Contact Richard:   +44 (0)121 663 0223 +44 (0) 7703 355045

PCR Retail Boot Camp – London – 2nd May, 2012

BootsA heads-up that the PCR Retail Boot Camp will take place at The Brewery, Chiswell Street in London on Wednesday May 2nd, 2012.

Sponsored by CompTIA, the PCR Retail Boot Camp is a new conference and expo for the UK PC and IT channel.

It is free for retailers and resellers to attend and will provide a day of conference sessions, expo showcases and networking – all designed to help dealers improve their business. Plus all dealers will go home with a free Apple TV, worth £99.

In addition, there will be a series of ‘Break-Out Sessions’ during the afternoon, one of which I’ll be leading as host is a panel discussion over “On-line Selling: Threat or Opportunity?” that I was hoping to attend, but unfortunately can’t make it. I hope you can join me!

Meanwhile, an After-Show Drinks Reception, sponsored by VIP, will provide networking opportunities to round off the day’s events.

PCR Retail Boot Camp LogoWho Should Attend?

  • PC/IT Retailers
  • Resellers
  • System Builders
  • Online Retailers
  • Multiple Retailers

The UK’s top 250 retailers and resellers are set to attend the event, and dealers can register their interest by registering here.

Managed Services Education & Collaboration Road Show 2012

Dave SobelMy good friend Dave Sobel recently made the switch from MSP to Vendor by selling his successful Managed Service Provider, Washington, DC based Evolvetech, and joining Level Platforms as their new Director of Partner Community.

Never one to shy from travelling, Dave has embarked on a  series of globe trotting events as part of the “Managed Services Education & Collaboration Road Show 2012”.

The series of events comes to the UK and Ireland in March with visits to:-

  • London – Hyatt Regency – Tuesday 20th March, 2012
  • Manchester – Renaissance – Thursday 22nd March, 2012
  • Birmingham – Warwickshire County Cricket Club – Tuesday March 27th, 2012
  • Dublin – The Shelbourne Dublin – Thursday March 29th, 2012


Guest speakers will include:

  • Richard Cook, Managing Director, Blue Chip Data Systems  (MSP)
  • Brendan Redmond, Joint Managing Director, NSSL Limited  (MSP)
  • Richard McBarnet, Managing Director, Lumina Technologies Ltd (MSP)
  • Joe Marsden, Co-founder, Technical Director, SoVision (MSP)
  • Simon Quicke, Editor in Chief, MicroScope
  • Dave Sobel, Director of Partner Community, Level Platforms

Plus, presentations from Symantec and Autotask.

During each break there will be a mini expo where each of the listed sponsors will be on hand to demo and discuss their solutions.

Registration is complimentary, and you can register by e-mailing Jason Woods or by calling him on 0207 868 4293 and mentioning this blog.

I’ll be in attendance at the Birmingham event on Tuesday March 27th – so if you’re attending, let me know so I can say hello!

CRN Channel Conference 2011 – 13th Oct, London

CRN Channel Conference 2011 LogoA heads-up that the CRN Channel Conference 2011 takes place on Thursday 13th October, 2011 at the Emirates Stadium in London.

The Conference is a well established annual forum which draws a lot of UK Resellers, IT Companies and Managed Service Providers together to discuss the potential direction of the UK IT Channel for the next twelve months.

CRN have put on a great programme of presentations this year, and I myself will be presenting a couple of interactive sessions entitled “Motivating and retaining your Sales team” as part of a practical networking discussion.

A load of the leading IT Channel Vendors – including Microsoft – will be in attendance, along with Distributors and Independents – so it’s well worth checking who is attending to setup some time to meet with them.

As always, one of the real benefits of Conferences such as these is that it draws a load of the best and brightest in our industry into one location – those conversations with your peers and industry contacts over lunch, dinner and even in the corridors between sessions will prove to be invaluable. Don’t miss them.

If you’re attending, make sure to let me know so I can say hello on the day. Registration is still open, is free and can be found at

Hope to see you there!


Microsoft Partner Business Briefings in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Edinburgh

Microsoft Partner Business Briefings LogoA heads-up that registration for the Microsoft Partner Business Briefings is now open. If you’re a Microsoft Partner, then it’s worth attending to hear the latest from what is undoubtedly your biggest Vendor partner, as well as taking advantage of the opportunity to network with your peers.

Taking place in Birmingham (18 Oct), London (20 Oct), Manchester (1 Nov) and Edinburgh (3 Nov), these briefings provide business updates on Microsoft’s vision and strategy; the latest on the cloud evolution and partner opportunities; interactive technology demos and specialist afternoon track sessions.

I’ll be attending the session in Birmingham on 18th October, so if you’d like to spend any time with me with my Microsoft SBSC PAL hat on, or just want a chat – then get in touch.

Registration tends to fill up very quickly, so get in quick!


Taking a look at the inaugural HTG 11 Meeting

HTG Peer Groups LogoTubblog contains a mixture of “News, Notes, Tips and Tricks” according to Karl Palachuk, and that’s the mixture I’ve been aiming for since I started writing this blog some 3 years ago in August 2005.

Unfortunately, for the past few weeks my postings have been “news” heavy, with very little notes or opinion posted. There’s a reason for that, and that reason is called HTG.

HTG stands for the Heartlands Technology Group, and is a peer group founded by Arlin Sorenson, president of Heartland Technology Solutions (thus the HTG name) back in 2001. Arlin launched the first HTG peer group in 2001 based both on his desire for an opportunity to interact with peers in a non-competitive setting and on his observation of a lack of peer groups in the mid-market space. To (admittedly) over-simplify the concept, HTG is a collection of IT Business Owners of all shapes and sizes who strive to be the best at what they do, and furthermore believe in the concept of “Community” – sharing ideas, best practices, working strategies and lots more amongst their small (each group is usually less than 12 members in size) membership group with the goal of raising standards for all members involved.

What does this have to do with Tubblog? Well earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be invited to be a founder member of the 11th HTG group (logically named HTG11!) based out of the UK – and a few weeks ago I attended our inaugural HTG 11 meeting in London with a number of other business owners. Since that time I’ve been inspired to and consumed by the goal of growing my company to it’s next stage. My good blogging practices went out the window and long days have been spent working on building business processes, marketing, client acquisition and everything else that goes into growing a small business.

The HTG11 group is led by Dave Sobel, owner of Evolvetech of Washington, DC, and it was Dave’s job to research and invite candidates for founder membership, to organise the logistics of the event and to facilitate the meeting itself. Why an American to lead a British group? Well it was felt that getting a UK group off the ground without someone familiar with the HTG “way” would be a stretch too far, and Dave himself is very familiar with England, having spent a chunk of his earlier years growing up here. He knows how to drink pints and he understands what a “quid” is.

The inaugural HTG 11 meeting took place near Heathrow, London on 13th and 14th of October – and the morning of the first day was spent introducing the fellow members to one another and discussing the HTG concept. Unlike a User Group where you might share ideas on a surface level, HTG is much deeper and is often about sharing all aspects of your business – all the way down to financial information in many cases – and so we all signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement to this effect. With that in mind, I won’t talk too much about what was discussed, but suffice to say I was sat at a table with business owners of all sizes, from a one-man band just implementing Managed Services, to mid-sized businesses with half a dozen employees or more, to more than one £1m+ turnover businesses.

As a very small business owner I literally soaked up the conversations involving the bigger business owners. Sometimes I found them talking about topics that I hadn’t even considered yet (employee retention and KPI’s are just two examples) but other times I offered up questions and received advice that saved me literally hours or more of research, investigation and possible mistakes.

If that sounds a little like a one-way-street, with the smaller fish tapping up the bigger fish for advice, it really wasn’t. One of the fascinating dynamics to see in this group environment was that however big or small a business is, a good idea is a good idea, and at one point we all chipped in twenty quid each and then gave a short pitch for our “best idea” – the voted winner then taking the pot of money. Guess who came away £100+ better off? I did re-invest the dosh at the bar that night though. :-)

In between a conference call with Erick Simpson, author of many Managed Services Practice books, and HTG founder Arlin Sorenson (who is making the trip over for the next meeting – which should be a fantastic experience for all involved) some of the other topics we covered were – how to market effectively, best practices for Managed Services delivery, top useful web resources, how we won our last five clients, and very importantly – setting goals to achieve before the next meeting. For me this is a huge part of HTG – accountability. You set your goals out there for the group to see and then have to report back on progress for the next quarterly meeting. Knowing that your peers are going to hold you accountable for your success or failure in achieving these goals is a powerful motivator…

I came away from the two days literally buzzing with ideas and plans, reams and reams of notes and a number of new relationships with fellow business owners. The next HTG 11 meeting is set for my hometown of Birmingham, and we’ve already got a date booked in Dublin, Ireland for the meeting after that.

If you’d like to know more about HTG then you can read all at the HTG Member Web-Site at HTG Founder Arlin Sorenson’s blog is at and I’d also highly recommend reading the book – “The Go-Giver” – see if it strikes a chord with you, and if it does, drop me a line – I’d love to hear from you.

Finally, if you’re a Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partner and want to take things to the next level then take a look at HTG On-Line Peer Groups – monthly “virtual” meetings and a great way to start working on your business today.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get back to achieving my goals for my next HTG meeting! :-)


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