I Could Have Missed It All…..

Fathers  Day 2013 6This past week was the annual Sage Summit Partner/Customer Conference  which was held in Washington D.C. at the Gaylord Conference Center and Resort.

I have been to every Sage Summit since its inception and more than a few when  it was Insights.Bill Bo Paul

This Summit was a special one for me and if the doctors are right it will be my  last so it was important for me to attend. Sage gave me the opportunity to say thanks to the Sage Community and also to tell the attendees what’s going on with my health.
Bill Hugh SeanBill Sean Tess BorosPascal Driving BusPascal Bill CannonsWalking At Summit 2Bill Bo PaulPeter Bill Wayne

Joe Noll of Lancaster, PA showed me what an incredible human being he is, as  did Dave & Cheryl from LDK Consulting. The love that the Sage community showed me was overwhelming. An example of this was when I was talking to Diana Waterman, an incredible human being and one of my favorite Sage employees, a  gentleman walked up to us that I’ve never met and introduced himself as Pramod Gandhi  from Dubai. In a very humble manner he asked about my health and then he said, “Bill, we are  praying for you in Dubai.” You could have bowled Diana and myself over  with a feather. It was then that I finally understood the global reach that my  LinkedIn Group had accomplished. The entire week was like that for me from Sage executives to partners like Pramod.

I had to conserve my energy so I didn’t go out to the parties. Today I’m wiped  out and know that I will fall asleep right after takeoff but no matter I will take these memories with me on whatever journey I embark on.

Thank you to the following ( I apologize if I’ve left your name off, it’s no  reflection of you, but rather a reflection of my crappy memory)

Joo Sohn / Kevin Rooker / LDK Consulting / Joe Langer / Diana Waterman / Sophie  Leguillette / Himanshu Palsule  /Tammy Mathews/ Connie Certusi /Pascal Houllion / Wayne Schulz/ Lori Schultz / Pramod Gandhi / Danielle Cote / Robert Wood/ Joe Ward / Suzanne Spear / Joe Noll  and of course Marti Wolfson

I do hope and pray that my doctors are wrong in their prognosis because I do want to live longer and spend more time with my sons and I sure don’t want to miss Sage Summit 2014 in Vegas. Please don’t stop being who you are. What I’ve found going through this process is that it doesn’t take much effort to make someone’s day just a little bit better as you did mine.

I have been given money for the purpose of adding to my son’s college fund and also for liver cancer research. I hope this doesn’t come off as pandering but both are great places to donate money.

My mailing address is:
1025 Stratton Drive
Vista, CA. 92083

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Who Should Attend Sage Summit 2012 & Why

Bill ~ Trent ~ Trevor Kizer

Gary ~ Connie ~ Jennifer ~ Erick @ Sage Summit 2011

Robert Schayes, Himanshu Palsule, Bill Kizer, Pascal Houllion Sage Summit 2011

Mark Kauffmann & Her Girls

Sean Leanne Tuohy Wayne Schulz Bill Kizer

Summit 2011 Twitter Meetup

There has been much discussion about the value of attending the Sage Summit 2012 Conference. I am one of those who have found Conferences to provide me with great value and I’ve learned a great amount of useable information. The technology industry changes daily and there’s no way to know about those changes if we don’t talk to the source. You can find the source(s) and other partners who have utilized those changes very successfully by attending events such as the new and improved Sage Summit.

Look at the business partners who consistently make the Top 10 list. Go to their website and see what they’re doing that you’re not. It’s probably a safe wager that they’ve been involved in Summit, BPAC membership, etc. It’s time to be accountable to ourselves for our failures or successes. It’s time to stop blaming others when we fail.

First, there is the long term value of creating lasting relationships with other BP’s or third party solutions and there are many knowledgeable partners and company representative who will gladly share that knowledge with you.

There has been a shift at Sage to offer more transparency and seeing the Management attend different social events & the Trade Show is a testament to this new shift. Don’t be surprised to find yourself engaged in open and honest dialogues with top management.

How do you put a price tag on product information you receive at Summit? What about face time with Sage executives? Truth be told, you can’t put a price tag on these items. The sessions alone that Sage is offering this year are numerous in count, while covering all Sage products, upgrades, changes and of course Social Media.

Too often we get caught up on doing business as we’ve always done it, not knowing that there are better ways of streamlining and making our individual businesses more cost effective. But if we don’t go to Summit and attend sessions, talk to other BP’s, then we’re going to stay in that same spiraling vortex & will get the same results. One of my favorite quotes is:

“If you keep doing what you’re doing you’re going to keep getting what you get. If you want something new you’re going to have to try something new.”

~ Author Unknown

I have spoke to BP’s who have concerns that they have never “pulled” any new business from attending Summit and other conferences occasionally or even those who go each year. Then there’s the camp that has bought booth space, collected business cards & found that most of those cards belonged to other BP’s & not potential new deal opportunities. Where’s the ROI they ask?

First, if you’re heading off to Summit with the sole intent of closing deals then you’re going to be disappointed. It’s kind of like going to a Barnum & Bailey Circus expecting Shakespeare; or going on vacation to Northern Minnesota in January wearing shorts, flip flops & sun tan lotion looking for a sun tan. You’re going to be disappointed by unrealistic expectations.

Unfortunately most companies don’t look at non revenue generating items as having any value. Unless there’s a dollar amount involved most BP’s don’t “get it.” To the partners who don’t get it, there are three questions you need to ask yourself.

What value am I adding to the equation?
What Solution can I provide?
What am I adding to the success of my business?

Come to Nashville & see the changes that are happening at Sage. You’re going to be surprised & more importantly you’re going to go back to your business with a new attitude & isn’t life itself about how you approach it? I think so & I hope to see each of you in Nashville

Final Sage Summit Wrap Up

I woke up in my own bed in San Diego and that’s always a great feeling; not that waking up at the Gaylord National Harbor is a bad thing, but there is nowhere like home. I get to spend the day with my sons and that always makes for a special day.

Sage Summit 2011 is now a memory but what sweet memories. This conference was by far the best Sage Event that I’ve attended for many reasons.

The highlights for me were being asked to be an endorsed Sage Summit blogger. I had a front seat to the growth and acceptance of  social media and how far it has come in the past 3 years since I first started the Sage Partners, Employees & Alumni LinkedIn Group. I got the opportunity to talk to alot of partners about their social media strategy and how it important it has come within their respective businesses in terms of marketing.

My other highlight was being invited to a Meet & Greet with Sean & Leanne Tuohy. What marvelous people they are. Their story is inspiring & I especially loved their message of how just One Person Can Make A Difference. Their journey that was the genesis for the blockbuster movie “The Blindside” is a testament to a core belief of giving rather than receiving. 

There are so many highlights from this event but what really stuck out for me was the accessibility & transparency of the executives. Our new CEO Pascal Houllion is dynamic, friendly and I think our Road Map under his leadership is going to take us places we’ve never been.

Himanshu Palsule, Laurie Schulz, Tom Miller, Dennis Frahmann, Pascal Van Dooren, Connie Certusi, Dominique Bopp, Alok Tyagi,  & many others make Sage what it is today and what it will become. Hold on tight for the ride of your life.

For those that don’t know & asked me for directions & a whole host of other Sage related questions,  I am not an employee of Sage however I am as strong a Sage supporter as you will find. I don’t walk around with blinders on, but if I have questions I will ask and I normally get a response the is satisfactory to me. Just so that we’re clear nothing would give me greater pleasure than to work for any of the people above that I’ve mentioned.

There I go again on a different tangent but to get back to Sage Summit; there are a group of people that are largely responsible for the success of this past event and that the Entire Events team. I hope that each of you get a chance to thank them for the long hours, creative ideas and attention to the smallest detail to make Sage Summit the success it was.

I hope that each of you who attended enjoyed yourself and that you will be in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland for version 2.0 of Sage Summit. I know that barring any unforseen bumps in the road I’ll be there if for no other reason than to see what the Events Team has in store for us.

Have a prosperous year and I wish each of you the very best as we move forward under the direction of our new CEO, Pascal Houllion.

Sage Summit 2011; It’s All About Location

Location, Location, Location. It’s the most important axiom in real estate. An axiom is a universally accepted principle or rule that requires no proof.  Thus the setting for this year’s Inaugural Sage Summit 2011 where you will get to experience many firsts for Sage’s Premiere Conference.

Despite it teeming population of politicians Washington D.C. remains a can’t miss city. The history of the country is incomparable & it certainly has lots to offer in the way of museums, opera, major theatres all abound in great numbers offering the best in entertainment value as most if not all the museums don’t charge an admission fee.

One can literally walk through American history by visiting The Lincoln & Washington monuments, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (The White House) The Mall, site of Martin Luther Kings’s “I have A Dream” speech, an event that attracted 250,000 people without the help of the Internet, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter & of course the black granite Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall where the names of 58,267 service men and women who died or remain missing are listed in chronological order. It is a powerful monument that is both reflective and contemplative in character. It doesn’t make any political statement about the war. You could spend several days visting all the quality sights that D.C. has to offer but please  take at least one day to visit them while you’re here. http://bit.ly/ansqvQ

The Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center is actually located on the Potomac River in National Harbor in Maryland which is only a short ride from Reagan Airport making it very accessible to Washington D.C. I’ve included a link to a site that details getting around the D.C. area. http://bit.ly/l6Npzm

The Gaylord hotels are known for their splendor, size & overall attention to small and large conferences. There is plenty to do while staying at a Gaylord property from great accommodations, fine restaurants to fantastic shopping available without ever stepping outside the Resort. http://bit.ly/d19JJd

This year’s National Conference has changed its format to include both Sage Partners, Vendors and now Sage customers. This should prove to be a winning combination. I’ve had the privilege to interact via e-mail with Suzanne Spear who is Sage’s Director of Events and members of her team that include Danielle Cote, VP, Event Marketing @ Sage. They have been working on this year’s conference for at least the past year to make sure that we all walk away better educated by a plethora of breakout sessions, including many interactive ones. 

Please make sure that if you see them or any member of their team at the Conference to thank them for all of their hard work that they’ve put into Sage Summit 2011.

In addition to the breakout sessions the Keynote Speakers should be a big hit. I’m looking forward to Wednesday afternoon’s Keynote Speakers Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. They are the Memphis couple who took a homeless teenager into their home and treated him like their own. That youngster is Michael Oher who went from living on the streets, to living with the entire Tuohy family,  to being picked in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. If you haven’t a clue of what I speak watch the movie “Blindside.” It chronicles Michael’s story in a very compassionate way and reminds me that no matter what obstacles may be put in front of me I can always succeed if I want something bad enough even though the deck is stacked high against me.

On Wednesday evening the site for a Dinner Reception will be at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. It promises for great evening in a relaxed environment and fun.

You have to show up for the Fire and Ice Partner Party on Monday from 7:30 to 11:00 This year partner appreciation party will offer live music, games, great food and drink, plus other surprises. You won’t want to miss one-of-a-kind performances by talented musicians from all across the Sage partner community, who are going to rock out together at the party!

I could go on about what is shaping up for an incredible event, but simply put don’t miss out on attending.

On a personal note I love going to the National Conference and making new friends and catching up with old ones. I get to spend time with some of my favorite Sage people. One of my goals early on was to meet this partner who is highly visible with his online presence, Wayne Schulz. He and I now talk each week about all things Sage and I consider Wayne a good friend. If it weren’t for Insights I would have never had the opportunity to meet him. I also try my best to get to each of Ed Kless’s sessions as they’re always jam packed with great information. 

This is shaping up to be a benchmark conference, one that will stand out as a template for future conferences. Don’t miss out on this annual event. It’s far too important to not attend. For more nformation go to:  http://sagesummit.com

I hope to see each of you there.