David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

March 2006 - David Overton's Blog

  • Video's everywhere

    Hello, I have started added video links into the site - have a look under http://uksbsguy.com/files , but until I do so, you might also want to have a look at the following items on the Microsoft Partner blog site ( http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog ) http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo01-gettingemailanywhere.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo03-realtimecommunications.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo04-datavisualisation.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo05-portals.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo06-electronicforms.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo08a-businesssolutions.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo08b-businesssolutions.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo08c-businesssolutions.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo11-crm.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo13-enterpriseprojectmanagement.wvx ttfn David
  • Dave Sayers posts on Patching Pain

    Dave Sayers is a great guy (most of the time), is part of the same team as me, but has a very strange hobby - he worries about security and patching. We have an item that is not too technical on the web site at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sales_and_marketing/pts-press/articles/patching_pains.aspx Worth a very quick scan for the more salesy people :-) ttfn David
  • Security Discussion

    While many people poo-poo the site, have a look at the get safe online site – it does do the job that people are asking for. John and Peter raised some interesting points. Some customers just do not believe that security is a threat they have to pay attention to, or that it requires real management to fix. This is something we can start to work towards. We do have materials on bCentral.co.uk around security which is key for business and obviously the www.microsoft.com/security newsletters to our partners. I was also asked “how long should I wait before I apply a patch”. This is always a difficult question in the real world, but you basically have to weigh between – what is the impact if I don’t apply the patch and what is the worst case if I do. On the “If I do not” front, then the system could be compromised, data lost or the server turned into a bot. If it is really nasty, it could also gather information from the employees potentially impacting both the business and it’s staff personally. On the flip site,...
  • Tour of Scotland - 2 down, 1 to go and only shot once, but I think it is only a flesh wound

    Last night was my second Partner Group meeting in Scotland. I have seen the delights of Aberdeen (previously I had only seen the docs and this was a very interesting perspective on life) and the joys of Glasgow - I discovered that the local offices for many businesses appear to be the SAS Radisson Hotel which USED to have free wireless. On my 1st night we spent our time talking about the importance of training and Office and Vista. Then last night at Glasgow we spoke about training again (as QA were a guest for the night) and Security. While one person successfully tackled me on security I hope I got across the theme that security is simple if rules are followed. To follow up on these subjects, I thought I would do a quick "David" to each area. Many people tackle me with 2 questions on training: Why do I have to go get training before I sit an exam and Why can I not just do on the job training? I always get a bit ratty about the 1st one as my answer is that if you know the technology enough to sit the exam without...
  • More people blogging on the site - SBS Partner Group leaders

    Hello guys, I have invited the UK Partner Group leaders to blog if they desire on this site. For those who do, you can see all the leader blogs by going to http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/default.aspx?GroupID=4 or all the MS folks by going to http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/default.aspx?GroupID=14 , or all blogs together by going to http://uksbsguy.com/blogs . Susanne Dansey, the Kent leader has already made her 1st post, which can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/susanne_dansey/default.aspx , while Time Long who runs the South Wales group has blogs at http://community.tigranetworks.co.uk/blogs/default.aspx Obviously these can all be found on RSS feeds too: Everyone's - http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/MainFeed.aspx SBS Leads - http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/MainFeed.aspx?GroupID=4 MS People - http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/MainFeed.aspx?GroupID=14 Susanne's - http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/susanne_dansey/rss.aspx Mine (OK, so the RSS link is long, so you can use the re-direct one too) http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/david_overtons_blog_more_technical...
  • FSB presentation on security (online, credit card, phishing, backups etc)

    Hi guys - I managed to fill the fringe meeting room and then some today with this discussion. The workshop seemed to be a success and discussed the several forms of security peope need to worry about, from remembering to test backups to getting a quality partner to work with. The slides are available in PDF format (one of the output formats from 2007 Microsoft Office system) :-) http://uksbsguy.com/files/12/fsb_event/entry190.aspx to download the file. ttfn David
  • FSB want to work with SBSC & Partner Group Partners

    I have just posted a forum entry to http://uksbsguy.com/forums/183/ShowThread.aspx#183 as several members of the FSB have asked me about working together with SBSC members to present to their groups. The FSB has over 192,000 members, so a large opportunity and they are all small businesses. Interest is rising in the use of technology to solve business problems with key topics today being SBS, professional mail, remote working, sharing data, customer / contact management and general upgrade questions. I can put people in touch with the regional officers for the FSB if desired. They think they can provide a bas or 70+ people to joint events!! ttfn David
  • I have added more RSS feeds into the "Roller"

    Howdy folks, I have added a number of RSS feeds into the roller if you want to see what I think is interesting. This covers SBS sites, technology sites and the Partner (User) Group sites. Pop along to http://uksbsguy.com/roller/default.aspx to see them in action ttfn David
  • Vista and Office roadmap changes

    Hi, many of you may have seen me present Vista and Office at recent events and I thought it was only fair that I updated you on the changes that have been annoucned over the past few days. Two press releases have been made, both confirming the ship and launch plans for the products, which now falls before and after January. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/mar06/03-24OfficeTimingPR.mspx covers the Office plan and annoucnes that the product with RTM in October and a release to Software Assurance customers will happen pre-Christmas and an aligned launch with Vista will happend in January. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/mar06/03-21WindowsVistaDeliveryPR.mspx states pretty much the same, with Software Assurance customers getting access pre-Christmas and the launch (obviously as it is joint), in January. This is being described in the press releases as a business and consumer launch, but since many small business customers do not have Software Assurance, they will be in the January group...
  • Get a view of the UK Technical PTSs (people like me) and UK Partner Programme blogs

    http://blogs.technet.com/msppuk/ I could leave it simply like that, but this is a great blog by Alex to help tell you about all the good things going on in the partner land. It also has a link to mine & my colleages blogs, so if you want to find someone who can answer your question on RTC or E12 or What is People Ready Business, this is the place to visit. ttfn David
  • ISA & SBS is Secure

    Talking about SBS is never the easist thing to do, people ask about security, what can it do for them and people are also sometimes put off by the Enterprise focus on much of the SBS information out there. This is no longer true, if you go to http://isainsbs.blogspot.com/ , which is a fabulious blog by Amy you will see ISA information that is relivant for SBS 2003 & ISA 2004. I have also put some basic ideas on what ISA can do for you in the forum - http://uksbsguy.com/forums/thread/145.aspx as always, feedback is welcome ttfn David
  • Don't forget you can ask me questions and get answers today online - Live - 4:30pm

    I have a web conference today that you are welcome to join. I will be answering questions about ISA 2004, Windows mobile and branch office deployments. You can register by going to http://msevents-eu.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=118770024&EventCategory=4&culture=en-GB&CountryCode=GB and you will get the web links. See you there ttfn David
  • Site up and down - the moral of the story is to not do config when you are tired

    Sometimes it is possible to do some really, really stupid things. I thought I would share it with you all as 1) you may have noticed a little less availability to the site and 2) this is just to prove that I am human too What did I do, well, I was playing with ISA 2004 on the SBS system that this site runs on and changing the rules. It was late at night and my timetable has been busy to say the least recently, so I decided to fiddle with http headers in SBS. The problem was that I changed the headers to be blocked, rather than the headers to use, so the site was passing all content for uksbsguy.com through, but blocking any headers from that site .. major badness ANyway, this is fixed, when looking at it in the cold light of day, and you should see the site be 100% available again. Oh, now where did I put my halo..... ttfn David
  • Want to know a litttle bit about our other products - watch it here

    The team I am part of is a fun little group and we made a roup of videos which discuss our technology. Each video is just a few minutes long, but might give you the overview you need before or after the meetings. The videos we have are: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo01-gettingemailanywhere.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo03-realtimecommunications.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo04-datavisualisation.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo05-portals.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo06-electronicforms.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo08a-businesssolutions.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo08b-businesssolutions.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo08c-businesssolutions.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo11-crm.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo13-enterpriseprojectmanagement.wvx I am sure you can figure out which is which. ttfn David
  • CRM V3.0 Demo tools (inc VPC)

    I have posted details in the forums, but there are a great set of tools to help you learn, use and sell MS CRM V3.0. This information was provided by Dan Best at the Bristol Partner Group ... good on ya Dan . About the only bad thing is that I was not aware of it until Dan told me. Anyway, go to the forum posting for more information, but the basic link is http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a8edfc7b-01d8-4500-845b-01370d4eed21&DisplayLang=en and the forum to discuss these can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/forums/thread/140.aspx ttfn David
  • Training to help Accelerate Sales & Profitability in the Small Business Channel

    I was asked last night to start telling people about training and courses. This course needs more people in London & Manchester for us to be happy (7th & 10th April) - more details in the forum - http://uksbsguy.com/forums/thread/116.aspx ttfn David
  • Freezing in Bristol

    Yesterday I spent a couple of hours with the Bristol Partner Group (a Partner Group is a User Group, expect all it's members are partners). It was a great time listening to peoples needs and offering information from Microsoft. I have posted a note to the forum http://uksbsguy.com/forums/thread/102.aspx with all the details. It has also raised some great questions along the way that have been posted to the SBS and training areas. I have created a training forum found at http://uksbsguy.com/forums/21/ShowForum.aspx where you can choose to get e-mails when anything changes and I will post training information as I find it for you. ttfn David P.S. Why freezing in Bristol... well the reception was very warming, but once i left I found myself spending 90 minutes on a freezing cold platform waiting for a train heading Reading way.
  • Not sure about the value of partner - here is a good list of reasons

    I was asked to record a little video as to why people should join the partner programme, especially with regard to selling to small businesses. It is worth looking at the video if you are not sure of the value around the levels. However, one nice thing about the site is the list of benefits you get - are you making use of all of them yet? http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/programme/registered/default.aspx?page=overview These include: Hands-On Labs Online Classroom training Quarterly not-for-distribution software* Partner Marketing Centre access Project Guides Business-critical phone support Microsoft Managed Newsgroups Partner Solution Profiler Then, if you join the SBSC programme you also get: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sbsc/ A Small Business Specialist badge so you can differentiate yourself in a busy market Connection with customers looking for IT suppliers in your area Access to our pilot of free pre-sales technical support Customisable sales and marketing collateral aligned with Microsoft marketing...
  • Getting Windows Mobile V5.0 working with SBS 2003

    OK, so I did not realise we had actually written this up, but at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=62797 is the document you need to help you do this. One quick point to make, with Windows Mobile 5.0 you can no longer turn off Certificate Checking, so you will need to buy a certificate that matches one of the roots on the phone - and this list can be changed by each carrier, so do your homework!! Windows Mobile V5 also has the always-up-to-date functionality that people often ask for, so this is just another reason to sell these solutions. Just to add a bit more spice, I also run ALK's Co-Pilot GPS routing tool on my phone - something the "other" devices are not really good at :-) ttfn David
  • eCommerce in Wales

    Hi, I will be presenting at an event in Wales on the 4th April to a number of eCommerce advisors. Is there any special message you would want me to give? The Opportunity Wales programme has delivered over 9,000 eCommerce Review meetings with SMEs in Wales. Outline Programme Schedule 9:00 * 9:30 Registration and Refreshments 9:30 -9:35 Welcome and Introduction 9:35 * 10:40 Session 1 (Includes 10-15 minutes for Q&A interaction in presentation) Microsoft Strategic Update How software will be delivered as a service and the impact this will have on computer hardware, software, devices, upgrades, bandwidth requirements, customisation and configuration, eCommerce integration and the consumer and business user. 10:40 -11:00 Break and Refreshments 11:00 * 12:15 Session 2 (Includes 10-15 minutes for Q&A interaction) Windows Live and Office Live What are these services and offerings and how will these offerings help your business clients. Security and privacy issues and solutions. 5-10 clever things you should know...
  • 10 tips on how you and your customers can easily market their business

    Hi, so one of the often asked questions is "How do I take my business to market without spending a huge amount". While I don't have all the answers, this question is often asked and I have seen answers on both www.bCentral.co.uk - THE UK destination for Small Businesses, but I also saw this article on the US MS site - http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/marketing/customer_service_acquisition/10_low_cost_ways_to_market_your_business.mspx?xid=c0007 - it has the top ten tips that we recommendations and by simply going through the guide and asking your customer "Would you consider doing this", you can start to get the grey matter going. In fact though, don't ask the question above, ask this one - it becomes easier to clear the fog around the benefit of technology "What would be the impact on your business if you did X?" - and try to get that impact down to a financial statement - this is your budget :-) Of note, the Marketing pages on bCentral are not all about product and can be found at http://www.bcentral...
  • I hate doing things that you ask for, but then ignore, while the successes are very sweet indeed

    Hello, time for a bit of a rant. I really enjoy trying to please this community and doing the things you ask for. People often spend more time telling me what we should be doing rather than what is good or great about what I/we do already. So, a couple of things have come up recently, and while we are trying to make them happen, the take-up has been low and it makes we wonder if perhaps we should stop. Brave talk, but perhaps we need to ask the question "are you really, really, really sure you want this?" a bit more before we try to please . Here are a few of the requests that when we try to do things I don't see movement on - I would love to hear if they are plain wrong, delivered in the wrong way, missing a crucial element etc: Technical chat - we have a live meeting booked where I will answer a bunch of "why don't you", or "how can I" type questions. Information can be found at http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=4622546 - if you want me to discuss certain technology areas, please sign-up and send the question...
  • New Ultra-mobile PC also know as Project Origami

    Hi, this is not necessarily a small business only tool, but it is a computing device that has me excited at a personal level. It is a small PC, about the size of a book. It looks cool, runs Windows and Vista in the future and uses input devices such as your finger. For more information you can go to: http://www.origamiproject.com http://www.microsoft.com/umpc http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2006/mar06/03-09Mobile.mspx http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=169962 http://www.intel.com/design/mobile/platform/umpc.htm ttfn - as soon as these actually ship I will be buying one with my own money - a big commitment frome me & my wife I can tell you. Oh, did I mention the price point - $599 - $999.. sweeeet ttfn David
  • Why become a SBSC Premium partner and how to do it.

    So, you have heard of SBSC, you have probably joined the programme and now you are beginning to hear about the Premium partners. Why do SBSC members become premium partners, especially since there is not always the external recognition around this? 1st off, ask the members of your user group who are premium why they do it. The 1st thing I notice is that many small business partners ask for help in the sales and marketing area. SBSC definately delivers here - the one day course can be an eye opener for opportunities on improving profitability or opening up new service areas. This increases as additional content is made available to you through the process to help with CRM and other areas and the list will continue. Then there is marketing support and telephone pre-sales technical support (T-PTS) - all designed to get other people running doing things you don't have time for, Want someone to hunt down the answer to a technical question - get the T-PTS to do it for you. Want some campaing help or assistance, look...
  • Help me shape the site by telling me what you want

    Hi folks, while I can build this site by my self, I want at least the desire for what if should hold to be by the people for the people. To this end, I have posted a question in the SBSC forum asking for feedback and asking for people to vote in a poll. To get direction to the poll, please go to http://uksbsguy.com/forums/47/ShowThread.aspx and vote (and post) suggestions. The current plan is to try to deliver: Pointers to technology information Pointers to small business information Pointers to user groups A forum for discussion Answers to questions Information about interesting things that are happening that I feel might be of use tit-bits of information that I find interesting, but might be a little off-topic thanks David
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(c)David Overton 2006-17