Don’t be #801

SMB Nation 2006 is open for registration. This is THE premier event for SME consultants/VARs/VAPs/resellers and you need to do all you can to be there. The conference will once again be held at Microsoft’s Conference Centre in Redmond, Washington.


There are only 800 places available so don’t delay getting your registration in – you don’t want to miss out by being number 801 to register. There’s an early-bird special until the end of March where the registration cost is only US$695, following which it’ll go up to US$795. That US$100 saving can be applied to your drinking money in the bar at the Marriot in Redmond [:D]


There’s an impressive list of speakers for this year’s conference (http://www.smbnation.com/Default.aspx?TabId=5) so you’re sure to learn plenty regardless of which track you follow (technical, business, product/sales). I’ll be speaking in the business track again and plan to get into more advanced business growth information – taking your business to the next level. If you’re coming along and would like some specific information included then please let me know and I’ll see if I can work it into the time available for the presentation.


Of course I think the best part of attending an event like SMB Nation is the ability to network with fellow SBSers from around the world. People with whom I communicate with by email or IM and it’s great to put a face to a name or catch up with a face I’ve met before.


So what are you waiting for? Get your registration in and join in the learning, fun & friendship. Hope to see you there :)

Taking care of busy-ness

2006 has already shown itself to be a very full year. In fact I’ve been struggling to keep up with my email traffic let alone all the other things happening around the place.


How’s this for the current major projects on the go:


* office relocation mid-year to bigger and better premises (yet to find this place though)


* new staff – currently looking for a new consultant and sales person to help handle our continued growth


* baby blues – well not really “blues” but my amazing assistant Rebecca is going on maternity leave mid-year for her first baby so we’ve got to prepare for handling some time off for her plus someone to fill in


* home renovations – we’re going to make the house bigger as our kids (http://www.sbsusers.net/atw/photo.htm for some older photos) just keep growing


* there’s a few other things that I can’t list here but rest assured it’s not minor surgery


All this means I need to continually look for ways to improve the way I work, and my team, keeping my eyes & ears open for great ways to use time efficiently and effectively plus handle the information flowing through the place.


We’re going to start using MS CRM 3.0 shortly which I anticipate helping with this significantly but that can’t be the “be all & end all” of the solution. I’d love to hear about any great time saving/efficiency tools & practices you’ve come across and have found to be effective. By sharing these ideas around we can all learn to deal with the information superhighway that just keeps pushing its way through our lives – and enjoy some of the quieter sideroads at the same time.

Feb user group slides are up

We had a great meeting last Monday night (Feb 20), being our first SBS user group meeting for 2006. The topic was ISA2004, particularly with regard to its place in SBS.


Now I’m not going to profess to be an expert in ISA – there are plenty of others around that leave me for dead, but I certainly did learn a lot more in preparation for this meeting. I should point out that prior to any UG meeting presentation I make sure I research the topic that will be presented as well as I can in the time available to me. In this way I can provide a quality presentation with relevant and accurate information plus hopefully answer any questions that come up.


Congratulations go to Paul Cumberworth who was the only attendee able to list the 7 layers of the OSI model for networking. He won a Microsoft 64Mb USB stick for that effort – well done Paul :) (Refer to http://www.learntcpip.com/TCPIP/default.htm for an overview).


The slide deck has been posted to the UG web site (www.sbsusers.net/meetings.htm) so you can download it from there although the slides really only have the bullet points of what we covered. There were plenty of demonstrations using a real live virtual SBS server I carry around with me – better make sure you come to the next meeting then!! The slide deck also has some ISA references near the end so make sure you refer to those too for more in depth information.


For the record I relied not only on my own experience with ISA for the presentaiton but also refered to Eriq Neale’s “SBS2003 Unleashed” together with Dr Tom Shinder’s ISA2004 book. Great additions to your library.


Next meeting is March 20 at HP (148 Frome Street, Adelaide). Looking for ideas for the meeting presentation – what do you want to see?