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SMB Nation Canada: Why aren’t YOU registered yet?

April 11, 2008

Every so often an event comes along that has the potential to offer a lot to many for very little.  The problem in deciding which ones are worthwhile is not only deciding which ones are primarily focused towards marketing rather than offering benefit, but sometimes in taking the time to understand just what a conference will offer that is new and exciting.

Response Point

The first time I had a hands-on demonstration of Response Point was at SMB Nation in Redmond last year, and I thought it was a spectacular offering.  Unfortunately it was not available in Canada, and there was no indication that it would change.  Now that Microsoft has announced its intention to launch Response Point north of the 49th Parallel – at SMB Nation Toronto no less! – I am surprised that the registration limit was not tipped within the first three hours.  On Saturday May 3rd (Day 1 of the conference) you will not only see RP in action, but you will get a 3-hour presentation introducing the product, the technical side as well as tips for selling it.

For those who are new to the term, Microsoft Response Point is a Voice over IP (VoIP) solution for small businesses.  It combines software with network-attached telephony devices for a complete inexpensive and easily managed solution that can be offered by IT Professionals.

Windows SharePoint Services

Yeah I know… SharePoint Services is not new, and you have heard it done to death. But how much of it do you really understand?  Do you know what you can do with it, and how you can leverage it within your own organization to show your clients and possibly create an entire new revenue stream?  Have you seen and really understood how public calendars, document libraries, and the entire portal solution can transform a business and give it real advantages over the competition?

Web 2.0 for SMB Consultants

I’ll be honest, I do not even know how to bill this, except that Stuart Crawford is an incredible speaker with a better understanding of business than most people I have seen in the SMB market.  If you are in business for yourself this presentation will be worth your while.

How to Sell Managed Services

Matt Makowicz came out to my presentation in Fort Lauderdale in November and after a bit of small talk handed me a book with his name on it.  As I do not sell anything – let alone managed services – I did not think it would really benefit me but as I started reading it I was spellbound.  The book really framed what small business IT consultants really need to do in order to thrive and do what we all expound – work smarter, not harder.  If you are old hat or even if you do not know what managed services means this presentation will give you tips and tricks on how to earn more money while working less.  A tip to why you shouldn’t miss it: if you don’t use his tricks your competition will.

First Look SBS 2008

I know I know, Small Business Server 2003 (and even R2) are products that you have been selling and managing for years.  You probably don’t have much to learn on it which is why a lot of people are likely not signed up for this conference yet.  Here is your chance to be the first on your block to really see and learn the next generation, Microsoft Small Business Server 2008.  To paraphrase an old slogan, this is not your granddad’s SBS.  If you have never seen SBS 2003 or if you have been working with it for five years then you need to see this presentation so that you can learn what is coming up in the new version… the similarities yes, but especially the differences between the old and the new.  Find out what features you will miss and what will make your life easier.  We are less than six months out from launch, and this is the time to learn it!

The Truly Mobile Worker

It is a toss-up for me, between saying this is the best seminar of the conference (because I am presenting it) and saying this is the one that can be missed (because I am so excited about the other seminars and have already seen most of my material!).  As I have said a thousand times, unless you and your employees and clients all get to the office at 9am and leave the office at 5pm and do nothing outside those hours and do not leave your desk during them, then you need to know what mobile solutions are available to you to make sure you are accessible, and that the data that you need anywhere is always available to you.  There will also be discussion of how to manage those mobile devices centrally, from security to OTA (over-the-air) software and patch deployment.

Is that all there is?  No, there are lunch talks and networking between sessions and giveaways and yes, there are even vendor booths where you can connect with the vendors whose products are being highlighted.  There are even rumours – unsubstantiated as yet – that an unnamed but really good-looking Microsoft MVP will be offering a bonus session Saturday evening presenting a first look clinic on Essential Business Server, available to conference attendees only.

Registration is limited so I will ask you again… if you are not registered yet, why not?  Sign up now at www.smbnation.com and tell them you read about it here.. and make sure to say hi to me at the conference!

(Thanks to Mitch for allowing me to rip off his post – all for the good of the cause!)

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