Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mike Bayless - Details on Delivery the KPE 5-pack Cloud Offering

Join me as I interviews Mike Bayless, one of the primary architects of the KPEnterprises 5-Pack Cloud Offering. Mike will field all your questions about how we get started, how we move folks to hosted Exchange, hosted storage, etc.

As we talk to more and more people we realize that the click-by-click details of how to get started are obvious -- AFTER you've done it. So we'll look at how we walk a client through the migration to a cloud-based office environment.

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/653656601

:-)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

SMB Community Events in Australia – Registration now Open

Got a note from my buddy Wayne Small yesterday. If you're in Australia, you need to check out the cool events they have scheduled.

Wayne's Note:
- - - - -

There’s been a heap of hard work to pull this together from fellow Aussie SBS MVPs Dean Calvert and Stuart Applegate and myself, but I’m now very happy to announce that Microsoft are sending two of their top team members from the SMB/SBS team here to Australia in June. Not to miss out on the party, Jeff Middleton has also volunteered to come out and help educate us on how to better migrate our SBS servers. Below is an invite I sent out today to members of SBSfaq.com newsletter. Please register for this event and support your local SMB Community.

A rare chance to talk directly to the Microsoft SMB Team in Australia along with Jeff Middleton aka the King of the Swing Migration.

Nick King, Senior Product Manager in the Windows Server Business Group & Adrian Maziak, Senior Program Manager in the Home and Small Business Server team are coming to present, listen and take feedback on the Microsoft SMB Server products.

Jeff Middleton, the master of the swing migration will be presenting a session on how to migrate from existing SBS environments to SBS 2008 to any combination of Windows 2003, 2008 and Exchange 2003, 2007 or 2010 platforms.

You will also be able to find out more about your local SMB IT Professionals group and understand the benefits of being involved in the growing SMB IT Professionals community here in Australia.

This invitation is a rare chance for you to talk directly to two key members of the Microsoft SMB Team when they visit Australia in June. Make sure you register now using the link below. Note due to timing, Nick and Adrian will only be presenting at the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne events. Jeff Middleton has volunteered to be at all four events (thanks Jeff).

Registration is a must and attendance is free.

Brisbane – June 16th 5:30pm – Register here:
http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e2wv74j656369d12

Sydney – June 17th 5:30pm – Register here:
http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e2wv7y57b8771079

Melbourne – June 21st 5:30pm – Register here:
http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e2wv7y8ha049731e

Adelaide – June 22nd: 5:30pm – Register here:
http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e2wv7ya2a2a44672

This event is being hosted by Microsoft and your local SMB IT Professionals group. If you have any question about this event, please feel free to email me direct.

To find out about other events like this and information relevant to the SMB IT Professional Community sign up for the SMBFocus Newsletter here.
http://visitor.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?m=1102649620336&p=oi

- - -
Thanks Wayne.

Man, I sure hope I can figure out a trip to Australia this year.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cloud Services Roundtable - Notes and Updates

Many of you have heard of the Cloud Services Roundtable but aren't entirely sure what it is. From time to time we get questions about the content, why we're charging $4.95/month, and what you get for that.

First, the content.

We have the following programs now available for download:

- Migrating From SBS to The Cloud Part 1 (Webinar with MSPU
- Migrating From SBS to The Cloud Part 2 (Webinar with MSPU
- Migrating From SBS to The Cloud Part 3 (Webinar with MSPU

- Jason Beal from Ingram Micro on Making Money with Cloud Services

- Karl Talks About Specific Offerings and Plans

- Pointivity Talks Specifics of Their Cloud Offering for SMB (with Kent Erickson)

- Cloudcast - Live from the SMB VOIP Conference (with Matt Wilson from New Global Telecom, Jay Weiss from Computer HMO, and John Endter from E Squared C)

- The Low-Down on BPOS (with Jim Glyn at MS BPOS)

- Considering Building Your Own Cloud Services? (with Steve Winter from ERGOS Technology Partners)

- Where is the Industry Going? - Harry Brelsford's thoughts on the Year 2010 with Harry Brelsford and Karl Palachuk

- Karl's 2010 SMB State of the Nation Address

- The lastest program is with Dave Sobel on Virtualization. It was posted live yesterday.


Programs are scheduled Live on the first and third Wednesday of each month and are recorded for download. Our goal is to continue to bring you great content throughout the year. Cloud services is a fast-evolving field. No, it's not just "hosting," but a lot more. And that more is growing and changing very quickly.

On the third Wednesday of each month, my co-host is Mr. Harry Brelsford of SMB Nation. Harry provides good business-side insights as well as some good hooks into guests and specialists in various industries. So I am honored to be producing this program with Harry.


Second, payments, etc.

As strange as it sounds, I can't get rich charging you $4.95/month to be a member of CSR. So what's the point? Well, there are a few things. After doing the very popular SMB Conference Call for two years, I discovered three things. The first was that it was a huge amount of work and hassle that I was contributing to the world for free. But having made a commitment, I continued to provide content.

The second thing I discovered is that the very broad topic of "SMB" was too broad. It was literally "whatever popped into my head radio." Which is fine if everyone's happy, but it just seemed to lack focus. So I wanted to create a more clearly defined subject for the podcasts.

The third thing I discovered is that I had lost control of my audience. There is all kinds of technology to keep track of who's download, iTunes, re-broadcasts, etc. But the show was everywhere and TOO widely disseminated. As a result, I had no way of measuring influence. As the recorded show became more popular, the number of live listeners went down. It became harder to get good guests.

When we kicked off the show with Erick Simpson, we clogged the 100 lines I had. So I went to 200, 300, and eventually to 1,000 lines. But over time the live listenership went down to 50 and under. Even though the recorded program was hugely popular, it's hard to get a guest to talk to 30 people live.

So I came up with a simple scheme to boost live listenership: Charge for people who want to download and let the live broadcast be free. This has worked. Live listenership is good and I have exact numbers regarding paid subscribers. So that makes it easier to get guests.


Now, as for content . . .

Once you subscribe, content is not divided by month. $4.95 gets you access to all recorded programs and associated downloads. So don't worry that you'll pay $4.95 for only this month's material forward. You get all recorded materials for that price.

Theoretically, you could subscribe for one month, download it all, and then unsubscribe. And someone will probably do that.

But our goal is to continue to provide you with good, valuable information so that you'll continue your subscription. We think that once you listen to the material we have so far you'll be hooked.

As always, I welcome your feedback here and by email to karlp@greatlittlebook.com.


Thank you for your support!


:-)



Want to figure out how to make money with Cloud Computing?

Join the Cloud Services Roudtable today and listen a great series of podcasts!

www.cloudservicesroundtable.com

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Your Communication is About to Get Easier - and More Difficult at the Same Time

Like most of the world, I have email. Like many of you, I have more than one email address. Email has been the "killer app" of the Internet long before we called it the Internet. Bulletin boards exchanged email. News Groups are based on email. Businesses, universities, and government offices had email back in the 60's and 70's.

Eventually all these things got connected. I made money, back in the day, knowing how to connect one email system to another.

Over the years we've added chat and instant messaging. AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Skype. Everywhere you turn there's instant messaging.

Pagers became SMS messages on cell phones.


Non Email Email

And the latest communication method is the "messaging" on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Twitter has DM (direct message) that allows two way communication between people. Facebook and LinkedIn have their own little message systems.

Of course all of this can be fed to your phone. Email, SMS, nine kinds of instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.

So now we have three problems, one old and two new.

The old problem is email overload, except now it's Messaging Overload. I recently found myself with a few quiet minutes, so I pulled out the trusty Blackberry and proceeded to have a conversation on Facebook, a DM conversation on Twitter, and two email conversations. In the meantime, I was updating Twitter with a few posts and added a status to Facebook.

Even for me this was a bit much. Thank goodness I don't do instant messaging. That eliminates a few hundred distractions.

The First New Problem is that people use whatever communication method they have at their fingertips to send messages. This is true for businesses, for friends, and for co-workers.

This is a problem because it means you now need to keep track of incoming communications on many different channels. You also need to figure out how to funnel that communication to one or more places where you can give it appropriate attention.

Here are two examples.

First, I have seen more than one "public" communication where someone posted a note along the lines of "John: Please make sure I've got the conference room for Thursday afternoon." This was followed by a response along the lines of "Dude, we both have email - and we work for the same company. Why are you doing this on Facebook?"

Second, I have found many people communicating with me personally and my company through these various channels. People ask questions via Twitter (either public or DM), Facebook messaging, and LinkedIn messaging. Normally these are small questions that require a longer, more complicated answer. Certainly too long for Twitter. And I don't like holding important conversations on these systems. So I end up funneling people to email.

The Second New Problem is that total strangers can post opinions about your company. This is extremely common on Twitter and Facebook. Of course their comments may not always be positive. But it doesn't matter what the nature of the comment is: It needs a response from you.

You need to give positive acknowledgement to compliments. You need to answer inquiries and sales opportunities. You need to address complaints and shuffle them into more private communications.

- - - - -

So your communication got easier because there are so many ways for communication to come into your business. At the same time, it became a lot more difficult because you need to monitor a number of new "channels" that may be important to your business.

As much as email overload can be a problem in your business today, Messaging Overload is a real danger. And it's going to be a growing problem if you don't have ways to deal with it.

Got a plan?


:-)



Now Available:
Introduction to Zero Downtime Migrations
Seminar on MP3 Download

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

IT Industry Leaders Needed for IT Business Advisory Council (Bay Area)

Got the following missive from Doug Spindler, a community leader in the Bay Area:

- - - - -

Pac IT Pros members: As you know, I am a Technology Instructor at Diablo Valley College (DVC) in Pleasant Hill. Earlier this year I applied for DVC to become part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant which was accepted. As part of the grant I need to create an IT Business Advisory Committee to assist the NSF mentors and DVC faculty on the skills tomorrow's IT workers need. I am looking for IT Industry leaders, from a wide variety and sizes of companies and industries. The people need to be CIOs, CTO's, IT Director, and IT Managers - or the people who are doing the IT planning. (We are not looking for IT Workers, Server/Network Admins.)

I'd like to ask you to ask your boss, employer or customers to be a member if they would become a member of DVC's IT Business Advisory Council. (Below you will find a letter you can forward to them.) The reason why you should do this it because you will be the ultimate beneficiary of the NSF grant and DVC's renovated IT program. You will be able to get the job skills and certifications employers are looking for in IT workers.

I could really use your help with mid-size to large size companies.

Thank you for your assistance.

Doug Spindler

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Dear IT Industry Leader:

Diablo Valley College's Information Technology Program is participating in a $2.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant program to improve IT programs for students. Our goal is to give today's students the IT skills and training your company will be using in the future. In order to do this, we are asking IT Industry Leaders like yourself to become a member of the DVC's Information Technology Business Advisory Committee (BAC).

The Business Advisory Committee determines what skills and classes students should be studying today to have the job skills employers will need in the future. We have designed this process to ensure that our graduates meet your company's future IT employee needs; by reducing training time for new hires, our program can save companies like yours both time and money.

Diablo Valley College would like to invite you to become an honored member of this committee. While your time commitment will be minimal, (about 8 hours per year), your impact on our program will be far-reaching. The Business Advisory Committee will meet for half a day, once per year, face to face, and have three one-hour conference calls per year to make certain DVC's IT program is meeting the employment needs of company's like yours.

Your involvement and contribution is critical to our IT program's success.

DVC's next BAC face to face meeting is Friday, June 18, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on DVC's Pleasant Hill campus.

This meeting will be led by Dr. Ann Beheler, Primary Investigator and Lead for the NSF grant, and DVC IT instructors Cheryl Martucchi and Douglas Spindler. Dr. Beheler will have participants perform a Job Skills/IT Program Analysis, to validate your company's IT requirements against DVC's IT program and its goal to ready our students to meet future employment opportunities. On the three conference calls, we will use the results of our face to face meeting to review and redesign our curriculum to confirm we correctly assessed your needs and have created the best IT Program in the Bay Area.

It is imperative a diverse group of employers is represented on the Business Advisory Committee. We are looking for large, mid-size and small companies from all types of industry. If you hire IT workers, we would like you to be represented.

To become a member for Diablo Valley College's IT Business Advisory Committee, please send an email to dvcdoug@gmail.com or call Doug Spindler at 925-258-6600. We look forward to hearing from you!

- - - - -

Thanks, Doug! And good luck with the search.

:-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cloud Services Roundtable: Dave Sobel on Virtualization and Cloud Services

Join us on this free broadcast to talk about virtualization technologies and how they are related to cloud services.

Dave Sobel is one of the best-known specialists in virtualization technology in the SMB space. He is the author of Virtualization Defined: A Primer for the SMB Consultant and a Microsoft MVP for Virtualization.

Virtualization and Cloud Services have many things in common. And learning about one will help tremendously in understanding the other. We'll talk to Dave about how he's using and selling these virtualization technologies.

Hosts: Karl Palachuk and Harry Brelsford.

Title: Dave Sobel on Virtualization and Cloud Services

Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PDT

Register Now: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/942888320

Free to listen live!

My 750th Blog Post

Woo hoo!

This is my 750th post to the Small Biz Thoughts Blog.

This blog kicked off in February 2006. Actually "got going" full bore in April of that year.

So 750 posts in just over four years.

About 3.5 posts per week. Let's see how fast we get to 1,000!

Thank you for all your support.

:-)




Two Great Managed Services Resources:


Service Agreements for SMB Consultants: A Quick-Start Guide to Managed Services
by Karl W. Palachuk

- Still the best Quick-Start Guide to Managed Services!

Now only $39.95 at SMB Books!
- Paperback or ebook


and


Managed Services in A Month 
by Karl W. Palachuk

- Check Out the #1 ranked Managed Services book at Amazon!

Now only $24.95 at SMB Books!
- Paperback, ebook, or audio book

I Survived Mount St. Helens - 30 years ago

My thoughts and memories on the day Mt. St. Helens blew her top are here:

http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/2007/05/reminiscence-of-mount-st-helens.html

It was an amazing week.

The year before, I had been hiking on a part of the mountain that simply ceased to exist.

Here's a video to get you started. Don't spend all day following another and another. But do check it out: Mt. St. Helens Eruption video.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dave Sobel on Virtualization and Cloud Services - May 19th

Next on Cloud Services Roundtable:
Dave Sobel on Virtualization and Cloud Services


Join us on this free broadcast to talk about virtualization technologies and how they are related to cloud services.

Dave Sobel is the founder and CEO of Evolve Technologies, a consulting firm serving communities in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. He is the author of Virtualization. Defined: A Primer for the SMB Consultant and a Microsoft MVP for Virtualization.

Our topic is Virtualization and Cloud Services. This is a wide topic.

Virtualization and Cloud Services have many things in common. And learning about one will help tremendously in understanding the other. We'll talk to Dave about how he's using and selling these virtualization technologies.

Hosts: Karl Palachuk and Harry Brelsford.

Title: Dave Sobel on Virtualization and Cloud Services

Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PDT

Register Now: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/942888320

About Dave Sobel

Dave Sobel is the author of Virtualization. Defined: A Primer for the SMB Consultant. In 2010, Sobel's dynamic voice within the IT community and efforts to promote active peer networks were recognized with the Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) Award.

Sobel has spoken at a wide variety of industry events including the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, SMB Summit, and SMB Nation. He is also an active peer group member and faciliatator for Heartland Technology Groups (HTG), as a member of HTG5 and facilitator for UK and Ireland based HTG11.

Prior to founding Evolve Technologies, Sobel worked as a Web architect for a consulting company doing security, network and infrastructure design for Fortune 1000 companies. Sobel holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the College of William and Mary.

About Evolve Technologies

Evolve Technologies is a consulting firm that provides information technology (IT) and computer networking services to the small business, faith-based and nonprofit communities in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Evolve Technologies provides a wide array of services including server installation, virus protection, network security, backup services, and complete information technology outsourcing. The first Microsoft Small Business Specialist located in the Washington, D.C. area, Evolve Technologies is a Microsoft Certified Partner.

In 1996, Sobel founded Evolve Technologies, established a successful Web hosting facility and won a USA Today award for his reality-based Web site. The business expanded into consulting in 1997, and has grown to include a number of clients in the Washington D.C. Metro area.

In his role as CEO, Sobel holds overall management responsibilities for the company. With over ten years of experience in Internet services and consulting, Evolve Technologies is a flourishing IT management firm under Sobel's experienced watch. As such, the business has earned several industry awards including the Microsoft Mid-Atlantic Region Partner Excellence Award for Customer Satisfaction for Second Quarter 2007, the MSPmentor 100 and 250, as well as the ConnectWise Best New Idea Award for 2008.

Sobel's consulting clients have spanned from Fortune 500 companies to local and regional operations, including such technologies as Web server management, database servers, security and software development

IT Pro Conference in NOLA May 28th - Better than Ever

I told you here about Jeff Middleton's big IT Pro Conference in New Orleans May 28th.

Jeff gave me an update yesterday, so here's the latest and greatest:

The list of sponsors now includes:
  • SBSmigration.com
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008
  • eFolder
  • BackupAssist
  • StorageCraft
  • Cloud Services Depot
  • Coffee Coaching by Microsoft/HP
  • AutoTask
  • OwnWebNow
  • Kerio

Lots of new registrations and activity in the few weeks before the event goes live. Here are the basics:

SBSmigration.com IT Pro Conference 2010
May 28-30, 2010 in New Orleans
Preday events May 27th
www.Conference2010.SBSmigration.com

Session topics: (look for updates too!)
www.conference2010.sbsmigration.com/events/session_presenter/


Pre-Day Events:

1. Matt Makowicz

Matt is the author of several books on the marketing and sales processes within the SMB / MSP / IT Pro space. Well, he's having a big pre-day event to Launch his newest book

Matt Makowicz's new book - A Guide to BUILDING a SALES TEAM - Faster, Easier, & for Greater Profit is available for pre-order NOW!

The official book launch is on Thursday May 27 at the pre-day event Matt is hosting just prior to Jeff Middleton's IT Pro Conference in New Orleans, LA. Upon returning from that conference all books pre-ordered will ship (on or about Monday June 7).

If you can't wait that long, don't worry. Every pre-order will receive the chapter on Compensation via email in PDF to whet your appetite while you await the full book.


2. eFolder Pre-Day Product Launch!

Join eFolder as they officially launch their new business continuity appliance (BDR), which provides near-continuous bare-metal backups, instant virtualization of failed servers (< 60 seconds), and site-to-site and off site replication. eFolder's CEO/CTO will personally introduce the product and provide hand-on demonstrations, training, and Q&A. Visit http://www.efolder.net/sbsmigration-2010 for additional product details and RSVP information.


You can always find out more about the conference at www.Conference2010.SBSmigration.com

For pre-day info, see

Matt's Site

or

http://www.efolder.net/sbsmigration-2010

- - - -

Join me in New Orleans! One of my favorite cities!! Woo Hoo!

:-)



Now Shipping . . .
The Best NOC and Service Desk Operations Book Ever!

by Erick Simpson

Ships from stock right now!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Killer Cloud Info at CloudServicesRoundtable.com

Well, we just finished an amazing series of podcasts and webcasts here at Small Biz Thoughts.

Here is a super-quick summary of what we've recently posted at Cloud Services Roundtable:

  • Migrating from SBS to The Cloud Part 1 = The View from 20,000 Feet
  • Migrating from SBS to The Cloud Part 2 = Options, Hardware, Software, and Service Considerations
  • Migrating from SBS to The Cloud Part 3 = Building a New Business Model

These are webinars produced in conjunction with my good friends at Managed Services Provider University.

This mini-series is intended to give Managed Service Providers and Small Business Specialists a realistic view of moving from where you are today into a cloud service offering. It provides one way of thinking about the inevitable transition that's going to take place over the next few years.

Part #3 has about 45 minutes of questions and answers from the attendees. So it addresses some fine points, some fears, how you'll place your offerings out in the wild, etc. One particularly pointed question was whether jumping on the cloud is going to set us up to lose our own customers.

Believe me, if you don't offer up cloud services *I* will. Your clients are moving to the cloud. YOU get to decide whether they're going to do that with you or without you.

Other postings . . .

We have had a very positive response to my podcast on what KPEnterprises is doing with Cloud Services.

We've developed a nice little 5-pack offering with Exchange/250GB storage/spam filtering/AV filtering and a bunch more for only $249/month for up to five users. Client buys no hardware. We buy no hardware. All pass-through.

Anyway, this presentation, with handouts and service details, is under the title
  • Karl Talks About Specific Offerings and Plans

and . . .

I had the pleasure of doing a cloud presentation with Jason Beal from Ingram Micro at the Autotask Live event. So then I interviewed Jason on Cloud Services Roundtable a few weeks ago.

In this program we discuss the role VARs and MSPs will play in the cloud computing environment. Jason is the man in charge of Ingram Micro's Seismic managed services. So he describes ways you can be relevant, add value, and ultimately earn healthy revenues and profits through cloud computing.

and more . . .

and more . . .

and more.

- - - -

Here's The Deal on Cloud Services Roundtable

As you can see, it takes many hours to put all this info together. And I literally get emails every week asking me about the details of our cloud offering and what we recommend. I have a job (or two), so I can't respond to everyone one-on-one. I redirect people to Cloud Services Roundtable.

There you can listen to any live broadcast for free.

If you want dozens of hours of recorded material . . . well, that $4.95 per month. A very reasonable fee.

Anyway, check it out. Right now we're doing a little re-org of the site to make it easier to find stuff. Your patience and support is appreciated.

:-)



Want to figure out how to make money with Cloud Computing?

Join the Cloud Services Roudtable today and listen a great series of podcasts!

www.cloudservicesroundtable.com

MS Response Point Dies It's Inevitable Death

While everyone was pretended that this wasn't inevitable, Microsoft has announced that they are officially discontinuing Response Point.

Got this missive from Harry Brelsford at SMB PC Magazine:
    Earlier this week I had an exclusive interview with John Frederiksen, general manager in Microsoft’s Startup Business Group (led by Microsoft executive Amit Mital). Frederiksen oversees the Microsoft Response Point small business telephone system business and is one of its only employees. As you can read in my detailed blog HERE, Frederiksen cut to the chase in announcing that Microsoft Response Point will be discontinued as of August 31, 2010 and withdrawn from the market at that date. Its OEM partners have been briefed on this announcement and, as you read this, key Microsoft Partners are being notified.

And I'm sure you can track all the discussion of this and more over at Telephonation.com.

As for me . . . I don't have much to say on this one. I have never been impressed with the product. It seemed to me to compete very well with ten year old Panasonic systems I could buy on ebay. But compared to every other phone option built in the last ten years it just wasn't ready for prime time.

Will Microsoft step into this market again? Of Course! But next time they'll use a strategy that works for them: Buy a successful company, integrate it with the amazing stuff Microsoft is already doing correctly, and take it to the next level.

Rest assured. Microsoft is not out of the phone business. They're just out of the Response Point business.

:-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Matt Makowicz's new book - A Guide to BUILDING a SALES TEAM

A Guide to BUILDING a SALES TEAM - Faster, Easier, & for Greater Profit is available for pre-order NOW!

The official book launch is on Thursday May 27 at the pre-day event Matt is hosting just prior to Jeff Middleton's IT Pro Conference in New Orleans, LA. Upon returning from that conference all books pre-ordered will ship (on or about Monday June 7).

If you can't wait that long, don't worry. Every pre-order will receive the chapter on Compensation via email in PDF to whet your appetite while you await the full book.

Here's what Matt says about the new book:

    Unlike my previous two books on SELLING and MARKETING, this book has an accompanying resource kit. Click here to view the book and resource kit's Table of Contents. Whether your company is thinking about hiring its first salesperson or if there is already a team in place, "A Guide to BUILDING a SALES TEAM - faster, easier, & for greater profit" illustrates every aspect of the sales department within a company. Commonly asked questions about the sales team are: · Where do I find salespeople? · What should I pay salespeople? · How do I ensure salespeople stick around and are successful? · What type of salesperson should I hire first? · How do I manage salespeople? "A Guide to BUILDING a SALES TEAM - faster, easier, & for greater profit" answers these questions and much more! See abridged table of contents below. Ready to hit the ground running? Add the Ambition Mission Sales Team Resource Kit which contains templates, checklists, video tutorials, and compensation model spreadsheets all designed to accelerate your goal of having a profitable, predictable, systematic, and scalable sales engine within your company. See list of tools included. Of course, as with all Ambition Mission products and services, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed or your money back! Get started today!

Pre-Order Pricing...

Book - $29.95 (MSRP $39.95)

Resource Kit - $89.95 (MSRP $109.95)

Book AND Resource Kit - $99.95 (MSRP $129.95)

If you are able to make the pre-day event book launch, the event price includes both the book and resource kit. Register at www.ambitionmission.com/sales-team-book-launch

- - - - -

Congratulations to Matt on his third big book - and the super duper Resource Kit.

I'll give you a review once I get my hands on it.


:-)



Now Available:
Introduction to Zero Downtime Migrations
Seminar on MP3 Download

Monday, May 10, 2010

Final Installment: Migrating from SBS to the Cloud with MSPU

So far we've done two installments in our series with Managed Services Provider University entitled Migrating from SBS to the Cloud. The first two seminars are . . .

Part 1 = The View from 20,000 Feet

Part 2 = Options, Hardware, Software, and Service Considerations

Both are available for member downloads at Cloud Services Roundtable

On Tuesday May May 11th I'll present the final seminar: Part 3 = Building a New Business Model

In the first installment I identified 18 core functions of the basic small business and talked about how you can choose to move these to various cloud based services. If you include telephony it would be 19.

The second installment looks at some of the specifics of choosing the hardware, software, and services that you'll bundle together in your offerings.

On May 11th, the third installment will cover the changes you can expect to your business model around all this stuff. Your business will change dramatically. How do you do that?

Of course there will always be some functions that are best placed in-house and will never move to the cloud. In the short term you'll live in both worlds. You will always be selling some servers. So the transition should be pretty smooth!

Join me May 11th on the MSPU webinar - Migrating from SBS to the Cloud Part 3 = Building a New Business Model


Cloud Services Roundtable

In case you haven't heard, we started a new broadcast/podcast series called Cloud Services Roundtable. It is normally broadcast live on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Harry Brelsford joins me on the third Wednesday of each month as co-host and business speaker.

The shows are recorded and available for download by subscribers. It is free to listen live and only $4.95/month to subscribe to past shows. And I must say that the feedback has been extremely positive. Check it out at Cloud Services Roundtable.


:-)



Now Shipping:
The Network Migration Workbook:
Zero Downtime Migration Strategies for Microsoft Networks

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Microsoft Tips of the Week!

Got some good reminders from Suzanne Lavine, the Partner Community Manager who makes Western Region sparkle!

Take a minute and tune up your business. #1 is particularly cool. I love the solution accelerators!

- - - -

# 1 Microsoft Solution Accelerators

What are Solution Accelerators?

Tools and guidance that help you solve your deployment, planning, and operational IT problems. They are free and fully supported. [comment - they will certainly save you time and effort, make you look more professional to your end customers, simplify your processes]

What you can do with a Solution Accelerator? … to find out, go to this site
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/default.aspx


# 2 Virtualization Summit - attend in a location near you…..

http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/en/us/virtualization-summit.aspx

Pursuing this MPN competency? I still have a few vouchers for training and exams. 1st come, 1st serve for Competency Attainment Only.


#3 End of Support for Some Versions of Software

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/help/end-support-windows-xp-sp2-windows-vista-without-service-packs?os=other

This link will take you to the site with helpful links to determine best next steps.

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Thanks, Suzanne!

Today's Cloud Services Roundtable: Jason Beal - Making Money with Cloud Services

Today, May 5, at 9:00 AM Pacific we welcome Jason Beal from Ingram Micro to the Cloud Services Roundtable.

We'll discuss the role VARs and MSPs will play in the cloud computing environment. Jason is the man in charge of Ingram Micro's Seismic managed services. We'll look at ways you can be relevant, add value, and ultimately earn healthy revenues and profits through cloud computing.

Free Live Broadcast!

Register now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/730019913

A lot of MSPs and SMB consultants don't know where to get started with Cloud Services. In many cases, starting with your distributor is the answer.

This event is obviously focused from the Ingram perspective. But Jason has a lot to offer for a general understanding of how we transition from product and service delivery to a service and cloud service delivery. I speculated (a few blog posts ago) about the destruction of our channel. Let's talk to Jason about how our distributor partners can help us THRIVE.

Register now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/730019913


About Jason Beal:

Jason is responsible for sales, strategy and partner engagement for Ingram Micro's Seismic managed services, the Ingram Micro Services Network (IMSN) and Ingram Micro IT Staffing Services. He is a strong advocate of the channel, working closely with solution providers to promote the power and profitability of partnering models and annuity-based, service-centric businesses.

Prior to joining Ingram Micro in early 2005, Jason worked for five years as the vice president of operations and services for a niche distributor in the content management and storage space. He holds bachelor's degrees in international business and Russian language from the University of California, Davis, and an executive MBA from Chapman University. Jason lives in Fountain Valley, Calif., with his wife and three children.


Contact Info:

Web: www.ingrammicro.com/seismic

Email: Jason.Beal@IngramMicro.com

Register now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/730019913

Saturday, May 01, 2010

ConnectWise Users: Podcast on Harvesting Business Intelligence

Got the following announcement from my friend Stuart Crawford:

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Marketing your business online must be part of your overall strategic marketing plan. How are those in need of your services finding your business online? What are they doing once they land on your website? How are you capturing these vital statistics? What are doing with them after you have capture this crucial information?

Join Canadian and Information Technology Online Marketing Professional Stuart Crawford with Joomconnect founder Chris Chris for a special edition of Ulistic's Orange Files, small business podcast on Thursday, May 6th at 11 AM Eastern, 8 AM Pacific for a 30 minute podcast on how you can attract potential clients to your website and then come up with a strategy to harvest intelligence using Joomconnect and Connectwise.

Don't worry, if you can't make it...it will be available for download for those who prefer to listen afterwards.

Tune in the Ulistic's Small Business Podcast online today.

Ulistic and Joomconnect have recently partnered to help all Connectwise partners leverage the power of their website. With this partnership Managed Services Providers can effectively attract qualified prospects through proven best practices with leverage many online marketing strategies including social media services to their marketing website.

With Joomconnect, these potential clients can now be tracked through Connectwise's marketing manager application. When qualified prospects are known to a business and the proper follow through activities take place, MSPs have a higher success rate at closing new business.

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