SBS Down Under

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Six months of silence

Six months of silence

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I ran the Sydney Half Marathon last weekend & whilst I finished the 21.1km without dying, it really didn’t do too much for my ego.

A) It took nearly 2 hours, even though it’s supposed to be one of the easier courses around

B) I was lapped by several people

C) My good friend beat me by nearly 10 minutes, even after spraining his ankle at the 16km mark

D) And I was beaten by a 71yr old man with his arm in a sling. I thought I had him at the end, but he put on a spurt & I just couldn’t catch him

Why am I telling you this?

Well I was going to say that the reason why I haven’t written so much as a note on this blog for the past 6 months was because I was training for my big race – but that theory is out the window. I was then going to say that I was still celebrating finally finishing my MBA after 5 ½ years of study – however that also finished a while back & so no excuses there. So once you remove the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the answer.

And in my case, the answer is simply that I was burnt out. My last post was exactly 6 months ago today & it’s interesting to note that that was a reflective piece about the fact that I’d been back in Australia for 12 months. During the year I’d done more travelling than ever (Melbourne 11 times, Brisbane 7 times, Adelaide & Perth both 4 times & various other places), worked longer hours on the set-up for the SBS 2008 launch, finished off the MBA, tried to navigate a rapidly changing Microsoft culture & supported my wife’s family through a very difficult time (thankfully everyone is now okay). What it meant however is that something had to give & unfortunately for readers of this blog, it was my involvement with the SBS partner community.

I took some time off over Christmas to have a good think about what I wanted to do & on the very day I landed back in the office in early Jan, was presented with an opportunity to look at a new role. I thought long & hard about this for implicit in me taking this job would be the fact that my old role as SBS/EBS Product Manager would not be back-filled. This did not & does not signal a lessening of focus, just a shifting organisational structure. However I did have to ask - had I done enough in the previous 12 months to re-engage with user groups, train the distributors, helped vendors put bundles together & all the things needed for a healthy SBS business? The obvious answer is no – but I did my best. And so when the decision had to be made, I decided to take the new role – my current job is as Partner Account Manager for Express Data & Newlease, & looking after Hosting for our SMB space. An interesting, challenging, rewarding new role, but I will always have SBS & small business in my blood.

So, again, why am I telling you this?

Partly to offer apologies for my absence, partly to officially (& belatedly) hand over the Australian SBS blogging duties to Wayne Small, but mostly to at least try & quieten that nagging voice in my head that keeps telling me that I left the Australian SBS community & didn’t even say goodbye. Given all the work we’d done together & futures we were mapping out, you deserved more & for that, I am sorry.

Anyway – as mentioned, Wayne Small has now been given the reigns of this beast & shall be sharing his thoughts forthwith. Sarah Theiss of Microsoft Partner Programs fame has taken the mantle of chief SBSC blogger & is engaging with the community in that space & Rosemary Stark, our Windows Server Product Manager, is on point for all things SBS/EBS.

And so with that, I’m off. I’m still around at Microsoft & still on the same email address (rupcroft@microsoft.com) if you’d like to say hello. I’ll also be at the Australian Partner Conference on the Gold Coast in early September if you’re there.

Cheers & thanks for all your support,

Robbie

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