This annual conference is being held this year at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN and represents an opportunity for Sage consultants working with all the different products to gather and learn what is new with the software and interact with management to provide product suggestions.
This year there will be no awards gala or comedian, instead those in attendance will have additional business building trade show time. There remains an event night on Wednesday with Thursday bringing baseball legend Cal Ripken in (warning cliche ahead) — to bat cleanup.
Want to Meet Other Consultants To Share Ideas? Sign Up On The Sage Insights Facebook Event Page
Have you visited the Sage Insights Facebook event page? It’s a place where you can indicate whether you are attending Insights 2009. The benefit of using this page is you can become “friends” with other users who are also attending Insights.
Most of the value (for me) from the Insights reseller conference is from meeting other users and consultants just like yourself. Keep in touch with these people throughout the year and share ideas, technical information and gain lots more knowledge than you might otherwise be able to accumulate by yourself.
Navigate here to the Facebook event page for Insights 2009 where other consultants are indicating whether they are going to be traveling to Insights. Sign up today.
It’s not an officially sanctioned Sage page – so don’t scream at Sage if something doesn’t about the page does look just right.
But it is a great place to see who has confirmed that they are attending Insights 2009.
Remember – lots of value comes from networking with other consultants. Sharing ideas about things that you’ve implemented (or are thinking about implementing).
Sage have published a list of 10 reasons their consultants should attentd Insights 2009 (displayed below at the end of this article).
While the list is interesting – quite a bit of the items could happen anywhere (for example management could update us via phone or remote web sessions).
Here are my top 10 reasons you MUST attend Sage Insights 2009:
Ed Kless, Rob Johnson and their staff: If you haven’t been to the sessions with either of these guys – then this is the year to go. They are both refreshingly candid, open to new idea and thinking outside the box with their approach to new marketing and pricing ideas. All of their sessions are about business building, sales and pricing. If you want a fighting chance to make more money in 2009 – you have to be in these sessions.
Observation: You need ONE new idea to make your trip worthwhile. You don’t have to implement everything discussed in these sessions … just one good idea will pay for your trip.
The Economy: Yes, the economy is in a collapse. As a result you have two options. Sit in the office at your desk and complain – or learn new ways to deal with the changing landscape. Go ahead and sit in your office and dream up new ways to bill for your services. Then implement them and hope you are right — or — come on down to Insights and talk with consultants who have already tried the ideas you are considering and learn what worked and what did not.
Over the last week I’ve emailed well over a dozen people from the Sage VARS LinkedIn group. Most of them were asking for information on how they could better design their technical support plans. While I don’t claim to have all the answers – I do have relevant, real world experience that I share pretty openly. Insights is all about making those connections to share information with your peers. From experience I can say that real world information from peers is 10 times better than classroom theory.
Erika Jelovsek: Have you met Erika before. She’s been at Sage since forever. Do you have a question about the MAS 90 product that you just can’t get answered? Erika’s your top resource. She’ll probably do a couple sessions herself and participate in the traditional closing session where consultants are asked for product suggestions. She knows everything about the MAS product line and can give you an answer to most questions (even if it involves explaining why something hasn’t been incorporated as a feature).
90 Minds: A little over 4 years ago I formed a very informal group with 25+ top MAS90 consultants. We keep in close contact via email messages. On any given month we exchange close to 600(!) messages between ourselves. A lot of these messages are consultant to consultant technical support. Some of the consultants in our group act as subcontractors to others and perform services such as advanced Crystal Reports and data imports. My little group isn’t accepting new members – however you have a great chance to create your own group and keep in touch with top notch consultants who you see annually at Insights. This little group has paid for itself about 100 times over. Find me at Insights and I’ll explain to you how you can setup your own group for no money and keep in touch with your own network of consultants on any product line that you represent.
The Old Ways Of Billing and Doing Business Have Changed: If you’re still billing for product support by the hour – you probalby have becoming increasingly frustrated by the amount of time that suddenly becomes “no charge” because it involved a “quick question”. Wouldn’t both you and your client be better off with a fixed billing arrangement – where the annual support costs were known in advance. There’s lots to learn on how to do this and there are many consultants who have successfully implemented this fee structure. The easiest way to interact with them (and learn) is by visiting Insights, attending the sessions related to the topic, and then cornering the smart consultants in the hallway and asking more questions. Be proactive!
Location: This reason has nothing to do with busines. The Grand Ole Opry is located directly behind the conference center. There’s a mall (Bass Pro Shops) located just a little further. This is not one of those convention centers where you have to take a $50 taxi trip to get to a restaurant. There are lots of choices for entertainment and dining within easy walking distance of the hotel.
Product Updates and Roadmaps: Clients expect you to be up to date on the latest news about what is planned for their software. If you can’t provide them with information on the latest releases the clients invariably may deem the upgrades not worthwhile and stop enlistng your upgrade services.
Social Media: I’m going to participate in a session on Social Media – that’s the timewasters like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Hopefully none of my competitors will come to see me because I have a few discoveries that I’ll share about gaining an unbelievable amount of web visitors with no money and no expensive (and worthless) Google Adwords.
Observation: Ignore almost everything you see other consultants doing online (buying Google adwords, exchanging links with irrelevant sites to build pagerank). I’ve got the best solutioni to gaining visibility on the web and I’m sharing with anyone who asks!
Jodi Uecker Rust: Sage just hired Jodi. Do you have any idea who she is? If so, you’ll want to listen to anything she has to say at sessions or keynotes. I have not yet spotted her on the speakers list — but when/if she appears I’m making a bee line for her session. In case you didn’t know – Jodi was Doug Burgum’s right hand during many years at Great Plains. And in the late 1980’s Great Plains was widely regarded as the most channel friendly organization on Earth (I still remember going to partner meetings where the regional representatives were able to tell me more about Sage than even I knew).
You Want To Grow and Not Tread Water: Finally I think anyone who is looking to grow needs multiple opinions. If you’re thinking of implementing a new service offering — why not ask another consultant what their experience with the service has been BEFORE you sink money into the product. If you’re contemplating a change in procedure (billing, support, etc) – ask someone who has already tried what you’re contemplating. The advice that you can obtain (all free) from consultants will save you many many hours and dollars of expensive learning!
Sage’s 10 Reasons To Attend Insights 2009
And finally, here’s the 10 reasons that Sage offers for attending their 2009 Insights conference in Nashville, TN.