Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

Happy Birthday to us… MSSMALLBIZ.COM turns 1!

For those of you who have been around the Microsoft Small Business Channel Community for a few years, you may recall when this concept began back in our Midwest area with a brand new Windows SharePoint Service site (with that not so easy to remember URL) being launched very quietly in the background and slowly being discovered over time. Little by little the concept grew and word spread day after day. Then in August, 2004, the final stages of the complete revamp of the Microsoft Small Business Channel Community were taking place and the stage was set for an August 24, 2004 launch of the new & improved Microsoft Small Business Channel Community with the brand new URL and look.

Unlike the quiet, behind the scenes launch of the initial site, the new site came in with a little more fanfare… If you were part of the Community back then, you probably recall Susan Bradley’s “
post heard around the world,” announcing the launch of the brand new, Microsoft Small Business Channel Community one night before it officially launched. By the next day, it was headline news including articles in: CRN, eChannel Line, and many more… The rest, as they say, is history.

Since that day, the
Microsoft Small Business Channel Community has continued to grow and expand, including the addition of this Blog back in late December, 2004. Now, the Commmunity has thousands of members from not only across the entire United States of America, but also around the world! Here are just a few of the countries with members in the Microsoft Small Business Channel Community: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Guinea, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the list continues to grow as fellow Small Business focused organizations from around the world come together to share ideas, support each other, and collaborate together in the Community.

So if you are a Small Business Partner (VAR, reseller, System Builder, Network integrator, license provider, etc.) of Microsoft technologies, come join us in the
Microsoft Small Business Channel Community, we’d love to meet you. If you are a Small Business owner or part of a Small Business and looking for more information on Microsoft solutions and technologies for your company, you too are welcome to utilize all of the non-Partner information in the Community as well. Here are a few of the favorites based on usage:

Get Office for Less!
Save 43% on MSDN Licenses
What’s the difference between OEM, Retail Box, and Volume Licensing?
Get Office Pro For Less Than a Cup of Coffee
OEM Software. Let’s Set the Record Straight…
Why would I order part# T72-00020? (SBS 2003 Server Retail Box)?
Things you NEED to know about OEM software. MANY misconceptions exist today.
Understanding MS Licensing To Save Money
Office Pro Why Open Value
– And these are just a few of the many, many top links…

If you are not familiar with all of the components of the Microsoft Small Business Channel Community
, here they are:

– Our Windows SharePoint Service Community Site
– Our User Group
– Our Blog

And remember, our site runs on Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, the same technology that is included in every Small Business Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 software out there. So if you own either of these products and are not using the Windows SharePoint Services internally today, find yourself a local Microsoft Small Business Specialist to talk to you about how you too can start using the technology you already own to it’s fullest extent. (For a more extensive list of the technologies we use on our site, you can check out our “What We Use” page on our site). If you are a Small Business Partner and not yet part of the Small Business Specialist program, you should check it out today! It is a program designed specifically for all of our Small Business Partners to provide you the tools and information you need to help grow your business and help you provide a more comprehensive offering to your Small Business customers.

In conclusion, I wish to offer my sincere thanks to every member of the Community. It is the membership of the Community that makes it successful and all of the wonderful leaders who have stepped up to help out the fellow Community members in the User Group or any other area, by helping them start their own local SBS User Groups, by sharing ideas and thoughts with the rest of the members, by doing all of the things you do. It is only with our Partners that Microsoft is successful and this is truly a two way relationship. So thank you to all of you for an amazing and unbelievable first year with this Community and here’s looking to many, many more incredible years together showing why Small Business is definitely the “BIG BUSINESS” of the future!

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Microsoft US Senior Manager,
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights