May 21, 2013
What is it?
For the most part, the majority of ExchangeDefender services are ordered within the OwnWebNow support portal at https://support.ownwebnow.com. However, ExchangeDefender for Service Providers portal (or ExchangeDefender SP for short,) is where you, the partner, will order and manage the ExchangeDefender service for your clients. The ExchangeDefender SP portal is designed for IT Solution Providers that want to offer their own ExchangeDefender service under their own brand–including color templates and logo uploads.
How do I order it?
To order an ExchangeDefender Service Providers portal:
- Log into your OwnWebNow Support Portal (https://support.ownwebnow.com);
- Click on the Service Manager tab;
- Click on ExchangeDefender SP;
- Click the New Account button on the upper right of the screen;
- By clicking the New Account button, this will initiate the setup process;
Step 1. Contacts and Contracts
- This information should be pre-populated with your administrative contact and billing information. If not, please provide this information.
- Pricing: Although it is listed as $2.00 per month for ExchangeDefender SP portals; as an ExchangeDefender partner, you will exempt from this fee.
- If you agree, check the following boxes:
- Terms of Services;
- Acceptable Use Policy; and
- Service Level Agreement.
- Click Next
Step 2. Service Configuration
On this page, you will start branding your ExchangeDefender SP portal.
- First, provide an MSP ID. The Service Provider ID is a signal word that identifies your company, e.g. ABCTech, OwnWebNow, etc.;
- Secondly, choose a product name. The product name is what you wish your ExchangeDefender service to be called, e.g. Awesome Email Scanning Service, ABCTech AntiSPAM Solutions, etc.;
- Fill in all the necessary Admin contact information;
- Click Review to proceed to the final step.
Step 3. Review and Finalize
If all of the information presented on this page is correct, please click Finalize Order. This will finalize this order and provision your portal. After you finalize your ExchangeDefender SP order, you will receive an email containing information about your new SP portal. After you order the ExchangeDefender accounts within your newly created SP portal, you will need to follow our deploy guide, located at: http://exchangedefender.com/media/ExchangeDefender_Deployment_Guide.pdf.
Ordering an ExchangeDefender SP portal is a one-time process. You do not need to order a new portal every time you wish to on-board a new ExchangeDefender client. You will use this newly created portal to add new client wishing to use ExchangeDefender, as well as manage existing client you previously signup for ExchangeDefender services. However, if you wish to use and resell ExchangeDefender Essentials, you will create and use a separate ExchangeDefender Essentials SP portal.
Remember, you will now use this newly created ExchangeDefender Service Provider portal to order and manage the ExchangeDefender service only. All other orderings, including Hosted Exchange, Offsite Backup, etc., will be ordered in the OwnWebNow support portal (https://support.ownwebnow.com). All service tickets concerning issue for any ExchangeDefender service should be opened in the OwnWebNow support portal (https://support.ownwebnow.com) as well.
May 17, 2013
A few days ago, while on the phone with a potential partner, I was asked the following questions, “What makes ExchangeDefender different from other vendors that offer the same services? And why should I do business with your company?” After replying to the caller’s questions, I could tell that he was totally unprepared with my answer. So how did I answer? I’ll tell you what; we’ll get back to that one in a minute. First, I want to ask all the business owners and sales representatives that are reading this post a question: Why are you doing business with your current clientele?
In a previous post, I talked about the Pareto Principle—also known as the “80/20 rule”. I mentioned in that post that when I operated my VAR/MSP business, I implemented this principle and dropped roughly 80% of my clients to concentrate on the top 20% remaining. After all, these remaining clients made up +80% of my revenue that year. However, that aside, these particular clients were… different.
After really investigating my remaining clients, I discovered that the vast majority of them were referrals. They were all like-minded and appreciated how technology enhanced their businesses. Furthermore, they viewed me as an employee of their company—not just a contractor for hire. I would sit in on monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings with most of my clients to discuss technology concerns, allocated funds and budgets, and the overall state of their network and devices. I went from being only viewed as the “computer guy” to being appreciated as their technology manager.
So when I was asked the following questions, “What makes ExchangeDefender different from other vendors that offer the same services? And why should I do business with your company,” how do you think I answered? “We are different because we only want to partner with like-minded businesses that are interested in forming a long synergetic relationship between our two companies. We recently shut down our partner program to concentrate on our current partner base. So it’s not whether you should do business with us; the question I have is should we enter into a partnership with your company. Now, with that said, tell me more about your company and what your do so I can determine if our two businesses have anything to offer each other…”.
Michael D. Alligood
Partner Sales & Support, ExchangeDefender & Shockey Monkey
(877) 546-0316 x707
May 14, 2013
One of the best things about being an ExchangeDefender partner is the fact that you get to name your own price for services. Unlike many competitive products on the market, that predetermines and set the margins you will make with their solutions, ExchangeDefender lets you get exactly what you deserve for your service. But how do you determine what to charge?
There are a few best practices for determining your price:
1. Research competing and online pricing for similar services that are marketed to consumers- It is not about being cheaper than other solutions, it is just about knowing the competition, and pricing with a premium for your service and expertise
2. Determine if the solution is something the customer can easily source on their own, or if it requires setup and regular maintenance- This will help you determine how much of a premium you can charge for your service.
3. A 35-50% margin is a good place to start with cloud service pricing- If you are finding push back on your pricing it is ok to adjust as necessary. Just remember it is always harder to raise prices than it is to lower prices.
Be sure to take advantage of promotions and quantity discounts. ExchangeDefender provides promotions regularly on popular services. Keep an eye out for these popular promotions as they can really boost your margins.
There is no perfect pricing for any solution. The market changes often and technology prices fluctuate. The best thing to do is to monitor the market and adapt as needed. Stick with what works for as long as possible but don’t get left behind when changes do occur. By paying attention and staying two steps ahead you will always end up on top.
VP, Channel Services, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x4777
May 13, 2013
A lot of our partners love our Exchange offerings, but now that we have multiple options for email solutions, they are also asking more questions. What is the difference? What do I get? How does it compare? What are the compromises? How much does it cost?
The objective of our Exchange offerings has always been to provide an easy to use, simple and reliable communications platform; and that is something that has not been compromised in any of our solutions. Currently, we are one of the few Exchange providers that deliver service on local systems, public folders, free archiving, and redundant failover all with the product under your brand. Now, we still do all of that just with different pricing options and models.
Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010
You can truly leverage this Exchange 2010 Suite and apply it to your business to increase not only your operational efficiency and increase revenues, but to also lower your costs through the deployment of a completely brandable email hosting solution with a great deal of business appeal. It is offered fully equipped with ExchangeDefender and all of the additional features, SharePoint, Outlook, Outlook Add-In, etc. One major differentiator and value-added feature with this model is LiveArchive. It is important to remember that there is no such thing as 100% uptime, and that is exactly where our LiveArchive cluster comes into play. With LiveArchive you are always connected and can continue working if an outage were ever to take place. Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 is really a turnkey solution that will be reliable for you and your clients as a complete email communication system.
Exchange 2010 Essentials
Exchange 2010 Essentials, at its core, is the same as our Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 offering with a unique advantage – price! Businesses of all shapes and sizes can now have the additional option to rely on Exchange 2010 Essentials just without the additional services such as LiveArchive, SharePoint, Outlook, and so on – Just the best email communication platform at the best possible price! This product also allows you to compete with some bigger players in the industry. Exchange 2010 Essentials is backed by ExchangeDefender Essentials – You will still have the same great spam fighting abilities but you will not receive all of the great features that come with the full ExchangeDefender Suite like: LiveArchive, Encryption, Web File Sharing, Web Filtering, and Compliance Archiving. However, if these features are not needed by your clients and you need to compete on price, then Exchange 2010 Essentials is your answer! Also, Essentials can be very profitable because it could lead to you making more money than selling a higher priced solution.
BRAND NEW!!! Exchange 2013
Exchange 2013 brings a new set of features to Exchange in addition to all the great features that are already in the previous editions of the product. There is a whole new look and feel to the interface making it very user friendly. There is now an additional focus on collaboration within the communication platform where users will enjoy easy to manage public folders, improved searching and indexing that is built into the product, enhanced shared mailboxes, rich integration with SharePoint 2013 and Lync 2013, and much more!
Adding all these options to your solution set will be something that you could make a lot of money on, and also really differentiate yourself from others in the channel and be more versatile.
We are confident that your clients will get hooked on our Exchange offerings because they will truly receive unparalleled support in addition to a phenomenal product that will fit all of their needs. So no matter which offering is chosen, you can be sure that you are providing your clients with a product and service that you can both trust and rely on.
With all three Exchange offerings you have complete control of the client, the branding, and the billing. Your brand, your name, your image, your price, your billing, your solution!
We are currently running a “Cinco de Mayo” promotion for the month of May for Exchange 2013 mailboxes, don’t miss it!
Questions? Contact us!
VP Marketing, ExchangeDefender
May 10, 2013
As we all know one of the major players in the Anti-SPAM space was being merged into another platform which started earlier this year. We have been getting quite a bit of that business and we’ve had enquiries at the shows about migration assistance. We absolutely will help you migrate to our services as long as you are willing and able to provide us with the admin credentials to pull all of the settings we can take care of the rest for you. Once you’ve joined our partner program and created your Service Provider account for ExchangeDefender, just open a support request letting us know you need migration assistance and we’ll let you know how the process will go. We will keep your involvement to the minimum as well as share some of more robust migration paths that would limit your support overhead.
If you have questions before that please feel free to reach out to me directly.
VP Support Services, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x737
May 9, 2013
When we originally came up with the concept of LiveArchive in 2003 we were worried about a world in which on-premise servers would go offline for maintenance and users would be stuck with web access only. With the client base that lacked technical sophistication and limited mobility, the choice to go with Microsoft Exchange was a natural one: no need to retrain, adapt to a new user interface, etc.
Times have changed – a lot: Every user now has a mobile device either personal or one issued by the business. The user base is far more tech savvy – the need for an Exchange OWA interface is just not materially beneficial anymore. Finally, with Microsoft changing their user interface rapidly (and escalating to one per year) given the recent dissatisfaction with Exchange 2013 and Office 2013 – we have been left to address the concerns of our users by ourselves.
So we asked: What is important when your servers go down?
Email is the critical component. Bar none.
But it’s more complex than just email. Business continuity is far more than just being able to continue sending and receiving mail. In 2013 your mailbox is the central filing cabinet for all of your contacts, tasks, meetings, appointments, notes and so on. The digital life is more complex today.
To meet that level of complexity, LiveArchive needs to take a step forward and address these emerging needs for a more fault tolerant – resilient infrastructure.
Namely: The next generation of LiveArchive that we are currently developing is not Microsoft based. We are powering the backend with Linux, iCal, Webmail and our own Shockey Monkey IP. What we will be delivering to you will be a full standby system: Your access to calendars, contacts, email and everything else will be just a swipe away: On your iPhone, Android, any phone with a browser and even a PC.
We are currently developing this and seeking any/all feedback you can give us. By all means, please reach out. The experience we aim for is a transparent one: our IT Solution Providers will install the ghost profile on the PC or mobile device giving you secure IMAP/POP3 access to your email along with an app that contains calendars, tasks and other sync items by default. When things blow up just turn the app on and everything continues as it should.
Will you be forced to move from our existing Exchange 2010 LiveArchive? Not at all. However, we will make a seamless migration process so you can quickly move it to a feature rich failover protocol.
This is a core business need: Stuff will break and when it does it makes sense to spend a few cents a month on a contingency plan. If the contingency plan can run the whole enterprise it would be ridiculous not to implement it: So we’re making it easy to budget, easy to implement and easy to use.
Help us build it!
May 8, 2013
This week we have returned our development focus to Shockey Monkey Reporting. You may remember from earlier last month we released our first revised report:
Employee – Billable Ticket Summary
This is a report that will generated the billable time across service tickets for an employee based on time entry against those tickets.
Since then we have added several new reports to this engine and are very pleased with the results. We have also made sure that every single report is printable; we know this has always been a huge feature request.
Employee – Billable Time
This report gives you a calculated total of billable ticket hours for a given employee.
Clients – Active Summary
This report gives you an overview of your clients and the last time a touch or invoice was created for them.
Clients – Billable Time
This report gives you an overview of your clients and billable time entered against their tickets.
Internal – Inventory
This report gives you an overview of the inventory currently listed within your portal.
Since this re-write of our report engine began several months back, we talked about a dynamic report engine. This engine would allow you to customize and build a report of the current information inside of your portal. We have finished the first section: Tickets and have added it into the reporting engine.
*BETA* – Report Templates
This section allows you to manage your report templates. You can add/edit a template or select the desired template and generated a new report, which will be saved for viewing at a later time. Clicking on the Last Generated date, will open the currently generated report.
*BETA* – New Report
This section is where you will create a new report template or edit and existing one. You will notice at the top of the page, you can enter information about the report template. Then below that section you assign filters and decide which columns should be visible in the generated report.
*BETA* – Generated Report
Upon viewing a generated report you will see something like this, depending on the columns you marked as visible and the report filters that were configured. As mentioned before, this report is printable along with every other report in this new system. Upon clicking the print button, it will open a new window with the printable information.
May 7, 2013
Businesses have always embraced community outreach and charity through volunteering, donations, and general support. Beyond the satisfaction of helping, and the tax advantage; getting involved in the community can help to build your brand and provide a positive image for a company.
There are a number of ways to get involved while building your brand:
Volunteer - Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community. Encourage your employees to get involved and make t-shirts for the team to support the cause while also featuring your business.
Sponsoring – Sponsoring events such as charity walks/runs, youth sports teams, golf tournaments, and local events can provide well branded logo displays, and much needed support within the community.
Host a Charity Event – Hosting a charity event can bring great press and recognition to your business. Whether this is a silent auction, mock casino night, reception and gala, or a host of other types of charity events; be sure to invite your best customers, prominent figures in the community, as well as local leaders, and media personnel.
Join an Organization or Club – There are a number of local clubs and organizations for business owners and employees to join. These are great networking opportunities and usually provide local outreach and charity within the community.
Become a Donation Center – There are a number of electronics based recycling programs looking for donation centers. These may include PC and monitors, cell phones, gadgets, batteries, and many other recycling programs. By becoming a donation center you may increase traffic, awareness, and build your brand through a local “green” movement.
Getting involved is a gratifying endeavor and one you will not regret. It can not only help to build your brand, but can also help to foster your business culture while at the same time strengthening your team.
VP, Channel Services, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x4777
May 6, 2013
Make Yourself Easy to Find
People need to be able to easily find YOU! When people and prospective clients are searching the Internet for the kind of products and services you offer, you want them to be able to find your company. This means embracing SEO (search engine optimization.) Easily, the single most important part of SEO is the number and quality of links pointing to your site. Many people focus too much on stuffing key words into their web pages and blog posts, hoping this will boost their SEO, but neglect to focus on attracting good quality, organic links from great sites. If none of what I just said makes sense to you, get some expert SEO help, if you are interested in diving deeper into that.
Have Something Worth Saying
Whatever your product is, make it as valuable and as interesting as possible! Just like the attached picture in this post states, “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers!” It is hard to stand out, when you are simply echoing what everyone else in your industry is saying or doing and then pursing hard after more and more customers with the same pitch time after time. Here is a suggestion that could be very beneficial for you and your company: If others in your space are all pushing customers to products within your industry, start pushing products to your customers about the possible answers to their problems. Be courageous enough to swim in the opposite direction of the rest of the crowd. Whatever you do, make your message worth saying. Make sure that your products and services have a clear value-add. If you do, it will also be worth paying attention to and worth sharing!
Say It Well
Once you and your company are easy to find and you have something worth saying, you need to be able to say it well – To communicate your message and market your products/services as effectively as possible. The good news is that everything I have mentioned in this post is a skill you can improve on. Any business can improve their SEO, so they attract lots of targeted customers. Any business can learn how to look at their industry more creatively and improve their skills, so prospective clients will actually want to buy what you have to offer. That is why businesses like ExchangeDefender actually exist. We enable businesses to offer a variety of products and services so that they can have the tools to best fulfill the needs of their clients.
If you miss out any of those three steps, you are potentially placing a very low ceiling on your marketing potential. Very few small businesses focus effectively on more than one of those areas, which is GREAT news for you! It means that if you decide to do what is required to learn all three skills, you can achieve amazing results!!!
VP Marketing, ExchangeDefender
May 3, 2013
Over the past two weeks, I had the privilege to represent ExchangeDefender and Shockey Monkey at both the ASCII Boston event and Computer Troubleshooters/Geeks On Call conference in Cleveland. During a break at one of these events, I sat and spoke with another company that offers similar services as ExchangeDefender—a competitor, if you wish to label them as so. I say this because I do not view any company that offers similar products as competitors. However during the conversation, the representative from the other company asked me a question—but prefaced it by saying, “You don’t have to reveal this, but…” I laughed at the premise. “Why would you think I wouldn’t answer that question,” I asked. The representative didn’t disappointment with his answer, “Because we are competitors.” Again, I smiled and asked, “Do you believe we are competitors because we offer the same services—because we sell similar products?
You see we view competition as those that offer similar services and products as we do. And by definition, that would be accurate. But, for competition to exist there must be at least three parties involved: Two similar companies and the consumer. For the most part, the companies are transparent—meaning each knows what the other offers and at what pricing model they offer their products and services. The client is the unknown factor. Which leads me to the end of my conversation with my new friend, I closed by stating, “Sure, we can compete on pricing, offerings, service, support, etc., but in the end, it can come down to customers not liking the way someone handled a support ticket or not liking someone in your sales department, or even something as simple as your logo is ugly. Your competitor is not my company; it is the very people we are both trying to solicit business from. All things being equal (and for this argument, they are), we both provide hosting and email hygiene solutions—at roughly for the same price. That is not competition. The struggle is not between our two companies to win that client. The battle is between the client’s emotions and us.”
It is about making the consumer “feel” a certain way about your company, your product and services. The lesson here is to stop concentrating on your so-called competition. It is a waste of time and resources trying to battle tit for tat. Instead, concentrate on your partners and making their experience with your company familiar—and in a positive way. Instead of practicing the ABC acronym of “Always Be Closing,” maybe you should change that to, “Always Be Caring.” Taking care of your client database means taking care of your clients. This sounds elementary, I know; but when is the last time you called your clients to check on them? Not to sell them. Not to respond to an issue they are experiencing. But just to pick up the phone or stop by their place of business to check on them unsolicited?
In closing, recognize that your true competitors are your own clients. Spend as much time and resources on them and less on the rival companies. In the end, you will keep their business and not give them a reason to have you compete for their business.
Michael D. Alligood
Partner Sales & Support, ExchangeDefender & Shockey Monkey
(877) 546-0316 x707
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