Saturday, August 30th, 2008
No – I’m not talking about the fabulous SMBPreday at TechEd Australia (but hey it’s only a few days away now). What I’m talking about is the one and only Harry Brelsfords SMBNation which is in October in Seattle. Harry could easily be suited up in a ringmasters outfit as he takes charge of the circus that is SMBNations Fall Conference And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Come see the stars such as Susan Bradley, Jeff Middleton and the quiet but elusive Amy Babinchak and a crowd of others tell it to the people like it should be told I even hear talk of a special release of AuthAnvil – the cure for everything including the common cold
Harry’s pinged my really quickly as he does not want ANYONE to miss out on the early bird discount which closes real soon now. I’ll be there along with a number of other Aussies, so if you want a chance to network with industry peers, and just have a great time and learn heaps of stuff, BE THERE! Here’s Harry’s latest press release.
SMB Nation 2008 Fall Conference to Hold Launch Party: Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008.
MarketPlace Expo SOLD OUT!
Seattle, WA August 22, 2008 – Boasting a completely sold out tradeshow hall and host hotel, SMB Nation 2008 will hold a Small Business Server 2008 (SBS) and Essential Business Server (EBS) LAUNCH PARTY on the Saturday night of its October 4-6, 2008 annual conference in Seattle. A 58 Hatteras yacht will be christened the M.V. SBS 2008 on the pier at the party.
With the SBS 2008 release-to-manufacturing (RTM) yesterday, we are thrilled to be timed perfectly for the SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 products debut and look forward to toasting its great success, said Harry Brelsford, founder and CEO of the 20,000 member SMB Nation. Our conference is uniquely positioned to motivate and educate the small and medium business (SMB) technology consultant, channel partner and computer guy and gal!
SMB Nation 2008 appears to be outperforming similar technology events with the complete sellout of the MarketPlace Expo tradeshow hall and with attendance figures ahead of last year. We believe the 600+ attendees will be treated to a unique educational experience and BE THERE for the start for the next generation of SBS and the first release of EBS! Brelsford added. Over three busy days and nights, attendees will select from three (3) academic tracks including BusinessSpeak, GeekSpeak and How To that provide bona fide content without being sold to. SMB Nation 2008 has even added a Speakers Behaving Badly hotline where attendees can report any speaker from the 40+ content sessions that make commercial statements to insure the most pure attendee experience possible. We want to avoid the wolf in sheep clothing phenomena, emphasized Brelsford.
Sponsors and attendees will meet in the spacious Bell Harbor Conference Center. At a time when similar technology shows are behind plan, we are ahead of plan said Brelsford. We believe this underscores the strength of the SMB segment and the optimism our sponsors have about the SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 opportunity. Intel and Trend Micro are the platinum sponsors leading the event followed by HP and Microsoft. Gold sponsors include Autotask, CMIT Solutions, Aastra, SonicWall and Labtech. Silver sponsors include D&H, The Planet, Connectwise, Citrix, N-able, Reflexion, Tigerpaw Software, Nero, 19Marketplace, Symantec, StorageCraft, Acronis, Calyptix, MaxSP, Doyenz, EMC Retrospect, Quanta\Syspine, Zenith Infotech, Linked In, Backup Assist, CRU DataPort and WatchGuard. Bronze sponsors include Netgear, Untangle, CTL Computers, Level Platforms (LPI), MSP Partners, Linksys by Cisco, Comcast, Diskeeper, Expetec, New Global Telecom (NGT), Pronto Marketing, eFolder, CoreConnex, Highly Reliable Systems, SMB Books & Results Software, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Napera Networks, Independent Computer Consultants Association (ICCA) and Integrated mar.com.
Attendees can expect a high-quality conference with content that has been rigorously scrutinized by esteemed industry conference chairs (Dana Epp, Mikael Nystrom, Curt Hicks and Joe Moore). That has resulted in outstanding speaker selections such as Jeff Middleton, Susan Bradley, Ramon Ray and Amy Babinchak and popular topics such as How to Sell Your SBS\SMB Consulting Practice and Security in SBS 2008.
So the last question is this. Where will you be October 4-6, 2008? concluded Brelsford. Attendees can learn more and register at www.smbnation.com.
Thursday, August 28th, 2008
Trend have just released the beta for the 5.1 release of Worry-Free Business Security. The major components of this release are;
What s new in Worry-Free Business Security v5.1?
With the release of Cougar just around the corner, we need to get as much feedback as possible about any potential issues or conflicts with SBS 2008. The timeframe for the beta is still frustratingly short (October 1st to October 20th) as the longer we maintain the beta the longer we have to wait for the release of WFBS 5.1
ANZ RESELLERS ONLY - As an additional incentive, any ANZ reseller that takes part in the beta test and submits the feedback form for will get a FREE 3 user copy of the new Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 PRO (RRP $129).
Thursday, August 28th, 2008
I’ve been working at Microsoft now for a few days over the last two weeks. My first day was last Wednesday and it was right into a team meeting around the WESS family launch here in Australia. Now having been an outsider for so long, I’ve heard MS tell us that they value the community input greatly. What impressed me greatly was that even in my very first internal meeting there was so much talk about “What would Dean do”, “What would Stuart do” in reference to how we interface with our customers, and how Microsoft would expect us to want things done. To me personally, I was very much impressed with this approach as it really takes to heart how we work and what we as resellers need. Later I was shown over some of the various SharePoint sites that are used and one of these is used for the launch of WESS here in Australia. The community tab was the very first tab right after the home tab, and on it they have photos of the various SBS MVP’s so that they are keeping us at front of mind in terms of community representation. Robbie Upcroft is the man responsible for it. I wanted to show it below to give you all an idea of just how seriously he takes community involvement in the products and their launch here in Australia.
What’s more is that with the TechEd SMB Preday next week, I’ve seen the roster for the MS staff they are having at the event, and I can honestly say that we will be getting support from many areas of the business at this day, licensing, product, partner marketing and even high level people like Inese Kingsmill (AU Director of SMB) will be manning the booth to answer questions, and take direct feedback from us on things that will help us do better business. There will be a ratio of around 10:1 of us vs them… or should I say Resellers:Microsoft. You’ll even see long time SBS stalwart, Mark O’Shea there – so be sure to run up to him and ask him loads of SBS and licensing questions… I know he just loooovveesss them
On a side note, I’d really appreciate it if you all would go up to Robbie Upcroft and say thanks for his commitment to the community. It’s something that we’ve known has been lacking here in AU for a while now and Robbie is bringing it back with a vengeance. Show Robbie your support by being there on the day at SMBPreDay for TechEd AU.
On that point I’ll end this post today. Got to go work with some clients onsite! See you all next Tuesday.
Friday, August 22nd, 2008
Today SBS 2008 was RTM’d – aka Release To Manufacturing. This means it’s done, baked ready to come out of the oven and onto the production lines as CD’s. It’s been a long beta for this product and finally it’s done!
This direct from Microsoft…
We are very excited to announce the RTM of Small Business Server 2008 today! This is a huge milestone for the team here, as well as all of you who have played a pivotal role in providing feedback on this product. We on the product team want to say “THANK YOU!” for the hours you’ve spent installing builds, discussing issues on the newsgroups, and filing all of those bugs we love! The SBS Community CANNOT be topped, and this release is just another example of that!
Cassie Hicks and Dean Paron
Windows Small Business Server 2008
They also say in other reports that product should be in the channel in Early to Mid October, so keep an eye out so you can get the final bits and begin to install for your clients. Unlike older versions of SBS, the process to move from Trial build to full version is dead simple, just enter the license key and CALs and you are done. No need to reinstall the product over the top of the existing system (something I always considered risky personally).
Congrats to the SBS team for getting this one out the door. Now to wait for EBS which I’m sure can’t be all that far behind it
Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
To the sounds of evil laughter, I’ve swallowed the blue pill Well almost.
Today I started working with Microsoft Australia. My role here will be Tech Specialist on SBS and EBS and I’ll be helping very much with the launch of SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 here in Australia over the next 6 months. Robbie approached me to see if I would be interested in working with Microsoft to help build the SBS/EBS community here in Australia. I felt it was a chance I could not let pass to be able to work form the inside and help Microsoft better understand the needs of resellers Australia wide.
I’m looking forward to this and I am relying on you all out there to “keep it real” for me and not let me loose perspective. I’ll still be working @ Correct Solutions as well supporting out customers as we roll out SBS and EBS and anything else that they need, so I’ll be able to take this real world experience back into Microsoft.
22/8/08 – UPDATE – I didn’t really show properly that my role @ Microsoft will only be part time, so I’m not an MS “Blue Badge” like Robbie, but something they call an “I-DASH”… there was some other name for it but I forgot after they gave me the cool aid to drink
Saturday, August 16th, 2008
One of the things that we all face in the SMB market is the way in which we attract new customers. Most of the business we get is via word of mouth, but what about customers that you do not know, or markets that you do not yet have a contact in to provide that word of mouth? Well that is where marketing comes in.
I’ve been look at different ways to marketing my upcoming SBS 2008 book and I’m convinced that one of the best ways to do this is via the online communities and using online advertising. Earlier this year I went to the Small Business Marketing Unleashed event in Houston, Texas. I found it to be an amazing mix of people all focused on getting the best bang for buck for their marketing $$. Well – they are running a second event, this time in Columbus, Ohio in September. One of the things I didn’t like about the last event was that there were too many good sessions on at the same time. The only way to really fix this is to go again. So you guessed it, I am going again! I’ll be heading over for the Columbus, Ohio event which runs in mid September and then hanging around in the USA for a few weeks to go to SMBNation right after it.
SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 are due for release on November 12th this year, and with that it opens up a whole new potential marketplace for customers for us. This gives us the chance to look closely at our marketing efforts and figure out how to get the best value our of our $$ to get new customers and grow our business.
So – if you value your $$ and want to get the best out of it then seriously consider going to the Small Business Marketing Unleashed event – it will be the best investment you have ever made. Trust me on this!
Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
I was doing an SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 Migration last week and had something very strange happened. I had a directory called Network Data that literally disappeared. Below you can see the Windows Explorer view shows no trace of the Network Data directory. I initially thought that I had some disk corruption or something else, that is until I dropped to a CMD prompt and did a DIR listing as below. You’ll notice that there is a Network Data directory. You will also notice that there is is NO Start Menu folder. I looked into both the network data folder and the Start Menu folder and found the contents to be the same. Why then was it being called Start Menu in Windows Explorer and not in a CMD prompt.
I copied over the relevant folders to the new SBS 2008 server too, and the problem still persisted as you can see below. I could not see any reason why the problem would copy over to the new server. Strange I thought, so I asked the SBS Dev team who were backing me up on this migration (we were part of the SBS 2008 TAP program where we get to run a customer on SBS 2008 well before it’s official release). He hit it on the first attempt. Inside the Network Data folder was a file called desktop.ini. I learned that the contents of this file have the ability to customise the display of not only the contents of the folder that it is in, but ALSO the folder name of the folder it is in when viewed with Windows Explorer. Ok – so when I deleted the desktop.ini file, the folder magically renamed itself to Network Data again and things were fine.
So this problem really has NOTHING to do with the SBS version or the fact I was doing a migration, it was related to a user somehow putting the file in this folder itself and could have happened anywhere / anytime.
Thanks to Adam DePue from the SBS Dev team for helping me sort this one out!
Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
So I’m trying to help promote the SMB Pre Day for TechEd Australia on September 2nd and I thought I’d reach out to two community leaders Susan Bradley and Vlad Mazek for some extra help in getting the message out. My request – simple – help let the community know about the event so we can drive registrations and get the latest/greatest. So both Susan and Vlad decide to take matters into their own hands with the results of their blog posts below
Susan, Vlad – thanks guys – you crack me up, I appreciate helping get the word out in such a “different” way
Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
Graham Seach – local MS Access MVP and all round nice guy is running Australia’s 2nd OfficeDevCon event. He’s just launched the website and is keen to drive attendance. The event will cover all manner of things relating to the Microsoft Office platform and will be one not to be missed.
Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
Yes – that’s right there are only 21 days to go now before TechEd Australia kicks off, that means that you have to make up your mind NOW if you want to register for the SMB Preday which will really kick ass with international guest speakers flying from the USA to share with us the latest and greatest in content on SBS 2008 and EBS 2008. RUN – NOW – this this site http://www.microsoft.com.au/teched/pre_days.aspx
Make sure you book in ASAP to the event before space runs out. If you don’t go – then you will really miss out on some fantastic things. Oh – did I mention the free copy of SBS 2008 that you will get for coming along? FREE – YES FREE!