100 Most Visible Channel Leaders

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For those who may not be familiar with the IT industry, the “Channel” is at our core. The Channel comprises just about every aspect of our industry. At its most basic level, the Channel is the distribution framework by with technology products get from the manufacturer through the distributors to the resellers who sell and implement technology for their clients. 

However, the Channel of 2016 is far more robust. It includes manufacturers who not only sell indirectly through distributors and resellers, but also companies who sell directly to the reseller or even the end customer.  The Channel also includes trade associations, membership and peer groups, marketing consultants, IT business consultants, training and testing companies and more. It’s a comprehensive ecosystem that brings technology to the masses and has an annual value of over $3.8 trillion according to research from CompTIA, the global IT trade association.
I met Jay McBain when he was working for Lenovo and had moved from his native Canada to the United States. Jay is one of the brightest and insightful people I know in this industry. After leaving Lenovo, he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and is presently running a company called ChannelEyes

Jay posted on his blog, A Few Thoughts, an interesting piece based on seven years of personal research. The title of this post mirrors that of his post.  Based on his methodology and applying algorithms to weight his research, Jay has produced and independent list of the 100 most visible Channel leaders. These folks are not just visible, they are visionary and are some of th most giving people I know.  Always willing to share their experiences to help others and in so doing, help make our industry better. I am grateful to call many of these people my friends. I’m incredibly humbled to be ranked sixth on this list. 

Thanks to you Jay McBain, for all that you do for all of us on your list. It’s an honor to be included. 

You may read Jay’s post on his blog at the following link:

http://www.jaymcbain.com/2016/10/100-most-visible-channel-leaders-2016.html

Beware of Netflix Scam

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netflix-logoIf you receive an email about free Netflix services or downloading a less expensive version of Netflix, don’t fall for it!  Same for any message asking you to update your Netflix payment information.  Don’t do it!

These are classic phishing scams, trying to trick you into clicking a link inside the message, which will load malware onto your computer.

Only download Netflix software for their web site or your App Store.  Never from an email link.  Also never update payment information from an email link.  Go directly to the website, login to your account and then make the change.  Be sure you are logging in through an SSL encrypted HTTPS URL and if the site offers any form of two factor authentication, enable it!

Don’t fall victim to these scams!  Stay Safe Online!

Making Business Travel More Productive

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I have been traveling for business for several decades now.  In years past, it was a period of downtime, sometimes to review printed papers or just to read a book.  That was not a bad thing.  These days, the availability of WiFi throughout the travel experience, makes it possible to get some work done and also seems to make the time pass more quickly.

My most recent trip is a good example.  Living in the New Hampshire Seacoast, we have a cjgreat option in the form of C&J.  C&J runs coach buses from the Seacoast region to Logan Airport in Boston every hour.  Comfortable ride, leather seats and free WiFi.  For $46.00 round trip with free parking at the Portsmouth Transportation Center, you can’t beat it.  If I’m flying extremely early in the morning, I can catch about an hour of sleep on the ride.  If it’s during the work day, I can work on the ride, which I am doing right now.

Delta had been my number one airline for most of my life and I still like Delta, especially for long haul flights overseas.  However, over the last ten or so years, jetBlue has become jetblue-airways-vector-logomy number one choice.  The range of direct flights and timing are just about perfect for where my business takes me.  More importantly, jetBlue’s FlyFi inflight WiFi is fantastic and free!  In these days of fee after fee for most airline services, having free WiFi on a 3+ hour flight is a huge competitive advantage.

On this trip, I was able to work for a few hours on my outbound leg, clearing my email and finishing up some tasks before landing in Florida a little after 9 in the morning last Thursday.  Today, I worked almost the entire three hour flight home.  The free WiFi is perfect for email, web browsing and even accessing some of my company’s line of business applications.  There is also a paid version if you want to stream video, but I don’t need that for work purposes.

Most airlines today offer inflight WiFi.  They key differentiator for me is that jetBlue has made the choice to provide their customers with a free option that will suffice for most purposes.  I appreciate that and it’s one of several reasons jetBlue was earned my loyalty.  When I still fly Delta, or any other airline, I will typically purchase WiFi service in order to get work done, but it bugs me to pay for it when I can basically have free WiFi service to and from the airport as well as my destination.  It makes traveling more productive and I appreciate that.

Another interesting development, albeit a bit of a sideline to this post, is that on this mornings flight, it was announced that the FAA has banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from US aircraft.  Any passenger who was carrying the device was asked to identify themselves to the flight crew.  This is obviously in response to these devices catching fire without warning.  While the ban makes sense, the enforcement of it does not.  Airlines really need to ask passengers to show their device during the boarding process, in order to identify anyone traveling with one.  Either that or you should have to show it at the TSA checkpoint.  Unfortunately, relying on people to voluntarily identify themselves is not effective.  Hopefully anyone with one of these devices will be smart enough to replace it by now and not try to bring one aboard an aircraft, no matter how low the risk.

Safe travels everyone.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

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dhsEvery October, the Department of Homeland Security declares National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  The importance of this initiative is to educate and drive awareness of cyber security issues for both individual and businesses from the smallest startup to the largest multi-national corporation.

The following was published today on Seacoastonline.com.

It’s October, which means it’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Every October, the Department of Homeland Security declares National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The importance of this initiative is to educate and drive awareness of cyber security issues for both individual consumers and businesses from the smallest startup to the largest multi-national corporation.

If you are a regular reader of this column, or just a regular consumer of news, you know how serious this issue has become. The federal government has been hacked and chances are one or more businesses that you work with have been as well. The question is, do they know it? Probably not and that may be the scariest cyber security issue we face as a nation.

This initiative is now in its 13th year. Bet you didn’t know that. It is a collaboration of public and private entities to raise awareness about this important issue. For this year, the initiatives are broken out by the five weeks in the month of October as follows:

  • Oct. 3-7: Every day steps towards online safety with Stop. Think. Connect.
  • Oct. 10-14: Cyber from the break room to the board room.
  • Oct. 17-21: Recognizing and combating cybercrime.
  • Oct. 24-28: Our continuously connected lives: What’s your ‘app’-titude?
  • Oct. 31: Building resilience in critical infrastructure.

Because I write this column every two weeks, this week I am going to focus on the first two initiatives that take us through Oct. 14. Stop. Think. Connect is a global awareness campaign that maintains a wonderful web site, full of resources, at stopthinkconnect.org. This is a collaborative effort of the federal government, led by the Department of Homeland Security with active participation from the White House. This year, the White House has launched a new initiative called Lock Down Your Login. The web site www.lockdownyourlogin.com is another excellent resource to visit and learn about the ways you can improve your basic password security. As I have written about several times, one of the primary recommendations being made is to use multi-factor authentication wherever possible. This is accomplished by using a biometric, like a fingerprint or facial recognition, a security key that you plug in to your computer to authenticate your login or a one-time code that is either generated by an app or texted to your mobile phone. Any one of these devices will dramatically improve your cyber security by making it impossible for a hacker to login and impersonate you with just your username and password.

This initiative has the support of household names like CompTIA, Google, Microsoft and Visa. The list of supporting partners and sponsors is long and is a great example of the public and private sectors working together for a common good.

The second week squarely targets the business community, everyone from entry-level to the chairman of the board and/or CEO. The goal is to create a companywide culture of cybersecurity so anyone at any level of the company promotes cybersecurity when the opportunity presents itself. The vast majority of successful cyber-attacks happen as the result of a human action. Educating absolutely every employee in the company is essential to maintaining a safe computing environment. Establishing a culture that encourages immediate notification, without the threat of penalty, is essential to making sure you are aware of potential issues as quickly as possible.

Far too many cyber-events go undetected for too long a period. When we read about hacks and exposed accounts in the media, in many cases, the actual hack took place month or years before the news makes it to the public at large. We need to change this and create a culture where near real-time notification becomes the norm, not the exception. If you are not having these discussions in your company, take the initiative to get them started. Ask for cyber-education training program for all employees, if you do not have one already. Until we see these types of discussions and ongoing training become a standard part of corporate culture, we will continue to have preventable cyber security events.

I hope you will take some time to review the websites I recommend in this column. Even if you think you know all there is to know on this topic, you will reinforce your knowledge and maybe even learn one or two new things that will help you be a safer cyber-citizen. Welcome to foliage season in New England and welcome to National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Stay safe online.

Dropping in a Little History

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As part of re-launching my blog here on this site, I’m going to back fill a bit of content from the time my prior company was acquired in December of 2015.  It will hopefully give you a sense of how I plan to continue blogging.  Starting this week, I will be actively blogging again, based on topic of interest and timeliness.  I hope you’ll follow me on this new journey of mine.

A Work in Progress

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work-in-progressThanks for visiting my blog.  This site is brand new, as of October 2016.

For many years, I maintained an active blog as part of my former IT business, Jenaly Technology Group, Inc., that was acquired in December of 2015 by Internet & Telephone, LLC (I&T).

As part of the acquisition, my original blog was acquired and integrated into the I&T website.  Please feel free to visit the news section of www.itllc.net to read my older posts if you are interested.

I am about to begin actively blogging on this site and hope you will follow this blog and offer your comments and feedback.

Thanks again for visiting and thanks for reading!

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