SBS training

Had a good days training at the Small Business Exam Cram today. Today was mainly focussed on the Sales & Marketing aspect of the system but we also went through the initial install and configuration of the server. Everyone had a laptop with SBS running in a virtual pc and it was soooooo slow. It was comforting to find that it was slow on these laptops though as I was wondering if I had something wrong on my install of sbs on my own laptop which was also incredibly slow (although once the system is up and running it’s not too bad).

During lunch, most of the attendees got out their work laptops and surfed to get email, messages from work, did some work or in some cases just watched the IT Crowd from Channel 4 which you can’t get in america now 🙁
Anyway – the funny thing was that the couple of guys behind me were complaining about how bad the network was after everyone had fired their laptops up – and blaming it on the bandwidth hogs of vpn, remote desktop and other such tools (that I was using). Mind you – you’d be crazy to not use vpn or rdp in a room of techies as there were quite a few copies of ethereal and network sniffers running. What I did find amazing was that the people using outlook2003 all complained that they weren’t able to contact their servers back at the office due to the bandwidth requirements, but I had the once in a lifetime opportunity of saying “If you were using Lotus Notes you wouldn’t have that problem” and actually meaning it. Normally I’m *blaming* Lotus Notes for causing me problems.

We were given homework to do tonight – to complete the Sales and Marketing assessment which was actually fairly easy – especially as you can keep retaking it (for free) until you achieve a passing score – it took me 2 attempts! The scary thing about this is that you are then halfway to becoming a Small Business Specialist, and so is the company that you work for. Some discussion this morning took place about Best Buy and the Geek Squad going for Small Business Training and how they were trying to get the Small Business Specialist certification – this was a worrying prospect for a lot of the consultants as they can’t compete on price (which a lot of small businesses will focus on) and they are nervous about the fact that it is unlikely that the Geek Squad are going to do a very good job. It was even more disconcerning when I pointed out that in theory the GeekSquad only needs *1 person* to get the qualification and then the whole company, countrywide, can claim Small Business Specialist accreditation. To me that is just wrong (although it was pointed out that it is more likely that each branch is going to go for accreditation individually) but it does make you think……..