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Planes, Trains & Automobiles – Part 2

Ok – in part 1 of this post I asked if people wanted to take a bet as to where I would be sleeping tonight.  And the answer is . . . .   Milwaukee.  But I’m not sleeping at the airport – I’m at a hotel. 

Cal delivered Andy, Javier & I to the airport around 1 today.  Even though we were all on different airlines, amazingly enough we were all leaving from the same terminal, and adjacent gates.  Andy left first, then Javier and finally me.  Originally, I was supposed to leave at 2:50.  Well, within a few minutes of Javier leaving, I  found out that my flight was indefinitely delayed due to heavy fog in Milwaukee.  Mind you we had a plane on the ground, but nothing could land in Milwaukee.  So finally a couple hours later, we get the word that we can finally leave.  We start boarding, but that only lasted a few minutes.  See, we were flying on a regional jet, so we were just walking out to the plane.  Well, lightning moved in – which stopped all ground activity, so we went back inside and waited for another 45 minutes before we could board.  Although that could have been worse – I could have been one of the guys stuck on the plane for those 45 minutes.  So now we’re on the plane, but we have to wait for it to be fueled.  Mind you, it’s not like the plane had just been sitting there doing nothing for 3+ hrs . . .   So we finally get fueled, and push back.  We taxied for what seemed like an enternity, then the captain comes on and tells us that we were number 2 for departure, but that control decided to change runways on us – so we taxied for another eternity, sat in line and finally left the ground almost an hour after pushing back.  So, by the time we arrived in Milwaukee, I had missed my connection and every other subsequent flight to Omaha and had to rebook for tomorrow morning.  I get a hotel with internet access only to discover that the ‘high-speed’ internet connection isn’t too speedy, and that my server at home is down.  What a wonderful day this has been . . .

But in the grand scheme of things, having breakfast with Cal, Andy & Javier, and being able to visit with Javier for over an hour before he left was well worth the travel hurdles the rest of the way . . .

Community, Bobcat Ears and Canadians, eh?

So let’s talk about Toronto.


Susan already blogged about the hats Cal had made for all of us.  We definitely have winter in Omaha, and I’m seriously considering wearing it when I get home.  I know several of our customers will absolutely love it  J 


But what about the trip?  It was great – but then again, Harry’s events are always really good.  But you may be wondering why would I spend my own money to fly into Toronto for less than 48hrs when there is no financial / business benefit from it?  The reasons why I am here are very simple:  friends & community.  And it is funny how closely inter-twined those two reasons are.


Friends.  Grey, Jeff M, Cal, Les, Andy, Harry, Javier, Jeff L,  Dave, Frank (and toss in a dash of Susan Tues. night via IP Phone J).  I cannot stress how humbling and honoring it is to be in the presence of this group, and to be able to call them friends.  Their knowledge, dedication, passion and commitment to community are a testament to just how remarkable each and every one of them are. 


Community.  If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve most likely been exposed to community.  Tues night was the inaugural meeting for the SBS special interest group of the Toronto Windows Server User Group (TWSUG), which Cal organized, and it was a pleasure to be able to be present and help Cal demonstrate the power of community.  And just what is the power of community?  The power of community is being able to always have a helping hand a few clicks away.  The power of community allows us to help each other by learning from other peoples’ mistakes, and letting them learn from ours.  The power of community allows us to connect with other people professionally and use our own special skills to provide each other’s customers with the most benefit.


Imagine being a small IT provider – maybe a one man shop, maybe another tech or two.  One of your primary motivations for serving small businesses is to truly help them – to do everything in your power to give them the greatest possible value in terms of stability, security, productivity and functionality for their budget.  Our goal is not to be simply an IT provider for our clients.  Our goal is to be a key member of our customers’ organization – to be able to give them the best advice and provide the best solution for their long-term goals.  We’re invested in our customers’ success, and there is nothing more rewarding than helping them succeed, and hearing that sincere “thank you – we couldn’t have done it without you.” 


Now imagine finding other IT providers around the world who share that mentality, who are just as invested in their customers’ success as you are invested in your customers’ success.  Now imagine they do a lot of work with CRM, and you have a client who wants to deploy CRM.  The ability to contact this IT provider for assistance with providing your customer with the most value in this solution is priceless.  You can provide your client with the value they deserve, without having to invest excessive time or resources into learning the product or solution they need.  Furthermore, I’ll argue that a group of small IT providers who share this commitment to their customers can better serve their customers than a larger organization, who most likely doesn’t have that level of commitment.


That is the power of community.   And that is more than enough reason to spend a couple days in Toronto in January (which is definitely saying something! J).

Planes, Trains & Automobiles – Part 1

You know, I’ve never had a problem getting internet access while traveling.  Well, until this trip anyway.  I left Omaha on Monday, and had a 3 hour lay over in Milwaukee on my way to Toronto.  Just for future reference – Milwaukee’s airport does not have any public internet access available. That was a long three hours – and I could have gotten a lot of stuff done during that time if I had internet access.


Fast forward two days.  I don’t know when this is actually going to get posted, but it is currently 3:30 EST, and I’m sitting in the terminal in Toronto.  My flight is delayed due to nasty weather in Milwaukee that is stopping everything going in or coming out of Milwaukee.  I’m in a satellite terminal, and cannot get back to the main terminal – and you guessed it – no internet access here in the satellite terminal.


Great.  Grand.  Freakin’ A Wonderful.


(note to self:  if I’m going to continue fairly regular travel, I need to invest in a cellular card for my laptop).


So, anyone want to start taking bets on where Chad is going to be sleeping tonight?  I have a feeling it’s not going to be in my bed at home – I just hope it isn’t in an airport terminal.  Been there, done that.  Definitely not cool.

We’ve got company . . .

Hey all – we’ve got three more MVPs blogging – so be sure to check them out:

Scott Colson  (CRM MVP):
Scott’s CRM World         Web         RSS

Javier Gomez  (SBS MVP)
Javier’s SBS Wonderland     Web       RSS

Dean Calvert   (Aussie SBS MVP)
Looking At The World – From Down Under      Web      RSS

It’s about time . . .

I may be a bit behind, but I just noticed today that Symantec has finally released an update so that Norton Anti-Virus will play nice with the Security Center in XP SP2 . . .   needless to say, it’s about time – there’s nothing I hate more than having to tell a user “oh, it’s safe to ignore that warning that your PC may be at risk . . . “  Unfortunately, the entire world doesn’t use Trend . . .   ;^)

Another one bites the dust . . .

. . . or finally gives in to Susan and starts blogging  :^)    Seriously, we’ve got Sean Daniel from the SBS dev team in the blogging fold.  I’ve added a link with the others (for those of you actually viewing the web edition) – and for the syndicators, you can pull Sean’s (atom) feed here  

Now who else thinks we need to get Scott Colson (new CRM MVP) blogging?   Hmmm – msmvps.com/crm is still available . . .   ;^)

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