Archive for March, 2008

Virtual Launch Event

Yesterday was the Server 2008 Launch Event at the ICC which was a great event and much bigger than I thought it was going to be. You can check out the content at the Virtual Launch Site if only to see the Silverlight-ness of it :-) It’s pretty cool!

Got some great swag as well, NFR copies of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 – fantastic!

It was great to catch up and hang out with Richard Tubbs, Andy Parkes, Mike Bryett, Paul Dadge and Will Spanfelner.

Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 Event for SBSC Partners on 29th April 2008

This is an event that has been organised by Steve Smith MVP and myself. The details are below.

Venue & Time

Microsoft London, Cardinal Place, 100 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5JL meeting at 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start and 9.00pm finish.

Presentations from some of the worldwide experts on Sharepoint on Windows Sharepoint Sservices 3.0 which will be a key component of SBS 2008 and which can be installed as a side-by-side installation on SBS 2003.


Steve Smith MVP and Craig Carpenter (co-owners of Combined Knowledge one of the leading Sharepoint Training Consultancies). Steve is also one of the organisers of the Sharepoint User Group in the UK. Check out the bios here.

Bill English MVP of US based Mindsharp and author of a number of MS Press Books on Sharepoint will be presenting on WSS User Management on the new DeliverPoint Platform.

To register either leave a comment with your name and company or drop me an email at We are expecting a lot of interest and it will be opened up to the Sharepoint User Group as well.

Emma's Licensing Blog

Emma who is the Microsoft UK Licensing Escalation manager has a great Licensing Blog! Thanks to her for her comment on Who Understands Microsoft Licensing and yes I think she does understand it :-) Looks like she’s been busy on her blog which looks pretty comprehensive from a quick glimpse.

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MSDUK Business Opportunity Fair

Last week was MSDUK’s Business Opportunity Fair at the Emirates Stadium. It was their first such event and it was supported by a delegation of US Minority Businesses brought over by NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Council). The night before I was lucky enough to be at a Reception hosted at the residence of the US Economic Minster which is part of the US Embassy in the UK.

The Business Opportunity Fair had a range of businesses exhibiting from UK Minority Businesses and Corporates such as JP Morgan, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Lehman Brothers and many more. It was a great mixture of small to large businesses and everything in between. There were some great keynote speeches but the one that got me engaged was the one by Ralph G. Moore of RGMA Associates who provides business advice to Corporates and Suppliers. His point was forget thinking about getting a contract just because you’re a minority business and focus on being just the best business. That’s always been my view that once you get into the "Minority" mindset then you limit your own horizons and aspirations. Conversely, Corporate Procurement Buyers need to look beyond their traditional supply chains so that they can access new and innovative products/services. We need to be the best at what we do and scale to take up the challenges of supplying to corporate organisations which is where strategic alliances come in and as you know collaborative and partnership based working is something I believe deeply in.

I met some great people and one of these was a young woman Entrepreneur named Kanchana Raman, CEO of Avionsystems. She’s got a great technology business and the fact that she’s a Malayasian born Young Woman running a growing technology business in the US really says something.

The US businesses were big and some had multi-billion dollar turnovers but one thing each had was that the CEO’s/Owners were all down to earth.

It was great event and has given me renewed enthusiasm to achieve more.

State of the UK SMB Market Report

This is a great report on the Microsoft Partner Portal produced by AMI and looking at the SMB IT Market for 2008 in the UK. In the executive summary it says

For vendors and partners to harvest the IT opportunity in the segment, the overall implication is clear: be willing to flex traditional methods, and pay careful attention to the signals SMBs are sending. The rewards for those who can track with the changing landscape will continue to be well worth the effort.

The Report points out that the biggest change in mindshare has been for the Hosted Application with a 147% increase in respondents looking for this as a solution since 2005. So, as SBSCs the trend is clear and we need to be incorporating these solutions as part of our services whether this is Office Live, Hosted Exchange, Hosted CRM, Hosted Sharepoint, etc.

SBS Manchester Group Meeting

Looks like a new SBS Manchester Group is kicking off again on 27th March which is great news and Dave Overton has the full details, so if you’re around that area make sure you get to it and support it. It really will be one of the best things you’ll do. Looks like Ceri Thomas will be running things and Chris Parkes will be there too.

Good to see Dave still supporting us all even though it’s not officially his role to do so, but where there’s a will there’s a way. That’s why I respect the guy!

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Changes to Action Pack

A few people have blogged about this and I’m adding my bit to spread the good news. The Action Pack Vista software will now be full versions, so you don’t have to do the upgrade steps and can put it on a bare metal machine and you get a copy of Vista Ultimate. We wanted it, we asked for it and now it has finally happened and Dave has the details on the changes.

March AMITPRO Meeting

The next meeting of AMITPRO is on Tue 11th March meeting at 5.00pm for a 5.30pm start at the Arden Hotel ( There will be presentations from the following

Penny Coventry – Sharepoint MVP and author of the book “Office Sharepoint Designer 2007 Step by Step” and she will do a Worldwind Tour of Sharepoint Designer 2007

James Baker – SMB Development Manager, Symantec  – covering the following topics :-

1) An Overview of Symantec –

2) Brief run through the SB portfolio – Update on BE12 & BESR 8.0 which are Win 2008 Certified

3) Run through what free Tools & resources available to all your members

4) Look forward to future products & developments from Symantec

5) Q & A Session – Get some real feedback from the members about Symantec

There is the usual networking at the bar afterwards.

Minority Supplier Diversity

One of my customers is Minority Supplier Development UK and if you want to know more about them then I’ve just uploaded one of their videos up on to YouTube. We’re doing a new Sharepoint site for them which hopefully I’ll be able to share soon.

Sharepoint GearUp

One of the things that I’ve seen recently coming out from the Sharepoint Conference over in Seattle is this handy site called Sharepoint GearUp. It’s essentially a one stop place for the complete Sharepoint cycle of selling, planning, implementing and supporting end users. More and more of my time is being consumed with Sharepoint, which is a good thing since it’s the main part of the strategy going forward. People want to know about Sharepoint and its one of the easiest conversations to start having as increasingly people have heard about it.

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