OK Well here it is in my best David Letterman impersonation, my top 10 list for SMBNation.
10. Alan Billharz, Microsoft SBS Developer gave a nice technical presentation on SBS 2003. For instance did you know you can use Regedit and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SmallBusinessServer\RemoteUserPortal to change the RWW port or change the timeout value. Also you can enter your own key, ExcludeList - which is a reg hack to exclude computers from RWW. This is a Comma Delimited List.
9. Susan Bradley is still the Diva or more appropriately the "Queen" of SBS and the SBS Community. Susan lives, breaths, and I think even eats SBS and just about everyone in the conference (Microsoft personnel included) respects any opinion or knowledge that Susan has. But what makes the conference strong is that Susan and others such as Marie McFadden of Microsoft PSS are just as "huggable" as they are of filling your brain with knowledge of SBS. In the spirit of the Caribbean party, right on 'mon.
8. Chales Anthe (Microsoft SBS Release Mgr) officially announces SBS SP1 to be released 1st half of 2005 and it'll include the following.
Windows Server 2003 SP1
Exchange Server 2003 SP1
SQL 2000 SP4 (Premium)
ISA 2004 (Premium)
7. Anne Stanton gave a presentation on The Art of Doing Business in the "S"MB Space.
One interesting point was regarding time tracking. How many people track their non-billable time? Why would you want to spend time tracking non-billable time? Accurate Cost analysis plain and simple. Good point that I'm going to definitely consider.
6. Susan Bradley's Hacks were well received as well. From the slidedeck one that hits home to a lot is Alan Billhartz’s robot exclusion. If you Google on “Remote Web Workplace” you'll be surprised to see implementations of RWW out there for all to see. Definitely a best practice for all of us to do!
5. The Haitian Rum at the Caribbean party had a nice bite to it! I'm sure there will be some blackmail pics of tech geeks dancing coming out soon.
4. The UK Microsoft Partner program has some great "grass roots" ideas such as seminar in a box and other items that really any business could use as an example. John Coulthard, director of Microsoft UK Small Business gave a great presentation and pretty funny one at that with his witty view of UK vs. US.
3. Unique ideas from John Coulthard, Microsoft UK Director of Small Business on partnering with specific companies. For instance, moving companies, have you thought of being their technology arm? Special thanks to SBS'er Alan Helbush with this idea and the practicality of it as well!
2. Jeff Middleton, a very well respected SBS MVP, documented the SBS Swing Migration Method. This was a presentation that most were looking forward to. Keep an eye on Jeff's recently created web site for more information or Harry Brelsford's new SBS 2003 advanced book where it'll be documented.
1. SMB Community Interaction. The entire conference was centered around talking to SBS MVPs, other technology providers, and technology professionals. As a whole because we are small businesses ourselves we are more prone to share marketing secrets and other vital items to keep us going. This is worth the price of admission alone. And for a mini SMBNation every month check out your local SBS User Group that will promote these same things all year long!