One thing that I have consistently struggled with in the past has been the attendance at the SBS UG meetings. Maybe it’s the word SBS that turns off so many folks, maybe it’s the location but for the most part its the feeling that if you hang out with a bunch of your competitors they will be able to drain your synapses and take away your business and competitive edge you’ve built in your Bait Shop brand. Truth is, people are successful because they are busy and they are busy because they are successful. Causality loop. Whatever the cause, the effect is that some of my best partners are not fully realizing their potential (or benefiting from the connectivity of the community) and it just turns out that there is another little software company out there that feels the same way.
So what will the three hours of ExchangeDefender and Open Value with Business Desktop Bundle pitching look like? (and the audience vanishes…) Well, first of all, these are not official company presentations so the stuff you’ll be watching will not be delivered by Own Web Now Corp or Microsoft Corp or individuals acting as their agents. We’re just going to pick some topics that are present at the moment and we’re going to discuss them, put them on video tape and let you wind down the evenings with a brief chat about our business and technology.
What specifically are we going to talk about? Well, I will start it off with a mumbled version of all of the above, combined with a nervous paper folding or PocketPC fumbling. Then I will gloss over the SMB technology stuff that you might want to know about (Acer bought Gateway today for example, presenting an interesting quagmire of how you can market two crappy computers with a Ferrari and a cow and where they thought their brand synergies would come from).
JJ will then take over and talk about SharePoint v3. JJ, though he hides this fact, has an MBA so again we’re talking about practical SMB implementation of a portal. You can get level 200, 300 and even 400 SharePoint webcasts from Microsoft on demand, hearing how to make it make sense to an SMB practice… thats JJ’s bag.
And saving the best for last, Jessica Emmons, PCM for Microsoft’s “The South Shall Rise Again” region will be flexing her own MBA muscle:
“I’m really looking forward to it, and planning to cover everyone’s favorite business topic: marketing… Will be lots of general business building in there, as well as some specific things for MSFT partners to watch for.”
Truth is, there is only one goal to this whole thing:
to sell you crap you probably don’t need to make you realize that at the end of this whole mythical “community” all it really has is just a bunch of great people that are proud of what they do and they talk about it because they think it would help others. We thought this would help you, there is no tag or motive associated with it, take it for what its worth and I hope you learn something new. And if you’re so thrilled by it and like doing business with decent people it’s not difficult to find a place that needs OWN or Microsoft stuff and if you ever need something in Orlando there will be at least 30 people there that showcase what this community is about, hope you tune in.