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News
Sep
25
SMBKitchen at the SMBTechFest
Posted by amy on 25 September 2013 11:12 AM

We’re putting on a show with the SMBTechFest on October 19th! You can join us in-person or remotely. The content of this event is all about the future of supporting Small Business. Ideas for adjusting your IT business for continued success, training on implementing advanced solutions that your clients need for their on-premise solutions, and understanding the issues around security so you can bring these high value solutions to your clients. We’ll be diving into a discussion on what’s new for Small Business in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 too. Like all of the events that Third Tier does, it’s going to be a day packed full.

As Third Tier, we’re also going to bring you some extras too:

Join us the morning before (at 10am) for a tour of the Equus Computer Systems manufacturing facility. We’ll get to see how a $100 million dollar company builds servers and laptops from end to end. Later that same evening join us for a pre-party at Dave and Busters and we’ll buy the beer or soda. Come hang out with us and get to know your fellow attendees and speakers before the big day. Finally, Boon Tee is giving a copy of Windows Server Essentials Administrators Companion book to all attendees of the SMBTechFest!

That’s a lot of value. It’s $99 for the general public and $49 for SMBKitchen members. Get signed up here: http://www.smbtechfest.com/thirdtier

Amy Babinchak

Vision of the Future
Presenter: Amy Babinchak
Small business networks remained the same for many years. The standard was a server, some workstations and perhaps a networked printer. Many of us built our businesses on installing and maintaining those networks. Now things are changing rapidly and Amy predicts that cloud services will result in a 60% revenue loss from migration, installation and maintenance if she didn’t change a thing about her business. In this session she will share how she is changing her business, Harbor Computer Services, to meet the challenges ahead.
Amy Babinchak is a Small Business MVP and Owner Harbor Computer Services and Third Tier. Amy has been an ISA, EBS and SBS MVP and yet still contends that it’s not her fault that the products were cancelled. She has opened Harbor Computer Services as a firm specializing in small business technical support services in 2000 and Third Tier to assist other IT firms with technical challenges in 2008. She started into small business IT after realizing that they were not being taken seriously by most IT professionals. Amy has always enjoyed the business side of IT as much as the technical.

Boon Tee

Hyper-V Configurations for SMB with Replication
Presenter: Boon Tee
Boon Tee will examine how SMBs can benefit from Hyper-V Replication and how this can be implemented in small business scenarios. We will highlight the existing offerings and preview the upcoming new features of Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 R2.
Boon will also focus on providing Hyper-V on smaller scale clients under 10 users. The same concepts will apply to leveraging Replication in larger sized businesses. All without the big acronyms but rather focused on the solutions. Boon will show you how to identify great candidates for Replication deployments.
Boon Tee, has been working with computers and networks for almost 40 years. He is a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and Microsoft Small Business Specialist and has a degree in Computer Science from California State University (Fresno) with high honours, a MBA (University of South Australia) and an MA in Education (Flinders University). He has been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his contributions to Microsoft Small Business Server for 4 years. His experience covers support of larger networks from 100-500 computers down to repairs and upgrades of individual workstations and smaller networks of less than 10 computers. He has served as IT consultant for several organizations. He has extensive working knowledge of Microsoft Windows networks, including all versions of Microsoft Windows. Boon has also been active in hands on staff development and training for various organizations. He has taught part time at the Flinders University of South Australia, lecturing on computer and multimedia literacy. He recently authored a book entitled “An Administrators Guide to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Essentials.”
Currently, Boon operates PowerBiz Solutions, a computer technology solutions and managed services provider offering products and services to cater for small to medium sized businesses. He is currently Vice President of SMBiT Professionals Inc, a professional association of IT Businesses in Australia.

Phil Elder

Hyper-V Configurations for SMB with Clustering
Presenter: Phil Elder
Join Philip Elder as he walks through the Technical Gotchas for setting up Hyper-V Clusters on Intel Whitebox and Tier 1 systems. We will walk through some of the particulars such as server BIOS settings, working with SAS versus iSCSI, and other pearls not to be found in one place. Clustering focus will be for 15+ seats and the concepts will be applicable to larger sized installations.
Phillip will show you how to identify great candidates for Clustering deployments. Examples will abound as he has been selling clusters into SMB for over five years now so we will be able to discuss the practicalities of the sale.
Philip Elder own MPECS Inc. an IT Solutions Provider based out of St. Albert, Alberta Canada with his wife Monique. Together they have developed a broad range of products and services to provide the best all-around solution set to their clients. Philip initially honed his tech skills on Small Business Server and IT hardware. He is now focused on providing Microsoft Stack Solutions, Hyper-V Failover Clusters, with developing Microsoft Private Cloud Solutions. Philip has been an SBS MVP since 2009. He is certified on SBS 2008 Standard and 2011 Standard. He is also an author and prolific writer on their company blog, Microsoft forums, and other help forums on the InterWebs.

Susan Bradley

The state of SMB Security
Presenter: Susan Bradley
From bring your own vulnerability to ensuring your cloud data is accessed more by you than the hackers, join Susan as she identifies tools to help your clients protect their systems today from hackers, identity theft, banking protection as well has showcase where your next SMB server may be located. Learn how to better protect wireless and plan for device management. We will bring you up to date on Industry compliance changes, the latest news in the security industry and PCI-DSS trends. She’ll give a view of where we’re going by showing you servers running in Azure and how being in the cloud doesn’t necessarily ensure they are more secure and how you can help your client pick the right cloud services and be assured of their security.
Susan Bradley has been patching since before the Code Red/Nimda days and remembers exactly where she was when SQL slammer hit (i.e. trying to buy something on ebay and wondering why the Internet was so slow). She writes the Patch Watch column for Brian Livingston’s Windows Secrets, and was one of the authors of Windows Server 2008 Security Resource kit, and Small Business Server 2008 Unleashed. In real life she’s the IT wrangler at her firm, Tamiyasu, Smith, Horn and Braun, where she manages a fleet of Windows Servers, an Exchange Server, desktops, a few Macs, several Windows mobile and iPhones and tries to keep patches up to date on all of them. In addition, she provides forensic computer investigations for the litigation consulting arm of the firm. She blogs at www.sbsdiva.com on the topics of small business server, tech topics and whatever she stumbled over that day.

Speaker Panel

Speaker Panel
Presenter: All Speakers
The speakers will share their thoughts on what the biggest issues they personally have to tackle in the coming year are in their preparation for the future of small business IT. This includes the release of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1. Learn how they will adjust, rollout, and handle support of these platforms.

SMB TechFest Expo Hall

Expo Hall
Expo Solutions is open to all attendees. It’s open from 10:30am – 6:30pm. It’s your opportunity to engage and ask vendor questions on their products and offerings. See the latest technologies and learn about new sources of revenues.

SMB TechFest Expo Mixer

Expo Mixer
The Expo Mixer is open to all attendees. It’s from 5:00pm – 6:30pm. Join in social mingling with your peers and the event speakers. Event giveaways will be announced so be sure to turn in your Event Giveaway Passport sheet.

Days Schedule

Time
Event
Presenter
Topic Session

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Registration/Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Welcome & Kickoff

8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Session 1
Amy Babinchak
Vision of the Future

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Session 2
Boon Tee
Hyper-V Configurations for SMB with Replication

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 p.m.
Expo/Break

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Session 3
Phil Elder
Hyper-V Configurations for SMB with Clustering

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch/Expo

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Session 4
Susan Bradley
The state of SMB Security

2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Expo/Break & Snacks

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Session 5
All Speakers
Speaker Panel

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Expo/Break

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Expo Mixer/Prizes
Socialize with attendees and speakers

Online Remote attendees

SMB TechFest leverages today’s technology to offer a full online learning experience. You will learn and participate from the convenience of your local location. No travel required or the expenses. You will view live presentations including the speaker’s screen, voice, and video. Included is also chat to ask live questions of the speakers.


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Aug
21
SMBTechFest with the SMBKitchen Crew
Posted by amy on 21 August 2013 12:20 PM

On October 19th in Orange County California the SMBKitchen Project will be providing all of the technical content in this special edition of the SMBTechFest. Registration is open. This event will sell out so I suggest signing up immediately.

SMBKitchen members with a fully paid membership ($180 for the year) are eligible for a 50% discount off of the price of admission to this event. In addition you are invited to a special members only pre-event evening at Dave & Busters where we buy the beer (or soda). Register for the event at http://www.smbtechfest.com/thirdtier

Your cost for the party, breakfast, lunch, great content, and expo vendor hall and social is only $49!

Not a member of the SMBKitchen yet? Get your membership at http://www.thirdtier.net

 

At SMBTechFest We have a great 10 hour day planned with 5 educational sessions, breakfast, lunch, expo hall and vendor social. Here’s what we’ll be speaking about:

Speakers

Amy Babinchak

Vision of the Future
Presenter: Amy Babinchak
Small business networks remained the same for many years. The standard was a server, some workstations and perhaps a networked printer. Many of us built our businesses on installing and maintaining those networks. Now things are changing rapidly and Amy predicts that cloud services will result in a 60% revenue loss from migration, installation and maintenance if she didn’t change a thing about her business. In this session she will share how she is changing her business, Harbor Computer Services, to meet the challenges ahead.

Boon Tee

Hyper-V Configurations for SMB with Replication
Presenter: Boon Tee
Boon Tee will examine how SMBs can benefit from Hyper-V Replication and how this can be implemented in small business scenarios. We will highlight the existing offerings and preview the upcoming new features of Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 R2.
Boon will also focus on providing Hyper-V on smaller scale clients under 10 users. The same concepts will apply to leveraging Replication in larger sized businesses. All without the big acronyms but rather focused on the solutions. Boon will show you how to identify great candidates for Replication deployments

Phil Elder

Hyper-V Configurations for SMB with Clustering
Presenter: Phil Elder
Join Philip Elder as he walks through the Technical Gotchas for setting up Hyper-V Clusters on Intel Whitebox and Tier 1 systems. We will walk through some of the particulars such as server BIOS settings, working with SAS versus iSCSI, and other pearls not to be found in one place. Clustering focus will be for 15+ seats and the concepts will be applicable to larger sized installations.
Phillip will show you how to identify great candidates for Clustering deployments. Examples will abound as he has been selling clusters into SMB for over five years now so we will be able to discuss the practicalities of the sale.

Susan Bradley

The state of SMB Security
Presenter: Susan Bradley
From bring your own vulnerability to ensuring your cloud data is accessed more by you than the hackers, join Susan as she identifies tools to help your clients protect their systems today from hackers, identity theft, banking protection as well has showcase where your next SMB server may be located. Learn how to better protect wireless and plan for device management. We will bring you up to date on Industry compliance changes, the latest news in the security industry and PCI-DSS trends. She’ll give a view of where we’re going by showing you servers running in Azure and how being in the cloud doesn’t necessarily ensure they are more secure and how you can help your client pick the right cloud services and be assured of their security.

Speaker Panel

Speaker Panel
Presenter: All Speakers
The speakers will share their thoughts on what the biggest issues they personally have to tackle in the coming year are in their preparation for the future of small business IT. This includes the release of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1. Learn how they will adjust, rollout, and handle support of these platforms.

We’d love to see each and everyone of you in Irvine California at our private party and the SMBTechFest but if you really can’t make it we’ve made arrangements to broadcast all of the sessions and provide powerpoints to you as well. Registration is at http://www.smbtechfest.com/thirdtier


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Apr
22
SMBKitchen Authors Chat
Posted by amy on 22 April 2013 07:52 PM

Tonight, April 22nd we held the April edition of the SMBKitchen Authors chat. We are holding these once a month for subscribers to the SMBKitchen Project. At these chats we talk about items recently published, those coming up and we answer questions from the subscribers. Susan Bradley, Kevin Royalty, Phillip Elder, Boon Tee and Amy Babinchak were the authors on hand. Susan talked about April’s rather dramatic kb releases and how this is one of the very rare times that Microsoft is saying to uninstall a patch even if you aren’t experiencing problems. She also discussed her upcoming wireless security publication. Kevin chimed in during the Exchange portion talked about the build day that he just ran on installing Essentials with a side server of Exchange. He’ll be publishing some configuration tips on making that work. He also has a printer management and terminal server policy documents in the works. Phil published his Windows 8 hyper-v lab setup video and will be following that up with a couple of Hyper-V client proposals documents. One on consulting discussion and the second actual hardware scenarios. Boon let us in on his upcoming documents on hyper-v configuration best practices. We discussed a bit about Kerio, Linux deployments, Office 365, Lync Calling, MultiPoint and Storage Spaces. It was a jammed packed hour that really flew by!

Not a subscriber yet? Join in. It’s $180 for the full year, paid at $15 per month. http://www.thirdtier.net and learn more.

This chat occurs in both audio and text. The content of these chats are more audio than text but he’s a slice of what we covered. If you are a subscriber the audio portion of this chat is available in the knowledgebase (or will be very shortly).

Susan Bradley [6:10 PM]: I’m working on a BYOdevice/securing wireless doc up next. Now they need to repeat all over the place

Rusty Brown [6:12 PM]: I am new here, Did Philip get his Hyper-V proposal doc uploaded?

Boon Tee [SBS-MVP] [6:12 PM]: Upcoming: Working with HyperV and Essentials Best Practices Recommendations

Donald Elam [6:17 PM]: Has anyone been updated to the new Office 365 upgrade? Neither my acount nor my one Office 365 customer have been upgraded yet. Thanks.

Amy Babinchak [6:18 PM]: Some of my clients have updated to wave-15 O365 but unfortunately my account hasn’t yet. Frustrating…

Rusty Brown [6:18 PM]: Amy do you have plans to get more in depth on Office 365, I am fairly good with Office 365 and tools but one thing that that I have not been able to get working is linking outside tenants.  Some of my installs would like to Lync call each other.  You talked about DNS settings at the Sac IT Pro meeting, other than the ones show in the admin portal have you found others? I have over a dozen upgraded Office 365 clients and have 6 more this week

Philip Elder [6:19 PM]: We have Wave 15 O365 on our in-house hosted accounts (MS Partner stuff)

David [6:19 PM]: Can we get those KB #s typed in here?

Susan Bradley [6:19 PM]: kb2823324

Amy Babinchak [6:20 PM]: Rusty I’ll talk about that in a few minutes here.

Susan Bradley [6:20 PM]: 2808735

David [6:21 PM]: Are these listed as Optional or recommended?

Susan Bradley [6:24 PM]: 2823324 has been pulled off of the update servers, 2808735 is a security bulletin, but I don’t feel the attack threat is great enough. Boon is now talking about hyperV replica docs he’s working on

Victor Camacho [6:24 PM]: Boon – Anything on storage spaces config with hyper-v?

David [6:26 PM]: Excuse the ignorance, but what are storage spaces?

Susan Bradley [6:26 PM]: recommended book I just got that I just started reading – http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Server-Hyper-V-Installation-Configuration/dp/1118486498/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366669538&sr=1-1&keywords=windows+2012+hyperv

Boon Tee [SBS-MVP] [6:26 PM]: Storage Spaces is a new feature introduced in WS2012.

Susan Bradley [6:26 PM]: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/storage-spaces-explained-a-great-feature-when-it-works/

Boon Tee [SBS-MVP] [6:27 PM]: I like the way Susan has all these links ready to paste and go at her fingertips :-) +1 for the HyperV book. However, one needs to filter out what are Enterprise features from what will be useful in SMB.

Victor Camacho [6:29 PM]: I thought storage spaces was software raid.

Rusty Brown [6:29 PM]: I thought Storage spaces is the grandson of windows home server ‘drive extender’ and we know what happen with that on v2

David [6:31 PM]: Much like these NAS drives that Netgear and other vendors have? 

Susan Bradley [6:32 PM]: Also found out that Refs is not supported to be backed up to Azure online backup

Rusty Brown [6:32 PM]: I can

Susan Bradley [6:36 PM]: I think they are porting MSN more over into Skype

Amy Babinchak [6:37 PM]: I do Drobo for a couple of clients. runtime.org GetDataBack tool

Donald Elam [6:41 PM]: I was told by Office 365 support that they were upgrading the smallest customers first. My small 2 mailbox account and my customer’s 5 mailbox account haven’t been upgraded yet, so they must be using other criteria in addition to size. It is very frustrating.

Victor Camacho [6:41 PM]: Yes Philip, I agree. I assumed storage spaces was along the way of zfs.

Rusty Brown [6:42 PM]: Philip I was looking at your Hyper -V video, what motherboard did you use? and how were the SSDs connected?

Philip Elder [6:42 PM]: @Rusty Intel DX79SR

Susan Bradley [6:42 PM]: play now

Philip Elder [6:42 PM]: SSDs are hooked into the primary SATA controller using RAID 5 (software)

Victor Camacho [6:43 PM]: I have been able to take a set of 4 drives out of one server and restore that storage space on a different system. I have found it cool.

David [6:45 PM]: Just coming in on SMBKitchen, so this may have already been discussed.  Right now, the only migration path for SBS 2003 to SBS 2012 is an interim step to SBS 2011; is that correct?

Philip Elder [6:45 PM]: @David … just VM 2008R2 and Exchange 2010 SP3

Susan Bradley [6:45 PM]: David – no, and you mean Windows 2012 essentials?

Philip Elder [6:46 PM]: @David – assuming you are talking about the Exchange portion that is :)

Susan Bradley [6:46 PM]: David = to go to Exchange 2013 from Exchange 2003 you need to go through Exchange 2010, but it doesn’t have to be SBS 2011

Rusty Brown [6:49 PM]: thumbs up on Migration Wiz just completed at SBS 2003 migration this last weekend, they can be used to move on premise too

Rusty Brown [6:52 PM]: Kevin, have you found a way do Virtual Desktop with a hosted MSP2012 (vm)?

Keithc [6:55 PM]: Anybody using Kerio?

Amy Babinchak [6:55 PM]: Keith Third Tier uses Kerio on Linux

Keithc [6:56 PM]: Sounds like Exchange standalone may be just too big for the SMB. Any thoughts on Kerio instead?

Susan Bradley [6:56 PM]: depends on the number of employees, my Kerio guru folks say less than 25 is okay, bigger than that, Exchange shines

Philip Elder [6:57 PM]: Exchange 2013 is awesome. I _really_ like the changes in management and features.

Susan Bradley [6:57 PM]: it depends on the size of those mailboxes

Rusty Brown [6:58 PM]: VDI for Win7, cool

Susan Bradley [7:00 PM]: VDI for MultiPoint 2012?  (just trying to figure out what you meant by MSP 2012?

Rusty Brown [7:01 PM]: yes, needed Win7 Virtual desktops and looked at MPS but ran into a problem when I needed SBSe and MSP on the same hardware.   Ended up using ThinSoft on a Win7 desktop and HP Thin clients

Susan Bradley [7:02 PM]: Multipoint vdi is limited vdi deployment

Victor Camacho [7:03 PM]: Amy – which Linux are you using. I still have a client using Novell Suse Linux and mail is Groupwise.

Susan Bradley [7:04 PM]: Big red books! :-)

Victor Camacho [7:05 PM]: Yes, Susan I remember the Big Red Books:D.

Rusty Brown [7:06 PM]: Amy I would like to see how your Lync Online is setup

Amy Babinchak [7:07 PM]: Sure Rusty, I can send you a couple of screenshots. As I said at the usergroup though, check you DNS. And after you’re sure it’s correct have another look becasue there’s probably something not right about DNS.

Anthony [7:08 PM]: I have exchange 2013 on premise installed but keep getting the following warning 6002 MSExchange Mid-tier storage, 1035 MSExchangeFrontEndTransport, 1023 Perflib and 1012 MSExchangeIS

Amy Babinchak [7:08 PM]: We have a saying at Third Tier “It’s always DNS”

Rusty Brown [7:08 PM]: I really want to get Bob to using Lync for the meeting the tool he has now is painful, thanks

Amy Babinchak [7:08 PM]: I think he might be seeing the light soon. Lync is a good meeting tool

Anthony [7:08 PM]: Does anyone know how I can stop this event warning

Philip Elder [7:09 PM]: @Anthony, Exchange 2013 is really noisey in the logs … especially after CU1

Susan Bradley [7:09 PM]: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchangesvrgeneral/thread/d79b3278-46b5-4497-ace9-933b6f64f1c9/  that’s what it’s pointing to there as well

Philip Elder [7:09 PM]: So far though, CU1 has resolved a lot more than it created. ;)


So who wrote this blog and what do they do for a living anyway?
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Jan
14
Topics for Enterprise Solutions for Small Business
Posted by amy on 14 January 2013 08:47 AM

As I mentioned before to be successful in small business consulting we have to be wide and deep. You have to be “in the know”. We’re going down the path where there is no one size fits all, no magic solution that covers enough of the marketplace that you don’t have to worry about what else is out there or how to manage it. Today you really do have to know it all. All does include both Cloud and Premise solutions and it is quite likely that every client will have some of both. The only way to get to that point is to keep your ears and eyes open for changes both monumental (SBS end of life and death of Postini) and subtle (Office licensing changing and Microsoft Accounts).

Consulting Pieces – Business Value Proposition

Technology Pieces – Server 2012 · Hyper-V · Exchange 2013 · Terminal Server/ Multipoint · WSUS · DHCP, DNS · Backup and Disaster Recovery · Remote Access · Security Best practices · Printing

Vendor Pieces – Commonly used, Recommended, Easy to Maintain – Tools and Solutions.

Each “chapter” will contain sections on: Licensing, What can this or can’t this be installed on the same server with?, Powershell or script snippets as appropriate, group policy, security best practices, migration, links to existing documents, troubleshooting, short video how-to’s and a webinar. Each content group will be delivered by one or a small group of our Kitchen Crew.

So where’s the Cloud? It’ll be within the Chapters and in the Vendors Pieces. We’re not going to relegate “The Cloud” to a single chapter as if it is a single technology. It will be integrated into the overall solution theme. For example, the Exchange section is going to cover Hosted and O365 too. The Backup and Disaster Recovery section includes offsite and business continuity. Server 2012? Maybe it’s here, maybe it’s there. Remote Access? Security? “The Cloud” is everywhere and it’s in everything. Then there’s apps, firewalls, cloud solutions. We plan to invite our favorite vendors in to present technical content that meshes in with the other content in that topic group.

So you might have noticed that this is heavily Microsoft based. We can’t help it. We’re Microsoft people. Microsoft will be the foundation. But it’s a great foundation to stand on. Once you have a solid foundation you can build a mighty custom solution for your clients and ultimately that is what this is all about. There’s no other purpose for IT than to make business better. You can make businesses better and the Kitchen Crew will get you there.


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Jan
8

I had been giving a great deal of thought to what Third Tier’s clients and the small business IT community at large needs in the way of support and training in the post-SBS and Cloud era. Is it enough to write another Unleashed book? Probably not in this era. To do so doesn’t acknowledge the reality that we are all working under. That is that we all need to know A LOT of different technologies, both on-premise and cloud, to be successful today. To efficiently deliver that breadth of information requires more than just words on paper. It requires words on paper, webinars, scripts, video, in-depth training classes and maybe more.

Turns out that I wasn’t the only one thinking along these lines and so the SMBKitchen Crew was born and has joined Third Tier to build and support the Enterprise Solutions for SMB project. Now when we’re putting together a crew to deliver awesome content, they have to be the sharpest knives in the drawer, like this $500 a inch Kramer Knife.

SharpestKnives

 

And so the SMBKitchen Crew consists of technical gurus and Microsoft MVP’s: Amy Babinchak, Susan Bradley, David Shackelford, Boon Tee, Lee Wilbur, Kevin Royalty and Philip Elder. Each of them is individually a brilliant small business focused IT professional. Together they will build all of the Enterprise Solutions for SMB content that Third Tier will deliver to subscribers. (more on that later). The content is going to be deep and wide, just like your small business consultancy needs to be successful.

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