Posted on: November 11, 2019 By: Sage Tourigny
The business world has transformed considerably in recent years, as VoIP technology has become more common, more businesses are moving to the cloud, and remote work has become a standard operating procedure in most organizations.
According to one study, at least 70 percent of employees are now working at least one day a week from somewhere other than the office. More than half of the 18,000 people surveyed work remotely for half the week or more and more than one in 10 work outside of their company’s main office as much as five times per week.
Simultaneously, or perhaps in response to these trends, many companies are abandoning their offices altogether and choosing to embrace full time remote work environments.
Desktop as a Service & Remote Work
Public perception surrounding remote work has changed. Managers and administrators have gotten much more comfortable with the idea of allowing their employees to work remotely. In addition, remote work is now a top demand among the growing millennial workforce—many of whom consider remote work a deal breaker when applying to jobs.
Another contributing factor technological advancements that make remote work more possible and productive; specifically, in the desktop as a service (DaaS) market. With a DaaS deployment, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is managed by a cloud provider, allowing businesses to access their mission critical desktops, files, and applications from anywhere on any device. Desktop as a service even preserves the look and feel of one’s office workspace, making working from anywhere an intuitive experience.
In addition, DaaS solutions now offer enhanced security measures that set employers at ease. Cybersecurity, particularly for remote workers leveraging networks that are unmonitored by the company, is a core concern for most businesses. But with a robust desktop as a service solution, companies can confidently embrace remote work thanks to secure encryptions, multi-factor authentication, context-based access controls and more safeguards.
The Top 4 Benefits
To sum up the best qualities of this increasingly popular technology, here are the top four benefits to remember if you’re considering a desktop as a service solution.
Easy Application Access
When employees work from remote locations, they need access to the same applications that they would use in the office. With DaaS, employees can access their applications from any location, and from any device. This allows workers to stay connected and productive no matter where they are.
Allowing remote work means exposing your company to countless security risks. It means sending workers outside of the protected LAN, where they will connect in public areas like coffee shops and airports. A DaaS solution can help reduce cyberthreats in a number of ways. For example, multi-factor authentication can protect against intruders should a device get lost or stolen and encryption can protect sensitive data while it’s in transit.
Employees need more than just secure application access while they are working from home. They also need fast and reliable connectivity; this used to be a major issue with DaaS. Now, however, it’s possible to leverage DaaS solutions that are “adaptive.” In other words, they can act as a direct extension of the company’s network, while offering real-time monitoring. Furthermore, DaaS can be integrated with a business’ communications system, which fully streamlines the company backbone so that employees are connected to every tool in their arsenal at all times.
Some verticals, like healthcare and finance, have very specific requirements for workflows and security. With the right desktop as a service solution, your company can leverage customized applications within the workspace and even build your ideal workflows. Some DaaS systems even come with vertical-specific packages ready to implement, making the process even faster and easier.
Posted on: November 8, 2019 By: Sage Tourigny
Sometimes people are surprised to discover that Canadian adoption of modern Information & Communication Technology (ICT) methods, lags behind our American counterparts. How can a country that scores high on the global digital economy scale, with a solid technology and software industry and a high proportion of skilled ICT practitioners, be slow at adopting the next wave?
There are a few factors that have contributed to slow adoption of technology here. Let’s discuss what those factors are, what the resulting gaps are in the market, and how this scenario provides a significant opportunity for ICT channel businesses.
So why do we lag?
For the most part, ICT consumption in Canada has remained a tactical exercise for most businesses. Rather than directly tying technology activities and consumption to the business strategy and outcomes, IT departments generally approach fulfilling IT needs at a project level and mostly in a reactive fashion.
Bluntly, this has been due to a lack of options. The dominant providers of IT for most businesses are the major Canadian telcos. This is because, due to data-residency requirements for most businesses operating in Canada, the global providers of infrastructure are often not a viable option. This is starting to change with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure now hosting cloud facilities located in Canada, but such providers have only recently established presence here and are still early in the adoption cycle.
As a result, the regional telcos are the main resource for most business IT purchases, none of which have a full national reach or network that covers the country coast to coast. So, the IT buying conversation has remained at the regional or department level with no providers that can outline, much less fulfill, a true IT/Business vision for their customers.
Without nationally focused facilities or networks to enable a more consultative and strategic approach to businesses operating in Canada, the channel and agent ecosystem remained stagnant, leaving the Canadian market undeveloped. This offers a great opportunity for agents to change the game with the right Canadian partner. Small as Canada is, it’s a huge opportunity. Let’s look at some rough estimates – note these are my “back-of-the-napkin numbers”:
Looking at these numbers, Canada presents a great greenfield opportunity: basically, an entire nation of businesses looking for the same cloud and managed services solutions that have already been provided in other countries for years, with one-tenth the competition to deal with as below the 49th parallel.
How to change the game
So, you’re probably thinking, “the opportunity is sizeable, and the competition is sparse. That’s great, but what’s the formula for success?” The answer for skilled IT agents and channel providers is, quite simply, do what you’re already doing, but do it here in Canada with the right partner. Rather than focus on fulfilling tactical one-off needs through the regional providers, work with a national provider that offers a unified approach and ownership across the country- one that offers a broad catalogue of network & infrastructure services, as well as a complete set of managed and professional services. These services, along with a variety of cloud or hosting facilities, is what makes a true Hybrid IT solution.
With the right partner and this approach, you can not only change the game in terms of value offered, but change the conversation from a tactical, IT department purchase to a true strategy that delivers IT value and business alignment for any enterprise.
Written by: Nabeel Sherif
Nabeel Sherif has spent his career working in product development/innovation, business planning, and change management for the ICT sector, as well as in consumer and industrial electronics. Over the past 20 years, Nabeel has launched dozens of new ICT products and services around the globe, from metropolitan WiFi and Enterprise & Industrial networks to fully automated cloud IT infrastructure and applications.
Additionally, Nabeel is a Curriculum Lead and Instructor at the University of Toronto (U of T) School of Continuing Studies. He is the owner/creator and lecturer for U of T’s Cloud Computing Certificate program and President of Player 2 Technology Solutions, a consultancy specializing in product strategy and network architecture for ICT businesses. He is also Cloud Specialist at TeraGo Networks and has spent most of his career in technology conceptualizing, developing, marketing, and evangelizing computing and communications products for a variety of ICT providers and global electronics manufacturers. For the past 15 years, his focus has been in developing and creating the next generation of services and products in hosting, cloud computing, data centre services, and application networks.
He holds a B.Sc (Hon) from the University of Ottawa, an MBA from Queen’s University, and has designed and managed dozens of communications products and hundreds of global networks for the past two decades.
Posted on: July 31, 2019 By: Carolyn Kuczynski
It can be hard enough to find, let alone establish a voice for your business, so using it should be the easy part. The last thing you need is anything standing in the way of connecting with customers and employees.
At WOW! Business, we believe your customers, employees, and partners should never have to work to stay connected. It’s why we focus on providing businesses with personalized service and technical options that can be tailored to fit their specific needs. Our flexible Business Voice and traditional phone service packages offer secure, reliable and feature-rich voice solutions through a selection of calling plans. Read on to learn how we can help you maximize performance and minimize costs.
Our traditional voice services come with unmatched service, reliability, and robust tools at an affordable price. Power up your business and deepen your connection to customers by making your business more accessible with our advanced calling features, flexible packages and the security of our private, advanced network.
We’ve made it easier than ever to find the right voice package for your business. Whether it’s our Basic Phone Package covering essential everyday needs, or our Complete Package with all the advanced communication services you want, including 25 calling features.
- Call Waiting
- Call Forward
- 3-Way Calling
- Caller ID
- Clarity of Digital Voice
- Unlimited domestic long distance
- Virtual Office
- Priority Alerts
- Business CommPortal
WOW! Business Hosted VoIP offers a vast array of scalable, easy-to-manage features and capabilities that support your business at a fraction of the cost of an on-site phone system. And with its highly flexible infrastructure, it can grow as fast as you. Plus, we’ve gone over the top! We’ll install VoIP both on and off our network so even if your customers aren’t already WOW! Business Internet users, they’ll still get reliable WOW! voice functionality.
- Ability to connect phones across multiple sites
- Premium Auto Attendant offers up to 30+ options for directing a call—choose options based on times of day, days of the week, and more
- Desk phones from PolycomTM (several models to choose from, including a conference model) or use our softphone clients to connect your computers or mobile devices anywhere in the U.S.
- Programmable keys for most commonly used features—no need to remember star codes
- Dedicated data connection for your phone
- Administrator functionality to configure business-level features
- Hunting Groups
- Music-on-hold to play music or advertising messages to your customers and prospects
Posted on: June 24, 2019 By: Carolyn Kuczynski
SOCs help organizations to improve security, compliance, and governance. Most security organizations today have been forced to do more with less. Working with smaller budgets, teams, and limited access to training to keep up with cyber threats. Many enterprises are opting to outsource their security operations rather than deploying it themselves. Building your own SOC is an expensive and complicated endeavor. Further, the costs of staffing and maintaining a SOC can add-up quickly from hiring, training, and the retaining talent, and purchase of hardware and software for monitoring and managing and keeping up to date with the latest cyber threats. However, not all SOC as a Service provider are the same.
In general, there are four tiers of SOC services each having vital functions. However, as a rule, they all have two common foundations with security monitoring tools to receive contextually relevant information from both inside and outside the network (e.g., persistent outbound data transfers, login/logoff, firewall activity, etc.). Also, these systems monitor cloud and on-premise infrastructure services like DNS, email, web, domain controllers, and active directory services. Each sends information to log analysis, endpoint detection and response (EDR) or security information and event management (SIEM) tools. The second foundation of a SOC is leveraging these tools to find, identify and report suspicious or malicious activity from alerts. Below is an overview of the four tiers of SOC services.
Tier 1 – Triage.
This level of SOC services focuses on reviewing and assigning urgency to potential threats. They are the front line when reporting security incidents. Tier 1 SOC analysts run vulnerability and security assessment reports and manage security monitoring tools.
Tier 2 – Incident Response.
As trouble tickets or help desk alerts generated by tier 1 analysts, tier 2 leverages security controls, policies, and intelligence (indicators of compromise (IOC), rules, and procedures) to determine the scope and origin of the attack. Tier 2 SOCs focus on mitigation, recovery, and remediation once an attack has occurred.
Tier 3 – Proactive Cyber Defense.
This tier requires a combination of methods, technologies, and experience to hunt and kill cyber attacks. In addition to reviewing and developing a defensive posture from Tier 1 data, Tier 3 SOCs consistently look for vulnerabilities and access points into a network – hopefully without detection. Many organizations, especially in highly regulated industries like financial services, are turning to tier 3 and 4 level SOCs to ensure regulatory compliance, governance, and auditing the auditors.
Tier 4 – Operations, Controls, and Management.
Tier 1-3 SOCs focus on the tactical activities of managing a SOC either defensively (tier 1-2) or proactively hunting threats (tier 3). At this level, the service provider typically oversees all aspects of a proactive – threat hunter – SOC operation including managing incident response programs, escalation processes, and developing the crisis communications plan across the organization. Tier 4 SOCs produce, report, and maintain performance metrics to protect their customer’s executives, brands, and reputations.
While many SOC providers claim end-to-end security services, most fall woefully short and are only able to perform at tier 1 – 2 level. Moreover, most end-user organizations do not have the confidence, talent, or skills to contain and respond to a data breach. Research by an insurance service organization suggests companies can save over 65% (over a three year period) of the costs by outsourcing SOC services over building in-house, especially from an operational and personal perspective. When determining which route to go from building vs. outsourcing a SOC, each tier and service provider has their strengths and weaknesses. It is important to do your homework, understand the limitations of each provider, and choose the right SOC as a Service provider based on your goals, internal skill-sets, and risk tolerance.
Posted on: January 16, 2019 By: CNSG Marketing
Dear Suppliers and Partners,
We had another record-breaking year at CNSG with explosive growth and amazing new victories. We are so grateful that year after year, you have continued to support our tremendous new initiatives. As a result, we are ramping up our internal support teams to better assist you and your organizations.
We need your help! You’ve always been a part of our team, so help us grow it!
We’re hiring new Channel Managers, Sales Engineers, Channel Support Managers, Commissions Analysts, Marketing Coordinators, and more!
Please share this email if you have a recommendation for our team. If you or anyone else is interested in joining our team, please submit resumes to email@example.com or visit https://www.cnsg.com/company/jobs/
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
We look forward to working with you.
Posted on: September 4, 2018 By: Kayla Brown
We all know there is currently a lack of millennials in the channel. And thanks to our blog post “The Challenge of Millennials In The Channel: Why Aren’t They Here?“, we have a brief look at why there are so few of them. But has anyone actually told you why millennials are the perfect fit for the indirect channel? Check out the top 5 reasons why if you’re a millennial, you’ll want to climb aboard.
1. Financial Security Through Residual Income
According to a Student Loan Hero survey, 39% of millennials say that debt is their number one source of money stress. At first glance, the channel may seem a tad bit daunting – with many millennials fearing positions that seem to provide inconsistent pay. The channel can provide millennials with opportunities to get paid long after the initial sale is made.
2. Remote Work
If “being chained to a desk” is a millennials’ worst fear (along with face-to-face conversation), the channel can provide a great alternative to the typical 9-5. Millennials are inherently mobile and are eager to work from anywhere. The channel provides opportunities for salespeople to travel, telecommute, and engage in remote work.
3. Networking For Days
While it may seem that millennials are less interested in networking as generations before them – this is definitely not the case. Millennials aren’t less interested in networking. They’re less interested in traditional networking settings. Take golfing, for example. While Generation X and Baby Boomers appreciate the discipline of golf, millennials are just not as enticed by the expensive, and somewhat exclusive sport. They’d prefer to connect with colleagues at a boutique fitness studio or a craft brewery.
4. National & Global Presence
While millennials are the epitome of digital natives – they still want to travel and have opportunities to gain worldly experience. 39% of millennials go so far as to say they wouldn’t take a position that didn’t allow them to travel for business. Thanks to technology, remote work is a major convenience – and a role within the channel means there are plenty of opportunities to travel the country, and the world.
5. Overflow of Mentors
72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want that boss to serve as a coach or mentor. More than anything else – the channel is full of intelligent minds, ready to share their knowledge and pass the torch onto the millennial generation.
While there may not be many of us just yet, millennials are certainly here to stay. It’s our duty to keep the channel growing, and introduce the industry to new ways of thinking and managing. With a team of Baby Boomers, Gen Xer’s, and Millennials on our side, there isn’t obstacle we can’t conquer!
Posted on: September 1, 2018 By: Kayla Brown
In just a few short years, the star performers responsible for the growth of our industry will primarily be Millennials. And yet, there is a distinct lack of millennial presence within the indirect channel. According to Forrester Research, 40 percent of channel owners plan on retiring by 2024. By that time, 75% of those working in the channel will be millennials.
If integrating millennials is an essential piece to the future success of the indirect channel, why aren’t they here? Well, it’s pretty simple. Millennials don’t seem to know about the channel, or even understand what it is.
1. Lack of Awareness/Education on the Channel
Chances are that if you ask the average millennial about the channel, they couldn’t tell you a thing. This new digital age is a chance for channel partners to revamp themselves. If you focus on the tech – you’ll always be behind. Rebranding to ensure that your marketing message aligns with your company’s overall business goals (rather than the specific technology you’re selling), is a great first step in attracting top millennial talent. Does your website reflect your credibility and status as an industry leader? Do you have a strong online presence? These are factors that millennials take into consideration during their job search.
2. Lack of Leadership Opportunities
If there aren’t many millennials in the channel, that means that there also aren’t many up-and-coming millennial leaders paving the way for others to follow. According to WorkplaceTrends.com 91% of Millennials wish to become leaders, and an additional 43% feel they already acquire the motivation to inspire leadership interest in others.
3. High Student Loan Debt
Many millennials feel as though stuck to a job that provides a base salary, making them somewhat hesitant to sales positions that may not come with the promise of reliable income. However, many millennials prefer a workplace that allows them to serve a great purpose through work, in replace of extrinsic rewards such as higher pay. There are many aspects of the channel that are attractive to millennials, including remote work and networking opportunities.
4. Transactional Perception of the Industry
In a Spicework’s study of IT professionals, the firm found that 60% of millennials would prefer to work with a brand that aims to develop a relationship, compared to a “quick transactional” deal. Relationships are much more important to millennials than you’d expect, and this new generation of partners and business owners are putting more value on relationship building.
While the road to the indirect channel isn’t completely paved for millennials, it’s important for us to create opportunities and spaces in which millennials can thrive. Still not convinced on the value of millennials? Check out this article on Why Millennials are a Perfect Fit for the Indirect Channel.
Posted on: August 21, 2018 By: Kayla Brown
Failure is one aspect of business that no one likes to talk about. The potential of failure can be so great, that it can inspire fear that cripples us from thinking about strategies that could bring valuable new solutions to the table. Use these 5 tips to move beyond the fear of failure, into a mentality that practices mindful habits to produce successful results!
1. Understand Your Fears
Fear holds you back the most when you are unaware of it. Try to get specific and ask yourself, ͞”What am I afraid of?” “What is it exactly that prevents me from bringing new solutions into the mix?” Once you are aware of your fears, you can support yourself through the process. Face these threats head on, and provide yourself with evidence that your fears will not occur. Then, move onto the next step.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot
Suppose you’ve suggested a strategy that doesn’t go as planned the first time around. Rather than simply giving up and moving on – change your approach and re-think the problem! Could the timing be affecting the conversation? Are you thinking about how to leverage capabilities in unexpected areas? Sometimes, it takes numerous tries to get it right.
3. Take the Road Less Traveled
In the poem, The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost understand the value of uncharted paths. In business, these two paths are ever-present: the path of scarcity where most of us frequent often, and the abundant path which holds unlimited opportunity. What prevents us from walking the road of abundance? Fear. If you let fear prevent you from bringing new solutions into the conversation, you’ll always be in a space that never has enough opportunity. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
4. Work Through Plan A and Plan B
So imagine this: you’ve suggested your Plan A solution – and it’s completely been shot down. Your worst nightmare has come true. You’re facing your fear head on. In most cases, the very worst-case scenario isn’t actually that bad. If you’ve crafted a Plan B, you can quickly minimize the damage, and move on. Overcoming failure is truly an act of being courageous, and overpreparation.
5. Ask for Help
Sometimes all you really need is to brainstorm a few ideas around with someone you trust. Would you like to strategize with a CNSG representative? Our team is here to provide support through a variety of challenges you may face. Take advantage of the support and contact us today for assistance!
What challenges have you faced that have prevented you from bringing new solutions to the table? Be sure to follow us on Twitter and let us know which one of these tips helped you conquer professional fears!
Posted on: August 14, 2018 By: Kayla Brown
Looking to increase lead generation through digital marketing? These 5 tips are essential for any digital marketing strategy – and have proven successful for corporations and small businesses alike.
1. Gain Executive Support
If the leadership of a company doesn’t believe in a mutual partnership between marketing and sales, it makes implementing any type of digital strategy almost impossible. If your executives believe in, and support the digital marketing strategy, they are going to ensure that you have the right team and budget to produce results that lead to sales growth.
2. Decentralize Your Strategy
Marketing and sales cannot work separately. Digital marketing teams should be aligned with the sales team, and the digital marketing strategy should pay special attention to sales leads as they move throughout closing process. This ensures that you preserve the identity of the service, without disrupting the brands overall messaging.
3. Embrace New Trends
While digital marketing trends are always changing, you can stay ahead of the game by simply embracing new trends as they come along. You should be engaging with your customers where they are investing the most time.
4. Don’t Completely Ditch Traditional Marketing
With the traction of social media and a whole new host of marketing avenues – it may seem advantageous to leave traditional marketing tactics in the past. However, some partners may need to incorporate more traditional forms of marketing in additional to digital marketing tactics in order drive participation to local events and gain new clients.
5. Measure, Measure, Measure!
If you’re not measuring your tactics, you’ll never improve upon them. These days, most social media platforms include free analytics tools that can provide you with a very precise progress on your digital strategies. Utilize data to drive your digital marketing efforts, and you’ll see much better returns.
Digital marketing may seem out of reach, but following these tips will ensure that you lay a pretty solid foundation for your efforts. Looking for more assistance with digital marketing? Reach out to the CNSG marketing team for more digital marketing tips and resources!
Posted on: August 7, 2018 By: admin
CNSG President and CEO, Matt Harty, shares what he believes are the top 10 activities of highly successful channel partners.
1. They Ask Questions
Successful channel partners ask their customers questions and ask them often. Even more important than just asking questions, though, is that they ask the right questions. The right questions are intended to figure out the ‘why’ of the opportunity rather than simply the ‘what.’ These are the questions that unearth the hidden reasons or motives behind the customer’s product/service needs. Asking the ‘why’ will lead to a better understanding of the customer’s pain points and often reveals new insights that would have gone unnoticed if the partner didn’t dig deeper.
2. They Communicate with Channel Managers
Communication is key. Channel partners who keep close contact with their Channel Managers know how to leverage the assistance a channel manager can provide. Communication will keep you, as the partner, up-to-date with promos/spiffs, product/training events and webinars, as well as any changes in the industry.
3. They Take Notes
Taking notes during appointments is always a good idea. It demonstrates to the customer that you value what they have to say, and not to mention, it is a phenomenal and documented source of information that you can refer back to later. Successful partners know that they are in the business of solving problems. The information collected from thorough and deliberate note-taking helps partners be successful and find the right solutions for their customers.
4. They Take Advantage of Available Resources
Many sales partners are still unaware of all of the valuable resources available to them after they sign with CNSG as their Master Agent. Successful partners know how to leverage the partner-enablement materials at their disposal, such as cobranded marketing materials, email blasts, as well as product training events and/or webinar updates.
5. They Stay Organized
Organization goes along with note-taking as a must for success in the Channel. Multi-tasking is a fact of life these days, and the Channel is no exception. As a channel partner, it is critical to be organized in order to stay on top of all of your appointments, emails, events, and more. For example, consider reorganizing your email inbox for better visibility. This will hopefully prevent you from missing an important call or email. Another great example would be when requesting a quote: providing the business name, location, products/services needed, (and if possible the incumbent provider) will ensure that the channel manager has all the information needed to get started. Making organization a core competency will make your day easier and help you be more efficient in your sales.
6. They’re Active
Successful partners know how to seek out multiple deals at once and balance their time between them. Sales is often a numbers-game. High activity is bound to lead to increased sales. The ability to multi-task and work numerous deals at once allows partners to grow their business and commissions rapidly.
7. They Follow-up with Customers
Following-up with customers is such a simple courtesy that many partners forget when in a rush. Always follow up with your customer. Not only does it show you care, it will build upon and strengthen your client relationship. Successful partners go the extra mile and follow up with their customers to ensure they are completely satisfied.
8. They Stay Positive
Sales can be a tough but rewarding business, and partners know that they can’t always win (although they’d like to). Positivity makes partners more resilient. Resilience mitigates potential burn out. Successful partners try to be positive and resilient, which helps them persevere and work through their challenges.
9. They Share Success Stories with Customers
Customers like hearing that you’ve been successful with other clients. As a professional solutions provider, sharing success stories of your previous work speaks volumes to your ability to provide value to your customer.
10. They Constantly Look to Improve
Partners know they aren’t perfect (though some are pretty darn close). Successful partners often are the ones who actively look for ways to improve themselves, whether it’s expanding their product knowledge, changing their approach towards customers, or receiving feedback from their customers or channel managers. Incorporating feedback in a healthy and productive way helps partners grow both professionally as well as personally.