Symantec Cooperates, Competes With MSP Partners

October is shaping up to be a busy month for Symantec’s various online software efforts. While the company prepares to launch Symantec Protection Network (a software as a service platform for partners), Symantec is also promoting its Managed Security Services (MSS) to customers. Here’s what Symantec’s strategy means to managed service providers. Continue reading

Branding: Skip the Lite Stuff

Autotask made an intriguing move this week with its product branding. Solutions providers and software companies should take note. As Autotask prepared to launch an entry-level MSP solution, the company must have been tempted to call it “Autotask Lite.” In my humble opinion that would have been a mistake. Here’s why. Continue reading