Jeff MiddletonYou need to be here in MAY!

We are just about two months out now, the IT Pro Conference is May 28 – 30, 2010 as the weekend in New Orleans, followed by the 5-Day Cruise Conference that leaves the dock May 31 to return that next Saturday. You are invited and I guarantee you will have a great education and a great time because I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Some people ask me "why do a cruise right after the weekend conference", and I have to laugh. Top answers are "why not do a cruise?", or 'because I can", or maybe just "come find out!" Mostly, it's because I find it great to take a break after all the work that goes into this conference, and I figure that inviting everyone to join me just seems like a great way to approach life. Work hard, play when you can, and bring your friends in on your best ideas.

Optimize: Get Better Reality

2009 has been the year everyone you know gave a lot more thought about business survival and core needs than they likely had done in the previous decade or more. This left me to wonder: What have we learned? What do we need to learn from this.
We all really do need to focus on our main business options day to day, week to week, right? You make sure you do thing right, minimize risks and focus on your core competency in business or a solid path of development in your career or industry. But when do you actually take time to improve on things in your business day to day without just doing the same thing as last week? Does it not seems obvious when you have to tighten your belt or weather a storm? Or how about when the best business opportunity this decade is starting NOW!
Optimize and Thrive: It means a better reality
When the bubble burst on Wall Street in 2008, it brought reality back to every level of business and finance. We all learned how well connected the world really is. Despite the thought that if you run your own business you can plan for anything, it depends upon the definition of “anything”. Reminds me of my discussions post-Katrina when I spoke of “what is normal”.
Why do so many business gurus say you must grow a business to survive? In part it’s because if your business is growing you are feeding opportunity, and accelerating cash flow which are good things. In a service business, it pays dividends to not over extend yourself, to optimize your operations, and be conservative with focus.
But another perspective on this is that if you follow a growth model, you are leading into a change pattern, growing out of constraints by bringing in new opportunities. But growth isn’t the only way to do this. You can shrink to a more stable condition, or just get more out of the work you do without changing size by cutting wasted effort or expense. Optimization can be truly free. Free as in it pays for itself, because you either cut costs from waste or you add value by focus on your bottom line or core needs. Maybe you just sit back for a minute to recognize what is actually working in your business, what is actually just spinning your wheels.
Virtualize the Grounded Traditions vs Optimize in the Clouds?
  • Some people believe that virtualization and cloud based computing will end the traditional SMB marketplace. Do you?

We are going to look at this as part of the conference session track, not because there's a position you must take, but there's definitely some consideration you need to think about.

  • If you think the jump to the cloud is going to fail for SMB, why not invest in the alternative that still optimizes virtualizations?
  • If you believe that the cloud is the key to the rest of this decade...where are you starting that journey. Why not ask your peers?
In 2008 the IT Pro Conference looked at Transitions and Upgrades, basically a tour of how change can be leveraged. Optimization is using the same concepts even smarter, looking at the right changes, the best leverage, and even the most conservative standing can be optimized.
Announcing the IT Pro Conference 2010 is a great honor for me because this event continues to celebrate the power and creative attitude of many people willing to “make it happen” each year. I get a chance to organize a collective brain dump on the SMB industry concerns and show everyone a great way to have fun in the process of meeting your peers at a conference. I’m as anxious as everyone else to get this thing on track and in action. I think you should sign up right now. 

- Jeff Middleton Founder of