Archive for January 2010

Last day to enter State of the IT Industry Contest – Win an mp3 player!

Last month we launched The State of the IT Industry Contest in which I challenged everyone to guess the reoccuring theme in a series of The Force Field podcasts released last year about The State of the IT Industry in which four IT professionals predicted where their business and the industry as a whole would be in the coming year.

The idea is to find out if their predictions were true, what happened in their segment of the industry that made them come true in spite of current economic conditions and why.

I challenged everyone to review the episodes for themselves and discover what I believe to be one reason discussed that can make or break your success in this market, especially in a difficult economy.

To enter the contest, listen to The Force Field episodes 29, 30, 31 and 32, guess the common theme and post your answer in The Force Field Forums or send an e-mail to comments@theforcefield.net.

If you guess answer correctly or figure it out I will put your name in a drawing to win a Coby MP305 2GB Go mp3 player similar to the one we gave away in the Summer of Podcasts contest last  year. (The winner was in Sweden).

The Coby MP305 mp3 player is great for techs in the field. It can hold 2GB of podcasts, music and data, includes a seven color display, an FM radio, has a direct USB connection and can be used as a USB thumb drive.

The mp3 player will be shipped loaded with The Force Field Podcast Special Edition Volume 1. This edition, which is currently available in The Force Field Podcast store, is a collection of the first six episodes of The Force Field (when it was for OnForce Providers only) remastered with additional content and an additional segment in each episode written and produced specifically for the collection and never before released. The episodes are COMMERCIAL FREE.

Contest rules: 

  1. Post your answer in the forum contest thread or via e-mail.
  2. You may discuss the topic in the thread but only one official posted answer per entrant.
  3. You must include a valid name/username or e-mail address in the post (you can spell out (at) instead of @ to prevent spamming. If you use username only make sure the e-mail address on your member account is correct.
  4. You must be 18 years or older to participate.

A winner will be chosen from all correct entries posted in this thread or received by midnight EST January 31, 2010. The winner will be announced on episode 40 of The Force Field.

TechSiteBuilder

We now are offering TechSiteBuilder at a discounted price for all ACRBO members. All members can see the package in the “Prefered Vendors” section of the site.

If you have not checked out this new package from Steve Cherubio over at Podnutz.com then you should. Great idea, great concept, and something everyone can benefit from.

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OnForce Q4 2009 Report Shows Stabilization in IT and CE Services, CEO Offers Predictions for 2010

BOSTON – January 25, 2009 – OnForce, the trusted online services marketplace that empowers
businesses to find highly skilled local service technicians, today released the OnForce Services
Marketplace Index (OSMI) for both the fourth quarter of 2009 and the full 2009 Year End Report. The OSMI provides a comprehensive analysis of trends in information technology (IT) and consumer electronic (CE) services based on thousands of service events across North America. For the Year End report, OnForce measured data from more than $150 million of services transacted through the OnForce marketplace throughout 2009.

Last year, OnForce saw two major trends in the marketplace. Early in the year work order pricing was tested as the economy wavered; later in the year work order pricing stabilized for three consecutive quarters. The marketplace also saw an uptick of installation work order for the second half of the year. Both aspects provide some positive signs for technology service businesses in the coming months.

Highlights for 2009:

Over the course of 2009, several observed trends were in line with OnForce's year end prediction:

· “Fix not Buy” was the mantra as businesses opted to repair current equipment rather than
invest in new purchases.

o Overall, 62 percent of all work orders in 2009 were in the break-fix category.
o Nearly 86 percent of TV/Video work and 78 percent of PC Desktop work orders were breakfix.
· “Cheap Remained Chic” as customers turned to more affordable technologies such as VoIP.
o VoIP/Telephony work volume grew nearly 200 percent from Q1 2009 to Q4 2009.
o New installation work accounted for 73 percent of all VoIP/Telephony service events for
2009.
· Customers became price kings and strongly influenced the cost of equipment and services.
o In 2008, VoIP/Telephony was the highest revenue generating category at $500. In 2009,
work order values in this category declined to $150.
o Security and Wiring & Cabling service events were the most expensive work order
categories, each surpassing $200.

"Many of these trends will continue during 2010 as businesses continue to tightly manage their IT
spending," said Peter Cannone, CEO of OnForce. "We expect a moderate return to growth over the next few quarters as companies will continue to be cautious, and as many are still faced with an overstock of technology equipment."

"For VARs, 2010 is about getting closer to your customers; to be successful in this climate it is critical to listen to customers needs, become their partners, and offer a broad portfolio of software and services abilities. At OnForce, we believe that it is important to drive a new standard of service excellence by partnering with our service buyers and technicians," concluded Cannone.

Highlights from Q4 2009 OSMI:
In addition to work order pricing, OnForce saw continued stabilization of work order volume in the fourth quarter of 2009. The marketplace saw installation work increase by three percent, offsetting a slight decline in break-fix service events. Installation service events accounted for 35 percent of total service events while the break-fix category accounted for 59 percent. Additional key findings include:

· The top four categories this quarter in terms of work order volume include:
· PC Desktop: 27% (down 3% from Q3)
· TV/Video: 17% (relatively flat)
· Network: 16% (relatively flat)
· Printer: 10% (relatively flat)
· Oklahoma, Vermont, and South Dakota were the least expensive states for onsite services in Q4, a
shift from Q3 when Maine, New Hampshire, and Nevada were the least expensive states.
· Houston, New York, and Chicago saw the most onsite service volume in Q4 for the fifth quarter in a
row.

Looking Ahead:
Based on major industry-wide trends and the OnForce Marketplace, Cannone offered the following
predictions for the coming year:

VARs to Become Full Service Organizations
"Organizations today are seeking an integrated, single solution to meet all of their IT needs and VARs are poised to meet this demand. In the year ahead, the successful VAR should strive to become the full service organization that can offer a total solution for their clients. VARs that can offer a wide-range of abilities, from hardware to software to services, will be in high demand in the months to come. Increasing their breadth of capabilities allows VARs to become more entrenched with customers and move beyond vendor status to become their customers true partner. Those who made this transition last year are ahead of the game.

Slow and Steady
"Organizations will still look to closely manage their IT costs in 2010. While we have seen an uptick in installations across several technology categories in our marketplace, we expect the break-fix trend to continue into 2010."

Overstock Bottleneck Signals Asset Disposal Opportunity
"Many companies are faced with an overstock of technology equipment and will look to optimize current infrastructure or offload older, excess technology in an effort to be as economical as possible. Those companies who specialize in asset disposal are going to thrive in the next 12 months."

Pipeline to Prosperity Paved With New Technology
"While 2009 was the year of cost-cutting, 2010 is going to be the year for revenue generation. Companies of all sizes can gain a key competitive edge by embrace new technologies, such as mobile devices, that will enable them to work smarter and more efficiently."

Outsourcing Becomes Valuable Business Tool in the New Decade
"While outsourcing was once thought to be negative, things have changed. As companies are continuing to downsize, work still needs to be completed. When they cannot add the capacity internally needed to complete IT services, organizations will look to augment their staff by outsourcing work to qualified, temporary staff."

The Year End 2009 and OSMI Q4 2009 reports are available for download at:
http://www.onforce.com/OSMI/2009
http://www.onforce.com/OSMI/q409

About OnForce
OnForce is service made simple. The company provides access to a trusted national network of more than 13,000 onsite service technicians connecting service demand with local supply through an online marketplace — easily, efficiently, and profitably. With more than one million completed service orders, is a proven leader in helping technology service businesses increase profits, gain a competitive advantage, and contain service costs. The OnForce community is made up of 5,000+ IT and CE customers and more than 13,000 service technicians who work in a number of technology categories, including computers, printers, networking, VoIP, point of sale, and consumer electronics. For more information, visit www.onforce.com.

2010 IT Industry Economic Outlook is Brightening, CompTIA Business Confidence Index Finds

With renewed optimism and strengthening balance sheets, IT execs see opportunities in security, healthcare, green IT and virtualization

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. (Vocus/PRWEB ) January 25, 2010 — The CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index experienced its largest jump ever in December 2009, reflecting renewed optimism and strengthening balance sheets among information technology (IT) companies.

CompTIAThe December rating jumped 6.3 points to 56.6, marking the first time net positive opinions exceeded net negative opinions. The December results come on the heels of a relatively stagnant confidence reading for most of 2009.

Over the next six months IT industry executives expect further strengthening of the U.S. economy, the IT industry and their company. The group forecasts an additional 6.5 point increase in confidence, moving the rating into a solidly positive range on the 100-point scale.

“Many macro-economic indicators have improved over the past six months, lending factual support to the positive perceptions of IT executives,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA. “Yet some big unknowns still loom, such as unemployment, the impact of public sector debt and the tight lending and credit market. Until these factors start to turn around, exuberance about an economic recovery will rightfully be tempered.”

The impact on the IT industry will be evident as executives perform the delicate balancing act of investing in the future, through research and development and new business investments, while at the same time maintaining cutting costs, Herbert said.

Among other positive findings from the December survey, 34 percent of IT executives said they intend to increase capital expenditures in the next six months, compared to 24 percent in September. On the employment front, 31 percent of IT executives plan to increase staffing, up from 24 percent in the September survey.

IT industry executives predict the global IT spending growth rate will be in the 2-4 percent range in 2010, with the U.S. market trailing slightly. Executives are most bullish on IT services, which they predict will grow 2.5 – 5.5 percent in 2010. When asked about 2010 market opportunities, IT executives are most interested in:

 

 
  • Security products and services
  • Healthcare IT market
  • Green IT opportunities
  • Virtualization products and services

Executives surveyed for CompTIA’s IT Industry Business Confidence Index also identified several macro level trends to watch in 2010:

 

 
  • 75 percent of executives think the trend of consumer technologies exerting influence on the enterprise will continue to accelerate.
  • 80 percent said businesses will accelerate their use of alternative business applications via a software-as-a service model.
  • 78 percent believe reliance on mobility, telework and virtual offices will grow this year.

CompTIA’s IT Industry Business Confidence Index is an aggregation of three metrics: opinions of the U.S. economy, opinions of the IT industry and opinions of one’s company. The survey was conducted in mid-December among a sample of more than 300 U.S.-based IT companies, including IT solution providers, value-added resellers, hardware and software firms and others. The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA members at www.CompTIA.org.

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, please visit www.comptia.org.

Contact:
Steven Ostrowski
Director, Corporate Communications
CompTIA
630-678-8468
sostrowski(at)comptia(dot)org

Business Chamber

Business Chamber is a business networking web site in the form of an online International chamber of commerce. The site claims to potential to connect with members in over a thousand "Business Chambers" around the globe.

Contact:

Business Chamber, LLC
5403 N Church Ave
Tampa FL 33614

web site:

http://businesschamber.com

NOTE: Please read the License Agreement carefully before accepting. This agreement includes language similar to language Facebook adopted in 2008 when it attempted (and later retracted) a major change in its agreement allowing it a full and free irrevocable license to use, distribute and modify any photos, documents, posts or ideas of its members up to and including monetization without any compensation.

Missing episode of The Force Field recovered and reposted online

Several months ago the CDN which hosted several episodes of The Force Field, including the first six, went offline permanently, taking the episodes with it. As we just released The Force Field Premium Edition Volume 1 in The Force Field Podcast Store on another host, which consisted of the first six episodes remastered with extended content and no advertising, there was no immediate concern.

It was also discovered that episode 12, which was not included in The Force Field Premium Edition, was one of the shows lost. The episode was titled 2007: The year in Review and was a recap of events in the IT industry for 2007.

Initially there were no immediate plans to restore it as the episode covered news from two years prior which seemed somewhat irrelevant to current events. However, the episode was a popular download with listeners. Apparently listeners attempted to download Episode 12 within the past three weeks. It was brought to my attention and a search through the show archives began.

This evening I located the original mp3 recording and uploaded it to another CDN which hosts our current episodes. The Force Field Episode 12 – 2007: The Year in Review was restored and is now available in its original listing on The Force Field Podcast Episodes page.

On further review, I can understand why there would continue to be interest in an episode about events that are now over two years old. It is a look back at what is now history and provides a perspective and a better understanding of where the industry is today and how we got to where we are now.

You can hear the episode at http://www.theforcefield.net/wordpress/?p=37 or at   Episode 12 – 2007: The Year In Review .

The first six episodes of The Force Field have been remastered, restored and there are plans to re-release them online during the next few months. Episode 1 is planned for re-release next month. An additional episode will be re-released once a month until May 2010. I will post an announcement as each episode is released.

Membership Cards

Well after months of going back and forth with a local printer we finally have received our Association Membership cards. I am pretty impressed..

image

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Episode 39 – Planning Your Business Part 3

Today we’ll talk with a business planning expert and find out just how important it is to have a plan for your business. Part 3 of a four part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard :26

News and Comment segment 4:39
The Force Field.net upgraded to new forum software December 16. You can access the forums from the Forums link in the menu on the left sidebar of the home page at TheForceField.net or at http://www.theforcefield.net/forums..

Adobe released eight security patches for its Acrobat and Acrobat reader applications January 12.

Sponsor: Try GotoAssist Express free for 30 days! For this special offer, visit www.GotoAssist.com/techpodcast.

VMWare announced that it it will buy the open source e-mail application Zimbra from Yahoo.

Facebook has partnered with security vendor McAfee to provide protection from malware for its 350 million members.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! Listen for the discount code in the show. GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Topic 1:43
Today we’ll talk with Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software and conceptual author of Business Plan Pro. He will discuss the myth about business plans, the real purpose of having a plan and how a business plan can help you understand your business better. Part 3 of a four part series.

Interview with Tim Berry 17:31

Episode 40 Part 4 Teaser :22

Wrap up and Close :46

Comments, questions or suggestions? Send them in to comments@theforcefield.net. Feedback on this topic will be read by the host and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at http://www.theforcefield.net!

©2010 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Episode 39 – Planning Your Business Part 3

Today we'll talk with a business planning expert and find out just how important it is to have a plan for your business. Part 3 of a four part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard :26

News and Comment segment 4:39
The Force Field.net upgraded to new forum software December 16. You can access the forums from the Forums link in the menu on the left sidebar of the home page at TheForceField.net or at http://www.theforcefield.net/forums..

Adobe released eight security patches for its Acrobat and Acrobat reader applications January 12.

Sponsor: Try GotoAssist Express free for 30 days! For this special offer, visit www.GotoAssist.com/techpodcast.

VMWare announced that it it will buy the open source e-mail application Zimbra from Yahoo.

Facebook has partnered with security vendor McAfee to provide protection from malware for its 350 million members.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! Listen for the discount code in the show. GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Topic 1:43
Today we'll talk with Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software and conceptual author of Business Plan Pro. He will discuss the myth about business plans, the real purpose of having a plan and how a business plan can help you understand your business better. Part 3 of a four part series.

Interview with Tim Berry 17:31

Episode 40 Part 4 Teaser :22

Wrap up and Close :46

Comments, questions or suggestions? Send them in to comments@theforcefield.net. Feedback on this topic will be read by the host and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at http://www.theforcefield.net !

©2010 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

 

 http://media.techpodcasts.com/theforcefield/media.libsyn.com/media/theforcefield/The_Force_Field_39.mp3  

January “Windows 7 Deployability” – Guidance and Assets

Very good read from the Global IT Community Association

Chapter 1:  “Choosing the Path to Windows 7”

 

A successful deployment of a desktop operating system begins long before the first client machines are touched. The collection of information about your client machines forms the basis for creating a successful deploymeRead More…

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