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  • Hammering out an MSP sales and marketing plan

    Chances are you didn't get into managed services because of a passion for sales and marketing. Unfortunately, if your goal is to scale up your managed service provider, or MSP, business, you're going to need much more than customer referrals to drive that growth; you're going to need to bite the bullet and formalize a sales and marketing plan.

    This three-part guide aims to help MSPs build sales operations and make key marketing decisions that will generate brand-new leads and expand customer bases. First, we explore special considerations specific to service-based business models like MSPs and guide you through the process of developing a plan. You will also learn tactics such as thought leadership content marketing to increase the visibility of your business and establish authority in targeted markets. Finally, we examine methods for obtaining your vendors' market development funds to pay for your new initiatives.

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  • IT hardware sales endure as channel partner business

    Industry executives say hardware remains a key part of a channel partner's business mix, even with the rise of monthly recurring revenue from service sales. Continue Reading

  • Partners avoid liability issues with channel customer contracts

    Channel partners must ensure they make customer contracts they can abide by. The managing attorney of InfoTech Law Advocates outlines a number of common liability issues. Continue Reading

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  • 2016 channel events listings

    When making 2016 travel plans, refer to this list of channel events -- including conferences hosted by IT vendors, distributors, industry organizations, and vendors that cater exclusively to VARs and MSPs. Continue Reading

  • Data center switch software: Beyond speeds and feeds

    There is so much more to networking software than software-defined networking. In the data center, switch software is playing a bigger part in how enterprise network engineers evaluate, purchase and deploy their networks.

    This shift has occurred as many networking equipment vendors traded their proprietary ASICs for merchant silicon, resulting in a greater emphasis on switch software, APIs and architecture. That doesn't mean hardware is irrelevant, however, or that all vendors have abandoned custom silicon. But, as we explore in this issue of Network Evolution, this transition is paving the way for more open and intelligent switch software for more flexible and agile data center networks.

    It's an approach that holds appeal for network engineers who are trying to adapt their networks to meet the demands of cloud computing and virtualization.

    Also in this issue, we explore why the long-foretold death of the desk phone has yet to come to pass. Experts and enterprise IT pros weigh in on why the traditional handset continues to reign, even in the age of software-based alternatives and BYOD. Additionally, we dive into monitoring the network to optimize the end-user experience. Hear from network engineers and other IT pros who share their tips and techniques for keeping users happy.

    In addition, we highlight the latest winner of SearchNetworking's Network Innovation Award, Saisei's FlowCommand software. Be sure to also check out this edition of The Subnet, in which one network engineer explains why it's important to maintain an open line of communication with your vendors.

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  • IoT gateways point way forward for manufacturers

    Bridging older sensors and plant M2M, IoT gateways from Cisco, Dell, Intel and others promise greater control of manufacturing operations. Continue Reading

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