Register today to hear #HTG members on Microsoft 5W25 Webcast Series

Body: 5W/25 Partners Training Partners Webcast Series This free series offers 25 webcasts designed to help partners grow their business by learning best practices from other successful partners. You will not hear any marketing fluff, only relevant information you can use today that will help you grow your business. Managing Your Business Through a Slow Economy with Key Performance Indicators Michael Cocanower; Dan Hay 10/7/09  9:00 AM PST Register The past year has been a challenging one in almost every industry, and technology is no exception. That being said, if you’ve made it through the last 12 months, it shows your resilience as an organization. Fortunately, many leading indicators are starting to point upwards. What that means is that now is the time to act to get yourself strategically positioned for the recovery. During times like these, key performance indicators (KPIs) become more important than ever before. In order to emerge stronger than your competitors, you need to watch the right numbers, and make sure your organization is making the right amount of progress in the right areas. Attend this webcast presented by two of the top partners in the US when it comes to KPIs. We will discuss which KPIs are the most important to watch over the next year, and how you should adjust your ‘every day’ KPIs as we move from recession to recovery. By making the right adjustments in how you monitor KPIs, and making sure you are watching the appropriate KPIs, you will position yourself with a competitive advantage over others in your marketplace. How to Create a Lead Generation Campaign that Gets Results Kendra Lee 11/4/09  9:00 AM PST Register Lead generation is expensive and often unproductive. Your objective is qualified, interested prospects, but in today’s tough economy your challenge is significantly multiplied. You can’t rely on your sellers’ cold calling efforts to drive the number of leads your company requires. You need a demand generation approach that can reach your target contacts exactly when they’re looking for the services you offer, draw them in, and fill your pipeline. Such a plan sounds complex, resource intensive and cost prohibitive but it doesn’t have to be. You can use the resources already available to you to create lead generation campaigns that gets results. In this session with Kendra Lee, prospect attraction expert and author of the award-winning book Selling Against the Goal, you’ll discover: Why most lead generation efforts fail and how to avoid it Your objective with a campaign The golden rule of successful prospect attraction What a successful lead generation campaign looks like The 4 components every campaign must include How your definition of a lead changes your campaign 10 Tips for writing a successful email campaign Actual results you can expect Resource requirements to be sure to plan for Strategies to secure vendor funding Leave with fresh how-tos to create campaigns that’ll attract prospects and fill your pipeline. Virtualization:  Defined.  Building your Virtualization Practice and Solution Offerings Dave Sobel 11/18/09  9:00 AM PST Register Virtualization is becoming mainstream, and are you ready with your practice? Learn from Dave Sobel, author of “Virtualization: Defined. A Primer for the SMB Consultant”, how to build your consulting practice, get trained and offering solutions, and solutions you can start delivering right away. Learn about server consolidation assessments, Virtual Desktop Infrastructures, and how to deliver high value solutions to your customers. Leveraging Community and Peers to Grow your Business Arlin Sorensen 12/2/09  9:00 AM PST Register Do you struggle to find the right answers to overcoming the roadblocks that can prevent your company from going to the next level? Join Arlin Sorensen and others from the partner community as they discuss how to leverage the power of peers and communities to find solutions to the challenges every business faces. Be it learning to overcome sales management struggles, hiring your first employee, marketing effectively – someone has done it before and the key to getting to the other side is to leverage that knowledge and experience rather than learning it all on your own. It is happening and the group will share real world examples and more importantly the impact that deep relationships have had in helping them grow their businesses. Should you go Vertical? Robert Lindley 12/16/09  9:00 AM PST Register Moderator: Robert Lindley, President, Innovative Systems, Inc. Panelists: Dave Sobel, CEO, Evolve Technologies Garrett Brucker, Principal, Solve IT, LLP Robert Lamm, President, Lamm Technical Resources LLC Industry analysts and many Microsoft partners have demonstrated that focusing your solutions to address the specific needs of vertical markets can help your company improve the success of its sales and marketing efforts, improve your competitive positioning, and build sustainable customer loyalty even in a weak economy. In this session, a panel of partners will discuss how they focus on specific vertical market solutions at their company and what this approach has meant to their success. The panel will discuss the following topics: Why is it important to focus on vertical markets? Which tools can help you create a vertical strategy? What is the potential return on investment? How can you get started? Category: HTG Peer Groups Published: 10/7/2009 9:18 AM Attachments:

Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community: Leading the Way to Economic Recovery #HTG

Body: Does your company specialize in the design, deployment, and customization of small business solutions using Microsoft technologies? • Are you an active member of the Microsoft® Partner Network? • Would you like to be a part of a community of over 6,500 Small Business Technology Advisors? • Are you looking for exclusive member benefits? Then join the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community and take advantage of these members-only benefits that can help build your business: Small Business Specialist logo and branding As a member you have access to the Microsoft Small Business Specialist logo to help you differentiate your offering and win more business. Increased exposure to customers in Microsoft directories (Partner Finder & Solution Finder) The Partner Finder allows customers to enter their zip code to find Small Business Specialists in their local area. The Solution Finder allows customers to use an advanced search form to refine their search criteria. Privileged access to the Microsoft Local Engagement Team The Local Engagement Team, comprised of ten locally-based Business Development Managers, is a resource to help you successfully drive marketing and sales efforts. Small Business Specialist Online Technical Community The Online Technical Community offers break-fix technical support generally within four hours on a variety of Microsoft products, issues, and questions—during local business hours, Monday through Friday. Automatic registration to the SBSC Newsletter Receive an exclusive monthly SBSC Program communication with the most current and relevant information on Microsoft incentives, promotions, and opportunities. Access to the SBSC Exclusive Resources website An exclusive SBSC resource providing the latest news, training, sales tools, and opportunities. Complimentary subscription to the SMB Partner Community Magazine SMB Partner Community magazine focused on core SMB content for the Small Business IT professional. How to join the Small Business Specialist Community To qualify as a Small Business Specialist, you must have a proven competency in marketing, selling, planning, and building solutions for your small-business customers. All active Microsoft Partner Program members who meet the Small Business Specialist requirements are eligible to enroll. ENROLL: Complete these steps and you’ll be automatically enrolled in the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community. Step 1: Enroll in the Microsoft Partner Program Visit Step 2: Subscribe to either Microsoft Action Pack or Empower for ISVs* Visit Step 3: Pass the online Small Business Sales & Marketing Skills Assessment Visit Step 4: Pass one of five technical exams Visit *Only applicable to Registered members of the Microsoft Partner Network. For questions on the SBSC Program, call: 1-877-254-6825, or email Additional Resources Training Resources: Program Overview: Frequently Asked Questions: Benefits and Requirements: Step-by-step enrollment Guide: Category: Microsoft SBSC Published: 10/8/2009 11:29 AM Attachments:

Special RTG Funds Available Exclusively to SBSCs

Body: Microsoft Small Business Specialists (SBSCs) have access to rebate funds reserved for them. SBSCs are eligible to receive up to $500 back on their marketing investments. Unlike what other Microsoft non-SBSC partners have to do, SBSCs have the privilege of not being required to match initial Microsoft funding. The second privilege is that just because you are an SBSC, you can receive up to another $500 back in additional funds (for a total of up to $1,000 funds reimbursed that do not require matching from you). Those funds are available for you to drive demand generation efforts through Ready-to-Go Marketing (includes Events, Campaigns, and various Marketing Services). We want to make it easy for you to grow your business. Don’t wait: Those funds exclusive to SBSCs are valid until Dec 31, or until supplies last . * To get your reimbursement, submit your invoice at . Your special promotional code is: ‘ SBSC ‘ Category: Microsoft SBSC Published: 10/6/2009 10:26 AM Attachments:

Life Management Principle: What Gets Measured Gets Managed

Body: I found this blog post at had some great ideas on “What gets measured get managed” from a personal perspective. By Donald Latumahina Do you want to grow well? Life management is something you should not miss then. Good life management ensures that every aspect of your life grows as it should. Without good life management, it’s easy to leave out some aspects of your personal growth while overemphasizing the others. Take physical exercise for example. Once you stop exercising, you might be surprised to see, six months later, how much time have passed since your last exercise. Or take reading book. It’s easy to let months pass by without finishing a single book. How can we overcome this problem? How can we better manage our life? Peter Drucker gave us a great answer: What gets measured gets managed. While the statement is originally intended for companies, I believe it’s equally true for individuals. If you want to get something managed in your life, you should measure it. Why Measuring Works There are several reasons why what gets measured gets managed: 1. When you measure something, you bring your attention to it This is the first benefit you get by measuring something. How can you manage something if you don’t even pay attention to it? By measuring something you direct your attention there. 2. When you measure something, you know where you are Sometimes we don’t realize the severity of a problem we have until we see the facts. That’s why measuring something is important. It helps you see the truth of where you actually are. In personal finance, for instance, it’s easy to think that you already live wisely. Only after you see your income and expenses by numbers might you realize that you have problem. This realization in turn gives you the motivation to do something about it. 3. When you measure something, you see your progress Not only can measuring help you know where you are, it also helps you see your progress. You will see whether or not you have done the right thing and – if you do – whether or not you have done enough. Seeing how far you’ve gone also motivates you to keep moving forward. How to Measure Your Life We have seen the reasons why measuring something gets it managed. Now how should we measure our life? Here are some guidelines that I use: 1. Make it balanced If you want to have a balanced life, you should balance the aspects of life you manage. My favorite way of doing this is through the four facets of prosperity : physical, spiritual, social, and financial. Measuring each of them ensures that your life gets managed in all four areas. Of course, it may be too difficult to start on all four facets at once. In that case, you can start with just one facet and then add the others one by one as you become more comfortable with measuring your life. 2. Keep it simple Unlike companies who can afford to do complicated measurement, individuals are unlikely to stick with measurement if it’s complicated. That’s why you need to keep it as simple as possible. The simpler it is, the more likely you will stick with it in the long term. 3. Carefully choose what to measure You need to choose the right things to measure or you risk managing the wrong things. The four facets of prosperity gives you the areas of life to measure but you need to be more specific within each. For example, what kind of metrics do you think best represent your physical prosperity? Finding the right metrics is not easy and it requires experiments. Just start with something and keep refining it along the way. 4. Carefully decide how to measure If you have chosen what to measure, you should then carefully decide how to measure it. As I wrote above, the simpler it is, the more likely you will stick with it. Here are three ways to measure something in your life: a. Habit checklist Make a list of things you want to do regularly – either daily, weekly, or other intervals – and put a check when you’ve done it. Of course, you need to be specific with the kind of activity you want to do. For example, you can make a habit checklist for rising at 6 am. Whenever you achieve it, you can put a tick on your checklist. b. Time-constrained goals Make a list of goals you want to achieve in certain period of time and write whether or not you achieve it. Also write down how much you actually achieve so you can compare your progress with your goal. For example, if your goal is reading four books in a month, you can write down how many books you have actually read and compare it with your goal. c. Activity record Record your activities in certain period of time to see where you are. For example, you may record all your income and expenses so that you can see your current financial position. You can then move further by creating a budget and thereby creating time-constrained goals. 5. Keep experimenting Measuring your life is a process that needs to be refined over time. So keep experimenting. Assess the effectiveness of your measurement and improve those that can be improved. Keep finding the right things to measure and the right way to measure them. The important thing is to start measuring aspects of your life. That’s how you have good life management. Category: My Health Published: 9/16/2009 3:44 PM Attachments:

What is Cloud Computing in Plain English

Body: Cloud computing looks like the biggest change to hit IT industry in many years. The advent of cheap, scalable computing power available over the Internet will affect almost everybody who works in IT. But taking advantage of this shift requires understanding this new approach and how to exploit it.  I found this You Tube video on cloud computing to be pretty good: Category: ISI Published: 9/2/2009 4:10 PM Attachments:

Do You Need A Board Of Directors?

Body: 2009 | Jul 29 in Entrepreneurship , Business Development , Home Page News , Leadership By E-Myth Business Coach As a small business owner, you’re always prioritizing efforts and making resource decisions. You may feel like you live in your own world… wearing all the hats of the business, or “ doing it, doing it, doing it ” as we often put it. Of course, we recommend getting an E-Myth Business Coach to help guide and support your business development process, but today we’re discussing a different kind of support group – one that is perhaps underutilized in your business: your Board of Directors. Starting a board of directors and maximizing its usefulness may not be high on your list, but as your business grows, having an active board can provide significant advantages. It’s also something you may not have a choice about; every corporation is required by law to have a board of directors. You should, of course, be working with your attorney on matters such as these. But whatever the legal requirements, satisfying the laws of incorporation is only the beginning for this vastly underutilized small business resource. What Kind Of Board Is Right For Your Business? There are two basic kinds of boards: advisory or fully mandated. An advisory board does just what it says: it’s a board that provides feedback and advice, but nothing is binding. The second type, a fully mandated board has real power and accepts fiduciary responsibility for the company. The kind of board you choose depends on your needs. Go with the advisory board if you just want advice but don’t want decisions mandated by a majority. A fully mandated board is a good option if you’re ready to take a step back from ultimate decision making. Either way a board is a great way to bring in expert, trustworthy advisers to help you make the big decisions. Why You Need A Board With a board of directors, your business immediately gains legitimacy and a panel of expertise you may not otherwise have “in house”. Directors with specialized expertise such as law, finance and marketing become a valued resource providing guidance and much needed advice in critical centers of the business. Your board can help develop business plans, handle policy issues and also help focus overall business strategy. Directors monitor a company’s financial strength and the success of its product and services. Selecting board members from your business community can also bring greater awareness from the community at large. Typically, a board will focus on protecting the company’s unique values and culture — a necessity in our fast changing business environment. They’ll also assist with recruitment, bringing in new people for both the management team and other director’s seats, especially ones who can help further the company’s business objectives and secure sources of capital. A board can also help with succession planning and your overall exit strategy. The most effective boards are comprised of diverse, strong-willed people with their own viewpoints. You want board members who are fearless about offering advice, guidance, feedback or argument. An open forum for ideas and opinions is a board’s most valuable asset — don’t squander it by setting up a board with a bunch of drone-like “yes” people. Now maybe you’re thinking that your business is just a small family affair and your partners are already working in the business with you. But we would say that your business is the perfect candidate for a board. In fact, nobody needs a board more than you! Why? A board will help you set aside your tactical perspective, get outside the organizational boundaries of your day-to-day perspective and force you to work on the business! A board allows you the unique opportunity to look at the business objectively and from every angle. It forces you to work on strategy instead of tactics. It allows time to develop new ways to improve the entire business enterprise. Don’t underestimate the impact formalizing a board can have on a family or small partnership business. The Final Analysis As with all entrepreneurial decisions, it’s up to you whether to invest your energy and resources in a board of directors. There are many advantages to consider; the only real disadvantage is investing your time and resources in a structure which may not serve your current objectives. At the least, an advisory board can increase your community outreach, while a fully mandated board can give you just the expertise and legitimacy you need to grow to the next level of your business organism’s natural development. Category: ISI Published: 9/17/2009 12:59 PM