Author Archives: Alan Berkson

Getting Ready For The MSP

Basket of Wires

They say a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind. At least I’d like to believe that’s true, considering the sorry state of mine. And while I can usually find what I’m looking for in the chaos of clutter (I have a system, really!), my system works off a combination of habit and Continue Reading →

The Weakest Point of Most IT Organizations


There are many arguments for and against outsourcing and managed services. However, there is one compelling reason — and perhaps the weakest point in most IT organizations — that is not often discussed. Many decades in technology have shown me a universal IT truth: no one likes to do documentation. Yes, there are people whose Continue Reading →

Farewell to Windows 2003 Server, Hello Cloud

Windows 2003 Server

Did you feel it? We passed a milestone in infrastructure technology, a vestige of our 20th century infrastructure roots. When it comes to technology, what we hear in the media is often not a reflection of what is going on in the rank and file of businesses and organizations out there. What’s new and exciting is Continue Reading →

An Open Letter to Managed Services Buyers and Sellers

Open Letter

The names may change but the fundamentals stay the same. When I first started in IT they called it outsourcing. It was something big companies did and the service was delivered by other big companies. SaaS and cloud services have changed the economics of the model and now we call them Managed Services Providers (MSP) Continue Reading →

The 4 Roles Of The Modern MSP

Pay phone

The times, they are a changin’. When I look at my roles as an MSP and integrator at the turn of the century the equation for success started with selling solutions. In the SMB space, this consisted of file servers, email systems, and application and database servers for application software like Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Continue Reading →

Managed Services Success Has Nothing To Do With Technology


I’ve been making the rounds at IT Service Management trade shows. The impressive array of tools and technology now available to IT service professionals makes me jealous compared to what was available when I was struggling to build my managed services practice. Back in 1996, with a nascent Internet, we had few tools and even less Continue Reading →

3 Essentials of Cloud Implementation


I’ve had this conversation enough in the past year that I figured it was time to write it down. IT environments have become more complex with the advent of cloud services. Yes, cloud changes things. However, looking back on the two decades I spent as a managed service provider (MSP) and systems integrator (SI) I Continue Reading →

Don’t Just Share, Give It Context


To Share Is Human; To Give Context, Divine.  We live in a world of abbreviated communications. In place of extended conversation we have text messages, 140 character tweets, and emoticons. While these shortcuts provide velocity to communications it’s often at the expense of understanding. Recently this link popped up in my twitter stream: German Scientists Continue Reading →

There IS No Channel


Back in 2011 I first wrote about pervasive communications and how one of the challenges it presented was chaos: “The challenge now is pervasive communication has become chaotic — the sprawl of communication mediums offer competing, yet similar functions. Conversations now leap among platforms and channels with an unprecedented fluidity — a Twitter update engenders an SMS text which leads to Continue Reading →

iPhone Sits on the Cusp of Consumer and Enterprise – Revisited

iPhones and Blackberrys

It’s hard to imagine a world without iPhones, but there was a time when RIM ruled the roost, Blackberry’s were ubiquitous enough to warrant the moniker “Crackberry,” and Blackberry Enterprise Server was the standard for enterprise mobility. IT departments dished out company Blackberry’s to employees and kept them on short, secure leashes. iPhones were the Continue Reading →