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:


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 –


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.

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.




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




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 ( 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.

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:


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:

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




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




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.

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.




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.




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




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.




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




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.




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




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.

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:


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 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 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.

Touch down in Vegas



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:


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!