Nine Lives Media Names Computer Solutions Group, Inc. (CSG)
to the MSPmentor 100 Small Business Edition
New List Honors Top Managed Service Providers (MSPs)
February 14, 2013: CSG has landed on Nine Lives Media’s MSPmentor 100 Small Business Edition, a new list that honors the world’s top managed service providers (MSPs) that support small and medium sized businesses.
The MSPmentor 100 Small Business Edition is part of the larger MSPmentor 501 research report. The comprehensive report covers:
- New: MSPmentor 501 Global Edition
- New: MSPmentor 100 Small Business Edition (top MSPs with 10 or fewer employees)
- MSPmentor 200 North America Edition
- MSPmentor 50 EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) Edition
- MSPmentor 25 AANZ (Asia, Australia, New Zealand) Edition
- New: In-depth data tracking mobile device management (MDM), managed cloud services and other recurring revenue opportunities for MSPs.
“We work hard at CSG to make our service the best it can be for our customers,” said Scott Spiro, CEO of Computer Solutions Group, Inc. “Achieving placement on the MSP Mentor List proves that we are achieving our goals.”
The MSPmentor 100 Small Business Edition and 501 Global Edition are based on data from MSPmentor’s global online survey, conducted October-December 2012. Each lists recognizes top managed service providers based on a range of metrics, including annual managed services revenue growth, revenue per employee, managed services offered and customer devices managed.
“Congratulations to CSG on this honor,” said Amy Katz, president of Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media. “The MSPmentor 100 Small Business Edition identifies a new generation of MSPs that keep small business IT systems and cloud services running worldwide.”
MSPs on this year’s global 501 list, including many small business MSPs, lifted their combined annual recurring revenues 24.5 percent to $2.54 billion. Together, those MSPs now manage more than 5.6 million PCs and servers, and nearly 400,000 smartphones and tablets, according to Joe Panettieri, editorial director, Nine Lives Media.
MSPmentor, produced by Nine Lives Media, is the ultimate guide to managed services. MSPmentor features the industry’s top-ranked blog, research, Channel Expert Hour Webcasts and FastChat videos. It is the number one online media destination for managed service providers in the world.
About Computer Solutions Group, Inc.
Founded in 1996, Computer Solutions Group, Inc. (CSG) provides professional I.T. management services for small and medium sized businesses, and is one of the premiere IT service providers in the U.S.
The CSG Mission is to create business success and peace of mind for CSG customers by providing the absolute best IT services, education, and products that enhance corporate and personal productivity.
About Nine Lives Media
Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media, defines emerging IT media markets and disrupts established IT media markets. The company’s IT channel-centric online communities include MSPmentor, The VAR Guy and Talkin’ Cloud.
Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media
Joe Panettieri, Editorial Director
212-204-4206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Each month our team reviews a number of important performance metrics to ensure that we are surpassing our customer’s expectations. We also use these numbers to establish our monthly goals.
One of these reports is based on all survey results received from our customers the previous month. It’s called a “Service Delivery Benchmarks” report. It compares our survey results against approximately 4,000 other I.T. service providers nationwide in the areas of on-site support, remote support, and general performance.
Last month, we were specifically tracking our remote support performance and I’m pleased to report that we beat the industry benchmarks in ALL areas! Thank you very much to the CSG team, and of course to all our customers who took their time to complete our surveys. If you have a moment, take a look at the report which I’ve provided for your viewing pleasure!
As many of our readers know, Computer Solutions Group, Inc. is a leading provider of outsourced IT solutions in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Orange County. To help our clients take advantage of more powerful IT solutions, reduce overall IT expenditures and mobilize their workforce, we are extremely pleased to announce we are now offering our new PowerCloud virtual network solutions.
OK, So What Exactly is Cloud Computing?
Simply put, Cloud Computing is the next stage of the Internet’s evolution. It provides the means through which everything — from computing power to computing infrastructure, applications, business processes to personal collaboration — can be delivered to you as a service whenever and wherever you need it.
Today cloud computing is being heralded by the media as a latest technology trend. However, in the future, cloud computing will no longer be a trend, it will simply be the way IT is done.
Why You Ask?
The many business benefits of cloud computing which include:
- Significantly reducing IT costs and IT related capital expenditures
- Ability to use more advanced computing power without having to own the infrastructure
- Paying ONLY for computing resources you use on a set monthly fee
- Access to your desktop, data and applications anytime, anywhere, from any device
- Instant scalability, up or down
- Adoption of “greener” IT
Complimentary Cloud Assessment
To help you understand the impact of moving your IT to the cloud, we are offering a complimentary Cloud Assessment. During the assessment, we will review your current hardware, licenses, data and applications. We will also look at your network including your security and backup. After the assessment, we will show you exactly how your business could benefit from moving your IT to the cloud. Please contact us at 310-641-3274 to schedule your complimentary assessment. We will also be scheduling some seminars and “lunch and learns” in the near future.
I never met Steve Jobs. But I walked by him once. Last September, while visiting my buddy who works at the Apple Campus, Steve Jobs happened to be walking to lunch with Johnny Ives. “Just be cool” my friend said. I wanted to say hello to Steve; or at least shake his hand. But I had promised not to do anything to put my friend’s job in jeopardy so I just stayed the course and kept a poker face. Do I have regrets of speaking to him? Maybe. But what would I have told him? Where do I start??
Back in in the mid 80s, my parents bought me my first computer. An Apple //e. That machine changed my life. I learned a lot from that early computer. Of course, I learned the typical stuff: how to program in BASIC, how to win at Kareteka, Microwave, Sneakers, Swashbuckler, Sea Dragon, and every Sierra Online game you can think of. I learned how to be humble, (after returning from a family vacation I found that my previous BBS system that I ran off of two floppy drives had been hacked and wiped away while I had been gone) and how to socialize with other computer users.
Later, when the Macintosh was released, I drove my 1977 Buick Electra from Irvine to Pasadena to buy a Macintosh Plus, courtesy of my dad who supported my goal of learning how to use MOTU’s Performer to write music. My first experience with the Macintosh provides an excellent example of how Steve and his team thought computers should interact with humans. When I setup the Mac Plus I couldn’t figure out how to format the cool new “floppy disks” (of course they weren’t floppy anymore). I was looking for a command line to type “Init Hello” but couldn’t find it. I searched and searched. Finally, I just inserted the disk and a pop up box came onto the screen asking me “Would you like to format this disk?” I couldn’t believe it! This computer was friendly and intelligent. It seemed to anticipate my needs! This was like nothing I had seen before. Certainly, no other computer company had built anything like this machine. I knew this computer would be (or at least should be) wildly successful. Of course, Apple came upon hard times. The Mac didn’t sell as well as Windows machines. I didn’t care. I loved this machine just like I loved my Mac SE, LE, Performa, Newton models, Powerbook 100 and 145, and the list goes on.
Steve Jobs knew he was the under dog back then and didn’t care. His vision for Apple and their products was to make them the best that they could be. There were no compromises. Sure, sometimes certain features were left out that the competition might have utilized. But it wasn’t always about how many bells and whistles the products flaunted; it was about the experience. This is why Apple customers are so passionate about Apple. This is why I see so many senior citizens purchasing iPads. Steve put the personal computer within the reach of everyone, and not just us computer geeks. He made Apple a part of our lives- our digital life. This was a new vision.
Tonight, I visited the Santa Monica Apple Store. Normally I am here on behalf of Computer Solutions Group, or to peruse the latest Apple gear for my own projects. I didn’t particularly need to buy anything this evening. I just felt like I had to go. I’m glad I did. It was the only place I could think of where I could pay my respects. I small memorial of flowers and candles had already been placed at the store.
There are many talented people who work at Apple. I am sure they will carry on Steve’s vision. If I had indeed spoken to him last year when our paths literally crossed on the same sidewalk, I would have said thank you. Thank you Steve for giving me so much joy. Thank you for believing in your vision and designing products that push everyone else in the industry to the next level. Thank you for making the world a better place.
Please tell me your thoughts about Steve Jobs below.
Although I wouldn’t call myself a frequent business traveller, people seem to think otherwise. It’s just not so, although I do have a few trips lined up each quarter. Typically, my technology rig on these trips consists of the following equipment and corresponding uses:
1. Macbook Pro 13″, 8GB RAM, running OSX Lion and Parallels 7: Outlook E-mail (Parallels/Windows), Notes, Blogging, Social Media, iChat Video, Skype.
2. iPhone with shared data capabilities: phone use, quick email, games.
3. iPad 2: 64GB: email, web browsing, FaceTime, productivity, notes.
I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always strived to minimize the amount of equipment needed when traveling. After looking over the list above, I decided to try an experiment: could I accomplish the majority of my business work using the iPad instead of the Macbook Pro? Could I reverse the majority of tasks from item #1 in the list to #3? I had a hunch that I could make it happen. And to put it all on the line, I left my laptop at the office on a recent 3 day business trip.
On a Plane
Once on a plane, I can get a decent amount of work done; even if there’s no wi-fi. For example, I can clean out my Outlook inbox and reorganize. Once I land, everything will sync. Unfortunately, this won’t work so well on the iPad. You can only use Apple’s built in mail app (which lacks some key features), the system won’t let you move e-mails around and do other housekeeping tasks without annoying messages telling you the operation has failed. That being said, more and more flights do have in-flight internet available. And luckily for me, I did have internet access during my “test flight”. Here’s what I was able to accomplish on the flight with the iPad, and the corresponding App that I used:
2. Work on multiple documents using Pages.
3. Login to my work computer for Outlook work using Logmein Ignition.
4. Work on company tickets using Autotask Live Mobile and Safari.
5. Listen to audio programs and take notes using OmniOutliner.
6. Review, update, and create tasks and projects using the splendid OmniFocus for iPad.
7. FaceTime video conference with my office to keep up-to-date during the 5 hour journey.
8. Work on e-mail.
9. Catch up on a few books using iBooks and the Kindle app for iPad.
10. Watch Tron Legacy in HD.
11. See how my daughter’s day is going using Baby Connect.
12. Confirm and update password settings using the fabulous 1Password.
13. Catch up on news with the official Drudge Report app.
15. Work on some new songs with Garageband.
16. Create a webinar (and actually bring people into the call) using Fuzemeeting.
So, as you can see there was a lot of momentum going on here with this iPad. And let’s not forget, I didn’t even have to worry about battery life. I can easily get 7+ hours out of a fully charged device.
Storage During Flight and at Destination
Even transport of the iPad was a cinch once on-site. When I travel for 2-3 day trips, I use my
Rimowa Salsa Deluxe Hybrid case. Although it’s a hard case, it has two pockets on the front. One is made specifically for the iPad. I just take out the device then put the Rimowa in the overhead. It fits easily and I’ve just avoided paying the $50 round-trip luggage fee. Over time, this savings will pay for this amazing case. When attending conferences or trainings I carry the iPad in the Waterfield iPad Ultimate Sleeve Case.
These are very well made, and I highly recommend them. This case will protect your iPad, and not add a lot of bulk. It has a pocket that you can store a bluetooth keyboard too.
In conclusion, I was able to do 98% of work needed on the iPad. Sometimes it was a little less elegant (switching between apps, etc). But in most cases everything worked great. And with the extended battery life, I had no complaints. The iPad is not just a content consumption device. If you choose the right applications, you can get a lot done. Business, personal, etc. – all of it. Got any suggestions of your own? Be sure to leave them below! I’d love to hear from you.
Email plays a big role in the way people do business. Whether you work from a fixed location at an office desk or from a mobile device on the go, the kind of email you use can define your level of productivity. Are you sure that the email system you are using is the right one for you?
Whether you work from an office or are productive while on the go, email most likely plays a big factor in the way you go about your business. Unbeknownst to many, some types of email systems have certain limitations that by extension can also limit the level of productivity of your business, and especially for people in the organization who must also work while out in the field.
One major issue for many people is synchronicity. Many people need their emails to be accessible on their mobile phones, PDAs, or other mobile devices, and they need them to be properly synchronized with their desktop workstations. The need to constantly update conversations and email threads from mobile devices to desktops with certain types of email can prove to be tedious and unproductive– and some email system types don’t include this ability at all.
Depending on the way you use your email, especially when on the go, having full access and full control of your account can define how productive you and others in your organization can be. Besides providing a much better degree of synchronization and integration with mobile devices, certain types of email systems also have features for sharing and collaboration features that allow you to set schedules and share files from your mailbox, as well as central storage for emails that allows you to access your account seamlessly with any mobile device, regardless of where you are located.
Of course, having a full-featured email system might not be best for everyone. The key is to know whether adapting a more bare-bones system is cost-effective for your business (especially in the long run). Sometimes the top of the line may be needed, and sometimes all you need is a bit of tweaking on your less fully featured system. Not sure which is best? Call us and we’ll be glad to sit down with you and assess what kind of email system is best suited for you and your business.
Someone, somewhere could be talking about you or your company, and—depending on what’s being said—it can be either helpful or damaging to you or your business. This is of special concern in the online world, as the proliferation of websites and social media tools make it easy to share opinions with the world. In this article we point you to tools and online resources to help monitor and manage what’s being said about you or your business—and thereby build or defend your reputation.
Besides your own eyes and ears, there are plenty of tools—for free or for a price—available to help you monitor your presence online. The simplest of these is your familiar search engines such as Google or Bing. By simply searching online, you can find where your name or your company’s name appears in various websites. With Google in particular, you can set up “alerts” which will email you when a specific word or term appears in their website index.
What words or terms should you use? Start with your name, or your company name, then try the name of your products and/or services, and maybe even the names of your employees, directors, and other stakeholders. It might also be helpful to search for the competition as well. As results come in you can refine your search by expanding or narrowing the scope of terms you would like to search or be alerted on. If you want to be able to search across all different search engines and not just one or two, you can use Monitor This.
Next you can use specialized website or social media monitoring tools to search only specific sites or services as opposed to the entire Internet. One example is Greplin, which allows you to search all of your accounts or accounts that you own. This is very helpful to be able to execute highly filtered searches on specific information in your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, or your blog. Another option is Rollyo, which allows you to set up your own specialized search engines that cull content from public or open websites of your choosing.
Other more generalized tools include RSS feed readers—which allow you to consume news or information feeds from news sites or blogs. Examples include Newsgator.com, Bloglines.com, Google Reader or Pluck.com. Other generalized tools include those that monitor specific newsgroups or message boards like BoardReader.com, ForumFind.com, Big-Boards.com, BoardTracker.com, iVillage, Yahoo Message Boards, and MSN Money. Still others track changes to content of specific sites (Copernic Tracker, Website Watcher and WatchThatPage.com), as well as their domain information (DomainTools.com and BetterWhois.com).
The really interesting new services actually give you an explicit idea of the status of your reputation—especially if you are a relatively well known name or your business has an established brand. In this category are sites like Amplicate, which monitors general feelings or impressions about brands, businesses, or services; Klout, which tries to measure the influence of individuals based on their social interactions; and SendLove.to, which focuses on celebrities and media personalities.
There are literally dozens more tools you can use to monitor and manage your reputation online. To find out more, a great resource is here at the Duct Tape Marketing blog. If you have any additional suggestions, feel free to let us know!