Journeys of a cranky community organizer..
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  • Like Mark Twain before it the news of the death of SBS has been greatly exaggerated!

    Posted on July 9th, 2012 HandyAndy 7 comments

    What Microsoft actually said was there would not be another version of the on premises version of SBS developed. SBS 2011 is the last one, but it is not dead yet. It will be available for a year through most channels and a year and a half through the oem channel. It will be supported and patched. That is not dead, that is ample notice that there will be no new version, so if you need an on prem suite get busy and deploy it now.  This is in sharp contrast to how they handled the death of EBS where they just pulled the plug while the next version was in Beta.

    I am not telling you there are not big changes afoot, there are. But you have time to figure out what you want to with your business and what direction you want to take it. There are still going to be clients not in a mad race to the cloud and they are going to need servicing. You have ages  in computer time to adjust and learn some new technology so when SBS is really dead you have the skills to still deliver an on prem solution stack, most likely based on some virtualization technology. And yes you are going to have to learn how to install the pieces you want in your stack, daddy is not going to do it for you anymore. Don’t get me wrong I have loved SBS through its entire existence, but this is not the end of the world.

    If you were you I would be more concerned with Microsoft’s abandonment of the SMB Channel in favor of its enterprise partners as well as direct delivery of software and services via the cloud. This seems to me to be a bigger threat than the end of SBS which they have been slowly deprecating since its heyday in 2003. This may be just what the User Group or IT Pro Group world required to start a long needed revitalization. Microsoft is not going out of the software business, just changing the rules of how we need to do business with them and opening the door for someone else to step in and lead the SMB Channel that they apparently no longer care about.

    We need to figure out how to do business with Microsoft as an adversary instead of a partner, because like it or not they still have the solutions most of our clients want/need. So we must find a way to move forward that is profitable for us and profitable for Microsoft, for if we don’t we will all need to learn to flip burgers and if we do that, we certainly will drive down the value of burger flipping.

    So as you can see the sky is not falling, this is just your wake up call to get busy and take the reins of your future and stop letting Microsoft drive your bus, hop up in the seat and take the wheel!

    EDIT Actully this webinar is tomorrow not today 7/10/2012 6:00pm PST, (Thx Russ for pointing it out)
    BTW I highly recommend you join in the conversation being hosted by my friend Amy Babinchak at  

    What is this all about, in case you have been sleeping under a rock,

    Also checkou this pdf,

  • SMB MVP Community Roadshow Triad Stop

    Posted on June 29th, 2011 HandyAndy No comments

    SMB MVP Tour LogoI am excited to announce that the International SMB MVP Community Roadshow will be making a stop at my IT Pro Group “The Triad SBS Group” on August 2nd. This is a different kind of IT event although it is sponsored by HP & Microsoft the content is totally under control of the MVP’s and who is producing the entire tour as an offshoot of their annual conference.

    The content is focused on the new SMB Stack from Microsoft, but is not a bunch of marketing PowerPoint’s, it is real world content built by a team of MVP’s, presented by a rotating team of MVP’s and demo’d on current shipping HP hardware. These are all real world current solutions you can deploy today, all focused on the SMB segment. The actual presenters have the ability to adjust the presentation to the local audience at their discretion. It looks to be a great event spanning almost a year to cover some 90 cities internationally; the first wave is about 6 months and should cover some 60 cities. I look forward to attending a few of the events as the content will be a little different at each one.

    You can get more info about the tour HERE and you can follow the tour by liking their Facebook Page. You can also follow the chatter on Twitter.

    You can check to see if there has been a tour stop setup yet in your local area by checking HERE and if you are anywhere near the Triad Area and want to attend our event you can register HERE.

    Oh Ya, there is a little gnome traveling around with the tour and you can friend him HERE to see pics and updates from local events as he travels the world.

    Note: for Group Leaders, you can request a tour stop in your area HERE

  • HA interviewed by MicrosoftFeed

    Posted on February 8th, 2011 HandyAndy No comments

    A few days ago I was contacted by Ali Raza Shaikh of MicrosoftFeed and he asked if he could interview me for the site. It was actually a pretty painless process :>)

    If you would like to know a bit about my history as an MVP you can read the INTERVIEW HERE

    You may recognise some of the pictures and the people mentioned in the post.

    Have a Great Day,

  • Upcoming Triad SBS Group Meeting

    Posted on August 25th, 2010 HandyAndy No comments

    Our Next Meeting is 6:00pm September 7, 2010

    Coming up for our September 7th meeting (Happy Birthday Lynne) we will have Jason Martin of Zenith InfoTech. He will be going over their Managed Services with bundled NOC, Business Continuity, and the launch of their new Smart Style Cloud Computing solution. He will be doing a high level short PowerPoint presentation and then would like to lead a open discussion about the changes in the industry with peers and even competitors. Jason feels this is a very necessary exercise to do from time to time. In addition he is hoping to stir some talk about the cloud movement, and our views on where it is going.

    Jason and Zenith InfoTech would also like to spring for dinner, so we will be bringing in Pizza and Sodas, so please drop me a note and let me know if you are planning on attending, so I can get a reasonable head count.

    Coming up for the October 5th meeting I will be doing a walkthrough of the Aurora install process, you did hear the public beta has been released right? You can signup at

    Then on November 2nd we will have a demo of Eriq Neale’s favorite new mail server Kerio, details to follow later.

    Good info in the Cyber Slacking post at

    Keep an eye on the ever growing SBS 2008 Build Doc, we are up to revision 78 now,

     Upcoming FireStarter Events this year, Charlotte is the closest offering unfortunately.

    Free Windows Server 2008 R2 E-Book Offer
    Learn about the features of Windows Server 2008 R2 in the areas of virtualization, management, the Web application platform, scalability and reliability, and interoperability with Windows 7. Download Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2, written by industry experts Charlie Russel and Craig Zacker along with the Windows Server team at Microsoft.

  • Triad SBS Group Meeting Aug 3rd

    Posted on July 27th, 2010 HandyAndy No comments

    Our Next Meeting is 6:00pm August 3, 2010

    The first ever Windows Home Server MVP Grey Lancaster (Grey was also one of the first batch ofSBS MVPs as well, but recently jumped ship to WHS) will be doing a demonstration of Microsoft Windows Vail (the next version of WHS) and Microsoft Windows Aurora (the recently announced cross-premise SBS family addition) for our August meeting on 8/3/2010. I have seen them both and they have some really cool new features, you will not want to miss this meeting. Especially if you missed WPC!

    Make sure to sign up for the betas, details at

    Keep an eye on the community build doc for SBS 2008,

    Also time permitting I will give you a peak at the new Take Control feature in MAXrm, which gives you the ability to remote into attended or unattended workstations and servers with a couple of clicks of your mouse.

    Meeting Space compliments of 

  • Become an SBSC! (Free Exam Vouchers)

    Posted on February 12th, 2010 HandyAndy 2 comments

    Copied from Mark Crall’s Blog, Plagiary is the sincerest form of flattery :>)

    • Do you sell to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)?
    • Do you provide your SMB customers with Microsoft technologies and related services?
    • Do you want to differentiate yourself in your marketplace?

    If you answered “Yes,” have you considered joining the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC), a group of 6,500 trusted technology advisors focused on selling to Small Business customers. Benefits of joining include access to exclusive marketing dollars, recognition from displaying the SBSC logo, support from an Online Technical Community, and increased exposure to partners and customers through the Microsoft Partner Finder and Solution Finder.

    As an SBSC Advisory Council member, let me tell you why I am part of this Community.  Proving my company not only has the technical skills necessary to serve small businesses but the understanding of how technology must be applied differently than as the one-size-fits-all mentality applied to most larger business solutions. The Small Business Specialist competency shows our customers we “get” small business.

    You too can become a Small Business Specialist in just 2 easy steps, as an Action Pack Subscriber:

    1. Take a Small Business Sales and Marketing Skills Assessment
    2. Pass one of five technical exams

    Currently, Microsoft is offering a 100 percent off voucher applicable to exams 70-653: TS: Windows Small Business Server 2008, Configuring and 70-654: TS: Windows Essential Business Server 2008, Configuring. Alternatively, we are offering a 50 percent off exam voucher to complete the other three exams.

    Call 877-254-6825 or send a message to by March 15, 2010 to pick up your voucher, and an expert agent will guide you through the sign-up process.

    1. One Response to “Become an SBSC! (Free Exam Vouchers)”

    2. FAQ:
      Where do I pick up my voucher/how do I sign up?:
      Call 877-254-6825 or send a message to for all voucher related questions

      What is SBSC? I need Details
      Please visit for details on the community, benefits and requirements

  • Tarheel AITP & Triad SBS Groups Present Windows 7

    Posted on February 10th, 2010 HandyAndy No comments

    Our Next Meeting is Something Different
      March 4, 2010
    Different Venue, Different Time (this meeting only)
    Last meeting was January 5, 2010 (due to weather in February)

    Tarheel AITP & Triad SBS Groups Present Windows 7
    Presenters: Yung Chou and John Baker, IT Pro Evangelists, Microsoft

    In association with the Tarheel AITP Group we are putting together a morning presentation with Microsoft. Two of the best presenters I know will be delivering the Windows 7 content. The agenda is below. We were only able to book a room large enough for 75 people so this event will fill up fast and we will not be able to extend it. You will need your confirmed reservation to attend. You can sign-up now at . Please do not wait to sign up, I will feel terrible if I have to turn you away. There is no cost to attend this event except your time and attention!
    Keep an eye on our website for updates

    Pre-Session 7:30AM Breakfast and Registration

    Welcome & Introductions 8:30AM

     Session 1 = 8:45AM Cloud Computing Overview and Direction

    Session 2 = 9:15AM: What’s New and Why Windows 7
    Windows 7 uplifts Enterprise IT abilities to address business needs to a new dimension with many new innovations and improved functions. This session highlights the new features and capabilities of Windows 7 by walking through Windows 7 desktop fundamentals and business scenarios using Windows 7 optimized desktops including BitLocker to Go, Windows XP Mode, Direct Access, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

    Break = 10:15am

    Session 3 = 10:30AM: Windows 7 Deployment
    Deploying Windows 7 is easy if you’re using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010. This session will walk you through the various tools that can help simplify your deployments. We’ll drill down in the MDT Workbench and look at how the MDT process helps you create a reference image, which can then be easily deployed to the target computers. We’ll look at how to configure the deployment environment, show how you can add operating systems, applications, drivers, and language packs using the Deployment Workbench, and then finish up by creating a task sequenced deployment to a target computer.

    Closing = 11:45AM
    Q&A, user group and communities information sharing, prize drawings, etc

     You can sign-up now at

  • Learn How To Protect Yourself at the Next Triad SBS Group Meeting

    Posted on June 8th, 2009 HandyAndy No comments

    Coming up on the July 7, 2009 Triad SBS Group meeting, Detective Daniel Horne from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Dept., Cyber Crime/Computer Forensics Division will be coming to speak with us on tech crime issues that we may run into as IT Professionals and how to handle them to protect ourselves. Detective Horne is also a member of the USSS Electronic Crimes Task Force.

    Are you aware that if we know about crimes being performed on a PC and don’t report them correctly we can be charged with a crime as well…  Knowing how to handle a “questionable” situation becomes most important according to the crime. He will speak to us and take a Q&A to help us be better prepared for items we are subjected to.

  • June Triad SBS Group Meeting

    Posted on May 28th, 2009 HandyAndy No comments

    Our Next Meeting is
     June 2, 2009 Regular Time 6:00pm
    Last meeting was May 5, 2009

    We will have Terry Van Winkle of StorageCraft and Calyptix fame coming in to tell us about a brand new offering. Here is a small description in his words.

    Doyenz Automated Virtual IT™ is sold exclusively through partners. The Doyenz service gives you the ability to provide no-touch off-site disaster recovery, failover and runs in the cloud.

    With Doyenz Automated Virtual IT, partners can perform major migrations and upgrades safely, in the cloud, using our Virtual Test Lab, or ‘virtual sandbox’ that allows you to test key changes like a SBS2003 to SBS2008 migration, or a line of business application Upgrade. It is a flexible service that requires no expensive hardware or software licenses, Doyenz can be a monthly or annual subscription that provides your client’s true business continuity at price they can easily afford.

    I stopped by the Doyenz booth at SMB Nation Spring and it is some really interesting technology, I can’t wait to see Terry’s demo.

    Doyenz has offered to buy your Din Din so you are going to need to send me an e-mail no later than noon on Tuesday the 2nd letting me know you are going to be attending and what you would like to eat & drink (no alcohol) from THIS MENU. I will contact Milano’s and place the order to be delivered at 6:00pm

    And then coming up on July 7, 2009 (tentatively) Daniel Horne from the Charlotte-Meck Police Dept. will be coming to speak with us on tech crime issues that we may run into as IT Professionals and how to handle them to protect ourselves.  Are you aware that if we know about crimes being performed on a PC and don’t report them correctly we can be charged with a crime as well…  Knowing how to handle a “questionable” situation becomes most important according to the crime. He will speak to us and take a Q&A to help us be better prepared for items we are subjected to.

    7019 Albert Pick Road Suite B Greensboro, NC 27409