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Joindre un groupe local de pairs: trois avantages pour votre entreprise

Shaking Hands

Last year I wrote a blog post about Managed Service Providers in German. This year to celebrate the European Multilingual Blogging Day 2013 I have asked my friends at Writers Block Admin Services to help me post a blog in French!

L’an dernier j’ai écrit un blog en allemand au sujet des prestataires de services, cette année, pour fêter le Jour du Bloggage Multilingue Européen 2013 , j’ai demandé à mes amis Writers Block Admin Services de m’aider à écrire un blog en français!

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Octobre a été un mois chargé pour moi dû à ma présence à un certain nombre de conférences informatiques spécialisés dans les prestataires de services informatiques pour petites entreprises – la plus grande étant Autotask Community Live! 2013 à Barcelone, Espagne.

Beaucoup de prestataires de services informatiques à Community Live que j’ai rencontré avaient voyagé depuis la France jusqu’en Espagne pour passer du temps avec leurs pairs – échangeant des notes, des idées et leurs meilleures méthodes qu’ils ramènent alors chez eux pour aider leur entreprise à s’agrandir.

Plus d’un prestataire de services à qui j’avais parlé à la conférence a depuis partagé avec moi le fait que mettre en œuvre les choses qu’ils avaient appris lors de la réunion à leur entreprise a eu un impact majeur sur leur entreprise – leur faisant gagner du temps et les aidant à faire d’avantage de profit.

Assister à un groupe local de pairs

Autotask Community Live et d’autres conférences similaires n’arrivent qu’une fois par an. Mais pourquoi ne pas saisir ce genre d’impact décrit par ces prestataires de services plus d’une fois par an? Pourquoi ne pas le faire durant toute l’année?

Ca peut se faire – à travers les groupes de pairs organisés localement.

Alors que je peux comprendre que les groupes d’utilisateurs – des communautés construites autour de vendeurs tels que VMWare or de technologies telles que C++- soient un concept populaire en France, les groupes de pairs – où les entrepreneurs d’un même milieu se rencontrent régulièrement pour apprendre l’un de l’autre ne sont pas aussi populaires.

Qu’est-ce que j’y gagne?

Il est compréhensible que les propriétaires d’une entreprise d’informatique, qui sont toujours très occupés, se demandent pourquoi est-ce qu’ils se rencontreraient tous dans une salle avec les propriétaires d’autres entreprises – certaines d’entre elles étant concurrents!

Ma propre entreprise de prestataires de services a été construite grâce à mon active présence dans des communautés de groupes de pairs comme ceux-là. J’ai réalisé qu’être un membre d’un tel groupe de pairs ne consistait pas à donner tous vos “secrets d’entreprise”, mais de bénéficier d’un certain nombre d’avantages pour votre business informatique:

  • Restez à jour au sujet des derniers produits, tendances et idées dans l’industrie informatique bien plus efficacement que si vous étiez tout seul. Avec vous vraiment le temps de lire tous ces magazines et newsletters pour vous remettre à jour?
  • Surmontez les défis professionnels bien plus efficacement. Chaque défi que vous devez surmonter, que ce soit professionnel ou technique, a sûrement déjà été résolu par un collègue. Inutile de refaire ce qui a déjà été fait. Apprendre des autres vous aidera à accélérer votre croissance.
  • Construisez des alliances stratégiques avec d’autres entreprises informatiques. Vous pouvez mettre en commun vos ressources ou vous pouvez offrir de la sous-traitance spécialisée comme de la Wi-Fi, du VoIP et des Télécoms. Etendre votre réseau de cette manière vous offrira beaucoup de puissance et flexibilité à votre entreprise.

Conclusion

Les avantages qu’il y a à assister à un groupe local de pairs sont clairs et les désavantages sont minimes. Si vous avez vraiment envie de faire croître votre entreprise informatique et vous avez la possibilité d’assister à un groupe de pairs en France, je vous encourage sincèrement de le faire!

Et s’il n’y a pas de groupe local de pairs dans votre région en France, pourquoi ne pas en créer un? Vous serez au centre d’un réseau croissant d’entreprises informatiques, toutes axées aussi sur la croissance!

Je serais ravi de vous connecter avec de telles entreprises qui aimeraient collaborer de cette façon – merci de me joindre ici.

photo credit: MrSchuReads via photopin cc

A list of User Groups for UK Managed Service Providers

Shaking HandsHere is a list of User Groups for UK based Managed Service Providers and IT Solution Providers that I hope to keep regularly updated.

Peer and User Groups are a fantastic way of accelerating your learning and building your business, and I highly encourage you to get involved.

Need more convincing? Here are 3 good reasons to attend your local user group.

 

CompTIA UK Channel Community

The community was formed in an effort to provide a platform for resellers, distributors, and vendors to focus on developing best practices, business education and resources for companies engaged in the delivery of IT services in the UK.

The community meets face-to-face four times a year, and the LinkedIn group keeps the community in touch between meetings. There is no requirement to be a member of CompTIA to join the community, and attendance at the community meetings is free.

Further reading:-

 

UK IT Small Business User Groups

A number of user groups regularly meet around the UK to discuss both business and technology, to share ideas and to network. Many of these groups were born from the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) and members of these groups are typically the owners of SMB IT solution providers and Managed Service Providers.

Further reading:-

 

Microsoft Office 365 UK User Group

Meeting the first Thursday of each month alternately in London and Birmingham, the group is dedicated to IT companies who work with Microsoft Office 365.

For more details, contact group lead Matthew Hughes or visit the Office 365 UK User Group web-site.

 

SQL Server User Groups

The Midlands SQL Server User Group meets every other month in Birmingham. For more details, check out the SQL Midlands web-site or follow @SQLMidlands on Twitter.

The Leicester SQL Server User Group meets three times a year in Leicester. For more details, check out the Leicester SQL Server User Group web-site.

 

Autotask User Groups

There are a number of worldwide Community groups for users of the Autotask Service Intelligence tool, including a group in the UK.

Autotask User Group meetings are typically open to all-comers, not just Autotask users, with industry wide as well as Autotask-specific education.

If you want to know more about the Autotask User groups then contact Len DiCostanzo, Senior Vice President, Community and Business Development at Autotask.

 

ConnectWise User Groups

There are a number of Community groups for users of the ConnectWise PSA tool across North-America, Australia and there is also a group named Five Hours Ahead that regular meets in London for the UK.

If you’re a ConnectWise user who wants to know more then contact Jeannine Edwards, Community Manager at ConnectWise.

 

Heartlands Technology Group

The Heartlands Technology Group (HTG) is a peer group for IT businesses that lives by the mantra “Business and Personal growth driven by execution”.

HTG 11 is the UK chapter of the peer group and meets once per quarter. Find out more details about Heartlands Technology Group (HTG).

 

Other Groups

If you have a User or Peer Group you’d like me to list, then please contact me.

 

Image used courtesy of Garfield Andersson under Creative Commons license.

CompTIA UK Channel Community meeting – Thur Feb 23rd – Manchester

CompTIA UK Channel Community LogoA heads-up that the next CompTIA UK Channel Community meeting takes place in Manchester on Thursday February 23rd 2012 at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel.

There’s an impressive agenda planned, including a lively and interactive session on LinkedIn for business delivered by Social Media Guru; Mark Mapstone, a member focus presentation delivered by an executive council member; Mark Williams, Managing Director of Pensar and 2 interactive workshops focused on getting you talking about how to get more and better end-user leads to enable growth as well as how building effective partnering relationships with others can help you grow.

The event attendance is capped at a maximum of 50 delegates and I believe we’re close to that number, so if you haven’t already – get in quick and register at https://www.comptia.org/events/eventregistration.aspx?eventid=UK01232012.

Registration is free and open to both CompTIA and non-CompTIA members, and if you’re an IT Solution Provider, Managed Service Provider, Vendor or Distributor – I think you’ll get a lot of value from attending. Need convincing? Here’s three members opinions on their experience.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me, or contact the community manager, William Linard at wlinard@comptia.org.

Building a Community – Lessons from GFI Max

One of the ways you can tell if a good product or company is gathering momentum and becoming popular is by how much of a community is building up around that product or company. When people are passionate about something they want to talk to other likeminded people about it.

GFI Max LogoOver the past couple of years, GFI Max is one such company where I’ve observed a growing community of people who want to spend time together talking about the Max RMM tool.

Whilst this isn’t something that has happened entirely by design, it’s not something that happened by accident either.

LinkedIn Forums

GFI have helped facilitate their community by providing the GFI Max LinkedIn Forums – a place where Max users can chat, exchange ideas and give feedback to the GFI team – good or bad. Whilst these forums are monitored and members of the Max team participate in discussion themselves, they aren’t moderated in the sense that if a Max client has a gripe about the product or the company that they air with their peers – the GFI team don’t delete the message or shy away from it, they respond to it directly. This attitude towards being open and transparent hasn’t gone un-noticed by the SMB Community.

Members of the GFI Max LinkedIn forums are usually the first people that get to hear about new features and the forthcoming Max Roadmap too, further building a sense that the community is valued.

User Groups

Earlier this year, GFI responded to a request from the Thames Valley Small Business Specialist User Group led by Chris Timm. The group, which has a high proportion of GFI Max users within it, was looking for a new sponsor, and GFI agreed to step in and help that group continue to grow.

All of these things on their own aren’t enough to persuade people to use GFI Max products. You still need a really good product and service delivery (which I believe GFI Max has). But if all things are equal, and an IT company is faced with choosing between two or more really good products – as is the case in the RMM market populated by GFI Max, Labtech, Kaseya and others – people tend to choose the product that their peers have recommended to them.

Make it, don’t fake it

You can’t fake this stuff. Building a community of raving fans isn’t something you can acquire. People can tell the difference between a paid endorsement and genuine goodwill towards a company or product. It takes time and it’s not easy. Most IT vendors give up because it’s too hard. They want immediate returns. Those vendors will still sell stuff, because generally their product is good, but retaining clients and as importantly, having clients who will talk about their product to others? That takes commitment.

Conferences

GFI Max Global Conferences 2011Over the next few weeks, GFI Max will be taking another step towards supporting their community and will be hosting their first GFI Max Global Conferences at four locations across the globe.

The UK Conference takes place in Oxford on October 20th.

The USA Conference takes place in Florida on November 8th and 9th.

Not forgotten, Australia gets it’s Conference in Sydney on December 1st, and Europe has a Conference on November 23rd in the Netherlands.

I’ll be attending the UK Conference on October 20th, and will be looking forward to getting together with a whole load of GFI Max users.

Are you a GFI Max user and attending too? Let me know!

AMITPRO Meeting – The Arden Hotel, Solihull – 8th March 2011

AMITPRO LogoThe March AMITPRO group meeting will take place on Tuesday 8th March, 2011 at The Arden Hotel in Solihull, with a couple of interesting speakers lined up:-

Bill Jest and Vin Jauhal – WemTel

They will be talking about hosted Voice-over-IP (VoIP).

Outline agenda

  • What do Customers look for?
  • Why deliver Voice?
  • Platform and Architecture
  • What are the requirements?
  • Who is Hosted VoIP for?
  • Options and Features
  • Advantages ‘The Pluses’
  • Disadvantages ‘The Pitfalls’
  • The Opportunity
  • Deployment Examples
  • Customer Savings & Seller Profits

The second speaker is:-

David is a digital forensic examiner and his specialist area is the analysis of handheld digital devices, such as Smartphones and iPhones. His main area of work is for criminal defence lawyers and he has management vetting clearance as a sub-contract forensic examiner of mobile phones, for a local police county. He is the digital forensic expert for the Cavell Group who are specialists in crisis mitigation and can be called upon by them at anytime and potentially may have to travel anywhere in the world in response to a crisis. He also now provides forensic services to businesses which may involve assisting with providing evidence for HR matters along with digital audits. In his presentation he will discuss the types of evidence that can be found in handheld devices, the ethical side of digital investigation, the challenges involved and also what advances, such as the cloud, may offer additional challenges to forensic examiners.

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On a personal note – I’ve had the opportunity to chat to David Benford about Technical Forensics and let me just say the whole topic of his presentation is both very timely and fascinating. I’m really looking forward to David’s presentation, as I think it’ll be a real eye-opener for those that see it!

Visitors to the group are very welcome! Arrive at 1700 for 1730, with the group networking in the bar area both before and after the presentations.

Want more details? Reach out to AMITPRO Group Lead Andy Parkes, or feel free to drop me a line!

 

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