Staff meetings. Strategic plans. And lots of coding. Our team -- and our media platforms -- are preparing for 2011 growth. And a few surprises in December. But all the planning means some blogs didn't get written. Indeed, here are seven managed services blog entries that the MSPmentor team didn't have a chance to write for the week ending Dec. 3, 2010.

7. Growing, Not Shrinking: MSPmentor on Nov. 19 reported that Datto, a backup and recovery specialist, had one or more key staff cuts. Lisa Mose, director of marketing for Datto, says she wants to "dispel any rumors" MSPmentor may have heard regarding alleged staff cuts.

Mose writes: "While Datto and its former Vice President of New Business Development have indeed parted ways, we believe that proper management of our relationships with our growing base of 1,000+ Resale Partners, our valued participation in nationwide channel events, seminars and conferences and the growth of Datto's market presence amply merit the attention of fully-staffed Channel Relations, Sales and Marketing Departments.  So, in response to your blog, we are not making staff cuts.  Datto is, in fact, making additions, and has entered into a lease agreement that will double our office space beginning in January." I'll reach out to Mose this week for more details.

6. Coming to America?: Back it July 2010 MSPmentor mentioned that CentraStage was gaining momentum in the European managed services market. The company develops a SaaS-based remote monitoring platform. It sounds like some US moves are coming soon. According to one tipster at the company, CentraStage is offering a US trial of the SaaS service now.

5. It Takes Two: Sounds like quite a few MSPs are struggling to push into the health care vertical. Despite the promise of EMR (electronic medical records) software, the MSPs are discovering they simply don't "speak the language" when trying to pitch EMR solutions. One market expert says MSPs need to make at least two dedicated hires -- one in sales, one in technology -- to succeed in the health care vertical. But for many MSPs that's too steep an investment, especially since thousands of MSPs have 10 or fewer employees as it is.

4. A Deal Down Under: Orcon has acquired Bizo, an Auckland, New Zealand-based managed services provider. Numerous M&A deals have occurred in New Zealand and Australia this year. We gathered some info about the deals during the IT Nation conference in November. Hopefully, we'll organize our notes to share some deeper thoughts soon.

3. Build, Buy or Partner?: As Synnex prepares some managed services moves for December, three different people have asked me whether Synnex will build, buy or partner its way into the managed services software market. My bet remains unchanged. I think the answer is "partner," but some folks say "buy." I'm looking for answers and hope to share them in the next week or two.

2. New Faces, More Brands: Sometime the week of Dec. 6 we'll announce a team expansion as well as a significant brand extension. For our latest clue check out this this Twitter feed.

1. Big Discussion: Thousands of SaaS and cloud pundits are heading to this week's DreamForce conference in San Francisco. We'll be watching closely to see how the MSP and cloud services markets continue to converge.

Sign up for MSPmentor’s Weekly Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. Follow us via RSS, Facebook, Identi.ca and Twitter. Check out more MSP voices at www.MSPtweet.com. Read our editorial disclosure here.