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Harry Brelsford Does It Again
SMB Nation Unveils Pocket MBA 2.0 for MSPs and IT Professionals

[Full disclosure: The blog subject doesn’t know I’ve written this. Nor did he ask me to…]

I’ve known Harry Brelsford for over twelve years, and what I like about him most is his ability to reinvent himself and offer continued value to the small and medium business (SMB) channel. We’ve shot the breeze on several occasions regarding ‘what ifs’ in the industry, and often agree regarding the ubiquitous role of technology as a critical platform and tool in 21st Century society.

Lest one thinks he’s yet another self-appointed expert capitalising on recent trends with rehashed or borrowed content, it might be useful to know he’s written 17+ SMB technology books as author and/or co-author. The underlying theme is “Trusted Business Advisor” for consultants/channel partners implementing SMB technology solutions in the network infrastructure (e.g. Microsoft Small Business Server) and VoIP areas (Microsoft Response Point).

Brelsford founded SMB Nation, a publishing and events entity which serves SMB channel partners and consultants - a portal that helps over 36,000 customers (known as tribal members) navigate the SMB technology opportunity - in good times and bad.

SMB PC magazine has told the SMB channel “story” for several years, and has over 40,000 quarterly readers.

Harry’s group also hosts an annual October event in Las Vegas which draws 600+ SMB channel partners, 50+ expert speakers and 100+ sponsors. Its annual May event in New York is similarly successful.

Did I mention the HQ is right here in Kitsap on Bainbridge Island? Woot!

The latest coup is SMB Nation’s launch of a new online learning program for Managed Server Providers (MSPs), Valued added Resellers (VARs) and other IT professionals interested in developing their understanding of best business practices, sales and marketing, and business consulting.

Pocket MBA 2.0 was announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto days ago. The programme is a six course, 12-week online education experience that provides practical, outcome-based business education. The curriculum includes content on sales and marketing strategy, business analysis and process, income generation, operations and other business fundamentals.

The courses take a hands-on, case study driven, practical approach to teaching participants how to engage effectively with the broader business community and integrate business consulting best practices into their existing IT consultancy or solution provider business model.

You have to hand it to Harry and co: they’ve come up with a much-needed offering which bridges gaps whilst benefitting both tech and business communities. And at a reasonable investment of time and money.

Doña Keating is President and CEO of Professional Options, a prominent innovator in the policy and management consulting industry which provides solutions for businesses, organisations and governmental agencies. She is also a principal in K2 Strategic Solutions, a partnership between Professional Options and Keating Consulting Service which has a combined 50 year history of providing information technology, policy, and management consulting. Keating’s latest book, “How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Nonprofit Hell”, offers pithy observations and solutions borne of decades of service on non profit boards and committees, advising them, or facilitating executive retreats.

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