Live from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

I got in to Houston about 2pm on Sunday and rushed over to the HTG All meeting to start my week at the conference. The weather in Houston is incredibly hot and a bit humid – but nowhere near the humidity level in Washington DC a few weeks ago, where I delivered a Keynote presentation at the ICCA Annual Conference.

Yesterday kicked off the 1st day of the Conference. If you attended WPC in the past 2 years, you will recall that this day was historically focused on the SMB Pre-day event, where SBSC’s could get in free, and non-SBSC’s could get in for a nominal fee. Well, this is no more, as Microsoft has officially assimilated the pre-day into a 4-day conference, requiring everyone to pay the full conference fee to attend the now new official first day.

Keynotes on the first day (Monday) seemed intentionally vague, I suppose in order not to reveal any special announcements to be delivered during the keynotes delivered today by Allison Watson, Stephen Elop, Andrew Lees and Brad Brooks.

I’m sitting here at the Toyota Center watching Allison Watson open the Keynotes at the Toyota Center. She promises that we’ll hear about new changes to the Microsoft Partner Program, Microsoft’s Software plus Services initiative, the Launch Momentum for the new Microsoft server products – Server 2008, EBS and SBS, and "debunking the myths about Windows Vista".

Allison next introduced the winners of the Partner Program Awards.

Much of this content is available live at, and will be made available for viewing afterwards.

I’ll blog more later on my impressions of the first "real" day here at WPC…

Erick Simpson
MSP University

Posted in: Events

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ARRC Technology completes Extreme Office Makeover Challenge

One of our MSP University members and consulting clients, ARRC Technology (, one of Inc 5,000’s Fastest-Growing Businesses, announced the winners from their Extreme Office Makeover on June 24th at the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Mixer.

Frank, Brian and Alex Rogers from ARRC, Jason Pernell from Cisco, and yours truly.

Monique Rogers, Corporate Marketing Director for ARRC Technology, developed and coordinated the event based upon information and training ARRC received during several consulting sessions delivered by MSP University earlier this year. I was asked by ARRC to participate in the proceedings, and delivered a Keynote presentation to Bakersfield area small business owners on getting the most out of their technology to kick off the event, which included over 40 local area businesses as vendors.

ARRC Technology marketed the Extreme Office Makeover to area businesses beginning in December of 2007, and garnered over 100 applications, enabling their Technology Consultants to schedule appointments and conduct Needs Analyses with prospects. This effort alone uncovered immediate project and service opportunities, as well as building a pipeline of warm sales prospects which may not have surfaced through traditional marketing efforts.

The Grand Prize for the Extreme Office Makeover went to The Wedding Center, and included a one year Managed Technology Services Package from ARRC Technology – 24×7 monitoring, service, support, Server and workstations, antispyware corporate valued at $11,000; Web design and 6 months web hosting from The Marcom Group Valued at $3300; Business System Logo design from The Mize Agency; Office space planning and design, as well as furnishings for the executive office and conference room from Indoff; Landscaping from Gandola Landscaping valued at $1000; Xerox multifunction workcentre 4150S from Intelligent Documents valued at $400; Phone system from Cisco valued at $4000; 4 hours of consultation in areas of Accounting and Taxes from Hocking Denton Palmquist valued at $900… and more.


Alex and Monique Rogers from ARRC Technology frame Grand Prize Winners from the Wedding Center

A special prize consisting of a $7,500 check for ARRC-delivered technology services presented by the Bakersfield Breakfast Lions, and runners-up received brand new laptop computers presented by ARRC Technology.

Bakersfield Breakfast Lions frame Monique Rogers and hold up their $7,500 check to Covenant Community Services

The winners of the Extreme Office Makeover were:

  • Grand Prize Winner: The Wedding Center
  • Bakersfield Breakfast Lion Winner: Covenant Community Services
  • 2nd Place Winner: Pioneer Plumbing
  • 3rd Place Winner: New Life Recovery Center
  • 4th Place Winner: Bakersfield Police Activities League
  • 5th Place Winner: Right to Life

This event enabled ARRC Technology to not only provide a great community service and build goodwill with existing and potential clients, but provided tremendous media exposure and a vehicle through which they were able to enlist the support of other small businesses and vendors such as Cisco and Microsoft, with leads from this event shared among the local small businesses who contributed prizes as sponsors. This is an amazing example of creating a win-win-win for all parties involved.

I’ve got to share the emotional climax to the evening, with tears flowing as winners were announced. I was touched to see the tremendous positive impact this event had on the needy businesses that were chosen by the panel of judges, which included Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall, Debbie Moreno – Bakersfield Chamber President, Keith Brice – Mid-State Development President, and Zane Smith – Boys and Girls Club Executive Director.

ARRC Technology is already accepting applications for the next Extreme Office Makeover, and projects that they will triple the number they received from this event, and early projections top $500,000 in new business potential from this marketing effort alone.

If you’d like to learn more about how to market and deliver a successful Extreme Office Makeover, send an email to with "Extreme Office Makeover" in the subject line, and we’ll be happy to consult with you.

Erick Simpson
MSP University

Posted in: Events

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