Posted on August 20th, 2012 3 comments
Last week there was a blog post on the official Microsoft UK SBSC blog announcing the SMB Partner Area Leads for 2012.
Robert Gibbons of Think4 IT Solutions
Guy Gregory from The Final Step
So the first question most people ask is…”What is a PAL”?
There is a really good description on the announcement blog post.
Partner Area Leads are the spokespeople for the Small Business Community and smaller Partners who would like to engage more closely with Microsoft. PALs have regular contact with Microsoft, are Partners themselves, and will be instrumental within their local Small Business Community. These are people that have an incredibly valuable insight into small IT companies in the UK and can credibly feedback to Microsoft about ways we can improve the Partner experience, about products and services, and any other area of the Microsoft business.
PALs are not paid by Microsoft and give their own time to support the community and the small businesses they work with, this is done from a passionate belief in the community.
I’m really pleased to have been offered the role. The people who taken on the role in previous read like the “who’s who” of the UK SMB community.
I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with all of the people on that list and can hand on heart say each one of them have given me plenty to think about over the last few years with their words and actions which has shaped my views on not only my business interests but also my person life too.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to them all
So going forward…
What does all this mean in the context of the recent changes to the small business specialist community? Specifically with Microsoft ending the SBSC “Blue Badge” program?
Well, I recently said that I was of the opinion that the SMB community is more important right now than it has ever been.
I still stand by that.
With all the changes and upheaval going on having other people to share experiences with, to ask advice and get help and feedback to and from the correct people is going to be a key factor in making sure your business is ready for the shift that is already underway in our part of the industry.
The Partner Area Lead role has been there to help with this kind of thing for years! Over the next year I’d like to help ensure partners have access to every possible resource to help grow their business.
This doesn’t always mean Microsoft though. A big part of AMITPRO has always been helping local IT companies to grow, improve and raise standards. Ensuring everyone is making full use of these kinds of resource are what I see to be portion of the PAL role.
I’ve already had several chats with both Guy and Robert and I’m really looking forward to working with them over next twelve months.
Whatever happens it’ll be interesting to say the least.The following two tabs change content below.Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.
3 Responses to “Partner Area Lead – 2012”
Must be something about people called Rob, makes us useful.
Firstly, congratulations on the PAL role – you’re long overdue the job, so I’m glad you’ve been recognised for all your contributions to the community!
In terms of the UK “SBSC” groups, for the longest time now I think these groups have been more focused on Small Business IT and less on Microsoft technologies.
Microsoft still has relevancy in the SMB market, but there are plenty of other vendors who are equally relevant now. The groups reflect that in who attends and what they talk about.
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