Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Prepare to be Inspired

Keeping inline with the other event names Microsoft just announced the renaming of the largest partner conference in the world. 

The WPC is now INSPIRE

Inspired (Microsoft - Gladiator)

You can read a lot more about it here in the blog post and announcement from Gavriella Schuster and another blog about the 2017 Event Line Up from Chris Capossela Microsoft EVP and CMO.

 What's my take on this?

Simply put, it's a smart move. It's a chance for the new Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster to put her stamp on what has become the pre-eminent partner gathering in the world. Get more details on the Inspire event.

Gavriella was named Channel Chief a little less than a year ago. She has built and extended the team that creates a great partner experience by being very inclusive and very mindful of what it takes to be a great partnering leader and to build a great partnering community.

Why Partners?
It’s simple. Satya says it. Gavriella says it.

Microsoft is a Partner Lead Company

Video announcing Inspire 2017 … Hint: See you in DC!

Introducing Microsoft Inspire from MS Partner on Vimeo.

It was great to see a few friendly faces in the video on the blog post from Gavriella about the name change the plans going forward. I spied Christian Buckley, Amy Costello, Sophie Atherton, Andy Vabulas, Nikkia Carter, and Ryan Risley. Who did you spy?

image

imageI also spied a few First Time Attendees (aka FTA’s)

Do you know how to identify an FTA?

See WPC and The Scarlet Lanyard

Microsoft has put together a great program with the help of the Partner Engagement Board and IAMCP members to help FTA’s and others with Mentors. This is a best practice that has really taken off and helped partners of all types get more engaged and get more out of their WPC … err Inspire … experience.

As the president of the IAMCP Seattle chapter and a 20+ year Microsoft partner I'm happy to see this name change and excited to see how we will all be inspired to do great things across the Microsoft platform and with the partners that make this community great. 

P2P and Community

[image%255B6%255D.png]Partner to Partner aka P2P is one of the best things about the Microsoft Partner Network. Together we are a community that helps each other.

They go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly.

To see more about how Partners can work with Partners take a look at the P2P Maturity Model Playbook.

What Microsoft has realized and has delivered for the past 10+ years is that the WPC existed is a way for partners to connect with partners and to hear directly from Microsoft about what's coming for:

  • product roadmap
  • solutions
  • overall engagement plans for the coming year

Why should partners care?

Digital transformation initiatives will reach $2.2 trillion by 2019
A 60% increase from last year. via IDC

Partners are the Secret Sauce

As you can see from the announcements from Gavriella Schuster and Chris Capossela Microsoft is doubling down on the efforts to make it easier than ever to engage with Microsoft. Microsoft is committed to building out a predictable and repeatable partner community. The timing could not be better.

I am inspired!

I hope you are too.

See you in DC! 

imageIf you have a moment … Share the LUV

  • Follow along on Twitter at @MSPartner 
  • Use and follow the #MSInspire hashtag
  • Watch this space for #MSInspire365

---

What's next? I guess this means I get to update my 50 Tips in 50 Days for WPC.

Image Credits: Ridley Scott, Gladiator, Microsoft, IAMCP

---

clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

Connect with me on Twitter @jshuey

Or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+

I am a a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog

image

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cryptocurrency - Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Beyond

How will you pay for things in 2050?

Will you carry cash? Credit Cards? Or will you have a chip – inside a mobile device or perhaps inserted sub-dermally?

The bottom line is that the way we pay is changing.

Think Cryptocurrency and Cryptotokens.

cryp·to·cur·ren·cy ˈkriptōˌkərənsē/ noun

A digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

imageThere are more than a few cryptocurrency models out there. Bitcoin got a lot of press a few years ago and still does.

Many of the technical platform providers and the services providers that support them are looking at Blockchain. Microsoft and Amazon have moved pretty far into this space. Google is working on catching up. I would not be surprised to see SAP and other large platform providers follow suit.

image

They are building models, tools, and platforms to enable Blockchain to be the way manufacturers, governments, and others process payments with each other and with consumers.

The underlying security will be driven by advances in Crypto-Tokens. In this Breakthrough Byte, we will talk about some of the options being explored and how they will impact you.

Bitcoin exploded on to the world’s stage in 2012 as a currency backed by everyone and controlled by no one.” via CIO

Blockchain, Bitcoin and BaaS

What is the connection between Blockchain and Bitcoin?

First off … What is Blockchain?

Effectively a blockchain is a kind of independent, transparent, and permanent database coexisting in multiple locations and shared by a community. This is why it’s sometimes referred to as a mutual distributed ledger (MDL).

Blockchain is a mutual distributed ledger (MDL)
via Arstechnica

Commercializing Blockchain with BaaS

In order to commercialize Blockchain there are a lot of hurdles to overcome. They are not insurmountable, but they will require a coordinated effort.

Why BaaS?

It’s simple. As noted above there is a desire to move to a transparent and imminently traceable model of financial transactions.

imageMy next Blockchain post is about the incoming US administration and why they would be wise to adopt Blockchain

CIO Magazine summarized it quite nicely. I have extracted some of the salient bits here. The emphasis and separation is mine.

“BaaS enables blockchain capabilities as first class PaaS services.

From a functional standpoint, a BaaS model allows developers to build solutions that seamlessly combine the capabilities of the blockchain with typical platform and infrastructure services such as storage, middleware, messaging, and other functional building blocks of sophisticated software solutions.

More importantly, BaaS provides a seamless model to scale and manage a blockchain topology without deploying any proprietary infrastructure.”

The Tech Giants are Playing BIG!

  • Microsoft's Project Bletchley follows the release of Azure’s BaaS platform
  • IBM also announced the open source availability of the Hyperledger Project which attempts to make the blockchain completely open source and available to enterprise developers.
  • Amazon and Google have been a bit quiet, but they are also making inroads into the BaaS space.

What does this all mean?

As with every Breakthrough Byte segment I break it down into Pros, Cons and ROI. You may disagree with these points and if you do please drop a comment here so we can start a discussion.

Pros

  • Global
  • Secure'ish (there are risks, see Bitcoin Mining)
  • Transparent

Cons

  • New
  • Unregulated
  • Subject to wild fluctuations
  • Emergency Kit … How to deal with things when there is no power? EMP is a BIG RISK that needs to be addressed.

ROI

  • Enables people around the world to engage in eCommerce
  • Enables businesses to operate internationally without (as much) concern for currency fluctuations.
  • Empowers consumers to pay and receive funds 100% electronically.
  • Bonus: The end of paper and metallic currency. (If humans will allow it)

Want to Hear More & Learn More?

Listen to my segment of the Breakthrough Radio show here:

Subscribe Here to get the latest info on every show.

Listen to the whole show here. As always Don Cooper, the Sales Heretic, shares a few words of wisdom to help us all connect with people more effectively. And, our host Michele Price always has a Spotlight Interview. This episode features Heather McGowan, where she talks about The Future of Work – Inside the Liquid Workforce.

image

 

image credits: btckeychain, RSA / EMC, Aegis, Blockchain, Breakthrough Radio, Michele Price, BlockCypher
---

clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

Connect with me on Twitter @jshuey

Or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+

I am a a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog

image

Monday, November 21, 2016

Slack vs. Teams … The Battle Cannot Be Started

This blog post shouldn’t even exist.

The fact that is does is indicative of a challenge Microsoft is creating for themselves and for people that want to use, or at least try, Microsoft Teams.

There is a Killer Issue preventing the battle from starting.

What this is turning into is … a GREAT opportunity for Slack.

Not that Slack needs too many more opportunities. Microsoft may eat their lunch in a few places, but until it becomes as easy to deploy Microsoft Teams as it is to deploy Slack the Battle Cannot Be Started.

NB: I have used Microsoft Teams. I am a fan.
But, my enthusiasm was dampened because our IT Administrator for our non-profit has not turned on Teams yet.

I Want To Get Started

Here is what I see when I go to:

teams.microsoft.com

And, there it is …

The Killer Issue

imageThis is the error message I get when I go to the Teams site. The 2 minute video is great, but it’s a bit of a tease for those that cannot get into Microsoft Teams yet.

Sure, it’s pretty. Sure, it’s kinda funny. But, and this is a big but …

I WANT TO USE MICROSOFT TEAMS!

I’m excited to use Microsoft Teams. I want to share it with my team. Yet, I am thwarted by the IT department / the IT Administrator.

This is the cutesy error screen I get via this URL:
https://teams.microsoft.com/_#/licenseError?errorCode=TeamsDisabledForTenant 

Is this Microsoft’s Fault?

Well, yes and no. They get to choose how they go to market.

Microsoft is going to market through the Office 365 product sets. Which makes perfect sense on a lot of levels. However, it may cause slower adoption as people opt for Ease of Access with Slack.

In the end, as Microsoft often does, they will likely win this battle. But, the early skirmishes may allow Slack to continue to gain traction and grab a foothold that will be hard to break loose.

Re-Inspired

I started this post on Saturday.

I was re-inspired by Roland Oldengarm. He wrote a great post that Owen Allen amplified on LinkedIn.

Roland hits the KILLER ISSUE with Slack vs. Teams for adoption.

Ease of Access!

Case In Point:

I wanted to set up our non-profit board with Microsoft Teams ... as we are a very Microsoft oriented and inclined group. However, because the admin for our non-profit Office 365 deployment has not set it up yet ... we were stuck.

Reality Check:
I could have set us all up on Slack in about 10 minutes
(the only thing that takes time is cutting and pasting email aliases)
But, I waited! And, will wait a few (more) days.

Note at 10am - The admin still has not setup Teams. (I just checked).

Which makes me wonder:

  • How much work have we lost?
  • How much collaborative efforts have we forsaken?
  • How much energy and excitement have we forgone?

I realize Teams has a different model than Slack, but Slack has a huge head start and the ease of access (and setting it up) is a KILLER ISSUE.

I was pretty fired up to show Microsoft Teams to our non-profit board. However, until the Office 365 admin turns it on ... we are all waiting here ... slack jawed.

The bottom line is …

Slack vs. Teams … The Battle Cannot Be Started

---
Image Credits: Microsoft Corporation, Slack

clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

Connect with me on Twitter @jshuey

Or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+

I am a a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog

image

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Is “Same” the new “+1”

To me it is. This is a fun post and meant to be taken lightly.

Much as this (apparently) super cool person in California has done with their personalized license plate. Enjoy!image

I have been asked … “What does +1” mean when I add that to a post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and on other Social Networks.

image+1 is an old term for upvoting something.

Back in the days when I was a UNIX System Administrator there was always a dearth of space for non-business related content. Meaning … hard disk (or tape storage) was at a premium.

Yes, hard disks weren’t always in the form of gigabytes, and they were quite expensive.

How to use +1

It could be something as simple as people asking about a place to meet or eat. Something like …

  • Hey, what does everyone think about going to El Conejo today?” and people would reply with a +1 to mean they were in.
  • Or something like: What do people think about Las Brisas for a first date?” and people could simply reply with a “+1” to let people know that it’s a good choice.
  • Of course, a “-1” (minus one) could be used to indicate NoGo or Not Like.

Interchanging Same and +1

Depending upon the context I often use these interchangeably. I encourage you to do the same.

Today +1 and Same can be shorthand for:

  • I agree with your points here
  • No comments necessary
  • and, a simplified version of “Me Too”

So, is this even a thing today?

To me … it is.

How about you?

Note: On occasion I will put a “+1M” which, of course, means +1 Million … because I really agree with it. Again, I encourage you to do the same.

Things that +1 is not (at least to me) in this context (via wikipedia)

  • image+1 is the ITU country code for the North American Numbering Plan Area, including the United States, Canada, and parts of the Caribbean
  • +1 button, the "like" button of Google Search and Google Plus, allowing users to upvote items
  • +1, a suffix attached to the name of a television timeshift channel
  • AND1 – It’s also not a footwear company or a +1 for being fouled while shooting in basketball.

What do you think?

  • Do you ever use “+1” in posts?
  • Do you ever use “Same” as a replacement for +1
  • Do you ever use Same for anything?

Is this just another silly anachronistic way “old people” – aka Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers are trying to make their “old tech” tricks into mainstream things of today?

Perhaps some of the Millennials and Gen Z’s want to comment here … even if it’s just a simple +1 I will understand what they mean. And, now you will too.

I hope you had as much fun reading this as I did reminiscing about it.

imageNow I’m going to go find my Big Button Phone and think about why “hashtags” were a thing back in the day.

If you know … you know.

Enjoy!

---

clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

Connect with me on Twitter @jshuey

Or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+

I am a a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog

image

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

When did we get it right?

I heard the best response to a question I hear every month.

On the first Monday of every month I do a radio show with Michele Price on Breakthrough Radio she always asks the guests one important question.

It is not a question about politics, but quite often the guest speaker invokes a political figure … usually from the past.

However, this time … I was pleasantly surprised.

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

~ John F. Kennedy

The gist of the question is:

If you could time travel  …

Who would you want to meet?
–and-
What would you ask them?

LI - Lever to Move the World (Together) 700x400

The best response I've ever heard

On the show today the speaker, Heather McGowan, said she would like to go to 2100 and meet with the future president in the United States and ask just one question:

When did we get it right?

I smiled because I immediately got it and really liked this response. It resonated with me on several levels. Not just because of the tumultuous political campaign that is going on right now. The question transcends the pending election. No matter who wins there will invariably be a long tail effect for months and perhaps years to come. Which drives to the root of the question. 

The effort invested in 'getting it right' should be commensurate with the importance of the decision.
~ Daniel Kahneman

She continued and explained what she meant.

What she wanted to know was just that:

When did the American people finally realize they needed to start listening to each other and really taking the time to understand all sides of an argument.

Instead of being all about political affiliations and ideologies … and ultimately getting nothing done. Which has been the case for the last 20 or more years.

She had this fantastic inspiration and response to Michele’s question. 

She wants to know …  

When did we get it right?

  • When did the people of the United States realize that this partisan politics stuff just doesn't fly?
  • When did the people of United States realize this?
  • When did they enforce their thoughts on to the people that we elect?

When did we get it right?

---

What do you think?

When do you think we will get it right?

---

If you want to listen to the show go here or click below:

---

clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.


Connect with me on Twitter @jshuey

Or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+

I am a a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog

image

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Using resources at scale … Things you learn at Microsoft

This is Post number 99. There is a reason that this is post number 99. The $99 you'll spend on a MSA membership is the best 99 bucks you'll spend all year.

"You miss every shot you don't take"
~ Wayne Gretzky

LI - MSA Gretzky 2

Increasing the Odds

Every shot you take in conjunction with the MSA increases the odds of yet another goal achieved.

The Microsoft Alumni Network is an amazingly powerful and well-connected group of people that know how to get things done. As a MSA member you have access to some of the sharpest minds on the planet.

Of course, you already knew that because you worked with them.

Giving Back

MSA - Reunion with a Purpose (700x400)Before I talk about some of the incredible benefits you get from being a Microsoft Alumni Network I want to briefly touch upon giving back. At the Reunion with a Purpose one of the things everyone got to see unfold was how Microsoft alumni and Microsoft the company are still investing and giving back every single day all around the globe.

The Microsoft Alumni Network web page is here and the Facebook page is here. Check them out, get involved and if you are eligible … JOIN!

A few examples of the good stuff happening within the MSA:

image

image
AndreaTaylor,
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Peter Bladin, Microsoft Alumni Network 2016 Integral Fellow

What's in it for you?

There are a lot of benefits of being part of the Microsoft Alumni Network. But, a few of them that I particularly enjoy are listed below. I suspect you will like these to, but I'm guessing you might find benefits and some of the other areas to. For example things like insurance, travel benefits, adventure travel and even career guidance.

My Three Best Things … About being a Microsoft Alumni Network member

Connect / Reconnect with Alums

  • Well this might sound obvious it is in fact a key and critical benefit. There are people but we just lose touch with and the Microsoft alumni network is a great way to reconnect with them.

5 Microsoft Office licenses (This covers the cost of MSA membership)

  • This one benefit alone pays for your membership. I have three kids in college and they have full access to the full suite of the Microsoft office products.

Company Store Spend

  • For everyone that was a blue badge that remembers going to the company store and having store credit well with the MSA membership you also get access to the store and you'll have half the amount of store credit that you had as an FTE.
    • So, instead of bugging your FTE friends to pick up stuff at the Company Store … you can do it yourself.
    • PS – Sometimes meeting up with FTE’s at the Company Store IS a great way to re-connect too.

Not to mention all the other things that happen like the Reunion with a Purpose (which just happened on Oct 7th - Start thinking about tickets for next year) and other events that we get access to. Things like guest speakers, tech events that are happening on campus, trips and travel too.

  • 20160803_051851000_iOSOutside In - One in particular we were able to attend a talk with the first female blue angel pilot. She shared her 3M's of a Blue Angel's pilot. I brought my daughter and my wife to this talk. They loved it.

IAMCP is here to help too

IAMCP Seattle - November 2016 EventOf course, every MSA member that has started a company that's doing work (or wants to do work) in the Microsoft partner world we would love to have them as members of the IAMCP. The IAMCP is a non-profit, all volunteer run organization that has a mission of helping partners to Connect, Learn and Grow.

Full Disclosure: I am the president and co-founder of the IAMCP Seattle chapter. Join us for our next meeting on Oct 20th or Nov 17th (links take you to the registration page). The first meeting is always free.

What does this all mean?

Ultimately being a Microsoft Alumni Member is something we all learned working at Microsoft. It’s about … using resources at scale.

As a former Microsoft employee you know what this means. As a Microsoft Alumni Network member you get to re-live this and utilize these skills, resources and contacts to grow your business, to light up your passion, to make a difference.

If you haven’t joined … now is the time.

What’s all this with the number 99?

It’s the best $99 you’ll spend all year.

And, if you get the #99 reference with Wayne Gretzky drop a comment here.

And, it’s also my 99th post on LinkedIn.

---

Image Credits: Microsoft Alumni Network, Wayne Gretzky / LA Kings

clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

Tweet him
@jshuey or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ He is active in the Microsoft Partner Community and is the co-founder and President of the IAMCP Seattle chapter.

He is a contributing author to
Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog

image

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Is Best Buy falling into the Trade Show Trap?

Is this the beginning of the end?

Or just a temporary trend?

Best Buy has stopped advertising in my local paper.

Have you noticed this?

How about in your local paper?

Below is a picture of this week’s print advertisers in the Seattle Times. I’m happy to see local businesses represented and businesses that may be based in other areas representing themselves here.

The Question is … Do these print adverts impact behavior?

For me the answer is yes. How about you? Your family? Your business?
`This weeks print advertisers in the Seattle Times

Is this a sign of Good Times or Bad Times?

  1. Could Best Buy be doing so well that they don’t need to advertise?
  2. Could Best Buy be cutting back and (print) advertising was a casualty?
  3. Could there be other underlying factors?

Big Data to the Rescue?

Big Data may be providing the information Best Buy is using to make this decision. I’d be curious to know if that is the actual cause or if it is because of points 1 or 2 above. I don’t expect Best Buy to answer this for a few reasons. Not the least of which is that it’s none of my business.

However, I suspect Big Data is a factor. At least it should be.

Most of the people I work with are in the tech industry in one way or another. They have unique points of view of how tech is used to drive business activities. I’d like to see what they have to say about this

The Trade Show Trap

This is something I have observed over the years. It has been especially noted and obvious at many of the Microsoft events I have attended in the past 20 years.

It’s simple:

If you are at the trade show you are ignored for your presence.

If you aren't at the show you are noted for your absence.

This is not a slight against Microsoft. I have seen it at IBM, SAP and other events. It’s just a fact of life. Your presence is noted.

This same mentality drove me to notice that Best Buy is absent in my local paper.

All Business Is Local

Even with the rise of online sellers I still say all business is local. Will this change over time. Absolutely. Can we and will we price shop online? Absolutely. But, we do have a choice on where we buy.

I’m happy to see AND support local businesses that support local businesses. Which is why you see me talking, posting and shooting videos about local businesses quite often.

As noted above I’m happy to see a lot of local business and some business that may not have their headquarters here, but they have a presence here are still advertising. Perhaps this is a dying art and I may be one of the few that notices advert inserts.

Image result for seattle times logoWhat about you?

What are you seeing in your local papers?

Are print ads a waste of time and money?

Perhaps someone reading this will have the (big) data to back up a position … one way or the other. I’d like to see the data supporting the cause for print advertisement. It would be interesting to see a comparison to web advertisement.

  • What do you say?
  • What do you see?
  • Do print adverts impact your buying behavior?

Share your thoughts here and let’s get a dialogue going.

Image Credit: Seattle Times advertisers

clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

Tweet him
@jshuey or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ He is active in the Microsoft Partner Community and is the co-founder and President of the IAMCP Seattle chapter.

He is a contributing author to
Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog

image