Bill’s 4th Annual Booths Not TO Miss While At Sage Summit 2013

sage summit 2013
It’s that time of the year again & that means my list of booths not to miss is ready for publication. This year’s list has some repeats but there are some newbies. They’re not listed in any order.

1. Information Integration Group; Booth 1096 Visit Alec & Gary to check out their Add On Solutions like Advanced Distribution Bundle, Material Planning & Production Mgmt, Service Maestro, Rental Maestro, Apparel Maestro, among others.

2. Altec; Booth 858 The Altec Team will be in Booth 858. Stop by to see what’s new in document management

3. Azamba/TechnoTropicBooth: 721. Come see the strides that Peter Wolf & his team are making with 3rd party applications & productivity enhancements to SageCRM         

4. I Business Net: Booth 444. If you want to meet one of Sage’s Top VARs come by & say hi to Gary Feldman

5. Website Pipeline; Booth 491 Come by & see what Brian Seidel & Brian Nunes have to offer in the latest eCommerce solutions.

6. Suntico, Booths 671, 680  Stop by & meet the team of Derek Stewart & Hugh Johnson  & see what’s new in online CRM and private social network that links to your accounts software.

7. TaskCentre; Booth 408  Stop by & let Paul Cannon & Nicole Laurier show you TaskCentre v4.5, a powerful suite of Business Process Management (BPM) technologies that ‘loosely couples’ business applications enabling organizations to automate virtually any employee-driven business process

8. xkzero; Booths 1208, 1209  Paul Ziliak & his team have developed Sage 100 ERP GetX Search & iSales 100 provide Universal Search for the Sage portfolio.

9. Net@Work; Booths 802, 803  Meet the Solomon Brothers & see what a full service business consultancy & technology solutions provider looks like. Their expertise goes beyond network solutions & across all areas of business, including accounting/ERP, CRM, manufacturing/distribution, HRMS,  eCommerce, & enterprise/ document management

10. Enbu Consulting; Booth 673 are experts in Sage CRM software. Companies  have been choosing Enbu to deliver CRM based solutions, address key business processes, including sales, marketing &  customer service.

Have Fun!

Sage Summit 2013 – Are You In Or Are You Out?

Gaylord National Harbor Resort

Gaylord National Harbor Resort

There has been much discussion about the value of attending Sage Summit 2013 Partner & Customer Conference, which is being held in Washington D.C. July 21 – 26 at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort.

This is my favorite Gaylord because it’s easy to navigate (Not like the Opryland Human Maze), it’s close to some outside restaurants and clubs, (Again not like Opryland which is a $25 Cab ride downtown Nashville)

But I won’t miss it and neither should you!  I’ve have found that Summit provides me with great value and relevant information. Our industry changes daily and there’s no way to stay on top of these changes if we don’t talk to the source(s). You can find the source(s) and other partners who have utilized those changes successfully by attending Sage Summit 2013. 

Most of the real interesting conversations are those that you find in the hallways between sessions and keynotes. If you want to watch a partner who is adept at deciphering what is said and more importantly what’s not said, find Wayne Schulz and ask him if it’s okay to tag along, he’ll probably say “no” but go anyway. It’s how he and I became friends.

Its eye opening, informational and very rarely is his take on things wrong. I talk to Wayne 3-5 times a week and the conversation is always lively. You can catch Wayne on his daily morning walks at 6:00 a.m. along with other partners like Robert Wood, Peter Wolf & I swear I’m going to get up at Zero Dark 30 to walk with them.

If sessions are your thing then go park yourself in every Ed Kless session that has an open seat. You won’t leave disappointed. I have sat in many of his sessions, taken the week long Consulting Academy, gone to conferences just to hear him speak and rate Ed as one of the top speakers in our industry.

Look at the business partners and vendors who consistently attend Summit.  If you want the keys to success they’re the people to see. Go to their booths and see what they’re doing that you’re not. It’s probably a safe wager that they’ve been involved in Summit for many years.

“It has always been MY rule that if I am serious about selling Sage products I need to attend Summit. I need to “breathe” the air, sense the mood of the Sage community, and get enough inspiration to see me through another year.” Arlie Skory; Managing Partner at Skory Employer Solutions LLC 

There is a long term value of creating lasting relationships with other colleagues who will share their knowledge with you. I’ve spent many hours talking with them about the direction that our industry is headed.

What price tag do you put on the information you receive at Summit? How about face time with Sage executives, visiting with 3rd party providers? I don’t think you can put a tag on these. The sessions alone that Sage offers are topic rich.

We get caught up on doing work as we’ve always have not aware there are better ways to streamline our businesses & become more cost effective. If we don’t go to Summit & feed off the synergy then we’re going to stay in that same rut getting the same results.

There are BP’s who have concerns that they don’t write any new business at Summit. They’ve bought booth space, & brought a large group. Is it worth the expenditure? Can I justify the costs? How much business will I miss out on while I’m at Summit? These are valid questions. The answer is simple….How much effort are you willing to exert while you’re there.

If you’re going to Summit with the sole intent of closing deals you will be disappointed. It’s like going to the circus expecting Shakespeare; this is an unrealistic expectation. A lot of companies look at expenditures that don’t provide immediate return as worthless. I think of attending conferences the same as Spring Training, The chances of a productive year increase exponentially with a successful Spring Training.

If you’re still not sold, here are 3 questions to ask yourself.

►By not going am I adding or taking away value from the success of my business?

► What new technology can I find at Summit that I can add to my product portfolio?

►Am I the problem or am I the solution?

Come to D.C. & see what’s going on at Sage. You will go back to your business with new tools, ideas & a new attitude.

See you in Washington D.C.
Bill Kizer
http://na.sage.com/sage-summit/
http://billkizer.com

What Not to Say to a Social Media Strategist…

Kim Garst Head Shot

Kim Garst

Written By Kim Garst @kimgarst / CEO, Entrepreneur, Social Media & Personal Branding Strategist & Mentor to Business Owners. Forbes TOP 50 Social Media Influencer

1. They pay you to do that? I thought social media was free! 

Well yes, it’s free to have an account on every social media platform. Some of the tools to increase efficiency in social media aren’t free. And that doesn’t even get into the issue of whether it’s cost effective to put yourself through the learning curve required to use social media effectively – posting fresh content regularly, writing at least 2 blog posts per week, and creating videos just to name a few. To use social media well takes time and a consistent strategy. I haven’t even mentioned marketing knowledge yet!

2. I know how to use Facebook! How do I start?

I think developing a social media marketing business is a great way for people to break out of traditional work environments – especially people like stay at home moms, retirees, etc. However, just because you use Facebook doesn’t mean you are ready to hang out your shingle and call yourself an expert! There are many other social media platforms, not to mention running a website or a blog. Plus, the endless hours of learning online marketing strategies – which are very different than standard marketing strategies.

3. You just play on social media all day? What kind of a job is that?

Honestly, while there are certain activities that go into every social media marketing campaign, every day and every client has unique needs. So while I know what kinds of activities I’ll be doing regularly, there are many days that I never know what is going to happen by the day’s end! (But I can assure you, it’s not just “playing” on any platform, be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or the rest!)

4. Pinterest and Twitter for business? I thought that was just for housewives or college kids!

Marketing is about providing your message to your ideal customers, wherever they are. Social media and content marketing takes that one step further and provides valuable information across multiple channels that helps you find, then develop relationships with the people most likely to be interested in the services or products you offer. Where is your ideal client? Chances are,  they’re on Twitter and Pinterest!

5. Social media is just a fad!

As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it, betting against social media now is like betting against the Internet. Six years ago, what was developing into social media was called “Web 2.0″ It was where the internet was going, and developers knew it. While social media platforms may continue to evolve, the likelihood that social networking will cease to be part of people’s everyday lives is as high as the likelihood that movies or television will stop existing all together. They may be made and distributed differently, but they’re not going away. Neither is the need for businesses to engage with their customers online.

6. Since we’re friends, can you help me out for FREE?

Unless you would also ask every friend to provide professional services  for free (and if you would, let’s talk about professional manners! you should also expect to pay for the professional services of someone handling your social media strategy. Besides the cost of access to tools that a professional social media strategist incurs, if he or she is serious about business, he or she also has invested a great deal of time and money learning the skills of the profession, just like any other professional. And one last thought…do you work for free?

7. My granddaughter is into computers; I’ll just have her do that for me

It’s important to understand that social media isn’t about the technology. It’s about understanding that whoever is providing your social media updates, designing a Facebook contest that doesn’t break the Facebook Terms of Service (TOS) and creates fresh blog content regularly is the face and the voice of your company to anyone who reads your content. It takes work and a strong strategy to provide a voice that indeed sounds like someone from your company. Building your brand as a company takes time – and it only takes one misinformed Tweet to ruin it for a long time to come.

8. Twitter? Do People Really Use That For Business?

Yes Twitter is used for business.  I can’t begin to tell you how many paid clients have first connected with me through Twitter or as a result of content I’ve shared via Twitter. You would be amazed at the power of 140 characters to make or break your brand.