In all my life I have never really been vocal about politics at all – but there is one thing that really hits my heart and that is the SMB community that I work in. Therefore this blog post is 100% my personal view which you may well choose not to agree with.
Ok – so it’s now public that Microsoft have announced their intention to seek guidance from the community for the role of SBSC PAL for the next 12 months. I think this is a great chance for us to let them know who we think would be ideal for the role. Hilton Travis from Quark IT has filled the role for the last 12 months and made some progress on various issues – congrats to Hilton for that.
Robbie Upcroft in his last blog post on the SBSAustralia blog talked about Henry Ford and how often people do not really know what they want because they always think in the same linear direction as they have before.
"if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got."
Ok, so with that in mind, I want you to have a serious think about what WE in the SBSC community need. Over the coming 12-24 months we are facing some major changes in not only the economy but also the Microsoft partner program. Microsoft are still working on what the final program will look like. During this time it is imperative that the communities voice to Microsoft be one based on solid business foundations that the needs of the SBSC community be pushed forward to ensure that the smaller SBSC’s get what they need from Microsoft.
In my opinion I think we need to consider the following;
1. We need someone who is involved in the community with much more of a business/marketing focus. There are plenty of technical resources available, but I believe fewer solid business resources – that is what we need moving forwards.
2. The role should not be one of a current or past MVP as it’s my believe that MOST MVPs are technically focused.
3. We need someone who is not afraid to stand up for and to the community – in both directions. Sometimes the asks we have of Microsoft are unreasonable and we the community need to be told as much. This job is not just one of the community beating Microsoft up about what WE want, but also what WE can GIVE to Microsoft and our customers.
One thing is for certain – the next 12 months are going to have some massive changes in not only the economy, but I suspect also how MS works with it’s partners based on massively reduced budgets and the like. The ideal candidate will certainly need to have a level head on their shoulders in order to ensure that the right messages are communicated BOTH ways and at the right levels.
Therefore based on my experience in the community and the people that I know I feel that the best person right now to nominate is Keira McIntosh from Directions Technology. I’ve known her for a few years now and have seen her in a number of different forums. I’ve had an admiration for the way that she respectfully asks for what she needs and at the same time tells the vendor what we need to succeed as well. She has the “balls” to likewise stand up for what she believes in (she probably won’t like me saying that). I think that Keira could really help progress things well with Microsoft on behalf of the Australian SBSC community and I’d encourage you to vote for Keira McIntosh for the next Aussie SBSC PAL.
Please make your nomination today by emailing Sarah Theiss and tell her who you want to nominate and why. Would you please respond as soon as possible, by May 20, 2009