Archive for April, 2007

MIX 07 is online

Not quite the same as being in Las Vegas and getting to watch the Pussy Cat Dolls at the Pure Party! “Don’t ya wisha girlfriend was hot like me, don’t ya!”.

Okay, but you can watch Scott Guthrie’s and Ray Ozzie’s keynote …ah well!!

Check out the Visit Mix site.

Blog Addiction

I think I must be an addict according to these signs of blogging addiction. I won’t tell you which ones apply :-)

 

Spot the SBSC Van!

The SBSC Van is going on tour!

Nice one Steve!

Microsoft Black Country Consortium – Partners Meeting

It was back to WBA Football Club this afternoon as part of the ongoing discussions regarding the Microsoft investment in the Black Country. Microsoft had invited its locally based Gold Certified Partners along and me! So, going around the room the Partners reeled off their competencies and solutions such as Dynamics GP and NAV. I was disappointed that Microsoft hadn’t invited any locally based SBSC Partners eventhough I’d tried to suggest this beforehand. I suppose I was there but I’m going to have to try and get Dominic Gill and Karl Noakes over to one of our meetings soon!

Vista doing rather well

The figures are out as reported by the BBC News website and it was a rather good quarter for Microsoft, with a 65% rise in fourth quarter profits! Does this mean bonuses all round at Microsoft! I think alot of the Vista sales were on deferred payments on new PCs.

BT 21CN is Coming

This’ll be the biggest shakeup in telecomms infrastructure since …well, I don’t know when but a long time!

So, who says that funny VoIP stuff will never catch on? Converged networks are just a pipe dream? The BT 21st Century Network Project is IP right up to your house or your business, 24 mb/s broadband, nice! A pure IP switched backbone, powered by routers such as the Juniper IP/MPLS products, awesome stuff! On the back of this BT are launching the developer framework for supporting those new applications in conjunction with Microsoft. The rollout is under way and by 2011 it’ll be complete. SaaS is a coming, applications are going to be piped down that wire!

SBSC Partners Sign-up for Assess & Win

If you’ve read this post, then you need to sign-up for the Assess & Win campaign if you’re a SBSC Partner.

You then get on this linked from bcentral.

Thanks to Aileen Hannah for clarifying this. 

My Strategy and being a Small Business Specialist

To sell more SBS boxes or not sell SBS boxes? That is the question?

For me it is not! Does that mean I can’t be a Small Business Specialist? I think I still am, although the last two projects have involved a migration of a SMS application to Rackspace and Windows Server 2003/Tivoli Storage Manager to an Enterprise customer. The proposal I’m working on right now is based on Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007 Enterprise Ed.

Great product that SBS 2003 is, it is just the enabling platform not the real driver of business value (in my humble opinion). There are people who have being doing it longer and can probably do it better than me. I think some real business value stuff is happening on the software applications side, SaaS and yes things like Office Live. So, Microsoft want us to shift more SBS boxes? Well, we know about Office Live (targetted at small businesses) and the feedback on the support forums is to make it more flexible and not less, people want to do more with it and recognise the potential. Still don’t believe me, then have a look at this. BT and Microsoft working together to create SaaS applications for Small Businesses. Threat or Opportunity? For me, definitely opportunity!

So, why narrow the definition of a Small Business Specialist down to SBS. Why not get SBSC Partners and Small ISVs together and talk about these new technologies and how Microsoft feels they could fulfill Small Business needs.

So, what do you think?

My Trip to Movement Research

Yesterday evening I went to Movement Research down in London to give my views to an independent research organisation regarding how Small Businesses view Microsoft and how Partners view Microsoft. What came out from both my views and some of the sampling that Movement have been doing is indicating that Small Businesses aren’t actively chosing Microsoft and are resentful as to what they see as being locked in to expensive upgrades and features they’ll never use. Whilst discussing this, I realised Microsoft Small Business Partners feel the same way, so the views of end customers and partners is about the same. The recent news shows that Google has overtaken Microsoft as the most successful brand as viewed by consumers. I separated this out from the Microsoft Small Business Programme in the UK, which had given us a lot of support and benefits.

I ended by saying that what I wanted Microsoft to do was stay engaged, even if we don’t hit their sales targets and we don’t turn up to their events, stay in it for the long hard slog! My sense is that they really do want to do that and obviously with any relationship, it is reciprocal!

Speculating on MIX 07

Why don’t we just wait and see what’s going to be announced at MIX 07, but where’s the fun in that!

Miguel’s got some interesting views on this and thinks they might announce Silverlight for Linux!

Scoble’s got his own thoughts as to what’s going to happen and thinks Microsoft will announce an Open Source initiative.

Also, Vlad wanted to be at MIX 07 which is interesting as he sees some really cool stuff happening around web technologies. I have to agree with him on this. Things are changing and Software as a Service is not such a crazy idea. Maybe Google has got it right!

UPDATE

Seven Reasons Microsoft Loves Open Source by William Hurley who is leading a panel at MIX 07 called “Open Source, the Web, Interoperability and Microsoft”.

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