Thursday, October 29, 2009

Search Server Express on SBS 2008

Let me save you a lot of pain. From everything that I have found to this point, Search Server Express CANNOT be installed on SBS 2008. I have tried to get it working many, many different ways and have never had any success. I have asked Microsoft support how to get it working and they couldn’t help. I had some highly regarded contacts in the SBS community attempt to get answers from Microsoft as well but to no avail.

 

How can this be? Search Server Express is built on SharePoint technology and would make a fantastic addition to an SBS 2008 server yet it won’t install and worse, when you attempt to uninstall it after a failed installation, it blows up the existing SharePoint installation. How can this be? Search Server Express works fine in a stand alone installation but yet on SBS 2008 it all goes pear shaped.

 

So rather than go through the misery yourself here’s what happens.

 

1. You install Search Server Express on SBS 2008 and everything look sweet until the SharePoint Products and Technology Configuration Wizard runs. At about step 6 you get the following nasty error.

 

image_2_730F14C3

 

2. Realizing the error of you ways you go into Control Panel and remove Search Server Express.

 

3. Search Server Express uninstalls successfully but now when you attempt to access http://companyweb you see something like:

 

image_4_730F14C3

 

4. Now you start to sweat. You try maybe resetting IIS and attempt to access http://companyweb again and now you see:

 

image_6_730F14C3

 

Indicating no web sites there at all.

 

5. As the panic rises you try and access the SharePoint Central Administration site which only results in the following message:

 

image_8_730F14C3

 

Which means that uninstalling Search Server Express has effectively uninstalled SharePoint from your SBS 2008 system!

 

image_14_5E1D9250

 

6. This now means you have to get SharePoint back and working.

 

Now it becomes a question of can you restore SharePoint? How was SharePoint being backed up? What method are you going to use to restore SharePoint to where it was before you attempted installing Search Server Express? I can tell you that you are in for some fun and games if you aren’t prepared for it.

 

So why doesn’t Search Server Express work on SBS 2008? I don’t know. Why doesn’t Microsoft provide some guidance on install Search Server Express on SBS 2008? I don’t now either. All I know is don’t try to install Search Server Express on SBS 2008 because you’ll end up in a world of pain.

 

I’m still working on a solution and when I find it I’ll let you know.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Come surf with me


Well I’ve finally gotten myself signed up to Google Wave to see what it is all about. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone else who might be interested in joining me in a ‘Wave’ and learning what’s it all about. It’s kinda like email with out anyone to send to.

So if you have a Google Wave account and would like to collaborate with me on understanding the implications Google Wave may have I’d love to hear from you (in Google Wave) of course. You should be able to connect with me on Google Wave via ciaopsdirector@googlewave.com. If you do connect it’s probably also a good idea to send me an normal email (director@ciaops.com) so I know that we should be connected.

If Google Wave does take off I see it having implications for for many technologies we currently have, email, blogs but also perhaps SharePoint as Google Wave represents a collaboration platform. That’s why I’m so interested to understand exactly not only how it works but also how well it works. From what I’ve seen so far Google Wave has the potential to be a pretty game changing technology if it gets adopted and that is a big if. Why? Because even though people are using technology they have become so comfortable with the technology they use everyday, like email that making a major change to something like Google Wave will have to jump some major non technical hurdles in its bid for adoption. However, if it does manage to become widely adopted it will almost certainly be a major game changer.

If you don’t know much about Google Wave I suggest you visit the web site and watch the video presentation (warning, it’s long). After you have watched the video I’d love to hear your thoughts on you opinions on what ramifications it would have.

So if you have a Google Wave account I’d really love to hear from you even if you have an opinion about Google Wave then I’d also love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SharePoint 2010 beta in November

As expected, Microsoft have announced that the release of SharePoint (and Office) 2010 public betas in November. There is nothing unexpected in the announcement but it is interesting to note:

 

“By taming the overflow of information across systems and technologies, SharePoint enables organizations to thrive,” (Steve) Ballmer said.

which I have always believed is an excellent reason to implement SharePoint. It is a fantastic tool for not only capturing business information but also making it searchable because as we know if we can’t find what we want quickly then all the information in the world is pretty worthless. How many businesses out there are struggling to manage their information? How many of these could be using SharePoint in some form? Now how many actually are? This is probably the reason for SharePoint being:

 

‘one of the fastest-growing products in Microsoft’s history, with over $1.3 billion in revenue, representing over a 20 percent growth over the past year. According to IDC, Microsoft attained a significant share of the collaborative content workspace market in 2008, and had the highest growth rate among top vendors with its Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.’

 

I certainly believe that the SharePoint 2010 will continue this growth, especially given SharePoint’s ability to be deployed via the cloud through solutions like Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). I see it as a major opportunity to provide solutions to businesses not only in my local region but all around the world.

 

Some of the features of SharePoint 2010 highlighted include:

 

• A new ribbon user interface that makes end users more productive and customization of SharePoint sites easy

• Deep Office integration through social tagging, backstage integration and document life-cycle management
   

• Built-in support for rich media such as video, audio and Silverlight, making it easy to build dynamic Web sites
  

• Enterprise features in SharePoint Online such as Excel Services and InfoPath Forms Services, which make it simple to use, share, secure and manage interactive forms across an organization
 

• The addition of two new SharePoint SKUs for Internet-facing sites, including an on-premises and hosted offer

So it all sounds great but I’ll wait and see what the beta is like before I make any final judgement because there are number of things I’d like to see whether they have rectified and what new ‘features’ they have included. As soon as I have the beta up and running I’ll post my observations here. So stay tuned, not long to wait now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The toughest job

Now I reckon that the toughest job in the world is customer service, which most people are in these days. I’ve had a few experiences in the last couple of days that have made me think about the way that I deliver customer service. Let me give you some examples.

A few times recently I’ve needed to go and ask for information at an enquiry location. Every time, I have left with the information I needed but also that I was a bit of an idiot for asking. Another time I had a misunderstanding about something I had bought and again got it sorted but felt after the experience that it was my fault for not knowing the full ‘in’s’ and out’s’ of something I’d only just acquired. Finally, when I ordered something, I came away with my order but felt like I was being such a burden.

I understand that in many of these circumstances the individuals I interacted with deal with perhaps hundreds of people each and everyday. I’ll also bet that the vast majority of people they deal with can be pretty demanding. This constant battering makes it extremely hard to maintain a sunny disposition and helpful attitude in every single case. Given the pressures of constantly dealing with people wanting something (in many times immediately) I totally understand why they have lost that twinkle in their eye.

However, I do see two opportunities here. Firstly, if the level of ‘customer service’ has generally fallen to a mild level of distain then it opens the door of opportunity for an elevated level of customer service. I can’t help but think of how much better my experiences would have been if the people I had dealing with really let me know that they wanted to help me. If just one person had taken the time to exercise an enhanced level of customer services it would have stood out like a beacon in recent times. Now don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate that maintaining this level day in and day out is hard but imagine the opportunity if you could even just lift the level above the current level? You’d really make a mark I reckon.

Secondly, as a consumer how much more of an impact am I going to have on someone providing me with a service if I at least do my best to make their job easier. The chances of it making an impact are probably pretty small given the general poor behaviour of consumers but again, there is a chance that because it is an above the normal response some benefit maybe forth coming.

Now, if you think that odds of either would make a difference consider all the people who play the lottery each week in the hope of it changing their lives in one fell swoop. I reckon that if you adopted what I suggested above then I’m sure your chances would be much better than playign the lottery and would increase everyday.

Now perhaps the thorniest question is how do you keep your levels of customer service up when you are being ‘battered’ everyday? I suppose the best suggestion I can make is that you need something outside the field you are working in that can give you a break and allow you to ‘refresh’ yourself. For me this means something totally away from IT, which I admit is very hard, but honestly when I have managed to take that ‘complete’ break I feel my energy levels renewed and am ready to accept the challenge of the hardest customer request. As I have said before in this blog, it is all about finding a balance. The strange thing perhaps to grasp is that to provide better customer service you should be doing ‘less’ of what you normally do and ‘more’ of what you don’t normally do, because typically most driven people mistakenly believe they need to keep doing more and more of the one thing. The problem is that the incremental return of more and more becomes pretty small after a while. Better off to take a break to promote the energy to take it to the next level.

So there you have it. From what I have seen lately, there is a huge opportunity to distinguish yourself and your business by providing an increased level of customer service. The way to achieve that is to actually take more time completely away and refresh yourself. Very Zen if I do say so myself.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More or less

It would seem counter intuitive, I know, but I would content that the road to success is about doing less rather than doing more. Truly successful people determine what they are best at and they do it. Other stuff they are not good at they either stop doing it or get someone else to do it for them. Another step in this process is that they also automate as much as they can to free their time for the stuff that is important.

So many people I know believe that they need to keep doing more when in fact they are actually only creating more distractions for themselves. We all have the same amount of time allotted to us yet they way we chose to utilize that says a lot about our attitude towards the value of our time. People who don’t value their time want to cram more and more into their program which has a limit beyond which actually reduces available time. An great analogy I heard once is that you ‘can only fit so much on your dance card’ so choose wisely because you’ll never get that time back again.

Take a look at what you are doing. Are you trying to do more and more? Are you taking of everything you can to leverage more time? Are there others you can work with who can assist you freeing up your time for what you are best at? To me it makes fare more sense to build a network of trusted partners who can work with you to cover your ‘non-core’ areas. This would allow you to focus more on the things you are good at while still maintaining ‘coverage’ of those other areas.

How do you find such partners? Good old networking. Not just the latest social networking but the good old fashion networking of meeting people face to face. In my opinion one of the most important assets that any individual has is their extended network. My question to you is – what are you doing to develop your network? The honest answer from most people is that they are doing nothing. Rather that working more intelligently by finding people whom they can work with and share their load they have this mistaken belief that they can do it all. Sooner or later these people get crushed under the load they subject themselves to.

Like any asset a network of contacts needs to be developed and maintained. Technology makes it much easier but it doesn’t overcome the necessity of work in this respect. Don’t also be fooled by the amount of false networking that happens with technology. Most of today’s social networking is about getting more followers or friends. It is not about this at all. Good networking is what it has always been about, developing lasting relationships that can support you and investing in them. My question again is – what are you doing to invest in these networks? Because if you aren’t investing in your networks then you are doomed to crush yourself under a never ending mountain of obligation.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Community is dead

Long live the Tribe – is what I say now after considering things of late. Why do I say this? I now see ‘community’ as merely something to belong to. It requires little effort apart from claiming ‘you belong’. There is no requirement to participate, there is no requirement to contribute. It seems that many people who consider themselves part of a ‘community’ in fact simply view it as an opportunity to receive.

 

Conversely, I see a ‘tribe’ as something that requires active participation. I see it as something that involves sharing skills and abilities in a way that benefits all. In short it not only requires active membership but also active participation. The strength of the tribe comes from the skills and contributions of its members, where the perceived strength of a ‘community’ merely comes from its size.

 

To me a ‘tribe’ is far more focused than the broad base that a ‘community’ seems to refer to. After some recent interactions with the ‘SBS community’ I now really believe that it has become fare too broad to accommodate all the members it has. Although many believe it is this size that makes it strong I would actually content that it is exactly this size that it weakening it, making it harder to provide direction and reach consensus.

 

I would also contend that a major difference between a ‘tribe’ and a ‘community’ is that a ‘tribe’ is lead while a ‘community’ is merely about following. It seems to me that the ‘SBS community’ is struggling with this very issue. Although there are plenty of willing members, there seems to be very few who are actually prepared to lead, to forge a direction (even if it is incorrect) and generally move with the times. Instead there seems to be a never ending battle to achieve consensus in a ‘community’ that is now far too diverse to possibly achieve this.

 

Recently I was looking for an opportunity to meet with members of the ‘SBS community’ in the UK. I sent numerous emails to ‘key’ individuals seeking simply to have a chat about the SMB business in the UK. Although I was happy enough just to chat I would have also been happy enough to share my SharePoint experience as a contribution for the commitment people might make. I was disappointed to find that only 2 individuals took up this opportunity to meet with me. Both of these individuals put themselves out to meet me in a place convenient to me not them and for that I have nothing but thanks and appreciation.

 

Happily I can say that these two meetings were more than worthwhile from my point of view and will provide a positive impact for my business going forward. I certainly hope that I was able to oblige them with something in return.

 

I have nothing against the concept of ‘community’ per se, but I believe that it just isn’t relevant any more because it is too broad. My aim is to seek out successful ‘tribes’ and join them by actively contributing to their goals and members. I am disappointed that many people still wish to remain part of a ‘community’ but I am glad that a few see the benefits of making a contribution beyond this into becoming a ‘tribe’.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Download SharePoint presentation videos

After a few requests, I have posted the videos I sued in my presentation at SMB Nation for anyone to download if they desire. Please note, these videos have no audio and were designed to replace my need for the Internet during the actual presentation. They are all a few MB isn size and can be downloaded from:

 

http://su.pr/22MPlk

 

The videos are all prefixed gs202. If you simply want to view the videos then you can also do so on my YouTube channel at – http://www.youtube.com/user/directorciaops.

 

I will be publishing a white paper covering the topics that I discussed during that presentation for all to download but that won’t be until early November.

Monday, October 5, 2009

SMB Nation – Day 3

Well SMB nation is now over for another year and on balance I would say that it was a great success. I would also say that the vast majority of attendees would agree that it was a huge success with only a few minor hiccups.

 

Here’s my thoughts on what I attended today:

 

BS401 – Business Speak – Panel (Wayne Turmel moderator)

 

Even though this session was mainly focused on managed services it was still interesting to hear what other people though and were doing with this business model inside their own company. The session basically took the form of an expert panel with feedback and comments from the audience.

 

image_2_00FFE0B5

 

BS203 – Street Smart branding – Jeff Conally

 

I actually started off in another session that was recommended to me but found it didn’t meet my expectations so I shifted to this one, which was a wise move in the end. We formed into teams and came up with a way to market a generic product, in this case bottled water. The process showed me how you need to focus on the ‘need’ before you focus elsewhere. It was a most enjoyable interactive sessions making it the highlight of the day for me.

 

Overall impressions of SMB Nation 2009

 

image_4_2EED336D

 

There is little doubt that I got real value from the conference. The majority of this was through direct interaction with attendees. I met a lot of really great people who have given me plenty of ideas that I can go back and implement inside my business. As for the technical presentations, the few that I did attend where excellent and right on the money. I was disappointed with the social media presentations I went to. They didn’t seem to have many distinct take aways. Perhaps that is just the subject matter but I sort of felt that I would have liked to see how social media could be implemented directly in an IT business rather than just speaking about it generally.

 

The catering was excellent however probably the following two items were the biggest negatives for me. Firstly, the Internet connectivity was virtually non existent. I was trying to use Twitter (i.e. social media) but just couldn’t get connectivity. This really impacted a lot of people. Secondly, some of the room layout didn’t really do some presenters justice. Now I appreciate that it would be hard to understand the issues ahead of time and determine exactly how many people wanted to see each presentation but some very popular sessions were in small rooms while sparsely populated sessions were in large rooms.

 

Given this is the first SMB Nation in Las Vegas I think Harry and his team have done an outstanding job and deserve every accolade because pulling something together of this scale is not easy. Any issues were minor and as I said I think everyone who attended got a huge amount of value from attending.

 

So that’s it, all over for another year. I thank Harry and SMB Nation for the opportunity to present and hope that I was able to live up to the high standards of SMB Nation. If you attended my session, also many thanks and I hope you got value. Feel free to contact via email (director@ciaops.com) if there is any further information you need. To everyone else who took the time to speak with me I say thanks. It is people like you that really made this conference a success from my point of view and I look forward to speaking with again soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

SMB Nation – Day 2

Today started off with my session GS202 - SharePoint - You've got it, now what? I am pleased to report that the people I spoke to afterwards reported that they liked what was presented. I would of perhaps liked a little longer to cover all the material effectively but I hopefully managed to fit enough in to give people value for getting up early and coming along.

 

I have uploaded the presentation to my Slideshare which can accessed directly at:

 

http://www.slideshare.net/directorcia/youve-got-sharepoint-now-what

 

I also embedded a number of videos into the presentation so I wouldn’t have to depend on the poor Internet connection. I have uploaded these video to my YouTube account, but you can access each individually by clicking on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdVhaH89H9g

 
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46dDbjxKcFs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epz0sthup-I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jv2cLQPaNs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZT01oKgRdg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYtkmiRpSYU

Here’s what I attended for the rest of the day:

 

SM402 – Pure Friggin’ Magic! – Tcat Howser

 

This session was focused on understanding how to use social media. I went along thinking that I was behind the game when it came to social media but as i turned out I wasn’t, which made me feel good. Many other resellers are struggling to understand how to utilize all the new features of social media. The main suggestion was that posting online videos is one of the most effective methods of lifting your profile. As you can see from the above videos, I’m already doing this, but I can still work to improve this.

 

BS302 – Are you managed services being commoditized? You bet! – John Killian

 

image_2_3598B50C

 

I did arrive late for the session after having a meeting with another reseller, so I didn’t catch the whole session. I would say that there were some really good points about what you can do to improve the services you provide to your customers. I like the idea of creating a service roadmap for increasing the value provided to clients and in turn revenue.

 

SM403 – How to achieve page one rankings in local search and WOW your prospects with killer reviews- Dan Hollings

 

image_4_3598B50C

 

This session was the pick of the day and gave me many take always that I can implement immediately. I learned some unexpected ways to increase my rankings in search engines. What I also found interesting was that again, this session was only lightly attended. Given the focus on social media I honestly though more people would attend. It seems again that most people here chose to attend the technical sessions but I look on that as their loss. I’ll be very interested to see how much of an impact these techniques will have when implemented fully for my business.

 

Tomorrow is the last day of SMB Nation and the only session that I HAVE to attend is speed dating where attendees get to ask me questions directly on what I presented. I enjoyed this very much last year and reckon I got more out of it than the other attendees so I am looking forward to this tomorrow.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

SMB Nation – Day 1

After a hearty breakfast I headed off to attend the opening ceremony of SMB Nation 2009.

 

Whacking Weasels – Making the most from SMB Nation 2009

 

After a brief intro from Harry Brelsford, Wayne Turmel kicked off the conference with some interesting assessments of SMB Nation. I agree with his major point that you need to seek others out at the conference from whom you can benefit from. This being my second year, I have become critically aware that this is extremely important and hopefully something I can make the most of.

 

Now came the keynote for the day:

 

How to be relevant in the cloud computing world – Mike O’Brien (Zenith Infotech)

 

I think perhaps the title of this presentation should have read more like, ‘How to compete in a flat world’ because it focused on product provided by Zenith around outsourcing of IT. This is really the way everything is going and there are some people take great advantage of services like this. The success of business like Zenith strongly reinforce my opinions that most IT (especially, infrastructure) has become a commodity. A traditional business model will no longer succeed and Zenith is one direction you could take to remain competitive.

 

An interesting stat divulged was that apparently 3,000 businesses a day sign up for Google Apps. Interesting to know whether it is in fact true.

 

Next was:

 

GS402 - Virtualization for the SMB World – Wayne Small & Dana Epp.

 

image_2_069583C2

 

A very relevant and informative presentation however it was hampered a poor connection to the Internet which was out of the control of the presenters. However, as the Internet continued to drop out (again, through no fault of the presenters) it made the presentation appear unprepared, which is far from the truth. The other thing that counted against the presentation was the room layout, very long and narrow, which made the screen very hard to read the further at the back you were. It concerns me that this is the room I’ll be presenting in so I’ll have to do what I can to make it better.

 

Overall, when I talked to other people who attended the session during the day they gave a generally favourable response, which is good given the work the guys invested in preparing the presentation.

 

then:

 

SM302 – How to become a Twitter Twenius and profit from social media – Dan Hollings

 

image_4_069583C2

 

I thought this session was rather poorly attended actually, especially given the focus on social media at this conference (having its own track and all). When I talk to people during the breaks. it seems to me that most are still attending all the ‘tech’ or ‘geek speak’ sessions.

 

I did get a few pointers from the presentation but was a little disappointed that it didn’t go further. I suppose it is hard to determine exactly where to pitch these sorts of presentations. Do you start at the beginning or do more advanced topics? Given that you have no idea what level your audience is, not easy by a long shot.

 

then:

 

CSS3 – Profit from the cloud. Become a Google Apps reseller – Jeff Ragusa

 

image_6_069583C2

 

This session turned out to be poorest performer of that day for me. The content was fine but the way it was presented gave me the impression that the whole session was simply thrown together at the last minute. I would say that it was not a ringing endorsement of Google Apps at all. I think that the layout of the room didn’t help at all, with an extremely small projection screen making it very difficult to actually read what the slides said. All in all there was worthwhile information but I felt that it was delivered very hap-hazardly.

 

Note the baseball cap in the lower right of the picture. The story is at the end of this post.

 

Finally:

 

BS301 – Selling IT Services: How not to suck at it! – Stuart Selbst

 

image_8_069583C2

 

Probably the pick of sessions for me today. Was perhaps let down by the colours used in the presentation. They were very hard to read under normal lighting which detracted, at least until the lights were turned off, from the start of the presentation.

 

I have followed some of Stuart’s work over the years and have always been very impressed by his content and focus. It was a bit of a shock to see how confronting he is in person. I have no issues with that but it is not exactly what I expected. In the end what he is telling you about selling is all common sense. However, in many cases you can’t see how simple it is until you have it pointed out to you. Although some of the ‘home truths’ are confronting and abrupt they are totally on the mark, as is Stuart.

 

Now the story of my new CIAOPS hat. I was talking to a bloke in a shop that sells embroided hats here in the Hotel and turns out he was having trouble with his internet connection. His issue was configuring his Netgear router and he had been on the phone to Netgear for 2 hours trying to get it to work with no luck. I said I’d happy have a look at it if we could do a deal on a CIAOPS hat. He said sure, so I went to work. A few minutes later I had it all up and running as well as a nice new CIAOPS embroided hat. A good deal was had by all with this transaction I believe.

 

Tomorrow morning is my SharePoint presentation at SMB Nation. It is GS202 in Capri 114/116 if you are here at the conference. Also don’t forget my podcast from the tradeshow floor with Karl at 2:25pm local time. I’ll report on both here tomorrow but now it’s off to put the final touches on my slideshow.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Preparing for SMB Nation – Day 1

As I am still working on Australian time even though I’m here for SMB Nation in Vegas I’ve started preparing for what sessions I’ll go to over the next three days. If you haven’t been able to make it here yourself then download a copy of the event details from:

 

http://www.smbnation.com/mobile/guide.pdf

 

and let me know any suggestions you have. I like the look of social media stuff as well as the cloud computing topics as well. You can’t attend everything, I know, and hopefully I can find some good souls to let me know what the other sessions are like.

 

At this stage the only MUST ATTEND session I personally have is my SharePoint session on Saturday morning at 8am. For those who are here then it is going to held in the Capri 114/116 rooms, which hopefully I’ll get a look at today so I have a feel for the joint.

 

After breakfast and the keynote I think I’ll be starting my day with the session “Virtualization for the SMB World” presented by Dana Epp and Australia’s own Wayne Small who has just been re-awarded MVP status from Microsoft. Congratulations to Wayne and it nice to see him continue to receive recognition for his contributions to teh community over the years. Now that said, it doesn’t mean he might’nt cop some friendly ‘Australian’ heckling from the floor during his session, because I’m sure I’ll be coping some, so best to get in first eh?

 

One of the major reasons I attended SMB Nation was to network with people here and that has already started. Last night I had a great conversation with Jim McNelis from www.ditoweb.com. Jim’s a big Google Apps reseller and it was very interesting to hear his business model and what his plans are for the future. I’m really encouraged by the success he is having with the Google ‘cloud’ as I think much of the same model translates to the Microsoft ecosystem. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be interested in getting some Google action as well, but you play to your strengths at least at first I believe.

 

So how did we meet? Twitter of course! I tweeted that I was looking to meet other SMB Nation attendees for dinner and viola up popped Jim. I don’t know if I would have had the opportunity to hook up with Jim otherwise, so score an extra point for Twitter.

 

There will be Wi-Fi available at the conference tomorrow, so hopefully I can do some more tweeting from the floor is anyone is interested. If you haven’t hooked up with me on Twitter yet my handle is @directorcia and my page is at http://www.twitter.com/directorcia. I am going to be interested to see what the Twitter usage is like at this conference and whether SMB resellers are using it. There are plenty of Twitter style sessions that really look worthwhile attending and I’ll report on those I attend. So if you wanna connect with me during SMB Nation try Twitter first because I’m really keen to see how well it works in something it should be well suited for. I’ll be using the hash tag #smbnation generally as well as the session code (i.e. #gs202 for my session) to help people follow the conversations around SMB Nation.

 

So I’ll try grab some more shut eye before the big 7am kick off this morning and stay tuned for updates from the floor.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Touch down in Vegas

image_2_0A32670D

 

I have just arrived in Las Vegas in preparation for SMB Nation 2009. So what am I doing here? For starters I’m here to attend what is probably the preeminent (vendor agnostic) SMB reseller focused even in the world. What else am I doing here? Well on Saturday morning I’ll be giving a session on SharePoint called:

 

GS202 : SharePoint – You’ve got it now what?

 

The least known component of SBS 2008 is SharePoint and yet it offers the greatest opportunity. This session will explain to you in simple terms exactly what SharePoint technology is and how it can be utilized to improve your business and that of your customers. You'll also learn how to take SharePoint beyond the default install to configure an installation that truly provides business benefits to you customers. You'll learn how software like Microsoft Office, SharePoint Designer, Search Server Express and third party add-ons work with SharePoint and more importantly how you can extend your skills quickly and easily to sell these solutions.

Also on Saturday I’ll be doing a podcast live from SMB Nation with Karl Palachuk. Details are:

 

Saturday Oct. 3rd:
2:25 PM to 2:55 PM (local Las Vegas time)
SharePoint Podcast with Karl Palachuk / Robert Crane
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/749350137

 

Hopefully this podcast will also be recorded so people can listen to it later on.

 

Also importantly, I’ll be trying to network with all my peers to learn as much as I can and hopefully forge some new relationships.

 

Looking back on what I gained from last year’s SMB Nation I can honestly say that there was plenty of content that really helped my business in the last 12 months and I’m looking to get even more out of it this year. I certainly hope that if you are at this year’s SMB Nation you’ll come to my presentation or stop me in the halls for a chat or maybe even organise a get together over a coffee later on. If you want to meet then I’m more than willing to oblige.

 

If you can’t make the event then I hope that you’ll at least keep up to date with my thoughts on SMB Nation as I post them to this blog and listen to my SMB Nation podcast. Once the presentation is complete I’ll be working hard to get all the relevant documents up for those who are interested to download.

 

SMB Nation 2009 – Bring it on!