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June 14, 2006

This was the date this wiki + forum was opened on www.linkstationwiki.net.


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The Three Phases Of The IT Channel And Introducing The Cloud Services Broker

Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:31:28

This article was written by Todd Hussey, Partner and Co-Founder at CSBexcellence. Todd is a veteran in the field of technology startup sales and marketing, specializing in the Managed Service Provider business since the mid 90s, and has since become a part of the Cloud Services Broker business.

The Cloud Services Broker is becoming the next-gen channel partner for tech vendors. Why and what does this business model look like?

It wasn’t that long ago when the only version of the IT channel was the Value Added Reseller (VAR) or Systems Integrator (SI). Both models were great for the time with big guys like Cisco or HP or all the up-and-comers of the time developing all the new on-premise technologies. The vendor could focus on innovation and execute on most of the sales and marketing and the channel partner would install and maintain. Everyone made a fair (can I say very good?) buck. This is still the predominant model today. And if you read all the industry data, this model accounts for around 75% or so of the approximately 300,000 total channel partners in the world.

One problem with the VAR/SI model is that around the 2000-2004 timeframe, hardware and software prices started dropping like a rock and with that, margins dropped as well. Also, from a maintenance perspective (where the channel partner would make a lot of high margin revenue), it didn’t make economic sense for the customer to pay break/fix truck roll prices to fix a computer or server that costs a fraction of what it used to.

So along came the Managed Services Provider (MSP). With the Internet and broadband offering great reliability and availability and new Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) platforms being introduced into the market, the MSP could offer affordable remote IT services with no costly truck rolls at nice, recurring revenue margins. How many MSPs exist? Industry pundits put the number at approx. 20,000-25,000.

So where are we now?

As we speak, the future is all about the Cloud Services Broker (CSB). Why? It’s no secret that cloud is what customers are demanding and vendors are delivering. There isn’t a vendor (that I know of) that isn’t transforming, or already has transformed, their technology and business model to cloud (and all are looking for CSBs, their new channel partner).

What is a Cloud Services Brokerage? (http://goo.gl/jtQwzn) Gartner coined the phrase and they have some lengthy and fancy definitions such as: “Cloud services brokerage (CSB) is an IT role and business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more (public or private) cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers of that service via three primary roles including aggregation, integration and customization brokerage. A CSB enabler provides technology to implement CSB, and a CSB provider offers combined technology, people and methodologies to implement and manage CSB-related projects.”

As for me, I like the restaurant analogy. A restaurant buys or makes their own food items, such as hamburger, hot dogs, chicken, buns, condiments, potatoes, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, spices, beer, soda (you get the picture), and combines them and adds their “special sauce” to create “tasty” meals (who would buy just the raw hamburger?) to meet their customers’ demand/appetite. Successful restaurants deliver their “value prop” to customers at a fair price and margin (you must know your margins) and if done well, they come back for more.

The CSB does the same thing except their value prop is delivering high customer-value business-outcome MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) cloud solutions (that they are adept at delivering) by bundling individual cloud services (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, Hosted DNS, etc.) and adding their own “special sauce” (i.e. One-Time Revenue (OTR) Professional Services). A CSB can go to a VAR or MSP’s customers and offer better services for a fraction of the cost all while making a good recurring revenue margin.

So where do you start to become a world-class Cloud Services Broker?

You’ll need to first select 1-2 cloud services. I suggest you take a long, hard look at your competencies and what types of cloud services you can sell and deliver with excellence. I have this conversation all the time with VARs/SIs just becoming CSBs. Like a chef that spent his/her career creating great Italian dishes, all of a sudden adding Chinese food to the menu probably doesn’t make much sense. So if you have no experience with VoIP, selecting hosted VoIP to start may not make the most sense.

Also, do some research (maybe with your customers or vendors) and see what cloud services are being consumed by your type of customers. That’s just a start. There’s lots more to do to become a CSB, such as figuring out how you price and package your cloud services. We’ll cover those items in future blogs.

Dyn Launches Channel Reseller Program In The Americas

Wed, 09 Jul 2014 13:00:16

Manchester, NH (July 9, 2014) – Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet performance, today announced the launch of its new reseller program in the Americas. The program is designed to help technology resellers thrive in the cloud by providing their customers with Dyn’s portfolio of essential Internet performance products, including Traffic Management and Message Management, to offer alongside similar cloud-based technology such as website hosting, CDN and a variety of security solutions.

According to CompTIA’s Fourth Annual Trends in Cloud Computing, two thirds (63 percent) of channel firms rate customer demand for cloud-based IT solutions as either very high or high, and 20 percent have actually lost a deal because a customer needed a cloud solution that the firm did not offer. Dyn’s reseller program is designed to help these channel firms meet this increasing demand with onsite sales and sales engineer training, all with minimum overhead cost.

“We’re looking forward to working with our reseller partners to help their customers understand the business value of improving Internet performance,” said Jose Roy, Director of Channel Sales at Dyn. “Reselling Dyn’s industry-leading DNS traffic management and email message management solutions will mean that our partners can add valuable offerings to their cloud products and achieve higher revenue per customer. Dyn is seeing rapid growth in adoption of Cloud based Internet Performance services and believes a thriving reseller channel is essential to capturing this incredible market opportunity.”

Dyn has recently signed resellers in North America, like Emergent Networks.

“Dyn’s Managed DNS fits well with Emergent’s focus of offering the industries’ best high availability, business continuity and disaster recovery products and services,” said Jamie Anderson, President of Emergent Networks. “Our customers benefit from these best-of-breed solutions, and being able to offer the the industry’s highest performing DNS solution through our Dyn partnership is a great addition to our product line. Our partnership with Dyn also allows Emergent to grow our recurring cloud revenue stream, keeping us in a strong financial position, allowing us to continue to support our customers at the highest level.”

Additionally, Dyn is seeing success in Latin America, having already signed resellers like Netsol International in Argentina and Pinpoint in Brazil.

“The Brazilian market, along with all of Latin America, has been looking for a high availability DNS solution and we believe Dyn Managed DNS is that solution,” said Saulo Britto, CEO of Pinpoint, an IT Service Management company. “With a worldwide presence and market leadership, Dyn offers our customers global DNS performance and an email deliverability rate that is the highest in our market by far, must-have components for any enterprise that wants to ensure their online performance.”

Dyn’s reseller program launch comes on the heels of its established, successful managed service and integration channel offerings. Dyn’s MSP/Integration arm, which is separate from the new reseller team, works with more than 100 partners to provide managed service providers, IT consultants and integrators with 24/7 global support and implementation help for traffic management and message management solutions.

Resellers interested in strengthening their current product portfolios with Dyn’s solutions can enroll in the reseller program by visiting Dyn’s reseller information page.


Dyn solutions are at the core of Internet performance. Through traffic management, message management and performance assurance, Dyn is connecting people through the Internet and ensuring information gets where it needs to go, faster and more reliably than ever before. Incorporated in 2001, Dyn’s global presence services enterprise, small business and personal customers.

Dyn Media Contact

Adam Coughlin | acoughlin@dyn.com | 603.714.5798

Why The Twitter-Amazon Partnership Will Be Driven By Customer Experience

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:54:15

(This article was originally published on ITProPortal.)


Source: Amazon.com

The recent tie up between Amazon and Twitter, providing a new shopping experience to consumers so they can now order Amazon products through a custom hashtag, is a present-day example of businesses collaborating effectively to expand customer offerings. 

If Twitter’s user base continues to grow, there will be more opportunity for Amazon to sell products. Equally, the more products Amazon sells through social, the more other brands are likely to try a similar proposition, which will lead to additional ad revenue for Twitter.

However, there is a responsibility that comes with partnerships such as this: suddenly providing an exceptional user experience is the duty of both companies. Twitter’s brand reputation – a company’s most valuable currency – is linked to Amazon. And vice versa.

At the core of this operation is Internet performance. Collaborations such as this bring new challenges for the back and front-end technology, putting this partnership at the hands of the customer experience. If it flounders, on either side, and users cannot access Twitter or if there is latency in accessing their Amazon cart, both Twitter and Amazon’s brands will be damaged.

Ensuring great Internet performance has never been easier and there are a number of ways to optimise your online experience.

Firstly, use a managed DNS provider. DNS is the gateway to your website and if people can’t access your brand, you are blocking potential customers.

Secondly, speed, speed, speed is key to good Internet performance today. Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to ensure that users can access content as fast as possible.

Remember, the Internet today, is more than just the web. You need to cover all customer contact points so make sure you think about every touch point from email to social. Are you even thinking about things like email delivery? By maximising these channels, you can build engagement and brand loyalty across all aspects of the Internet.

Looking to scale? Do it carefully using horizontal scaling. By putting your content in smaller data centres purposefully placed around the world, you can bring your content closer to your users and increase performance.

Finally, monitor your performance to work out what success looks like. Only with the right information can you make the right decisions for the future and make sure your site is running well. Constant reporting and monitoring of progress is key to improvement.

In today’s digital age, customer experience is everything, and users can be lost in seconds if it’s not up to scratch.

By putting Internet performance and the customer experience first, companies can ensure that core communities are not lost, new collaborations succeed and new customers are gained.

What You Need To Know About Canada’s SPAM Legislation

Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:26:07

As you may have heard, Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) is now in effect, but what does this mean in plain English?

Canada is actually a little late to the party with putting anti-spam legislation in place. Passed in 2010, and effective July 2014, this is well behind many other countries. The US and Australia put their legislations in place back in 2003, for example.

A Deeper Look At CASL

As always, best practices rule the day. If you are clearly opting in recipients to your marketing lists, honoring unsubscribe requests, and tracking user engagements, you shouldn’t have any drastic changes ahead. Here’s a summary of what CASL enforces:

  • Senders have a three year grace period for current recipients to obtain explicit consent. This specifically means a documented opt-in to receive your promotional mailings. NOTE: this legislation specifically states that “pre-checked” checkboxes are NOT consent.
  • Implied consent is defined as someone you did business with or got an email address from a transaction. You can mail to them within 6 months of receiving address and for up to two years. There is no similar time restriction with explicit consent.
  • Email capture should not be dual-purpose (aka co-registration) or via “read our terms and conditions.” It must be 100% clear what your users are opting into.
  • Every email must contain:
    1. Name of the sender
    2. Physical Mailing address of the sender
    3. Secondary contact info for sender (phone, email, or website)
  • Your unsubscribe link must work for 60 days after the message is sent.
  • Fines are up to 1 million CAD for personal and 10 million CAD for business.

What Does This Mean For My Sends?

These rules apply to anyone sending email to or from a Canadian location. As mentioned above, if you are in good standing with most current spam laws, you should be in good shape. Be aware of some key differences with other legislation, like the required 60-day unsubscribe availability vs. the required 30 in the U.S.

Following these standards shouldn’t be something you do just because it’s a law. Good sending habits and practices will help you hit the inbox and get your messages in front of readers who actually want it. Learn more about a good sender reputation in this DynEdu video.

Why Availability Is Still King

Wed, 02 Jul 2014 20:04:26

While speed, redundancy, and scale are all critical focuses (and rightfully so) of an Internet Performance Solutions company like Dyn, it is availability that rules as the core attribute and priority amongst any technology vendor. The importance of having network availability, maximum visibility into Internet Performance, and continuous insight on fast response times within your available network, must be highly regarded.

With thousands of miles of fiber and systems around the world, some part of a global infrastructure is bound to fail at some point. To avoid the devastation of singular or parallel physical-transit dependency, we’ve deployed diverse delegations across multiple uniquely routed BGP prefixes fostering the deployment of an extremely reliable and fast network. Reliability can be significantly improved in anycast networks because DNS services are highly distributed for each IP address across multiple nameservers creating high redundancy.

Dyn is placing your brand (DNS servers) next to your users.

Dyn Anycast Network

Placing your brand next to your users, Dyn’s IP anycast network ensures that a failure in any one component of the fastest responding data center does not cause a black-hole or outage for any given region in the world. We have succeeded in this, primarily because we place a premium on data centers hardware, software, transit redundancy, and network control.

Using multiple top tier transit providers in each geographic region and employing customer announcements across multiple anycast nameserver clouds, means we enable our customers’ users’ (the ultimate end users) ISPs to have multiple paths to our network — ensuring your brand is extremely reliable and available, at the lowest latency possible.

Dyn Network Map

Dyn Network Map

Because of this design strategy, users around the world have multiple paths to reach our network and resolve our customers’ brands, even when technical issues happen in a single POP or on a section of the collective Internet. We constantly monitor and verify these announcements ensuring optimum performance and reliability.

Focusing on network availability ensures brands and the folks that trust them are provided dependable and reliable experiences, every time. We are constantly deploying diverse connections as we grow into new markets around the world and constantly verifying that we have the best transit and ISP relationships available in our existing markets – making certain that Dyn is the premiere and most trusted Internet Performance Solutions company in the world.