Archive for Conferences

2014 MVP Global Summit

This is my 11th year as a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for the Windows Server Small & Medium Business group. Microsoft is hosting our annual conference for MVPs worldwide this week. I arrived into Seattle on Sunday afternoon, and that evening our group gathered for a great dinner and reception at Daniel’s Broiler located on the 21st floor of the Bank of America building in Bellevue.

Here’s a group photo from this event (I’m 7th from the right)


MVP Roadshow Tampa FL

The “Transform the Datacenter” MVP Roadshow was held at the Microsoft office in Tampa FL on Monday Sept 22, 2014. Many kudos to Adnan Cartwright. Due to an illness in the family with our first presenter (Telmo Sampaio), Adnan had to step in at the last minute to do both the first and second presentations.

Topics covered new features in Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V 4.0, migrating from  Windows 2003, public/private/hybrid clouds, Azure and more. More than half of the presentations were live demos, with lots of questions throughout. One comment from an attendee: “I can’t wait to get into Azure!”.

WP_20140922_002_cropped     WP_20140922_006-cropped

MVP Roadshow in Tampa

On Monday Sept. 22, 2014, Microsoft and Microsoft MVPs will be sponsoring a half day free seminar entitled “Transforming the Datacenter MVP Roadshow” at the Microsoft Office in Tampa Florida.

Transform the Datacenter MVP Roadshow

But don’t let the title dissuade you from attending. Topics for this session will include:

  • Migrating from Windows Server 2003
  • Comparing public, private and hybrid cloud approaches
  • New features in Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Understanding Microsoft Azure service offerings
  • Getting started with moving data, apps and services to the cloud
  • And much more!

We know that you have busy schedules, and so we have planned this morning’s event to be packed full of information. We will start with breakfast at 9am, with three sessions, followed by lunch during a final Q&A session. We plan to have things wrapped up by 1:15pm.

Register for the event now! and read more details on this free seminar.
Please note: when registering, you can skip the field labeled invitation referral code.

  • Date: Monday September 22, 2014
  • Time: 9am to 1:15pm
  • Location: Microsoft Office. 5426 Bay Center Dr, Suite 700, Tampa FL 33609

SMB Nation 2014 to focus on Office 365

Sig and Ads 220 x 150The 12th annual SMB Nation Fall conference is set for September 26-28, 2014, and will focus entirely on Office 365. The conference will be held at the Microsoft Redmond campus in Redmond, WA.

Harry Brelsford announced today that they are now taking reservations.

I recall the excitement that surrounded his very first SMB Nation conference, which was held in Indianapolis, IN back in 2003.

If you have not attended an SMB Nation conference before, I would highly recommend it.

IT Camp: Windows 8 in Tampa

Microsoft will be hosting a Windows 8.1 IT Camp on Friday May 9, 2014 from 9am-4pm. The day long session is titled “Empowering People-Centric IT with Windows 8.1 for Professionals”. The audience for this hands-on event is geared for IT Decision Makers and IT Managers.


This event takes place at the Microsoft Office in Tampa Florida. The address is: 5426 Bay Center Dr, Suite 700, Tampa FL 33609

Click here to register

Tampa Bay IT Pro Monthly Meeting

Amy B.Amy Babinchak from Third Tier will be the speaker at the January 2014 monthly meeting of the Tampa Bay I.T. Pro User group (formerly the Tampa Bay SBS User Group).

  • Date: Wednesday January 15, 2014
  • Time: Meeting begins at 6:30pm, but please come anytime after 5:30pm for informal networking and food
  • Location: Meeting will be held at the offices of Mosaic Dealer Services (an SBS client of Kevin Weilbacher)
  • Subject: Vision of the Future
  • Presenter: Amy Babinchak
  • Join us remotely: Tampa.ics


Small business networks remained the same for many years. The standard was a server, some workstations and perhaps a networked printer. Many of us built our businesses on installing and maintaining those networks. Now things are changing rapidly and Amy predicts that cloud services will result in a 60% revenue loss from migration, installation and maintenance if she didn’t change a thing about her business. In this session she will share how she is changing her business, Harbor Computer Services, to meet the challenges ahead.

I’m going to attempt to distill the many documents that I wrote for the SMBKitchen Project on business planning into a single presentation about Harbor Computer Services and transitioning.

Amy Babinchak is a Small Business MVP and Owner Harbor Computer Services and Third Tier. Amy has been an ISA, EBS and SBS MVP and yet still contends that it’s not her fault that the products were cancelled. She has opened Harbor Computer Services as a firm specializing in small business technical support services in 2000 and Third Tier to assist other IT firms with technical challenges in 2008. She started into small business IT after realizing that they were not being taken seriously by most IT professionals. Amy has always enjoyed the business side of IT as much as the technical.

Attending the 2013 Microsoft MVP Global Summit

I have been a Microsoft MVP for Windows Server Small and Medium Business (formerly SBS) for ten years. One of the great honors I have as an MVP is the chance to attend the annual MVP Global Summit conference in Seattle.

This conference is an opportunity for MVP’s from around the world to come together, and to meet and interact with the Microsoft product team members for our respective products. There are nearly 4,000 MVPs worldwide representing 95 countries. Currently there are 36 MVPs worldwide selected to the Windows Server Small & Medium Business product line.


I will be attending this year’s event from November 18-21, 2013 in Bellevue/Redmond WA.

However, I am not looking forward to the weather forecast for next week Smile


SMBNation 2003 – A Look Back


SMB Nation will be holding it’s 2013 fall conference in Las Vegas on Oct 10-12, 2013.


IMG_0131Harry Brelsford and his staff have come a long way from the very first SMB Nation, which was held in Indianapolis, Indiana in September, 2003.

I thought it would be fun to view some photos from that first conference (click here for photo gallery).



10th Annual SMB Nation

I encourage my fellow I.T. Pro’s to consider attending this year’s SMB Nation Fall Conference to be held at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, from Oct 12-14, 2012.


I remember attending the very first SMB Nation conference (2003) that Harry Brelsford organized and held in Indianapolis, IN. I’m not sure anyone (except Harry) who attended that first conference could imagine the impact that SMB Nation has made to the SMB (small/medium businesses) technical community.

I would love to be there in person, but I am limiting the amount of traveling I do this year as I recover from last year’s illness.

ATTENTION: You can now attend SMBNation virtually!

If you are unable to attend the conference in person, they are offering the chance to attend the conference from the comfort of your workstation. This offer is space limited (500 people). If you sign up by Oct 4th, the cost is $299. After that, the price for the virtual admission goes up to $399.

Just click on the Global Broadcast button to register!


Windows Server 2012 Essentials–A First Look

On Saturday, Sept 22, 2012 I gave a presentation on the new Windows Server 2012 Essentials product, a new release from Microsoft, at the 2nd annual Tampa I.T. Pro Camp day.

I brought in a HP MicroServer unit (12”x12”8” in size) with 8GB of memory, running Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V (GUI) as the parent.

I had two guest partitions running – Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Windows 8 client workstation. I think several people were more interested in the HP MicroServer than with W2012 Essentials 🙂

For those who are interested, here is a PDF file of my I.T. Pro Camp/Tampa slide deck presentation.