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Unified Threat Management: The Best Offense for Defending Your Data

A UTM solution provides comprehensive protection for your small business network and data

In many sport games, the best defense is a good offense. In order to protect yourself from threats, you need to proactively build your team so that the opposing team never gets a chance to score.

This idea of proactive protection—of good offense—applies to your small business. Any network is vulnerable to hackers, viruses, worms, and other threats. You need to build your network security “team” to protect against these threats and reduce the potential loss of company data, revenues, and employee productivity.

A recent survey by Trend Micro found that small businesses are 23 percent less likely to have systems in place to prevent data leaks than larger companies. What are you doing to protect your data?

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Working with Multiple Channel Partners

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

It doesn’t happen every day, but every now and then, small businesses find themselves working with more than one channel partner at the same time. At first glance, this might not appear to be a big deal, but whenever you’ve got two people, or two groups, or two companies working so closely, things can easily get a little gummed up. Often there are battles (or, perhaps, cold wars) over control, access, control, responsibility, and control.

Did I mention control? When things are going right, everybody wants to demonstrate that they have it. When things are going wrong, control is something that has always been in the other camp.

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Advantage Now! Event Focuses on Collaboration Solutions for Partners

Advantage Now!

If you serve small or medium business and aren’t planning to attend Partner Summit 2011, we’ll bring some of the content to your area with the Advantage Now! event on March 1, 2011.

The event will give you the information you need about new and enhanced Cisco collaboration solutions that will help you build a more profitable practice.

After all, the nature of how businesses communicate is changing. Your customers are interacting with their customers in new and different ways – to serve them better and to build stronger relationships.

And the pace of change isn’t slowing down.

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Should you look for a channel partner who offers hosting?

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

While sitting on a plane idly chatting with a small business owner last week, the conversation moved to computers. The guy was in the process of evaluating channel partners, and asked if it was important for a channel partner to offer managed services. My first instinct was to give him the falling-off-the-log obvious answer: “Well, gee… if you’re going to use managed services, then I guess my answer is yes. (Sarcasm sometimes gets the better of me, as you can see)  But then I realized his question actually went deeper than that. Read More »

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Changing Channel Partners, How to Make an Effective Break

Guest Post by Contributing author Ken Presti

There’s an old “Seinfeld” episode in which George and his girlfriend are breaking up. “It’s not you; it’s me!”, both claim. George gets angry. “I invented, “It’s not you, it’s me!”, he insists. Then, the girlfriend stares at him blankly and concedes. “Yes, George. It’s you.”

“Breaking up” with your channel partner doesn’t need to be anywhere near that dysfunctional. But a little bit of consideration and tact can go a long way towards making the transition easier. And I’m not saying that from the perspective of a touchy-feely California guy. I’m saying that because there is a lot that the outgoing partner can do to disrupt your business continuity. And you don’t want that! Read More »

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