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WHAT’S INSIDE

Computers, Networking, Websites, Advertising, Marketing & Sales

The Official Monthly Magazine of the Association of Computer Repair Business Owners

ISSUE 006 | JUNE 2012

ACRBO Mag By Technicians, For Technicians

Useful Tips

MAKE BUSINESS STRATEGIC PARTNERS P13

Question Time:

How do you build web links? P26

INTERVIEW

Laura Downs The NC businesswoman gives an inspirational interview exclusively to the ACRBO Magazine!

DEALS

SUPPORT

Exclusive Offers

A History Lesson

ACRBO gives you some great discounts that can’t be found anywhere else!

We take you through the evolution of remote support


IN THIS ISSUE

JUNE 2012

Contents JUNE 2012 | ISSUE 006 | ACRBO MONTHLY | ONLINE

P3

Editors Letter & Top Picks

P4

ACRBO Inbox Dan answers your questions

P5

Gillware - Fixing Dead Drives

P6

Featured Member Profile Laura Downs

Featured Articles

P8 ScreenConnect Advert P9

Join the ACRBO! Get a premium account today!

P10

ACRBO Deals By Daniel Hand

P11

Resources for Technicians

P12

Computer Repair Business Lessons Learnt By Daniel Hand

P13

Growing Your Business With Strategic Partnerships

Mobile Apps | P25

By Steve Kjenner P14

Don’t Promise Too Much

P15

Business Leads

P16

Google AdWords Promotion

ACRBO Inbox | P4

P19 Competition P20

The Evolution of Remote Support

P22

ACRBO Marketplace The people and products that helped make this issue

P24

The Ideal Business Deal

P25

Business Apps By Dennis Drew

P26

Link Building

P27 SurfRight P28

2

Be Curious ... And a Successful Communicator

www.acrbo.com

AdWords | P16


HELLO

Editors words

Welcome to this month’s issue of our magazine. This month we bring you some great new articles. We have some great contributions for some super articles that you should get a lot out of. If you haven’t had a chance to login to the Association site lately you might want to check it out especially the Preferred Vendor section and see if there are any vendors that can provide some benefit to your business model.

Talk to us! Keep your valuable feedback coming. We try to reply to every email, we appreciate your input as it helps to make the ACRBO magazine possible. dan@acrbo.com www.Facebook.com/acrbo

EDITORS INTRO

I hope you enjoy this month’s issue of the magazine, and as always please email me if you have any comments, contributions or feedback. Lastly I’d like to congratulate you for investing your time to educate yourself by reading this magazine. We are proud to be able to help all our readers, and look forward to serving you for many years to come.

ACRBO Magazine Fredericksburg Virginia Swansea, Wales, UK Advertising enquires: Send an email to dan@acrbo.com Contribute articles: If you would like to be a contributing author for the magazine then send an email to dan@acrbo.com and let us know what you would like to write about. Copyright 2012 ACRBO. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated or converted into machine-readable form or language without the written consent of the publisher. Articles express the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the publisher ACRBO Magazine Director: ACRBO dan@acrbo.com Editor: Jon May jon@thelaptopmedics.co.uk Contributors Various experts in their fields

“Association of Computer Repair Business Owners”

The instructions and advice in the magazine is for entertainment purposes only. The creators, producers, contributors and distributors of the ACRBO Mag disclaim any liability for loss or lack of results from following the advice expressed herein.

www.acrbo.com

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ACRBO INBOX

EMAILS

ACRBO Inbox

If you’ve got a question, just fire it over to dan@acrbo.com and we’ll answer them and include the top e-mails in each issue.

Websites

Employment

Specific or general targeting?

How much to pay a new technician?

QUESTION:

QUESTION:

Should I have just one website for my business?

If I hire a tech how much should I pay them?

DAN, ACRBO:

DAN, ACRBO

Really depends on your thinking. If you just get another domain name and use the exact same content it pretty much defeats the purpose.

That is going to be based on the area you are in.

But, if you are going to create unique content for each site then it will be worth it. You can leave the same phone number, etc on it but content needs to be unique so you are not penalized by the search engines.

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Check around what the going rates are and base it off that. Remember you are going to pay the employee, taxes and everything else that goes along with it. Make sure you actually have enough work for an employee before hiring one only to find out that it’s not cost effective for you.


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BIG INTERVIEW

FEATURE

Laura D owns tell us how she hated working as a travel agent and had the entreneurial spark to start her own business

“Be prepared and be realistic. It takes time to build a business� 6

www.acrbo.com


FEATURE

BIG INTERVIEW

Featured Member This month, Laura Downs talks to us and gives us a look into her life ...

Q

Business Name? HearthStone Computer Repair Inc.

Q Q

Where are you located? Huntersville, NC

Education? Associate in Arts Degree from Central Piedmont Community College plus several computer-related courses at CPCC. A+ Certified.

Q

What did you want to be when you grew up? A flute player in an orchestra. I wanted to go into music performance and not music education, and was somehow smart enough at age 17 to realize that my lack of drive to practice my flute wouldn’t get me very

far…so I became a Travel Agent.

Q

What was your worst job? Working for a travel agency which owned a charter company chartering planes to Europe. The agency defaulted on their contract, stranding passengers in Italy and Greece. Guess who was receiving overseas phone calls of death threats from angry customers?

Q

What was your first job? Waitressing at a local family-owned restaurant named Tasty Chick. Funny name but the BEST fried chicken EVER. They didn’t make us wear t-shirts with the business name on it. Phew.

Q

How did you end up owning your business? I was taking computer classes beyond my AA degree, hoping to someday start my own business, when I met a fellow classmate in a class to prep for the A+ certification. He brought me in to a school as a part-time tech so we could job share and take the time burden off of his shoulders. At that point I decided to just start my business.

Q

What is next for your business? Focusing an advertising plan in which I can build a larger customer base in my town and surrounding area, vs the Charlotte region which is a

time stretch for me. Getting my CCNA and Network + certs before the end of the year.

Q

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business right now? Be prepared and be realistic. It takes time to build a business, especially in this industry. Read about it and continue to educate yourself all the time. Things are constantly changing.

Q

Where do you want to be five years from now? Five years…empty nest by then… I may look for a tech job rather than expand my business, it’s hard to say.


WEBSITE

MARKETING


DISCOUNTS

DEALS

Bargain

JUNE 2012

ACRBO DEALS Remote Support

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Downloadable or available on DVD, this package will help you on the way to repairing laptops in no time at all. Available in the US and around the world.

Stay Tuned ACRBO Preferred Vendor

Computer Repair Tech Website Builder Some of you may of already heard but Steve Cherubino has disclosed that he is going to be coming out with the NEW Computer Repair Tech Website Builder. Years ago Steve developed an easy to build/edit website for computer businesses and was greeted with great success and praise from business owners. Realizing the market has changed Steve has done a total revamp to the Tech Website Builder and it should be released very soon‌ Top right is a picture of the old format that was used with great success. Really looking forward to this new release.

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Your Advert Here dan@acrbo.com


TIPS

KNOWLEDGE

Resources for Techs Paul Iommi gives us some tips on where to build on your existing knowledge to improve your own personal productivity and skills. As technicians, we are used to the ever changing world of technology. Your education is never completed, but rather a lifelong journey. At times, keeping up with everything can be quite frustrating. Don’t despair; there are many high quality resources that can be found online. In this article I will be reviewing some of the resources that I would recommend checking out. Khan Academy http://www.khanacademy.com Khan Academy is a nonprofit educational website created by Salman Khan. Khan was a graduate of MIT. Khan originally started by creating tutorials and posting them on YouTube. His site has expanded, and now contains over 3,200 videos. All the videos are completely free. There are not many videos focusing on computers in general - but the wealth of information is incredible. Those technicians who are still pursuing their degree will find this site invaluable. I wish there was a site like this when I was in college; maybe I would have done better in my Calculus courses. There are also many videos focusing on economic issues that our government is facing today.

curriculum. Most courses available are computer science related, but Coursera plans on expanding this in the future. The format is similar to taking an actual class; there are quizzes, homework, and projects. Each week a new series of lectures will be available for you to watch, with work assigned for each week. Some of the professors are top notch. If you would like the experience of taking some college level courses without spending a dime, you should check out Coursera. The New Boston http://www.thenewboston.org The New Boston is another site that originally started by the creator Bucky Roberts making Youtube tutorials. The great thing about The New Boston is that almost all of the tutorials focus on topics related to computers, programming, and even gaming. The tutorials are split up into about ten minutes segments, so you can easily learn at your own pace. Some of the more popular tutorials are Android & Java Programming. TED

Coursera http://www.coursera.org Coursera is a company founded by professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller of Stanford University. Its mission statement is to be “committed to making the best education in the world freely available to any person who seeks it”. Coursera offers courses that you would typically find in a college

short talk about a particular topic. The topics range in scope, but there are many talks that are related to science & technology. More than 900 talks are available, and more are continually added. For those of you who want to broaden your horizons and be entertained, check out TED. HP Learning Center http://www.hp.com/go/ learningcenter HP Learning Center is a free service offered by HP that has tutorials on many computer related topics. The range of topics goes from simple things like learning Facebook and Twitter to more complex topics like security. Every course is laid out so you can go through it completely at your own pace. After each lesson, some topics may have quizzes or exercises for practice. HP Learning Center does not have the wealth of information as the other sites, but you will find a few things that will grab your interest. Unlike the other resources we looked at, this site can be recommended to your customers who are still learning about their computer, or have just gotten into Digital Photography.

http://www.ted.com It is likely you have already heard of TED. If not, it is something you must check out. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It is run by a nonprofit group trying to spread “ideas worth spreading.” TED does not have courses, or specific goals. Each TED talk is a

Hopefully, you will find these sites as useful as I do. I consider knowledge very powerful, especially in these rough economic times. The best thing about all these sites is that they are completely free - while others are paying huge sums of money for the same material. If you have any other recommendations, email me at iommi.paul@gmail.com. www.acrbo.com

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PARTNERS

STRATEGY

Strategic Partnerships Steve Kjenner from Computer Medics of Dade County gives us some tips on growing your service business by working together What if I say you can grow your business without working more hours, hiring staff, or any out of pocket costs?

discover there is not a fit, continue your search for the right “candidate”, similar to the way you would look to hire an employee.

You can, by seeking out strategic partnerships with companies or freelancers that have the skills, knowledge, or products you don’t already possess, and are difficult or costly to acquire on your own.

Once you find the right partner, you will need to cultivate and continually develop the relationship, particularly in the early stages where knowledge transfer and establishment of working protocols are important for success.

If done carefully, strategic partnership agreements can be just the ticket your business needs to increase revenues, expand services, increase coverage, and jump to the next level. Strategic partners are different then a list of vendors that do a job and get paid; strategic partners are committed to the growth and prosperity of your business. They want to see you succeed.

The benefits of successful strategic partnerships can be numerous for both partners.

A successful strategic partnership is an agreement between two parties to share or exchange resources, where both parties benefit. I highly recommend creating a written agreement where the expectations are clearly spelled out for both parties.

Other benefits may include low cost or free marketing and sales assistance or technical support and training.

There are challenges to creating strategic partnerships, but when executed correctly, I believe the benefits far outweigh the challenges.

Strategic alliances can also enhance your appeal as an ‘investable’ business to investors or buyers if your exit strategy is to sell your business.

Since a strategic partnership is relationship based the partners must “click” and trust each other. This can easily be determined during an initial meeting or two. If after a couple meetings you

Certainly in uncertain economic times like today any strategy to grow your business is definitely worth a look at.

Approach the strategic partnership as you would approach a relationship with your customers. Be honest and ethical, and there should be few if any problems.

The obvious benefit is the sharing of resources or skillsets. Both parties can utilize the resources and skillsets of the other and service clients they would otherwise be unable to; without hiring additional staff of their own.

One of the challenges to creating a strategic partnership is finding a partner that is a good fit for your business.

achieve a competitive advantage.

Done correctly, with mutually beneficial objectives and a written agreement of how the relationship will work, I see little if any downside to strategic partnering. By cooperating with each other and working together, strategic partners can create a higher value; compared to the value they would create on their own struggling to www.acrbo.com

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STRATEGY

PROMISE

Don’t Promise Too Much The key to any successful busines is not to overstretch yourself by committing beyond your means and keep customers happy I’ve recently bought a computer system, taken my family to a theme park and flown on an airline that were all rated tops in their fields for service. They had won awards and were widely cited as leading examples of service quality in action. I ended up being disappointed. Not that the service was bad compared with others in their industries, they were clearly better. But I had expected much more. For example, the computer sales representative had touted his company’s No. 1 service ranking in a highly recognized survey. That was the key reason I bought the system. Yet my calls for installation, trouble-shooting and integration with other hardware and software weren’t the hassle-free encounters I had expected. The service people turned out to be fallible human beings who had some trouble answering the phone. They were better than most of the others I’d dealt with in the computer industry. But in an industry that pays scant attention to customer support, that’s not saying much. This is important to understanding what causes poor customer service. It is not always a question of performance; it can be about expectations, as well. To attract new customers, many organizations promise great service, display their service or quality

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awards, or show survey data that put them at the top of their industry. But those higher expectations raise the bar. It becomes difficult to meet them, let alone exceed them. Here are some ways to keep customer expectations within reach: • Be very careful with promises you make or imply in your advertising, brochures, marketing and public relations activities. • Make sure your salespeople, dispatchers, receptionists, order desk staff, designers, or anyone in your organization who has contact with customers are promising less than your organization can deliver. • Continually research and test your customers’ expectations and the factors that most influence them. • Make it a personal and, ultimately, an organizational habit to promise a little and deliver a lot. • Train your sales force to go after only those market niches where expectations match your delivery capabilities. It should become corporate strategy that all sales dollars are not equal. Some customers come with expectations that you can’t meet or that will prove very expensive. • Don’t try to negotiate your customers’ expectations downward. You will lose this opportunity to improve yourself; you also risk losing

the customer to someone who can meet its expectations. Low service performing organizations set themselves up for failure by raising expectations to attract new customers. They overpromise and under-deliver. Highperforming organizations know that one secret of success is to underpromise and overdeliver. That is how they build reputations for service and keep customers coming back.


BREAK/FIX

MSP

Business Leads The more you get the word out about your business, the more business leads you are bound to generate Anyone who runs their own business can tell you how challenging it is to generate business leads on a consistent basis. Finding good leads and generating more sales is vital to the long term growth of any business. There are many well documented sources of business leads – we will try to cover some of the best in this article. As any job seeker can tell you, networking generates far more job offers than simply reading the want ads each morning. The same is true of business leads. Networking with your peers is likely to generate far more business leads then putting an ad in your local newspaper. That is because of the exponential nature of the social and business network. Say you tell five associates about your great new business. Each of those five associates tells five of their friends and associates, and so on and so on. You can see how quickly your circle can expand. Word of mouth advertising is the most cost effective advertising of all. It’s free and it can generate an exceptional amount of interest in your business. Trade shows are another excellent source of business leads. Trade shows take the networking concept a step further by gathering together executives and business owners for a common purpose. Trade shows can focus on a specific industry or a specific market. For instance, we have a trade show

here each fall to which all the local businesses are invited. This provides an excellent opportunity for business executives and small business owners to meet each other and discuss their products and services. This show generates excellent business leads year in and year out. Industry specific trade shows are an excellent source of business leads as well. For instance, the computer industry holds many trade shows throughout the year, including the well known extravaganza in Las Vegas each year. By concentrating on one industry, the vendors know they will be able to generate good business leads among an audience that is already interested in the product or service they provide. This focus can eliminate a lot of the wasted effort that often accompanies efforts to generate business leads.

industry journals, both online and offline. Check their circulation rates to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Being flexible, creative and friendly goes a long way when searching for business leads. Be creative, think of things the other guy has not. Tell the people you meet every day about your business. The more you get the word out about your business, the more business leads you are bound to generate. Always strive to be the best in everything you do. Your drive and determination will help you stay a step ahead of the competition.

Trade magazines can be another excellent source of business leads. Unlike advertising in your local newspaper, or general purpose magazine, trade magazines are focused in on a specific industry. Trade magazines are generally read only by those involved in that industry. Believe me when I say it – no one reads Network Computing for fun. By advertising in a trade industry journal or magazine, you can be assured of reaching a targeted audience for a reasonable price. There are a number of trade

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MARKETING

ADWORDS

Google Adwords To make the most of what Adwords offers, you must have a firm grasp on how to run an effective Adwords campaign To make the most of what Adwords offers, you must have a firm grasp on how to run an effective Adwords campaign. The first step you must take is to learn everything you can about Adwords. That means you must invest time in researching Adwords, and you may also want to consider taking an Adwords course or purchasing an Adwords guide. Here are seven ways that will help you increase your Google Adwords revenue: 1. Once you have a thorough understanding of Adwords, consider how much you want to invest initially to bid on keywords. Set a budget that you are you comfortable with, and stick to it. Once you drive more traffic to your Web site and, in return, make larger profits, you may want to increase your budget. For now, however, only bid what you can comfortably afford to pay.

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2. Know how to use keywords to maximize your investment. Your main keyword or keyword phrase should be in the headline of your ad, in the ad itself, and in the content on your Web site. 3. Your ad must be innovative and grab the attention of your prospective customers. Illustrate to your prospective customers WHY they should click on the link and visit your Web site. Remember, the objective is for prospective customers to click on your ad. 4. Your Web site must contain information that is valuable to your target market. Once prospective customers click on the link to your Web site, they want to find information that they need and can use. By providing unique and compelling content, you’ll give prospective customers to both sign up for your list and visit your Web site again and again (provided that

you add fresh content on a regular basis). 5. Always keep track of the competition. You must know what your competitors are doing, so you can ensure you’re doing enough to get ahead - and stay ahead - of them. 6. Use a variation of keywords, including commonly misspelled words. By using a variety of keywords, you’ll reach a larger audience. 7. Avoid using negative or inactive keywords. If a keyword isn’t getting many hits, stop using it. Likewise, avoid using negative keywords. All of your keywords should be directly related to your target market. If you apply the right techniques, you should see an increase in traffic to your Web site which will, hopefully, increase your overall profits. Remember, you should only bid as much as you can comfortably afford.


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ADVERTISING

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 

WEBSITES

If you are in the Information Technology industry then below is a list of must visit locations

 Site: www.TechNibble.com

Who Is Technibble For? Technibble is a free resource for Computer Technicians ComputerTechnicians Business owners. Technibble is and for Computer (or soon to be techs) who are looking to get into the IT industry, start their own computer business Technicians or improve their Technibble helps Computer withexisting one. We frequently write about ways for you ato get informational and how-to articles published clients, deal with problem clients and introduce you to few some great computer repair community tools and of software. times a week and has a strong

Site: www.TheForceField.net

What is The Force Field?

The Force Field is the name of a podcast for IT Service Professionals, IT consultants, VARs, computer shops and anyone else in the technology field, particularly those who offer products and services to end users.

Computer Technicians to help one another. About Technibble

Technibble started in 2006. During this time the Technibbleitself helps you by covering topics such as: founder (Bryce Whitty) was doing a lot of web development work for clients. There were a handful of sites available that talked about the business side of web - How to start a Computer Business development such as how to get clients or how to deal - Advertising, how to This get clients andakeep with troublesome ones. helped him greatthem deal in the web development but eventually gave away - Business and legalworld issues doing web development for clients andwork focused solely on - Steamline your computer repair the computer repairs. - Technician related product reviews and However, he noticed there wasn’t anything out there to discounts help Computer Technicians with their business in the - Newway opportunities look out for From this, same there was fortoweb developers. - Stories from Technibble was "the born.trenches" from your fellow Computer Techs Over the years, Technibble has grown into a vibrant community of Computer Technicians sharing their knowledge with each other. Technibble also has a large database of Computer Repair tools and adds a new one to its Be sure toevery checkweek. out the Archives, Computer Repair database Tools section and the Computer Technician forum. .

   

The half hour show is produced by Savoia Media and hosted by Rick Savoia, an IT Service Professional who is also a veteran in the broadcast industry.

Your Ad Here Last issue had over Your Ad here 2,500 views!

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Contact

dan@acrbo.com

Let Us Know > Want to see your ad here? Drop us an email.

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Be sure to check out the Archives, Computer Repair Tools section and the Computer Technician forum. www.TechNibble.com

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dan@acrbo.com


WEBCAST

FIBERCLOUD

FiberCloud Partners Title: ACRBO Members - Join FiberCloud’s Partner Network Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT Sign-up here: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/469319894 Join us for an interactive session to learn more about how you can partner with FiberCloud to offer the best in cloud hosted software and cloud infrastructure products to your clients. We look forward to meeting with you to talk about ways you can leverage the FiberCloud infrastructure and answer all your questions.

In this session we will cover the following: • Program Overview • Benefits for Your Customers • Your Opportunity • Product Offerings • Resources to Make You Successful • Special Pricing and Incentives for ACRBO Members • How to Get Started Sign-up here: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/469319894 For more information visit us at www.FiberCloud.com or contact Andre Rincon at 206-453-6416.

Competition Win a Brand New Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out book! The ultimate, in-depth troubleshooting reference. We will randomly choose a winner and e-mail the winner. Just send an email to: dan@acrbo.com and in the Subject line put: Win Book Last month’s winner of the book is: Mike Gargano of Overdrive Computer Repair

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FEATURE

REMOTE

The Evolution of The Stone Age For years, remote support and remote access tools have allowed technicians to connect to remote machines for the purpose of diagnosing problems, installing software, monitoring equipment, and overseeing individuals. In the past, solutions such as VNC and PC Anywhere had one common theme; they were installed on-premise and typically only used inside an organization’s network. From the start, remote applications have sought to make the technician’s life easier. Instead of walking 300 yards across a facility techs could dissect an issue from the comfort of their desk. Sounds ideal, right? Well it didn’t start out so easy. In the beginning, cumbersome setup, lagging performance, and the hassle of annoying nuances were a regular occurrence of earlier products. But, it became a mission of the technician to make the software work. I look back on the circumstances and equate them to the guy that searches the entire house for the remote control instead of just walking over to the TV and changing the channel. I’m sure many keyboards were broken, a few monitors were cracked, and those poor little mice were slammed to pieces! Rent-A-Software Early adopters of remote support software would probably say little was

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wrong with the original tools. Technicians devised methods to make them work and harbored that knowledge as a source of pride. But in order for the software to become mainstream, the tools and methodology had to become easier. Stepping forward a few years, SaaS-based products hit the scene with companies like LogMeIn and Citirx leading the way. In the SaaS model, the parent company hosts the software and provides access at a low monthly rate (the low part may be questionable). The model seems great; the upside being no headaches of setting up firewalls on each machine and easy connections to any computer on the internet. Hosted solutions grew in popularity much to the surprise of many who compared renting software to paying for water! I mean who in the world would want to pay for water? The SaaS model has flourished in the past decade as businesses extended internationally, internet speeds improved, and the term “Crackberry” became a common household word—and that was even before Google became a verb. The growth of this model has proved that ease of use is paramount for many consumers. The Cycle Completes First we owned and managed all software on-premise then we scaled down equipment and simplified our lives

by renting software. So what’s next? You guessed it; we bring it back in-house of course! Any seasoned business leader will tell you that all good trends cycle. This principal that is often associated with the manufacturing and fashion industry also holds true in the Information Technology world. Although many companies love the simplicity that the SaaS-based solutions provide, the downside of mounting fees and sensitive data passing through external servers, make this model an easy target for change. At this time many companies are opting for potentially more secure, cost effective alternatives like self-hosted remote support software.


REMOTE

FEATURE

Remote Support 3. Mobile support of tablets and phones is already a big request as iOS and Android continue to grow. Both operating systems will need to allow remote support tools to penetrate their marketplace as business and public demand increases. 4. Large companies like Apple, Intel, and Microsoft will continue to provide their own tools. It’s not a priority for them to make their solutions cross-compatible, so the third-party SaaS and self-hosted solutions will remain a big part of the industry for a long time. 5. An increase in private and public clouds will give users more options. As a self-hosted solution the growing VPS market is popular with many of our customers. 6. As more tools integrate they will become more expensive and difficult to use. Organizations will ultimately cycle to different products that provide a more simplistic use model and fulfill a specific niche. We are seeing this trend today with mobile applications. Self-hosted solutions like ScreenConnect and Bomgar are a far cry from their predecessors; they are simplistic, web-based, accessible inside or outside of a network, and require very little setup on the client machine. Initially, a selfhosted solution requires some simple configuration and port forwarding on the administrator end of things that SaaS software does not, but the advantages of ROI, security, and other peripherals such as branding and customization ultimately payoff in the long run.

of capability. There will be more and more partnerships among different tools and remote support products to provide comprehensive suites. 2. It’s not just the computer geeks who want to have access to machines remotely. Accountants, lawyers, other professionals, and novice users are finding more and more uses for remote support tools.

7. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more pay-per-use or integration modules with open source products. There are a lot of smart people out there who can write apps and small tools that do one thing really well. If they can make a dollar or two per app that interfaces with the different RMM, MSP, or CRM tools that could be a very comfortable living.

www.ScreenConnect.com

Nostradamus Looks to the Future Where is the industry headed? Companies like Google, Oracle, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Apple, and open-source projects provide many of the opportunities and hurdles for this industry. As they release new functionality and the line between mobile and traditional operating systems blur one thing’s for sure—the next ten years should be interesting! As a small player in a larger industry this is what we expect: 1. We are seeing more and more integrations and partnerships between MSP, data storage, help desk, ITSM, and other related industry products with remote support. Many of these solutions have a built-in product with varying levels www.acrbo.com

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MARKETPLACE

ACRBO

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Contact:

Veteran Web Hosting Contact dan@cmonova.com

ContactUs Hosting – Domain Names – Yearly Packages (ACRBO Discount)

dan@cmonova.com

A great gift for that tech you know. Or even better take them on site with you and amaze your customers. Visit www.PcDice.com

Visit www.VeteranWebHosting.net

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dan@acrbo.com

Let Us Know > Want to see your ad here? Drop us an email.

Linux For The Rest Of Us - Do you want to stay ahead of the computer curve so that you don't feel left in the dust? - Do you want to expand your knowledge so that YOU are that technician who people go to for advice? - Do you want to learn an operating system so powerful and fun you'll wonder how you lived without it?

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dan@acrbo.com

 Visit www.LinuxForTheRestOfUs.com

Quotable: I have an almost religious zeal - not for technology per se, but for

the Internet which is for me, the nervous system of mother Earth, which I see as a living creature, linking up. ~Dan Millman

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www.acrbo.com

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BUSINESS

DEALS

The Ideal Business Deal In a deal, you should communicate clearly and specifically about your expectations, leaving no ground for misunderstandings A deal is an agreement that is reached after negotiation. An agreement is a mutual commitment between two or more people. A deal is a type of contract that two parties agree to follow. Deals are very prevalent in business areas, thus we are constantly hearing terms like business deals, financial deals and more. While making a deal with another company or person, there are a few things that you should remember. When you are negotiating with another company, take charge of

the situation. It is important to be in control of the deal initially to ensure a smooth flow of positive activity. You may sometimes face unavoidable situations when the opposite party cut a deal that leaves you exposed. It is not always possible to shield yourself. Leaving those unavoidable instances, try to be in control of the entire situation when you are dealing with another person or company.

Deposits, advances, and frontloaded payment schedules are ways of judging the reliability of the other company.

While you are dealing with another company, it is best to collect the money sooner than later.

Cash is always safer than checks in deals, and a certified check is safer than a personal one. While dealing with money matters, do not move beyond your budget. Take help from third-party financing, only after the deal is officially made. In a deal, you should communicate clearly and specifically about your expectations, leaving no ground for misunderstandings. Have a condition attached to your deal. In a deal, make the key items subject to your approval. The best way of dealing with deals is to self inspect everything. Talk to the tenant and the franchisee to know how things are working. In a deal, try to be the boss. Create a situation in the deal where the other party will report to you by giving you `various reports on the various stages of the deal. There are very few companies that are self sufficient. Making deals with various companies not only increases the trust between the two, but also ensure a rise for both of them.

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GILLWARE

RAID TIPS

Business Apps Put simply, an app makes things easier; they make accessing information quicker and more convenient for the user

Now available for Android and iPhones The app market caters for everyone, apps can help customers find you, find out more about your business and interact with you. Businesses are now putting faith

in apps to generate revenue, raise brand awareness and increase user engagement. I compare it to the internet came about and people were wondering “Do I really

need a website?” The same can be asked of apps, and to me the answer is yes. If it’s affordable and doable why not implement it into your business.

$50 for the Android app, $125 for the iPhone version, or $150 for both (Prices reflect ACRBO membership discount)

Contact Dennis Drew dennisdrew@gmail.com for more information www.acrbo.com

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STRATEGY

LINKS

Link Building Here are a few strategies to build some links with other websites, which can make you appear higher in search engine listings 1. Contact various other website owners and provide a link exchange. It really is advisable to get in touch with site owners with sites in the similar niche as yours. You can create a ‘recommended sites’ page or listing on your own website where you can put links to other websites that accept a link exchange. 2. Make a ‘link to us’ section on your site. This is to make a proposal to your site visitors to link back to your site. Give them all of the information that they’ll need to link to your website such as URL and anchor text. Have a portion where they can leave their information for you to link to their website. 3. Make sure that your website contains quality information so that other webmasters will want to link to your website. Site owners do not want to be linking to a site that isn’t of good quality and so the quality of your site is always important for link building. 4. Search the internet for other sites that may cite your website or your website content but don’t include a link to your site. Contact those webmasters and ask them to include a link to your website. 5. Post feedback on blogs and include a link back to your site. Always make appropriate comments which are related to the post topic or your comment will not likely be accepted it looks like spam. 6. Make use of internal link building from within your own website. For example, when you make a new page or post on your site you can include a link to your main home page or other page on your site.

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7. Article marketing is a really successful way to build backlinks. Write good quality articles and distribute them to article directories and put a link to your website in the author’s resource box. 8. Offer to make a guest post on another person’s blog. If you write a guest post for someone else’s blog they get the benefit of new content for their blog and you get the benefit of being able to include a link back to your website. 9. Look at your competitor’s backlinks and see if you can get some of those same sites to link to your website. 10. Make use of social networking sites such as Squidoo and HubPages to build backlinks to your website. It is easy and quick to make a Squidoo lens or HubPage and include a backlink in the content. These are generally ten helpful link building strategies and you can utilize all of them or a few of them. The important thing is to utilize some strategies and put in the effort that is needed for effective link building. Video Marketing is actually a scheme which facilitates and encourages people to pass along marketing video clips about services and products available. Info Product Creation can benefit a lot from video marketing in order to fulfill business objectives and be profitable.


VENDOR

SURFRIGHT

SurfRight SurfRight is the ACRBOs newest preferred vendor with the main product HitmanPro licensing being explained in this article HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue a computer from nasty viruses, spyware, trojans, rootkits, and other threats, that have infected the computer despite all the security measures taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.). Just relying on a single vendor is not sufficient to completely protect the computer. A second source is needed to make sure the computer is secure. Our statistics show that 1 out of 3 computers is infected, despite the presence of an anti virus program. www.surfright.com/home/press. HitmanPro is designed to scan the computer quickly (in less than 5 minutes), and works alongside existing security programs without slowing down your computer. HitmanPro can be run straight from a USB flash drive, a CD/DVD, local or network attached hard drive. ACRBO members can register as a partner for SurfRight. Partners get discount on products in our webshop, and can earn commission on products that are sold through their activities. ACRBO members will receive a discount/commission of 35% (normal 25%) on all SurfRight products. SurfRight Partner Program Resellers, Computer Specialists, website owners, bloggers, etc. can register as a partner for SurfRight. Partners get discount on products in our webshop, and can earn commission on products that are sold through their activities. Please note: You can use the free 30-day license to remove the infections from computers of home

users. And you can leave “your” custom version of HitmanPro on the computer of your customer (see our Affiliate Program for more details) and receive a commission when the customers purchase. ACRBO members will receive a discount/commission of 35% (normal 25%) on all SurfRight products. 1) Reseller program, where you purchase licenses at a discount in our webshop. 2) Affiliate program, where you refer customers to our webshop (through links on your website or through a trial version) and receive a commission when your customers purchase. 3) Incident licenses, one-time licenses that can be used to quickly clean the computer. In all cases, you need to sign up on the SurfRight website as a reseller, or as an affiliate, or both. After approval of your request, you will receive your user name and password to log in to the SurfRight reseller dashboard. Resellers As a reseller, you can purchase products at a discount in our webshop. In our Reseller Portal you will see an overview of the SurfRight products in the bottom of the screen. Click on one of the products which will bring you to directly to the shopping cart. Your discount is already processed.

Affiliates Affiliates can refer their customers or web site visitors to the SurfRight web site, web shop, or to trial versions of HitmanPro or SurfRight Antispam. When your customers purchase SurfRight products in our web shop, the web shop will register these transaction as coming from you. You can sign up through https:// www.cleverbridge.com/747/?scope= affiliatesignup&xa-source=ACRBO Incident Licenses HitmanPro can be used in “incident mode”. In this case, HitmanPro can be installed in free scan mode on all machines or on computers that are suspected to be infected by malware. After an infection is found, the license key is entered and the HitmanPro malware removal function is activated on that computer. Each activation expires a few days after the activation date, to allow sufficient time to remove the infection. After HitmanPro has cleaned the malware from the computer, HitmanPro can continue to run in free scan mode, or can be removed from the computer entirely. Organizations can purchase prepaid incident licenses for multiple activations.

You can sign up through https://www.cleverbridge. com/747/?scope=partnersignup&xpsource=ACRBO

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DEVELOPMENT

CURIOSITY

Be Curious... ... And Be A Successful Communicator There are many ways to improve the way you communicate. For example, you will always start things off on the right foot by opening the conversation in a way that creates mutual respect.

person; attempting to control their reaction; or going in with a hidden agenda.

curious more often is that we mentally equate curiosity with agreement.

Be Interested

Using phrases such as, “If you have a minute, I’d like to talk with you about something that I think will improve the way we work together,” helps set your conversation partner at ease.

Of the many ways to improve your conversation skills, one of the best is to be interested.

We think that if we don’t disagree immediately, our conversation partner will assume we’re okay with whatever he is saying.

It tells him or her that you have positive intentions. It is also important to know your purpose for the conversation. Some purposes are more useful than others. A useful purpose is one you have power over. For instance, you can control your own reaction; you can share your view; learn about your partner’s view; work toward a sustainable solution. On the other hand, examples of purposes that are NOT useful are: trying to change the other

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Curiosity is one of the most useful tools in the communication toolbox. When you enter the conversation with “beginner’s mind,” you will necessarily adopt the attitude of a learner. You will not have to pretend to ask honest, open questions. They will come naturally. As you listen, you can reflect on what is being said (and not said). You will gain information and ease tension. If you can’t think of a question, you can always acknowledge what you’ve heard, or you can say: “I see, tell me more about that.” One of the reasons we’re not

This is not useful thinking. It prevents you from seeing the whole picture and from learning where your partner is coming from. The next time you find yourself in a difficult conversation, give yourself and your partner a gift by asking questions - questions to which you do not know the answer. Watch what happens. You will learn a lot, and you will feel more powerful, not less. Remember – listening does not equal agreement. It means you are a skilled and active learner, a good partner, and a conscious communicator. Live, learn, and enjoy the moment. Good luck and good communication!


ACRBO June Mag