Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thanks to the Community

Well, what a great event!

When the community needs organizing, a wonderful thing happens. Again and again it happens.

The Bay Area has been absolutely blessed with two new community leaders in the last year: Tim Carney and Alan Helbush. If you've wandered up to SMB Nation in the last couple of years, you'd recognize these two. They are tireless workers on behalf of their community.

Last month they organized an awesome SBS Build event (with the help of Bob Nitrio). They packed the house!

This does not go unnoticed. Our Community PAM Suzanne Lavine contacted Bob (and me) and asked for a reprise.

We waited four seconds and then said YES.

But Bob wouldn't let me help.

Bob went to work orchestrating . . .

With support from Microsoft . . . And the team from the Bay Area.

So Bob steps up and creates a bigger, more amazing event in Sacramento. He talks Tim and Alan into putting on the show, and gets Microsoft to pay for the whole shebang. He gets MVP Amy Babinchak to fly in (on Microsoft's Nickel), gets Sharjeel Noor and Peter Gallagher from the TS2 team, and gets the whole operation broadcast worldwide on Live Meeting.

Oh, and MVPs Susan Bradley and Dana Epp popped in electronically to contribute to the cause.

Somewhere along the way, Harry Brelsford donated about 50 books.

Bob organized a spectacular catered lunch for the event.

And people were beating down the door to get it.

A million details handled very professionally in a few weeks.

I love this community because we can pull off this kind of stuff.

And there never seems to be a shortage of people willing to stand up and deliver.

I'm sure Amy and Suzanne and Tim and Alan and Peter and Sharjeel would all rather have slept in their own beds last night. And Bob certainly would have made more money in his consulting business in February if he weren't putting on an impromptu event for 130 people with all the details.

It starts by asking a few people to contribute what they do best. Then expands by having a few people call in a few favors.

But mostly it takes one or two key people to work their butts off for NO pay so they can make it all happen.

I loved today's event. I'm sure it was more fun live than on the internet.

And I'm honored to be connected to a community where this kind of thing happens again and again all over the world.

And Let's not forget Microsoft . . .

At the "end of the day," as they say, I'm grateful that our community has the support of a channel-friendly company like Microsoft.

There are plenty of suspicions about what Microsoft is up to with their hosted offerings. But their history and their present activities are clear: They make events like this possible. They lend their name, their personnel, their budget, and their resources to us. They use their marketing tools to fill the seats.

(Did I mention that Microsoft gave away about $5,000 worth of software?)

Actions speak louder than words.

Microsoft has channel-friendliness built into its soul.

When they announce foolish programs that side-step the partners, they end up backpeddling and doing damage control in short order.

Just as Dell can't help but screw up their channel program because they are fundamentally a direct sales machine, Microsoft can't help but come crawling back to the community for support. At their very core, Microsoft knows they were built on the channel.

Events like this should not pass without notice.

Some piece of Microsoft might want to move away from the channel. But as of today they're about the best friend the SMB Consultant has among all the vendors we support.

- - - - -

Thank you, Bob Nitrio.

Thank you, Tim Carney.

Thank you, Alan Helbush.

Thank you, Suzanne Lavine.

Thank you, Amy Babinchak.

Thank you, Sharjeel Noor.

Thank you, Peter Gallagher.

Thank you, Susan Bradley.

Thank you, Dana Epp.

Thank you, Harry Brelsford.

Thank you, Microsoft.

Thank you to the community for showing up for events like this.



  1. Couldn't have said it any better. It was a tremendous event. You know it's an amazing event when 70+ people stay on Live Meeting for a marathon 8 hours on a Saturday!

    I enjoyed being the online Q&A too.

  2. And about a dozen of those folks were from Australia. Which means we finished about 8:00 AM their time.

    Now that's dedication to your profession!

  3. Anonymous11:11 AM

    Very disappointed that I couldn't attend, even remotely. If there is a link to an archive please publish, in case those of us who missed it have a spare 8 hours.

    And thanks for all that you do for the community: blog, books, energy & advice, all are extremely helpful.

  4. Sorry, EdF.

    I just got this link yesterday from Sharjeel. Should have posted it.

    The recording for the SBS Build Day in San Francisco is now available for on-demand viewing.

    Sharjeel Noor has invited you to view a Microsoft Office Live Meeting recording.
    View Recording

    Subject: Small Business Server Build Event & Technical Training
    Recording URL:

    Recording ID: FHD3J7


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