This blog is for my geeks out there…
If you have never used a local MSP (Managed Service Provider) then I have to wonder if you know what they offer and what is available in your area. First off, clearly they all offer something different but they really seem to shine at what they specialize in. I have used MSPs for all of the following…
- minute heartbeat monitoring of networked devices,
- updating network documentation
- wiring office space
- offering after hours support
- covering staff vacations
- taking over mundane or routine tasks so I could focus on building rather than maintaining
- setting up remote services
- covering remote sites for tasks that require physical presence
There are probably many tasks they would do for you that I haven’t mentioned.
I am the admin for a couple different technical user groups in Alberta and Saskatchewan and often have to find sponsors for meetings. They always have great presentations that make us geeks smarter and more valuable to our employers, clients and customers. They usually supply us with some good grub. They often delivery some sweet door prizes. Sometimes they absolutely amaze someone.
Spiceworks is the company I run the user groups for and they have an online community of millions of users. Their active community is likely closing in on a million as well and this is a community built on and by, professional geeks (called Spiceheads in the community). These are not mechanics who like computers but individuals who make a living working on the tech that we all love so much. They are by far the largest community of their kind on this planet and they provide free software for managing networks and provide this amazing online community to us for free. They have also gone out and tracked down the best of the best in the way of vendors that we need to do our jobs every day.
The one place that Spiceworks has been fighting an uphill battle is how to integrate Spiceworks into the lives of MSPs. They have taken a huge step forward last year and I just booked a local MSP to sponsor a meeting in Calgary in a couple of weeks and thought I would point out the MSP offerings from Spiceworks.
This is the MSP page in the Spiceworks community. It allows you to see at a glance, by clicking the “Use My Location” box on the left, what MSPs are within a local radius (up to 125 miles, yes they are American) from your current location. This is hugely useful if you are travelling. I don’t know people in Thunder Bay, Ontario but it only takes me a few seconds to find out that there is a local Nerds on Site there.
As this community grows, so to will this great service offering. For now, use the page to find a solution to your problems that overwhelm you. If you aren’t overwhelmed at work as a geek, you need to come out to a local SpiceCorps meeting (Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatchwan, Vancouver or the rest of the world… there are over 150 worldwide) and learn how you can reach for the stars in your career and how technology can help you. Come out and make some new friends, do some networking and hopefully hear about some technology that you missed along the way.
If you are travelling and need to find some help, go to the Spiceworks MSP page and type in a city. By typing in Calgary, I see that the second link is Startech, a reseller I use in Calgary to provide me with Ubiquiti wireless devices (probably the best bang for your buck in the Milky Way) and if I add the word “nerds” to my search, I only get one result. Happily, there is a local Nerds on Site because they are sponsoring this month’s Calgary SpiceCorps meeting.
I might also mention that Ubiquiti got a couple of links in my blog because not only did they sponsor a couple of meetings for me, and provide me with some amazing technology, but they showed up in person to our Calgary meeting when they had zero marketing budget. Kudos to them. Check out previous meetings in all the SpiceCorps groups to see what kind of companies have sponsored our meetings…