Archive for July, 2007
One of the great things about going to WPC is to meet really great people. One I really got on with and was fun to be with is Anne Stanton CRM MVP of the Norwich Group. She’s got a couple of great blogs which you might want to add to your RSS feeds.
She showed me some great photos of the New Orleans Conference organised by Jeff Middleton, so not only is this guy “super clever” but knows how to organise a great time! The cruise looked fantastic.
Steve Clayton has spotted that Microsoft has produced a Software + Services Whitepaper based on potential Partner Opportunities and case studies of companies who have made the transition. If like me you’re trying to get your head round some of the changes happening in providing hardware and software services, then this is a welcome overview.
Andy Parkes just reminded me about MIX UK 07 event down in London on 11/12th September. Maybe not quite as cool as the Las Vegas event where they had the Pussy Cat Dolls! But you still get to see Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s GM within the Developer Division. Unfortunately, I can’t make it but at £199 seems a bargain to me.
I was getting a new system motherboard from HP Support today and was talking to the Call Centre in India. What made this a memorable experience is that Zee (I’m assuming the spelling of her name!) and me got into a conversation about the non-technical stuff. She asked me if I was of Indian origin from my name and whether I spoke Hindi. I told her my Hindi wasn’t great but I spoke Punjabi but understood Hindi pretty well. She asked me if I watched Hindi films and I told her that the last film I saw was Rang de Basanti. So, we had a general chat about stuff and it was a really good experience. It was so nice to connect with someone half way across the world on a human level. She worked a 1pm to midnight shift to coincide with UK time and she didn’t have much time to do much else around Mumbai. I’ve never been to Mumbai as most of my family live in New Delhi but she told me I should visit it!
Trend Micro are holding a free technical training day in Birmingham on Thu, 23rd Aug 2007 from 9.30am – 4.30pm. There are only 10 places available, so if you haven’t received the invitation drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll forward you the Trend Email.
Microsoft has a fixation for case studies which are compete based i.e. you replaced a Linux solution with Microsoft. They’ll jump all over you for this! Tell them you have stories where you deployed SBS 2003 and it transformed the way a business operated and it’s yawn city for them! The point is this, that SBSC Partners do this day in and day out – keeping small businesses operating and giving them modern IT infrastructure. The change in some of these businesses can be amazing and on the surface may seem nothing, not even worth reporting but boy do they have an impact on the way people work. Microsoft continues to be completely underwhelmed by the work we do and the range of technologies we deploy – we perform minor miracles! The greatest stories are those of ordinary people doing ordinary things or maybe I should say ordinary people being empowered to do extraordinary things. Microsoft needs to come and see what we do and you can’t do that from the comfort of Microsoft HQ.
The SBSC Programme is like the Programme that dare not mention its name, in fact some who work within Small & Medium Business never mention it! If they were to meet a SBSC Partner you feel they would be like a rabbit caught in the headlights and try and make it to the safety of a Gold Certified Partner doing Business Solutions. I guess we can be a bolshy lot and that we don’t necessarily fit into nice neat Microsoft compartmentalised silos. We’re not going to cover many PAMs in glory – bless their little target driven cotton socks! Shock horror, we work with competitive technologies and have multiple vendor relationships and we speak our mind when things at Microsoft suck. We are unpredictable and ungrateful, probably in about equal measure.
One thing each and everyone of us has done has been to take real risks in life. We’ve bet our livelihoods, the growth of our businesses and the success of our customer’s businesses on Microsoft Technology so we deserve the maximum amount of support from Microsoft and for them to step into our shoes sometime.
To each and every SBSC Partner out there, I truly respect what you all do!
These look like a great idea and a good first session with Bill Wells and Ed Probert on Contracts.
Reminder: New Business Bites Live Meetings launching tomorrow!
Just to remind you that our new series of ‘Business Bites’ Live Meetings have arrived and the first one will be taking place tomorrow at 3:30-4:30pm! Bill Wells and Edmund Probert will be presenting contracts for installing networks and supplying maintenance during their first meeting. Fundamentally they will be covering off:
- The importance of a professional approach for a Microsoft Partner
- Using terms of business to improve your business
- The protection that good terms afford and how
- The cost of achieving a high standard
Additionally they will also be covering the following me more detail::
- Setting standards
- Dealing with the non payer
- Complaints resolution
To register your attendance please visit: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032346071&EventCategory=4&culture=en-GB&CountryCode=GB
The recent edition of LinuxToday magazine has some info on the Virtual Machine Driver Pack (VMD) from Novell for Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10. The VMD Pack allows for unmodified Windows OSes to run on the Xen Virtualisation technology in SLES 10. No more having to install VMWare server to do this or modifying the OS kernel, you can do this straight out of the box now. An Annual subscription for the VMD Pack for up to four virtual machines costs $299, while if you want to run unlimited VMs, then it’s $699.
I’m assuming the VMD Pack has come out of the Microsoft/Novell deal and I have to say this is great news! The corollary of this is that SLES 10 will be running on Microsoft’s Virtualisation Technology in Server 2008 and this has already been demonstrated. What a great choice for customers!
Looks like things are hotting up!
After the recent formation of IBM’s Integrated Partner Team (IPT) which has been focused on channel development in the SMB space for servers and storage, IBM look like they are stepping up a gear. I recently received an email via PartnerWorld from Ravi Marwaha (GM IBM Global Business Partners), which essentially said that IBM would be combining software products and services in an attach strategy to their hardware specifically for the SMB Market. In the email it says the SMB segment is the fastest growing market for IT with growth of 6.7% year on year and valued at $487 billion worldwide.
I’ve said for a long time that IBM is the only realistic competitor to Microsoft in the SMB Market with the products and services to match it in things like messaging, collaboration and systems management. If I were IBM, I’d start by getting an offering based on Domino Server/Lotus Notes and make it extremely affordable and easy to install combined with Tivoli Systems Management. It’ll be interesting to see what offerings they actually come out with and whether they can actually get their head around small businesses! I think the penny might be dropping for IBM, that Microsoft has stolen a big march on them in SMB.
I know how much these two companies like each other