IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

MVP Nation 2012 to Focus on Windows 8 Release

SMB Nation's second annual MVP Nation will take place March 2-3, 2012, at the Microsoft Redmond campus. The event is dedicated to the upcoming Windows 8 preview. By Elaine J. Hom

As the IT world eagerly awaits release of Windows 8, SMB Nation will present the first Windows 8 conference, MVP Nation. Taking place March 2-3 on Microsoft's Redmond campus at the Microsoft Conference Center, SMB Nation's event is entirely dedicated to the much-hyped preview of Windows 8, slated for February 29, 2012. With speakers and attendees including Microsoft's MVPs, the event will offer key educational sessions and networking opportunities.

"We have MVPs speaking on technical deep dives on the Windows 8 preview," says Harry Brelsford, chairman and founder of SMB Nation. "We feel honored to have an early voice in the conversation with the world's leading speakers, the MVPs themselves. We've got the experts, we've got the timing, and we've got the topic. This is a significant release – even though [the release of] Windows 7 looked major, this is the big one."

Sessions will include extensive Windows 8 coverage, as well as MVP best practices sessions. Brelsford's target audience for the event includes channel pros, Microsoft MVPs, and IT managers who outsource their Microsoft work to service providers. According to Brelsford, one of MVP Nation's goals is to help Microsoft MVPs become better members of the community, including a curriculum on communication and becoming published.

"[As an MVP], you reach a point in your career where communications is how you make more money," says Brelsford. MVPs are always complimentary at MVP Nation, providing an opportunity for channel pros to network with these Microsoft experts.

With Windows 8 being the focus of the event, slated speakers include Windows experts, including editor of Windows 8 Update, Onuora Amobi. Amobi, who will be part of the Windows 8 expert panel, sees the Windows 8 release as game changing in terms of operating systems, uniting PCs and mobile devices.

"It's going to offer integration across the entire Microsoft architecture, including tablets, laptops, desktops, maybe even Xbox," says Amobi. "There will be improvements in security, more flexibility in integration and deployment, and changes in the coding architecture. For the first time, applications will be able to be written once and modified slightly to run on multiple platforms, including mobile devices." Brelsford agrees that Windows 8 will be revolutionary for customers in terms of functionality, but channel pros should also consider the sales opportunity side.

"The hidden jewel is going to be the training opportunities," says Brelsford. "I predict our guys can find 8 hours of training, or one billable day, per customer with a [Windows 8] upgrade." According to SMB Nation's research, the average SMB channel pro services about 24 customers. "That's a billable month of revenue right there from Windows 8 training."

Attendees can look forward to two days of sessions at MVP Nation, including best practices, such as business continuity. Sessions dedicated to Windows 8 will run the gamut, including deep dives on tablets, virtualization, configuration and more. To register and to view more information on the March 2-3 event, visit

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