7. Apple: Outside of the MSP world, shares in Apple (AAPL) closed 2011 at $405. Now, they're at $634. There are two trains of thought going forward: Apple already has 80-plus percent of the tablet market, and Google Android tablets are bound to take market share -- or pound Apple's margins -- at some point. So perhaps it's wise to get off the Apple bandwagon now. The other train of thought suggests that the tablet market is still getting started, and there's far more upside ahead since no tablet has really managed to rival the iPad yet.
Which way am I leaning? Let's put it this way: I still have the original iPad and a two-year-old iPhone because Apple's "new" products didn't entice me to upgrade... ...
6. That Road Trip: If you're heading to Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 then check this out. Two seats are already taken. Several more sources are trying to fight their way into the car -- including the trunk.
5. Database as a Service: Sources say Rackspace is beta testing Microsoft SQL Server as a dedicated cloud service, and MySQL as a dedicated cloud service. We run our website in Rackspace's cloud, but our database service is essentially lumped together with our application service. It sounds like Rackspace's new approach could further boost customer scalability. I keep saying managed databases as a service is an oft-overlooked opportunity. And now Rackspace seems ready to zero in on database cloud services in a big, big way. Stay tuned.
4. Big Numbers: SolarWinds, which is promoting its IT management software to MSPs, now has an online community with 100,000 members. It's called thwack. I can't pronounce it. But I can see the momentum.
3. They Do That?: Rumor has it 4 Profit, a well-known consulting firm and coaching firm for IT solutions providers, is assisting several VARs with sell-side M&A strategies.
2. Big Hire, Key Moves: Autotask CEO Mark Cattini told me the company has made a key hire. And recent international milestones, he noted, will help Autoask's MSP partner base in North America. How so? I'll organizing a blog based on the interview soon...
1. Sorting It All Out: If you're still sorting out a cloud strategy keep an eye on San Francisco the week of 16. The OpenStack Design Summit and Conference, plus an IBM summit, will rally partners and developers. Plus, it's a safe bet HP will update its public cloud strategy at the OpenStack event. Wondering if any IT consultants actually make money on OpenStack? Keep an eye on Mirantis. Finally, if you're a Citrix partner then keep an eye on the CloudStack standard. During most of this week, OpenStack and CloudStack chatter dominated our sister site, Talkin' Cloud.
Thanks for your time. And for your interaction. Our team enjoys the chatter here on MSPmentor.