Never Ask a Cancer Patient This……….

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I’ve heard strange questions or statements from people about being diagnosed with cancer. The following statement takes the “Heres Your Sign” Award for September. Let me know if you heard something better.

I ran into a friend at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago who I’ve haven’t seen in a couple of years. He said that he had heard that I had terminal cancer, I confirmed the rumor to which he replied “So when are you going to die?”

I think that this question falls under the heading of ignorant. I’m still stable & kicking.

Remember that no matter how Peter Bill Waynebad your life may seem at the       time there is always someone else who’s life is worse and your life will get better

the doctors continue to tell me that I’m stable

.

Bill

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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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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 To Wear, What To Wear @ Sage Summit 2012

I get teased a lot because I don’t know how to pack lightly. I operate under the “You Just Never Know” Theory when it comes to travelling.

A man writing a blog about what to wear to a conference? If you are Wayne Schulz or Robert Wood you pack 2 pair of socks, 1 pair of tennis shoes, 1 semi dress pair, 2 pair of Dockers, 2 Polo Short Sleeved Shirts, & assorted accessories. Nothing has to match, just has to be comfortable and ready.

Sometimes I wish it were that easy for me. It just isn’t. I like wearing suits, sport coats & wool gabardine slacks with matching shirts & shoes. I probably spend more making sure everything is dry cleaned and laundered PRIOR to a trip that some people spend at the dry cleaners in an entire year. I’m not bragging, it is an affliction to which there is no cure.

We’re only 3 weeks away from attending Sage Summit 2012. Prior to leaving San Diego I think that it’s time to get out the checklist. If you’re like me, you’ll discover that if I don’t prepare a checklist I’ll always end up 1 pair of socks short, too few business cards, forgot toothpaste, brought 2 bottles of shampoo, no conditioner. You name it, I’ve forgot it on one trip or another. That’s why I pack like I’m leaving for a year around the world.

Belove I’ve included the average temperature & humidity for Nashville just in case you’re wondering about what to wear.

Nashville Average Humidity August

Airline Ticket √
Sage Summit Registration √
Room Reservation √
Luggage √
4 Suits √
2 Pair Slacks √
1 Pair Jeans √
8 Shirts, Dress
2 Casual √
3-4 Pair of Shoes,
Including Flip Flops√

Average August Temperature Nashville

6-8 Pair of Socks √
6-8 Pair of Underwear √
3 Belts √
4 Tee Shirts √
Assorted Toiletries √
Laptop √
iPad √
Camera √
Cell Phone √
Chargers For Laptop, iPad, Camera, Cell Phone √
Extra “AA & “AAA “Batteries for Any Emergency √
Necessary Travel Documents √I enjoy wearing suits at conferences so I need those. I have to wear different shirts to match the suits, sports coats, etc.  Of course extra socks & underwear are a must & different shoes for each suit are very important. There’s nothing worse than wearing a black suit & the wrong shoes or socks.

Should be all set, right? Wrong. Don’t forget your wallet! I’ve done that before also. If it can be forgotten I’ve forgotten it on some trip to somewhere.

This list looks like a list for a man, but it can be used just as easy for women.

I think that someone could make a decent living as professional packers. Hand them your list, they go through it with you, and voila your only job is to get to the airport in time. She’s already packed your luggage in your car and included your entire itinerary and any other necessary documentation.

I recently purchased a new large piece of London Fog luggage and I feel very compelled to fill it. One of the local luggage stores was having a killer sale on London Fog luggage. Had to have it! Retail Therapy is so rewarding & satisfying (until you get the credit card bill)

One item that is HIGHLY recommend  is a light coat. Longer Flights  tend to get chilly and so do the Session Rooms. This reminder comes from #SageSummit so I would pay extra attention to it.

Above all, get there safe and on time, dress accordingly and if the airline loses your luggage you can participate in one of my other favorite hobbies and that’s shopping. Gaylord Opryland has a couple of shops to purchase something new.

Yeah, I know I’m a guy & I should honor the Man Code & not admit to enjoy shopping so much.

HAVE FUN!!

Another (2) Reason(s) To Attend Sage Summit 2012

One of my goals at my early Insights was to meet these two guys listed below. The first was Ed Kless and I would attend every one of Ed’s Sessions, sit in the front row where I made sure Ed could see me and then I’d spend the entire hour thinking of questions to ask. (Some were good, some weren’t) I went to Sage Consulting Academy in Dallas and I still think it’s one of the best investments that any VAR can make and it doesn’t have to be just for your consulting staff. I’m Sales oriented and found it to be invaluable. Since those early days Ed has had a positive influence on me and when I really have an issue I know I can call him and get the feedback that I need. With his travel schedule it makes it a little tough, but I know he’s just a phone call away.

When I first started working at Blytheco somehow a newsletter came through my e-mail from some guy named Wayne Schulz and after a few weeks of deleting them I started to read them. I was surprised that this VAR from small town Glastonbury, CT. had his pulse on the Sage environment and that so many people knew him. As with Ed I met Wayne at an Insights meeting because I wanted to get to know him better and find out more about him, how he got his information (He still won’t tell me) and only using information that he could confirm.

What I found from both Ed & Wayne was that you can succeed and still hold on to your core values.

I asked Wayne and Ed to be Managers on the Sage LinkedIn group because I trust their judgement and know that they have solid reputations in the Sage Software World. There’s been times when I would see a post that would send me flying through the roof and I would run it by them only to hear that I needed to come in off the ledge. Neither of them are “Yes” Men. If they disagree they’ll let you know.

Wayne and I talk 2-5 times weekly with most calls running 30 minutes or so and the topics are of a wide variety but mostly center around what’s going on at Sage, who he just saw at the Indian Casino and his family.

I sometimes think about what would have happened if I hadn’t trusted my gut instincts and taken the chance to meet this guys.

So if you’re going to Summit for the 1st time and are looking to maintain new relationships, work the floor and don’t stop working it until you can’t walk anymore. Wayne is always surprised at how many people I know at Summit. I’ve just made it a goal and if I can help someone feel a little bit more comfortable in a sea of nameless faces then I’ve accomplished what I’ve watched people like Ed & Wayne do for years.

Have fun and I’m looking forward to another Sage Summit and I’m anxious to see what Danielle and her team have up their sleeve.

BTW: Tomorrow 7/10 is Wayne’s birthday. Drop him a Happy Birthday wish and if he wants to share his advanced age with you that’s his business.

Are You In Or Out? ~ Sage Summit 2012

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

“I go to Summit annually to see old friends and create new relationships, but more importantly I go because I know my competition is going to be there.” Brandt Morrell, President and COO of Altec 

There has been much discussion about the value of attending Sage Summit 2012 Conference, which is being held in Nashville in August at the Gaylord Opryland.

Add to the mix that there have been many changes recently starting with CEO Pascal Houllion’s Opening Keynote last year about the new re-branding strategy to the recent “Journey of Transformation” announcements and one could come to the conclusion that attendance may be a bit light. 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 2012.

 In a following blog will be my Annual Top 10 Vendors/Booths  to see. Don’t miss them!

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 decipher what is said and more importantly what’s not said, find Wayne Schulz and tag along. 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 .

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 BP’s or third party solution providers who will gladly share their knowledge with you. I have spent many hours talking with other partners, providers and executives about the direction that our industry is headed.

How do you put a price tag on industry information you receive at Summit? What about face time with Sage executives?  Where else can you visit directly with 3rd party representatives all in one room? 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, covering Sage products, upgrades, changes, new products etc.

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’ll keep getting what you get. If you want something new you’re going to have to try something new.”  ~ Author Unknown ~

I have spoken to BP’s who have concerns that they have never written any new business while attending Summit. Then there’s that have bought booth space, brought a large contingency from their office, who collect business cards & found that most of those cards belonged to other Business Partners and not potential new opportunities. Is it worth the expenditure? How do I justify the costs? I can’t build an acceptable ROI from attending. How much business will I miss out on while I’m at Summit? These are all valid questions and concerns. Brandt Morrell, President and COO of Altec which provides productivity enhancing technologies for Sage partners  and is a long time Summit supporter wrapped it up very neatly in a recent one on one conversation. “I go to Summit annually to see old friends and create new relationships, but more importantly I go because I know my competition is going to be there.”

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 and the best you get is the infamous Clown Car; or going on vacation to the North Pole in January wearing shorts, flip flops & sun tan lotion, with your surfboard and golf clubs; you’re going to be disappointed by setting up unrealistic expectations. A lot of companies look at expenditures that don’t provide immediate revenue as having no value. Unless there’s a dollar amount involved most Partners don’t get it. I think of activities like conferences the same as I do Spring Training, (that’s baseball for the uninformed.) The chances of having a productive year without Spring Training are very small, even for perennial powerhouses like the Yankees or the Boston Red Sox.

To the partners who don’t get it, there are three questions you need 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 and add to my offerings to my customers and prospects?
Am I part of the problem or am I part of the solution?

Come to Nashville & see the changes that are happening at Sage and in our industry. You’re going to be surprised and more importantly you’re going to go back to your business with new tools, ideas and a new attitude and isn’t life itself about how you approach it?

I think so and I hope to see each of you in Tennessee.