This afternoon I was able to experience Microsoft Across America and spent several hours visiting with small business owners. Now, Best Buy didn't want any MS partners there who could potentially take their sales for Windows, Office, SBS, etc. However, the bus also included demos of Small Business Manager, Retail Management System and Customer Relationship Management, none of which Best Buy can sell. As a result, we were able to be on the bus since we're a certified RMS partner - so I took the liberty of packing plenty of business cards and wearing my Windows Small Business Server MVP polo (you ROCK Susan!), which came in handy :^).
The bus set up was pretty cool - but the generators were just loud enough to be annoying. It rained in Lincoln most of the day, so the turn-out wasn't great - but it was steady enough where we almost always had someone to talk to, but the bus was never really crowded - which let us really spend some time talking to the people we saw to find out what features would benefit them the most. Only real down side with the rain was that it prevented putting out the plasma screen on the outside of the bus . . .
I had a great time demo-ing SBS, especially since all the PCs on the bus were fully configured as clients, so I could demo everything from RWW to Sharepoint to Shared Calendars in Outlook . . . we definitely got Oooh's & Ahhhh's from everyone, and a few good leads for both SBS & RMS. We already knew two of the MS reps who were there, including our rep out of Des Moines (Hi Darren!) - but got to meet Julie from the Minneapolis office. (And trust me - Julie knows One Note - I was able to pick up a lot of tips and pointers just watching her demo it!)
All in all, it was a good day. Now if we can just get MS to let partners reserve the bus for certain events - e.g., our chamber has a B2B trade-show every fall . . . wow, would it rock if we could use the bus for that show!
Wed, Jul 7 2004 22:09