A little like James Bond in his demeanour, Derek Brown has worked for Microsoft for many years, with stints running the Windows Mobile team, then in 2004 the SBS team and then after that Microsoft Thailand. Derek has always had a focus on community and we here in Sydney were fortunate to have him come along to a user group meeting many moons ago now. Well – I’m happy to say that Derek is coming back to the fold. He’s bringing his unique experience in marketing to the SBSC / SMB market space and I for one am lining up to take advantage of it. Here’s an email he sent to me as way to introduce him to the community. I would encourage you to seek out this man during SMBNation and make sure to give him your card. He has some cool ideas that you will want to be a part of.
Hi I’m Derek Brown, currently Business, Marketing & Operations Director for the Microsoft Thailand subsidiary. Prior to this I was Director Product Management for SBS during which I had a opportunity to meet with many of you via the SMB Summit, MVP summits, our channel advisory group, User Group tours and the like. I’ve been with Microsoft for about 12 ½ years. September 26th will be my last day at Microsoft and I’m launching a new venture Pronto Marketing at the SMB Nation conference October 4 in Seattle. Pronto will have an office in Seattle managed by my son Cory who’s been working with me a few months on this and an office In Bangkok, Thailand.
As the pre-launch phase of this company I’ve been reaching out to the SBS community to get feedback, ideas – and most importantly to learn. Part of this is via people I know, getting ready to attend SMB Nation, checking in with some User Groups and other online communities and looking at a lot of your web sites to see the state of things and at times contacting individuals via an intro in “Contact Us” forms. I didn’t see this as a social engineering attack and perhaps naively took “Contact Us” on face value.
Being involved in online product and technology communities isn’t something new to me – I’ve been doing this for over 10 years when I started with the then Windows CE MVPs. You can read a summary of this work at Pocket PC Thoughts http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/news/show/57000/derek-brown-a-legacy-of-creative-windows-mobile-marketing.html which maybe serves as a sort of reference for me. I’m always aware that having a vested commercial interest creates the potential for issues to arise. My approach has always been to be as transparent as possible and open to feedback if I step over the line. This instance would be no different and I would be interested if people think contacting companies via web “contact us” forms is inappropriate.
I also look forward to being an active member in the community and helping on issues of marketing and growing healthy businesses. We’ve been doing a poll to better understand some of the issues the small IT services provider faces and the early results clearly point to the fact most of you are not happy with what you’re doing and the results you’re getting. While I do see a commercial opportunity in that fact I also think there’s a tremendous opportunity to be an open resource of ideas, solutions and education. I’ll be launching a blog on local online marketing next month to do just that. I look forward to be an active and contributing member of this community.
You can reach me at derek @prontomarketing.com if you have any questions or concerns. Or if you want to chat Skype or IM you can find me at derekbrn.
Thanks and it’s always great to have such a warm welcome for me and my new company 🙂