Creating a new future: Partnering in the age of the cloud

On Monday, July 28, 2014, at 3:30pm – 5:00pm PT, I will have the honor of being the emcee for a special session at Sage Summit 2014 exclusively for Sage Partners. The session is entitled Creating a new future: Partnering in the age of the cloud. We will feature Partners as well as Sage team members in casual conversation (read unscripted) on a Tonight Show type set.

This session is dedicated to the possibility that partners will be more successful in the future if they are willing to transform their business model to better reflect the realities of the new market place. This is hard work as it requires us to think differently about our preconceived notions of the past and future. If you are interested in actively participating in the creation of the future, this session is for you. This session is for all partners of Sage regardless of product.

The links below are to Sage Thought Leadership podcasts featuring the named guest.

Here is the tentative agenda:

  • 3:30 – Opening monologue – me
  • 3:40 – Partnering in the future – Joe Langner
  • 3:55 – Partnering with CRM – Peter Wolf and David Beard
  • 4:10 – Position the total solution with a vertical approach – Jeff Roth and Bill Reitz
  • 4:25 – Innovating mobile solutions – Dom Pernai and Doug LaBahn
  • 4:40 – Peering into the future – Stan Mork and Donald Deshaies
  • 4:55 – Closing – moi

New Addition to Ed’s List – SmartBridge Partners

I am honored to announce SmartBridge Partners as the newest addition to Ed’s List.

I received the following email from Jerry Norman:

Ed,
We’ve had success with our KTA’s in the past 2 months. Actually, more than I’d expected.

We’ve been doing projects only with fixed-price agreements for a couple years. The odd support was sticking. With our KTA’s moving through, we have no reason to use T&M anymore.

So I feel comfortable saying we qualify for your list now.

Jerry Norman

Jerry and I have sparred on a number of occasions on many topics including trashing the timesheet, so it is particularly satisfying to have him and his business partner Chuck added to the list.

In addition, they were kind enough to share their thought on the transition they made in this podcast. I wish them great success in the future!

Sage Customer Visit – Music in Motion

Earlier this week I had a chance to sit down with Amy Stewart, COO of Music in Motion.

Music in Motion offers over 5000 music, movement and dance education resources and music-related gifts for all ages – books & CDs, DVDs, software, games, posters, awards, classroom and ethnic instruments, incentives, gifts, teaching aids, and costume accessories for performances.

I love getting to know more about what Sage customers do and why they do it.

My Interview with Sage Customer Ring City

Today, I had the honor of speaking with Tom Fun, the owner and operator of Ring City.

Ring City is a importer/exporter of fashion jewelry and has been producing the finest quality fashion jewelry since 1982.

Recently, the have begun to broaden their customer base by diversifying into a specialized retail market – charitable fund raising. These will be jewelry parties for soccer teams or PTAs in order to raise money. It is a win, win, win – for the customer, for the charity and for Ring City.

My thanks to Sage Partner Johnny Pabian of Pabian Partners for setting up this interview.

On Imitation

Yesterday, my brother Rich and I had a Skype conversation during which were talking about imitating star performances. He then told me this great story.

“In 1998, Nathan Lane played the Cowardly Lion in a concert adaptation of the Wizard of Oz.

“A women came up to him after the performance and snidely said, 'What if I told you that your performance was just an exact imitation of Burt Lahr's.'

“Lane replied, 'I'd say thank you, because Bert Lahr was pretty fucking great!'”

Sometimes imitation is not such a bad thing.

 

Firm of the Future at DFW

Attention my fellow Dallasites and Fort Worthians. Ron Baker and I are delivering our famous (well, in our minds anyway) Firm of the Future Symposium at the Hilton DFW Lakes hotel on February 12 and 13.

This class is for all professionals: accountants, lawyers, IT consultants, architects, engineers, advertising agencies, we have even had a doctor attend.

 

If you are interested here are the details:

Firm of the Future Symposium

The Firm of the Future Symposium coming to a city near you will feature Ron Baker of the Vera Sage Institute. The symposium will feature Ron Baker of the VeraSage Institute and Ed Kless, Sage senior director, partner strategy and development. This experience is dedicated to the possibility that a professional organization can be run more effectively when it becomes a knowledge firm rather than a service firm. Creating such an organization is hard work and not for everyone, as it requires partners to think differently than they have in the past about what it is that they do.

The registration fee for the first attendee is $2,000. The fee for additional attendees is $1,000.

Download the agenda for this event .

Location

Date

Sage University

Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center
1800 Highway 26 East
Grapevine, TX 76051

Feb. 12-13

Register Today
Path: Login >
select Academies & Workshops >
Mid-Market ERP

 

The registration site is not the friendliest, so if you have any problems, please just let me know and I will take care of it.

If you have any questions, let me know.

 

JCC Consulting Group Added to Ed’s List

Congratulations to Juan Castro and his team at JCC Consulting Group on their addition to Ed’s List.

Firms on the list are IT (information technology) related professional knowledge firms. To be on this list the firm must:

  • Offer only fixed price agreements and not bill by the time unit.
  • Have eliminated timesheets for all professionals.
  • Offer a service guarantee.

Kim Barber said of their inclusion, “We appreciate the opportunity and count it a privilege to be included in this list.”

My “Why” – Latest Edition

Two years ago, I posted twice about my Why statement. (See those posted here and here for further explanation.)

Since I am convinced that one’s Why is a ever emerging concept, I thought it would be appropriate to share my latest Why, which is:

I believe that entrepreneurs continue the work of creation. I help entrepreneurs (mostly Sage partners and customers) understand how they create value for their customers  and better capture that value through the prices they set.

Please note that the first sentence is the key. I have been testing this at gatherings such as cocktail parties and even PTA meetings when I am asked the usual obligatory opening question, “So, what do you do?”

I have been replying with my Why. This is usually followed by a quizzical look, but after a brief moment, some variation of the phrase, “Tell me more,” is uttered. This leads to some great conversations. Conversations I never would have had, if I did not start with Why.

Plumbing Prose

I recently retweeted a post about Al the Plumber who is clearly a Firm of the Future.

Early this week I received an email from Kirsten Austin of DCSC Inc. about an experience that she recently had with a plumber who decidedly is not a Firm of the Future.

In order to justify his hourly rate, he has had to become a short story teller of Dickensian proportion. Here is what he come up with to justify a 1.75 hour engagement.

PlumbingProse

“Painstakingly, adjusted the linkage…” I love it!