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SMB Kitchen ASP Project Chat at 1700 MST – Join Us!
Posted by Philip Elder on 15 April 2014 04:15 PM

We are holding our last freebie author’s chat this afternoon/early evening depending on where you are in North America or later for those of you across the Pond. :)

For Windows 8 and up please install Lync from the Store. Once installed and logged into the meeting hit the Charms –> Settings to verify both microphone and speaker settings.

We will cover some of the content we have published to date, some of the ongoing concerns for IT Professionals today, and what we are planning on publishing in the coming weeks.

If we have time we can have a Virtualization and Hyper-V Q&A session too!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business

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In The Know: Setting Your Standard of Care
Posted by amy on 30 May 2013 09:44 AM

Attention SMBKitchen Subscribers our next In The Know webinar will be on Tuesday June 4th at 6pm eastern. See the Knowledgebase for your webinar invitation. Not a subscriber yet? Join in! It’s $180 for the full year, paid at $15 per month. and learn more.

Ben Yarbrough will join us to discuss setting a standard of care in your business that makes you stand out from the competition. Ben’s expertise in legal matters, regulation and security makes him uniquely aware of the situation that small business find themselves in and the opportunity that this situation presents to small IT firms as the Trust Advisor. This topic dovetails nicely with our chapter on consulting in the new age, the need to expand your expertise and provide real service beyond setup and configuration.

As an SMB IT practitioner do you consider yourself a trusted advisor to your clients?  Most of your peer IT pros are armed with general IT experience (OTJ product training and a school of hard knocks degree), a bare bones budget and limited access to enterprise technical resources and they are often wedged between hard selling ISPs, a throng of vendors slinging promises of next generation widgets, and clients demanding total convenience, access anywhere and FREE. So it is not any surprise that your peer SMB IT pros face huge challenges to deliver uninterrupted IT systems and data access only to the right people at the right time ensuring no breach or loss of confidentiality, integrity or availability.   And a collision of unruly standards, regulations and guidelines (and emerging litigation) threaten to bog down SMB IT pros in a permanent state of paralysis. HIPAA, PCI, FISMA, NIST and other authorities seem to suggest a framework – but only you as the IT pro decide how to advise your client.  So where is the clear and concise guidance on what the SMB IT pro should do? Unfortunately there is no silver bullet so focusing on controls and activities that provide high returns is critical. Doing nothing is not acceptable…..and certainly not professional!

WARNING: This session is not a  sales or marketing presentation; a checklist for selling security, making more money and satisfying the ABCs of regulations; or a comparison of the various regulations and sources of authority.  This session will attempt to establish a foundation for community discussion on “Standard of Care” and possible next steps for providing clear, concise and simple guidance for SMB IT prosCovered areas are expected to include the following with respect to a “Standard of Care”:  what, why, how and why not; benefits and challenges, “Professionalism” for the IT Pro; regulatory references; future developments;  suggested elements for the SMB IT pro; matching skill sets and expertise; interacting with clients and available resources.

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

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Webinar! Enterprise Solutions for SMB
Posted by amy on 23 January 2013 10:39 AM

We’re ready to kick off the Enterprise Solutions for SMB project! So please join us on February 1st at Noon Eastern time to hear from each author what their contributions are and from all of us what the big picture goal is for this project.

Join Lync Meeting

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.


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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