Thursday, July 12, 2012

Small IT Shops are Being Squeezed: Time to Educate to the Next Level

Harry Brelsford over at SMB Nation has a GREAT announcement. I'm reprinting it here.

The gist is: SMB Nation is re-launching the Pocket MBA program with a new approach and a whole new cast of characters. I' going to be teaching on of the courses. Please consider signing up. At a minimum, give it a look.

Here's the announcement:

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Toronto, ON July 12—SMB Nation has announced the launch of Pocket MBA 2.0 at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto. The Pocket MBA program is a six course, 12-week online education experience that provides MSP, VAR and other IT professionals with a practical, outcome-based business education.

The Pocket MBA program's curriculum includes content on sales and marketing strategy, business analysis and process, income generation, operations and other business fundamentals. The courses take a hands-on, case study driven, practical approach to teaching participants how to engage effectively with the broader business community and integrate business consulting best practices into their existing IT consultancy or solution provider business model.

"The Pocket MBA program is for any IT entrepreneur, independent IT professional or established IT business owner who recognizes that the changing business landscape means it's time to pivot or perish," said Harry Brelsford, chairman and founder of SMB Nation. "The cloud and other technological transformations are squeezing the SMB channel. For MSPs, VARs and IT consultants to succeed, they will have to make the transition from strictly IT solution providers to integrated business consultants and become trusted business advisors." 

SMB Nation has recruited a world-class faculty experienced in both the IT and traditional business worlds to spearhead the Pocket MBA program. Program instructors include the following:

• Harry Brelsford, chairman and founder of SMB Nation
• Karl Palachuk, distinguished author and founder of Small Biz Thoughts
• Todd Colbeck, founder of Colbeck Coaching Group
• Josh Peterson, MSP coach and consultant
• Rayanne Buchianico, owner of ABC Solutions, LLC
• Tom Poole, CEO of SMB Nation

The program's charter cohort will commence on October 12 at this year's SMB Nation conference in Las Vegas. Charter students will receive a free pass to the three-day IT conference. Following the initial cohort class, 12-week course sessions will be available on a monthly rolling admissions basis. The initial cohort will focus on an MSP concentration, but additional concentrations will be available for later cohorts, including ones geared toward sales executives, green IT and sustainability, entrepreneurship and Salesforce.

Each cohort consists of 15 students carefully chosen by the program's admissions team for both compatibility and diversity. The class's small size enables instructors to provide individual experiences customized to each student's needs and objectives. Students have constant access to instructors and peers through a variety of online learning and collaboration tools including success teams but are able to complete assignments on their own schedule.    

"Alumni of our previous Pocket MBA program said they valued the academic experience but that they wanted something more practical, with immediate value add," said Breslford. "Pocket MBA 2.0 is aimed at doing just that. We're going to give program participants everything they need to know to grow an IT company in today's business environment."

Potential students can find more information or apply for the program at www.myPocket Financial aid is available.

About SMB Nation

SMB Nation is a leading media and events company, serving SMB IT channel professionals around the world. SMB Nation provides information on IT technology trends through its conferences, books, magazine, online services, world-wide seminars, workshops and accredited Pocket MBA certificate. As an active participant in the SMB technology community, SMB Nation has a long history of enthusiastic advocacy and evangelism. The SMB Nation community exceeds 54,000 members from dozens of countries.

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