Paul Mah Is Voice of Experience on SMB Beat

Ann All

One of the things that troubles me about my job here at IT Business Edge is my non-techie background. I've always been a journalist. I've never written a budget, overseen a software implementation or done any of the tasks that are old hat to some of my readers. While we journalists are (in theory) pretty good at learning and then writing about a variety of topics, most of us would feel better if we had direct experience with our subject matter.


It's especially disconcerting when working for a trade publication, because you know some of your readers are experts. The narrow nature of the industry I covered at my last gig (automated teller machines, with a dash of broader electronic payments) helped. But here, I cover such a broad spectrum of tech topics, I feel out of my element with disconcerting frequency.


I know, have some cheese with that whine. Actually, all of this angst is a preamble to my letting you know that there's a new blogger on the SMB beat. Earlier this week, IT Business Edge welcomed Paul Mah, who has gotten his hands dirty as a programmer, system administrator and system analyst. He's crawled around under desks and managed some good-sized networks. Readers, he knows his stuff. As you'll see from his bio, he's an instructor at Republic Polytechnic in Singapore and a contributor to such well-regarded tech sites as Ars Technica and TechRepublic.


When Paul writes, as he did on Tuesday, that "a full-fledged SAN makes no sense to an organization with just two dozen staffers," he's speaking from the voice of experience. He's already turned in a couple of smart posts.


The downside to this: I will no longer cover SMB issues in the same dedicated way. That's not to say an occasional SMB-oriented post won't appear in my other blogs, Straight to the Source and The Visible Enterprise.

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Dec 3, 2008 2:41 AM Pierre Coupet Pierre Coupet  says:
The following is an article I recently wrote which is all about the Big Picture:-------------------------------Social Networks:Virtual Organize It, Stupid!by Pierre CoupetNo doubt you've heard of the tongue-in-cheek expressions, "Keep it simple, stupid!" and "It's the economy, stupid!" However, in today's day and age, the appropriate mantra for those who belong to social networks should be, "Virtual organize it, stupid!".Let me tell you why:Great Investment of Time &EffortYou spend a great deal of time joining social networks, reviewing the background of other interesting individuals, and inviting them to become a contact and part of your personal network.In certain cases, you go through the additional effort of setting up and administering your own group, write comments and articles and, in some cases, prepare and send out a periodic newsletter.In no time at all, you reach a major milestone, having developed a network of hundreds to thousands of contacts.You are very excited and proud of your achievements and, in some cases, send out a major announcement to everyone in your network trumpeting the good news regarding the surge in your group's membership total and how great it is.The Big QuestionAnd then you ask yourself the big question, "Where do I go from here?" You feel like you've reached a dead end and, if you're like most, you try to engage your contacts;ask them to actively participate and contribute content, etc.And, if you are an exception to the rule, you schedule some local, face-to-face, paid or free networking or business events.At the end of the day, after all has been said and done, all you're left with, at best, from your social networking efforts are mediocre or meager results relative to the astounding amount of available opportunities that the virtual environment-internet-Web 2.0 has to offer--that is, of course, assuming you're one of the extraordinary social networkers out there;and, if you are like most others, all you are left with are downright disappointing results.And, unfortunately, that's where it all ends.The Bigger QuestionWhich brings us to the bigger question, "Whatever happened to the promise of the Web and Web 2.0?" Never before in the history of mankind have we been so interconnected.We are no longer limited by time, distance, geography, human and capital resources, and collaboration tools.The sky is the limit.We are only limited by our efforts and imagination;the extent of our willingness to break down the natural walls of resistance to change;and our willingness to explore new thoughts and concepts before they are widely accepted.And yet, the most that we attempt to make out of the tools and resources that have been made available to us is to try to set up [[local]] [[face-to-face]] meetings.The Ultimate QuestionWhich now leaves us with the ultimate question, "So what is the missing link?" However, that being said, this one question opens up a pandora box of related questions such as:What else can we do, or should we be doing, in order to take advantage of the almost limitless amount of opportunities that are available to us in this wonderful and absolutely amazing era?Are there any currently available solutions?Are there any emerging schools of thought on that subject?The Ultimate Answer:Virtual Organize It!Well, the ultimate answer lies within the virtual organization management discipline.Virtual organization management provides you with a series of best-next practices, policies and procedures for operating in a virtual environment and for managing a virtual organization. Reply
Dec 3, 2008 2:41 AM Pierre Coupet Pierre Coupet  says:
Virtual organization management is highly flexible, being that you can virtual organize at any of the following levels of an organizational structure:(1) an individual level, (2) a team level, (3) a group level, (4) a department level, (5) a division level, (6) a social network level and, last but not least, (7) an organization level.With respect to an organization, it can be either of the following:(i) any free standing organization, (ii) a joint venture, (iii) an association, (iv) a consortium or (v) a partnership.Although social networks provide you with one wing -- which is, the tools you need to effortlessly interconnect on a global scale -- what is sorely needed is the other wing -- which is, virtual organization management -- that you must have in order to fly and soar high up above in this sky of limitless opportunities.So what are you waiting for?Virtual Organize It!ABOUT AUTHOR:Pierre Coupet is the Founder, Chairman, CEO &Doctor of Virtual Organization Management at Virtual Organization Management Institute;the founder of the modern virtual organization management discipline pioneered since 1997;and also the author of the widely acclaimed white paper, "How To Virtual Organize Your Social Network." To contact the author, call via skype or send email directly to Copyright 2008-2009.Pierre Coupet, Virtual Organization Management Institute.Cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.All rights are reserved. Reply

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