Saying goodbye to Tom Miller – or – what do you do when Superman retires? by Peter Wolf on February 6, 2013

Tom Miller @ Sage Summit

Tom Miller @ Sage Summit

Tom Miller has announced that he will retire from Sage North America on March 29, 2013.

This is not new news – it’s been out there for a while now. It took me a while to figure out what I would like to say.

I would like to use this space and honor his legacy.

Personally I’ve always been the type of guy that likes to sharpen the saw by reading smart ideas by smart people presented in new and interesting ways. Yet, while reading these sources of information and inspiration, I’m always reminded of the classics – Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, Peter Drucker, Napoleon Hill – which, to me, are the fundamental sources upon which most other business philosophies are built upon.

I am not going out too far on a limb to say: Tom Miller is the embodiment of these fundamental sources of business inspiration.

He’s a living, breathing example of those classics.

I would challenge anyone to name a time where they interacted with Tom and didn’t come away richer for the experience. Whether it’s direct advice or, more likely than not, you walking away thinking you came up with a great idea even though he skillfully planted it, fed and watered it and helped it grow.

Tom has mastered the unbelievably difficult skill of helping others reach their potential. He’s not in the fish-handing-out business, he’s in the teaching-people-to-fish business.

He embodies the positive thinking, get ‘er done, 1 + 1 can equal 3 mentality that I aspire to maintain. Tom doesn’t see obstacles and problems, he sees opportunities and exciting challenges. Tom believes in the power of free enterprise and the ability of sharp business owners to find ways to create value for their customers, their partners and themselves.

And, as a software reseller, you can rest easy knowing that Tom has walked a mile (or two) in your shoes. He understands what it means to hump for sales and to motivate teams and to struggle to find talent and to keep customers happy.

He’s been there and done that. He knows your pain and, when he commiserates with you, you believe it and you feel it.

As such a staunch channel advocate, he has overseen a very difficult transition as Sage has made controversial (some would say necessary) moves to a more aggressive and more self-deterministic future that has changed the Sage channel dynamic. During this period, he has continued to advocate for Sage and the future of Sage while also continuing to provide a rich and deep set of partner services to help Sage channel partners transition to become Firms of the Future and learn self-sustaining skills in the Sales, Marketing and Consulting Academies.

Partners that have taken advantage of these – and other – programs provided by Tom’s team have come away stronger for the experience. I know that my company has.

Tom is also sharp as a tack. He understands the big picture and can dive down into the details when necessary. Present him with a problem that has been plaguing you for a while and he can distill it to its essence in a single conversation.

And he’ll have you walking away thinking you solved it on your own and the two of you just had a nice long chat.

I have only known Tom for a few brief years and – mostly due to his personal charisma and style – I consider him a teacher, a mentor and a friend. I feel fortunate to have met him, to know him and to see such a class act firsthand.

Tom epitomizes the ability of one man to create a cascading positive influence in the world.

If you’d like to leave a comment on Peter’s LinkedIn Post please click on this link  http://linkd.in/VOmvZN

Thank you, Tom.

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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.

Bienvenue vers l’Amérique, Pascal Houllion

Bienvenue vers l’Amérique, Pascal.

I hope that is the right verbiage for welcoming you to America.

For those that don’t know Sage had it Annual Conference this year at the Gaylord National Harbor. It was the first time that we had combined customers and partners together and the result has been, in this writer’s opinion, phenomenal.

What has stuck out for me is the transparency that the Sage executives have shown. They have been accessible, friendly and seemingly willing to listen to what is being said.

Our new CEO, Pascal Houllion comes from France and has been with Sage for the past 22 years. What has impressed me is his ability to “hang with the employees & partners” yet maintain that CEO image. On the bus ride back from the Museum last night, which was a fantastic evening and I hope that you all got the opportunity to try your hand at flying a jet in the simulators. I don’t think that we even came close to gunning down one enemy jet but the laughter that came from trying was worth it. 

But I digress, on the ride back we were talking about what I had been hearing from partners in terms of concerns, etc. and I also wanted to know what his priority list looked like. But he told the story of travelling with Himanshu Pasule and getting to a city where he was going to be for several days and his agenda had been filled with meetings. He kindly asked them to cancel all the meetings because what he wanted to do and has been doing since his arrival is going out and meeting partners and asking them what they needed, etc. When was the last time that we’ve had that from a CEO?

Laurie Schultz comes the closest with her Road Shows.

I want to single out another long time Sage executive, one that I got to spend some time with and that’s Himanshu Palsule. We were sitting outside the hotel and just started talking about things. I reminded him of the time that my sons came to the airport with their mother to pick me up from Insights in Orlando. He was so genuinely kind to them and was interested in what they had to say even though they were just 5 & 6 at the time. Small gestures like that go along way with me. They are the gestures of a genuinely kind person. We probably spent 45 minutes just talking about alot of different topics and I left to go to my room impressed one more time with Himanshu. So if you’re reading this at some point, Himanshu, thanks for your time that evening.

I want to point out one more Sage executive and then I’m going to head in another direction with this blog because I don’t want to feel like I’ve left anyone out. Laurie Schultz is as accessible an executive as anyone. This goes back to the Road Shows that she conducts and criss crosses the country to hear what we have to say, even when it can be a bit harsh she stands tall and doesn’t attempt to defend Sage’s position, she attempts to explain what Sage is doing, where Sage is going and the anticipated time it’s going to take to get there.

But what really showed me what type of a person she is was an email that I received from her back in April. My younger brother Tom had passed away and I wrote an open letter in the form of a blog to him and posted it. Her note was one of genuine concern and I was very touched by her small gesture of kindness.

Just an aside, please attend these Road Shows. Sage wants to know what you think and if you’re not attending these free events how can you expect any change? It’s incumbent upon us to let people know what we feel.

I could go on and on about the accesibility of the Executive Team, people like Tom Miller, (Does He Ever Stop Smiling?) Dennis Frahmann, Connie Certusi, the Events Team, you name them they have been very visible at this event and I’m sure that most partners would be happy about that.

Frankly, I don’t know how the Events Team is going to top this one but it will be fun to see and I hope that everyone comes back next year as we head to Nashville to see what we’ll do for Pascal’s 2nd Summit.