This week I met Wayne Small from SBS FAQ for a coffee and a chat in the Microsoft cafe. Wayne and I have known each other for a few years now.... since I first started at Microsoft.... I vaguely remember bonding over a few beers at the very first Partner Roadshow I ran. Now days Wayne is spending less time hobnobbing with Microsoft types and more time working on balancing his business Correct Solutions and his new baby SBS FAQ.
I asked Wayne some questions about what he's focusing on in 2007 and his SMB Focus event that will be held this November....
So I hear on the grapevine you’ve swapped working like a madman for time spent doing the things you love? Tell us about it.
Yes – that’s right Lorna. After starting Correct Solutions over 10 years ago now, and having the experiences of growing a flourishing SMB IT Reseller business, I’ve decided to transition onto the next stage of my personal growth. I’ve got some great business partners in Correct Solution that I’ve met through the community and I’m taking a back seat in the business to allow me more time to get to know my family – before they grow up. I’ve got a 14yr old daughter and 8yr old son, who are amazing me day by day – and I don’t want to miss a bit of it. I’m still committed to my customers with Correct Solutions and will be keeping a good hand on the pulse of the SMB IT Reseller via direct interaction with our customers. I’ll be spending some more time focusing on community issues and doing what I can to build a bigger, more knowledgeable SMB reseller community. You’ll see my writings in more places as I aim to share my experiences with others in various ways.
So will your fellow SBSCers see more or less of you this year?
Good question – I’m aiming to be more available this year than I have been via online forums and work I’ve been doing on my website www.sbsfaq.com Look out for more information on both the technical and business side of the SMB IT reseller on there. I hope to be travelling a little less than the previous years, but still expect to be involved in events from various vendors including Microsoft. I’m hoping I can help the vendors better understand the needs of the SMB IT Reseller and via that help us all grow our business to the next level. Also – keep an eye out on the reseller magazines – I’m fortunate enough to be given the chance to start a regular column with Australian Reseller News through which we’ll discuss the issues that affect the SMB IT Reseller.
I’ve heard talk that you’re running an event for Small Business Partners this year? Are my sources correct?
Yes, Lorna – I’ve just announced Australias first SMB IT Reseller conference called SMBFocus. It’ll be held on November 23rd/24th this year which is a Friday/Saturday combination. I picked that combination primarily so that it reduces the time an SMB IT Reseller will be away from their office and yet still allow them to fully network with other peers. This conference will feature some of the big names in the SMB industry both from home and abroad and is aimed to give the SMB IT Reseller skills that they can take away to help them build their business stronger and more profitably. Check out the website www.smbfocus.com for more information. I’d also encourage all readers to register there for the special offer that will be available to those that pre-register before the registration opens in July.
What Christmas present did you get that you’d wish would magically disappear?
Hmm – that’s a tough one. I guess the 6 pack of underwear from the mother in law would have to be it ;-) She didn’t get me the Ferrari that I so longed for – oh well – next year maybe :-)
What’s the best thing about being an SBSCer?
I think the best thing about being and SBSCer is the fact that now – we have a way to differentiate ourselves from the run of the mill IT reseller. We have a badge that we can show to customers that will give them the level of service focused on the SMB customer. What I’d like for next Christmas, Lorna is for the customers to better understand the value that we bring to the table. I know that you’re working on this and I’m looking forward to seeing the results :-)
Now that you actually have a life outside of work, what’s your favourite way of spending it?
Well – I’m getting along to the gym a bit more and feeling healthier for it. I think this is one of the areas that the SMB IT Reseller often forgets – life outside of work :-) I’m also spending more time with my family and finding out just how amazing children are growing up.
You’re on a few Microsoft Beta programs….. I know you’re sworn to secrecy and if you tell us you’ll have to kill us, but just between you and me…. what do you think is the most exciting thing on the Microsoft product horizon?
Oh – that’s a hard one Lorna – Microsoft are working on a number of amazing new products, but I guess that my favorite right now is the Windows Home Server product. It’s in beta now and is due for release before Christmas (based on published accounts). This will revolutionize the way that home users store and share their data, protect their home computers. A close second behind WHS is Cougar – the next version of SBS. It’s due out sometime next year and if you thought SBS 2003 was cool with it’s Remote Web Workplace and the like, then you’re in for some big surprises – can’t say anymore than that or else the powers that be will be unhappy :-)