Recorded Member Meetings

Community Meetings

Open to all current and prospective members.
Community meetings occur quarterly and are recorded and posted below.

Past Meetings

Skip to different videos in the playlist on the right.
Links and chat for each video are below.

Transcription

[00:00:00.160] – Karl Palachuk
There we go. Welcome, everybody, to the Q four meeting of the National Society of It service providers. We have a brief agenda, but some really important stuff. And also, I think we have the Fodder for a truly great conversation at the end. So thank you for being here. Just a couple of reminders we want to be our goal is to be the voice of the industry defining the standards for professionalism in It services. This meeting is open to the public and anyone may join. It is being recorded and will be posted, so if you do not wish to be on the video, please turn off your camera. If you do not wish to be on the audio recording, please turn off your microphone. So the recordings are always under the meetings tab at nsitsp.org, and we will also be posting them to YouTube. We get a full transcript and post it up with the meeting, so you get all the notes and the chat and so forth. So I would also say, if you’re too much of a smartass, be careful what you say in chat because it will be posted as well. And with that, let me introduce our president, Amy Babinchak, who has just finished some time with me at the Acronis Summit in Florida, where we had a ton of visitors, and literally everybody who came by was excited that this organization exists.

[00:01:30.270] – Karl Palachuk
So. Amy.

[00:01:31.780] – Amy Babinchak
Thank you. Yeah, we had a great time down to Acronis. They were so nice to us. They created an awesome background, gave us a booth, and everybody that did come by to the booth, they seemed to get it immediately. Once he described what it was organization was all about, they were like, oh, yeah, I need to be involved in. So I’m expecting that we’re going to get quite a few members out of that. And I would really love to see some of our other important vendors that we have in our industry also get involved, like Acronis has, and help us out in growing this organization. So any opportunities that you have to talk to vendors about events they’re having to just see about us, even a table in the corner will help, and we will get some people there to stop it. So I just have a few moments here. Nothing super earth shattering to say other than welcome to all of our elected folks. The elections went fabulously well, very smoothly. I was very impressed with how our web developer organized the whole thing and how Karl ran it. And we’ve got lots of great new folks in committees and some spaces still to fill, so we’ll be working on that.

[00:02:47.760] – Amy Babinchak
I am super excited for what’s coming for the new year. And today I’m at an airport, so I’m not going to be able to stay for the whole meeting, which is kind of a bummer because that Q and A is my favorite part. So I hope you guys have a great conversation over there and with that I’m going to turn the meeting back over to Karl. Thank you for joining today.

[00:03:06.860] – Karl Palachuk
Thank you. So I just have a few quick announcements. First of all, our membership is up to 257 paid professional members and we’re growing six or seven a month and I know Andy’s on the call, the chair of the Marketing committee and so heads up, new membership drive is clearly the next big thing that we need to do. We have 548 registered members so we have about 800 total that have registered or paid on our website, plus nine vendor partners who have contributed a great deal of money and support to us. We have about 20 people on our constant contact list so we are growing very quickly and probably, I mean, I’m just going to say I think we’re going to have 1000 between professional and registered. I think we’ll have a thousand by the end of the year without any problem, but it should be $10,000. So make sure that you tell your friends and so forth. Financially we’re doing pretty well because of the vendor partners and the constant trickle of new members. I think with the renewals we only had like two people who did not renew their original membership. So that bulk of renewals came through last month and that really helped us out a great deal as well.

[00:04:32.960] – Karl Palachuk
Heads up, February 8 is our next all member meeting. Remember, these are always on the second Wednesday of the second month of each quarter and I was just talking to Todd Curtis this morning from the marketing committee. There’s going to be a big push to the social media as well. So keep an eye out for that and know that whenever you see anything that’s related to NSITSP MSP please comment and share and like and join us on all those social media because it really helps us have a bigger footprint and be seen which we have to be seen in order to be seen as the voice of the industry. Also shout out to the Canadian folks who have been on a lot of our meetings and have been almost instantaneously trying to organize an organization in Canada. So they have a new website, the Information Technology Service Providers of Canada and nice little logo, shockingly it has a maple leaf on it so that was a big surprise for me. But anyway, congratulations to those folks and I’ve also talked to many people from other countries who are interested so we’re going to help everybody who wants to to be part of this movement.

[00:05:52.470] – Karl Palachuk
I guess these are the vendor partners that we have so far and we really thank them and encourage others to participate. It means a lot that we have vendors who are willing to say it’s important to have a strong industry, to have a strong group of people and you know, not just because they need new clients, new prospects, but because it’s important that we have a strong industry, that we have a good compass, a moral compass. And what we’ve been working on recently is the code of ethics. And so being able to launch that very soon is huge. And it’s something that all of these vendors are going to help us promote as well. So thank you to all of our vendor sponsors. With that, I will turn it over to Larry Mandelberg, who has been running the code of ethics task force for many months. And we really have done some amazing stuff. So tell us where we are and where we’re going.

[00:07:06.560] – Denis Wilson
You’re still muted, Larry.

[00:07:10.710] – Jason Thomas
You’re muted.

[00:07:14.740] – Larry Mandelberg
Sorry. Thank you, Karl. Sorry, I thought I turned it off. It’s a pleasure to be here. And the first thing I want to do is a shout out to the task force members. We started meeting back in March. Our first meeting was on, I believe it was March 7, and our last meeting was this past Monday, November 7. We had 15 meetings during the course of the year, and I can’t tell you how many hours of FaceTime we had coupled with hours of work outside of our actual meeting. So much thanks to all the people who participated in the task force. Bit of a surprise announcement for you. We have completed the first phase of our work as of this past Monday. So what we’re going to show you today is a completed code of ethics. It is not finalized. It is completed. For now. We’re going to give it to you. We’re going to talk to you about it. We want to take it out for a test drive, have you tell us what you think. So in terms of where we are now, I want to tell you a little bit about how we got here.

[00:08:23.140] – Larry Mandelberg
The first thing that we had to do was decide what is a code of ethics and why do we care? We had several members say to us, why do you care about a code of ethics? What’s it going to do for you? What’s the point? So we created a statement to help answer that question. The answer to the question is, the NSI Tsp Code of Ethics provides foundational guidance for holding ourselves accountable for our professional behavior. The code of ethics brings clarity when the proper ethical action is ambiguous. The task force really connected with this because as we went through the process, we kept coming up with a lot of scenarios where we said we don’t know what the right thing to do is. We have a lot of other people that are also MSPs that are facing these things. None of us really know the right thing to do. For example, what happens when you’re out in the field and you intersect with another incompetent MSP who’s screwing up this prospect? What about when you run into another MSP who is a self interested bad actor. They’re doing something strictly for themselves and not the client.

[00:09:44.590] – Larry Mandelberg
Another scenario that we talked about was people MSPs who are unrealistic self promoters. We can do anything for anybody anytime faster and cheaper than anybody else. I’m sure none of you ever do this. Another scenario that we looked at a lot were controlled freaks. People who and I know this is going to resonate. There’s some kind of an innate need to hold on to passwords and security. And so we wanted to address all of those situations and more. And again, I want to stress foundational guidance for holding ourselves and each other accountable for our professional behavior to bring clarity when proper ethical action is ambiguous. Now, if we can go to the next slide, please. This is the code of ethics that we have completed. We have four categories the area of competence, the area of conflict of interest, the area of confidentiality, and the commitment to clients. What is it, in fact, we’re really making? What commitment are we really making to our clients? And I don’t want to go into a lot of this right now because you’ll have access to this and you’ll be able to look at it and digest it.

[00:11:00.250] – Larry Mandelberg
Listen, we spent a lot of time on this, and it took us a lot of time just to absorb it and really understand what it meant and think about how to apply it. So I’m not going to go into that right at the moment. But I do want to say that we really identified just a handful of things that we wanted to highlight. The first was professionalism. We think that professionalism is a cornerstone of what this organization is. And if we’re not acting in a professional manner, we don’t have any right to say anything or to tell anybody anything. We’re going to be controlled instead of having to control ourselves. The second thing is education. And these are in somewhat of an order of priority. If we’re not well versed in what it is we’re doing, if we’re not the most well versed, we’re always going to be at a disadvantage. Education is critical to us being successful as MSPs. The third one is honesty. There’s just no need to be dishonest or to hide or to pretend that things aren’t what they are. The fourth is transparency. And the fifth is competence. Professionalism education, honesty, transparent competence.

[00:12:15.330] – Larry Mandelberg
Those are the things that we wanted to try and bring to the forefront. Forefront. And they’re the kind of the cornerstones that we built this code of ethics around. And I offered them to you on behalf of the committee with our great pleasure and pride and joy and ask you to review them, look at them, comment on them, and adopt them. Now, there’s one more thing I want to talk about, and that is the what’s next? When I talked about these at our last all member meeting, there were a lot of questions about things like mandatory enforcement, penalties, etc. Et cetera. What I want you to know is that the Task Force was tasked with creating a code of ethics. Beyond that, our role ceases. The Task Force is in hibernation, and we will reconvene in six months to find out what feedback we’ve had about this so that we can make adjustments based on your input. But where this goes now is back to the board for decisions about how it will be applied and how it will be enforced and how we will deal with transgressors that is not yet done. The other thing I want to tell you is that there’s a very thin line between ethics and conduct.

[00:13:43.010] – Larry Mandelberg
So the code of ethics is done. The Code of conduct is on the planning board. It has not been started. It is on our radar. We will be going there. But the code of conduct, how you operate specifically, we aren’t getting into that yet. So I don’t have answers for you as to how this will be applied, enforced, et cetera. But what I can tell you is with another consulting organization that I’m a member of, I have been involved with enforcement, and with every proposal I send out, I have my own code of ethics that we develop with that other organization. Every proposal has itsp code of ethics attached to it, and it served me quite well. If any of you are interested in talking about how you might be able to use this or any concerns or questions you have, I want you to feel free to reach out to both me. Feel free to reach out to me first. As the chair of this Task Force, feel free to reach out to the board and feel free to reach out to the Task Force. I’m sure that anyone on the Task Force will be happy to talk to you.

[00:14:49.990] – Larry Mandelberg
With that, I’m going to turn it back over to Karl, and thank you.

[00:14:55.390] – Karl Palachuk
And thank you, Larry, because I’d forgotten that we started in March. But you have done a spectacular job with this, and the entire Task Force body has done an amazing job. I mean, people showed up again, again and and again, and a lot of folks don’t know. The task force met twice a month since March. People literally went on vacation and came back and did other things. But one of the things that we’ve done a couple of times now with the mission vision, values and with the code of conduct or Code of Ethics is we have taken our time. And I think that’s really important because some people think we’re not moving fast enough. But we have to do this right, and even though nothing is set in stone and we will revisit this again and again, and the final version, 20 years from now, will probably look different from this. We want to make sure that we don’t just throw something up and say, well that looks good, let’s do that. And so I think we’ve taken our time, we’ve taken the amount of time that it should have. So next step is this will go to the board and then we’ll put it on the website and folks can give us their feedback.

[00:16:09.550] – Karl Palachuk
So look for another blog post on that. Alright. And then we are also happy to discuss all of this in the discussion at the end. Yes, sir.

[00:16:19.990] – Larry Mandelberg
I’d like to ask the people that are participating if they see something that they like, put a Y in there. If they see something that they don’t like, put an N in the chat. I just like to take the temperature while we’re going through the meeting.

[00:16:36.560] – Karl Palachuk
Okay? Yeah. And Larry, I know you put your email in the chat to make sure, since you’ve invited people to contact you, that they know that cool, although they can obviously do it within our forms within our site. Next up, Heather, our Vice President has information on what the committees have been up to because she’s our committee liaison as well.

[00:17:01.010] – Heather Johnson
Hi everybody. I am coming to you from Orlando, Florida at It Nation, right in the path of Hurricane Nicole. I think it’s been upgraded right now. What that means is that after this call, I’m going to jump off because there are a whole bunch of people in this hotel that need to get an NSI itsp card so they can join, so I don’t need to chase them down at events and parties. They’re all here and they will all get a card. I probably should have had more cards than this, but I didn’t know there was a hurricane coming, so that’s just how it is. Besides that though, one thing that I want to say. I think each of our committee reps have prepped something today to talk to you about what they have been meeting about. All of our committees meet once a month, sometimes more. I know when we were starting they were meeting once a week. They’re hard working, really skilled, dedicated volunteers that are helping drive our mission and we’re so thankful for all the work that they’re doing. We did get some new committee members onto our committees. One committee is I do know is looking for members and that’s the Finance Committee.

[00:18:15.810] – Heather Johnson
And I just wanted to take just a few minutes to talk about what it takes to be on the Finance Committee. You do not need to be a financial expert. You do not need to be an accountant. You don’t need to be a CPA. You don’t even have to be a QuickBooks online power user. You just need to actually care about our organization and where money is going. You’re all business owners, you all have budgets. Think about these decisions all the time. So if you have some time and you want to help us out even more than you are now, join one of these committees. It’s also a great way to network with some other MSPs and vendors that maybe that you haven’t met before from all over. So consider doing that. The Finance Committee meets, I believe once a month and I know they would love to have you. So I’ll have each of the committee chairs talk about more specifically what they’re doing but would love to see you on one of those committees.

[00:19:25.090] – Karl Palachuk
So Dennis, you want to kick us off and tell us what sure.

[00:19:30.710] – Denis Wilson
I want to make sure that I didn’t step on Heather’s presentation sitting here waiting. Okay, tell me anyway. I’m Dennis Wilson, chair of the Legislative Committee for a second year here. We are fortunate to have a full committee staff and two vendor representatives as well meeting with us so we feel like we’ve got everything that we need to make things happen. However, we are welcoming any interested guest members. We meet twice a month at 01:00 P.m. California time on Tuesday, every other Tuesday and so if you’re interested send me an email. I’ll put my email in the chat box here in a moment and we’ll get you a Zoom URL and all that kind of good stuff and tell you what’s going on about the Legislative Committee. What we are producing right now is first a series of how to videos that provide a simple guide for Nsit SP members that are working with each state. These are five to ten minute videos which talk about one issue at a time, whether it be who is it that we need to talk to, what is it they care about, what committees are they on, how do you find out what committees they’re on, what committees are we concerned about and all that kind of stuff.

[00:21:15.410] – Denis Wilson
So we will have that. The first one is out now in beta test version, but the others will shortly be out within the next several months so I’m looking forward to that. Second thing we’re looking at right now is also working on a model legislation that you can use as a starting point for legislators and their committees. And so when we’re talking about professionalism and education and all that, those are pieces that necessarily may go into legislation. What we’re looking for is a model that you can take it out to folks in your state and talk to them about that and use it as a starting point. Third thing where we have currently is a twelve page printable playbook that’s basically the same thing as the videos except it’s on paper. It’s being approved now by the board to be published on the shared storage on the website the guy talks about who you’re supposed to talk to, who you should talk to, why you should talk to them, what are they concerned about, that kind of thing. And lastly, we are looking at legislative calendars so that we can have a sense for what’s showing up, where and coming up to votes and all that kind of stuff.

[00:22:58.300] – Denis Wilson
And second, presentation material that you can use when you go to talk to these folks about the Nsit SMB and you can modify them as necessary, but those are the four items now we’re excited about this coming year. The first year we were basically looking at the organization, what kind of things we wanted to do, and then now we’re looking at doing solutions and that’s a lot more fun, I’ve got to admit. We’re working on one of the walls of the structure. We need this for success as an organization and I’m really looking forward to this year.

[00:23:48.040] – Karl Palachuk
Thank you, sir. Next up, Tracy With, finance.

[00:23:52.990] – Tracy Hardin
Hey, good morning. Tracy Harm here with the finance committee. Just a quick update. We have finished up the budget for 2023 and got that submitted to the board. And going into next year, we will continue to work with the budget because as the society is so new, it’s changing and evolving. So we want to make sure we keep the money to what’s needed and make sure more is coming in. So basically this committee serves all the other committees on the board. That’s our primary focus. And Heather kind of stole my thunder when she told you we needed two more volunteers. That’s okay, so please join us. We do meet once a month. You don’t have to be a math whiz, because I’m not and I do fine. Just care about it. And don’t forget, vendors can also be members of committees. So if you’re a vendor with a vendor, please, we’d love to have you on there. I will put my contact information in the chat so you guys can reach out to me if you’re interested or if you have any questions about the meeting and what we do, please reach out and be happy to help.

[00:25:03.700] – Tracy Hardin
And that’s basically it on the Finance Committee.

[00:25:07.460] – Karl Palachuk
Alrighty. Marketing. Andy.

[00:25:10.990] – Andy Higgins
Hello, Amy.

[00:25:12.630] – Karl Palachuk
Indeed.

[00:25:13.720] – Andy Higgins
Good, yeah. Marketing committee. Yeah. We’re also looking for new members just like everybody else. We have four members, actually three functioning right now on the Marketing Committee, so a few more would certainly help. As said by my colleagues, you don’t need to be a marketing expert for this, but as you know, most MSPs are a little bit marketers to a certain degree, so we welcome any level of involvement. You can be a massive sweet administrator or you can just know a little bit about marketing, whatever would be great. Our goal, our end goal, is to market the NS It’s to the world. And currently we’ve been looking at using specific products to help us push out the message. We’re also looking how we can interact with other committees and see what responsibilities we should take in our all this marketing and what should be held by other committees. That’s a whole discussion in itself. And then one particular idea that I thought was pretty cool that came up in one of our meetings recently was we’re gathering a spreadsheet together of all committee members who are interested in maybe representing itsp at future events, conferences and such.

[00:26:40.530] – Andy Higgins
And so if we can get a location together of all our users who are interested in representing, then we can send local users to local conferences and keep our costs down. That was the idea behind that anyway. Andy against Marketing Committee.

[00:26:57.340] – Karl Palachuk
Very good, thank you. And just a note, all members of the PSA spin attend all of these meetings and we’re going to be putting up a page that’s got when the meetings are. It was a little crazy the first year because people were meeting every week again. I’m just shocked and amazed at how much effort folks have put into this. But now that it’s settled down to mostly once a month for most committees and twice for some, it’ll be easier to manage making that public all the time. And certainly everybody is welcome. Even if you can’t vote on committee matters being part of the conversation, you will have influence. So everybody’s open to that. Finally, I have a separate slide for Jason because Jason new chair of the governance committee is going to talk to us about the proposed new membership plan. So with that, Jason, take it away.

[00:28:01.990] – Jason Thomas
All right. Good morning, or good afternoon everyone. I also want to thank Lisa Papp. She’s the vice chair of the governance committee and she’s on today imagine number of our other members are on as well. Our committee is full, so obviously everyone likes to govern, right? But we definitely will encourage everyone to attend our meetings, which are on the second Monday of every month, and we try to keep it to once a month. So from the slide you can see that let’s see here. Let’s start off in the upper right hand corner. Registered guests. We’re up to 548. They essentially have access to everything on the site and can see we want to convert all those people to professional members. And you can see this is going up to $125, I believe, on the first of the year. So it behooves everyone to reregister today if they had signed up last year around this time. And then we have a whole new category of company memberships. And we went totally cheeky on the title of each tier, and we’re looking for suggestions on that. But essentially what this will do is allow one pro membership per company and everyone else will be an associate member, which they can participate in the forums, attend meetings, but they will not have voting rights.

[00:29:46.390] – Jason Thomas
Along with that is to limit essentially the influence any larger companies may have on the society, since we really want to stay as a focused society without any one company having more have undue influence due to their size. And going along with that, the vendor partner level, which is already set and on the website with the friends over Gold and Elite levels. I don’t remember who we have at which level. I believe we already have a Silver level member.

[00:30:29.520] – Karl Palachuk
Yes, calyptics is silver. The rest are at different level with the Friend level.

[00:30:34.840] – Jason Thomas
But this has been submitted to the board. It’s a work in progress and we hope to have all this finalized before the end of the year. So 2023, we can come out of the gates ready for a bunch of new company memberships.

[00:30:54.860] – Karl Palachuk
And I would just note that this is kind of the big picture, right. That part of what we want to do at the end of today is I want to talk about what your feedback is on this. Are these the right prices? Are these the right names? Doesn’t matter. I was informed this morning that Terra, the way I have it spelled, refers to Earth and not Terabyte. So I’m going to correct the spelling on Terra. But we do want your feedback on all of this anyway, so thank you, Jason, and we will be back to this. This is kind of one of the primary pieces of our discussion. Does anybody else have anything to say immediately before we move on? All right, well, thank you to the committees. Again, just massive amounts of effort and really producing some good stuff. And so it took us a while to get the committees all settled in, but they’ve done a great job and they’ve really made it a great year. So here’s our social links and other links and I’ll be happy to put up that last slide for discussion, but we are open for open Q and A on any matter at all that you might have.

[00:32:14.690] – Karl Palachuk
I’m going to look at the chat, see there’s anything going on I need to pay attention to. Anybody? All right, well, I will ask Jason. With regard to the proposed membership program, is this something that you think it will be like, solid for a year and then you’ll revisit or is this something that you’re hoping, like, we’re going to make the decision for the next ten years?

[00:32:57.560] – Jason Thomas
Well, that’s probably going to be a moving target. And working with Tracy from Finance, we need to set some goals. Whether or not our vendor partners actively increase how many companies we have connected and essentially what the influence will be or how many new company memberships we have will actively determine if those levels stay the same. And in addition to that, there are definitely some rules we’re going to need to set in place. Some company theoretically, like Microsoft, could join at the Kilo tier level, which is with just one pro membership and four associates. And that’s all they ever do. They don’t need to unless they want all their member associates and employees to be members. So a lot of this is based on self monitoring and our code of ethics that says, hey, you’re going to represent yourself as. A properly sized company and not the terabyte level or the gigatar level and look like a much larger company than you’re actually than you actually are.

[00:34:27.560] – Karl Palachuk
Yeah, we’ll have to look at that and see I know that most of the organizations I’ve ever belong to, it’s kind of a self reported level. Don has a question. Are there any plans to create peer groups? I would appreciate the opportunity to share policy procedures and costs with other MSPs. So right now we don’t have plans for that. We’d have to figure out one of the things that we don’t want to do is stuff that doesn’t fill a gap in the industry. Right. So what would our peer groups be doing that are different from other peer groups that exist? Because there are many opportunities. On the other hand, if the membership says no, we absolutely have to do this. We just have to figure out what differentiates us so all things are possible. And it might even be the governance committee to take up that question. So I did get a question that was just to me directly, so I don’t know if he wants me to say his name, but conversation came up about, is this a nonprofit? And so donations are tax deductible? Well, yes and no. The PSA SPP is a not for profit corporation, but we are one C Six, which means we’re a membership association that allows us to do things like muck around in legislation and try to affect the way the government looks at us.

[00:36:05.520] – Karl Palachuk
But it means that we are not a charity. So charities do things like public education and so forth, and we might someday have a C Three charity whose donations would be completely deductible. But as a C Six, we are not a charity. And so your dues are deductible as under Rand will correct me fees and dues or dues and subs for tax law. And so it’s actually a better deduction as a business, but other contributions are not tax deductible the way a charity would be. So I hope that clarifies, and if it needs further clarification, I will turn you over to Rayanne. But Joonico Karl, can I just make a comment?

[00:36:59.960] – Larry Mandelberg
I don’t mean to steal Rayann’s under. She’s definitely the professional expert at this. The thing I would say is office expense or operating expense. But this is a big deal and we spend a lot of time talking about this. I want the members to be aware of this. We felt it was very, very important, if not crucial, that we were able to impact legislation to talk to legislators, in effect, the way we’re seen by the people making the laws we have to operate under. And in order to do that, we could not be a charity. So that was a very conscious decision and there was a very specific reason for it. I hope everybody understands that. Yeah, and you are right. It is a better deduction as an operating expense than as a donation.

[00:37:51.790] – Karl Palachuk
All right, so that’s that.

[00:37:55.390] – Jason Thomas
I was just going to say again, any other names for company level versus Kilo, Mega, Giga and Terra, please put out your ideas. This was off the cuff and almost as a joke, but at the moment they’re sticking.

[00:38:11.680] – Karl Palachuk
Yeah, it’s sort of like these are the proposed names that nobody likes, but we’re open to better names. Jason says need to stay focused on the core objectives. We have a big enough challenge ahead with dealing with legislative issues. So I would say no to peer groups. That’s another direction entirely. Wayne Small. Well, welcome Wayne. All the way from Australia, although he’s not in Australia now, I take it. There’s amazing wisdom in wanting to influence legislation versus get a tax discount from the membership. This is the reason you need a body like this. And Wayne is the newly elected CEO I believe is the title of the SMB. It professionals in Australia. He’s in Edinburgh. So very nice, very cold. Other comments or questions? Anyone is welcome to open your microphone and just say your peace. Alright. I’m taking silence to mean we have complete approval from everything, especially Chris.

[00:39:34.380] – Andy Higgins
Hey, Carol.

[00:39:35.570] – Karl Palachuk
Go ahead, Scott.

[00:39:37.610] – Andy Higgins
Yeah, before just as a clarification about the tax stuff, as a committee we wanted to buy something like buy a license for a product that we would be using for the NSIS. Can we claim that we’re not charity, but you said not for profit and get a discount on there.

[00:40:06.850] – Karl Palachuk
Anything that you purchase would need to go through my office and if it were over a certain amount has to go to the board. Right. So because we want to make sure that things are registered in the association’s name and so forth and paid for by the association’s credit card. Most of the charity programs, and you’re all familiar with the TechSoup, they specifically are designed for charitable C Three S. And so we are not eligible for most charitable programs, which is too bad. But they don’t want to pick nits and say, well, if they support a C Six and it’s an association for something they don’t agree with, So anyway, it’s sort of a minor thing. There’s not, I don’t think that much that we need where we need charitable for like hootsuite or something. I don’t know that we would save enough money to make it worthwhile. Okay, thanks. Very cool. And I actually took a note, Andy, to talk to you about and work out with Karl where we would put it. But basically we should figure out if it’s a forum or wherever to put a place for people to volunteer to be at these events.

[00:41:35.130] – Karl Palachuk
We had, let’s see, Rayon and Amy and I were the primary members who sat at the booth at A Kronos and we really got a lot of attention and a ton of people. And in fact, I’d say we probably talked to people from nine other countries as well who are interested. The need for what we’re doing is very, very strong and I’d like to.

[00:41:58.840] – Andy Higgins
Open that to all members and anybody who wants to participate at a conference and help out that way. That’s where that comes from.

[00:42:07.450] – Karl Palachuk
Absolutely. We now have a sign actually that a chronos had made for us and we need to fix something on it. But we have a sign that can be used for certain purposes. But we also have table throws so that anytime that somebody will donate to us a booth or a table at an event, we have cards printed up by the thousands too. So any member who wants some can send me an email. Karl P@itsp.org and we’ll send you some cards to give out and we’re also going to print up some stickers and stuff. We’re preparing a sort of a membership kit that includes some of the things that you can use to help promote our association. So we’ll be sending those out to members just as soon as probably the stuff is there when I get home.

[00:43:07.680] – Denis Wilson
We’ve also had Keith go to the SMB Tech fest for the first time and I have not heard back from him yet as to the feedback that he received. Did you by chance talk to Keith?

[00:43:25.970] – Karl Palachuk
Karl no, I’ve been on the road since he was there, so yeah, I figured his money was just last week.

[00:43:32.160] – Denis Wilson
Yes.

[00:43:35.200] – Karl Palachuk
So we have like the tablecloth and we’re going to be producing some materials as handouts. Most people don’t want handouts but we’ll probably produce a really big QR code and that way we don’t feel people’s bags. But there’s a lot of people that literally signed up while they were talking to us at the booth. So it’s a very effective way to do it. And many of the organizations have kind of like a community area where they set up booths for channel pro and ASCII and so forth and so we just want to be in that with everybody. And we have members in every state so we should be able to hit all of the conferences because somebody’s going to be there from NSI, itsp they might as well sit at a booth. And Acronis also produced for us a little stamp so that if they give you those passports where you go around every booth and so forth. So now we have a stamp to stamp those things with. Wayne absolutely. You may speak. Everyone is welcome.

[00:44:48.180] – Wayne
Thank you so much. Karl. Hopefully my internet connection will hold up. It’s been a bit flaky in the hotel here. I wanted to commend you guys on what you’re doing. We’ve had the SMBiT Professionals Association running in Australia now for ten years and in a very short period of time you’ve come a long way. So to all the committees involved, good work on the work that you’re making. I’m seeing a few ideas on the membership slide here that I might steal for ourselves. But I also wanted to offer you guys everything that we’ve done over the last ten years. If there’s something there that we can provide to help support the Ntisp, let us know. You have my vote to help support because it’s through formal associations like this that we It providers get the chance to actually influence our politicians ultimately and therefore have a positive influence on our customers businesses through the different regulatory compliance and things like that. So we have our motto is strengthened numbers and the same thing really applies to you guys. So I just wanted to commend you all. You come a long way in such a short time.

[00:45:57.180] – Wayne
Well done guys, well done. Thanks for letting me be part of this.

[00:46:01.090] – Karl Palachuk
And your internet is stable, but your southern accent is a little strong.

[00:46:10.830] – Wayne
My wife right here doing the ironing. I can get her to translate for you in her teeny girl.

[00:46:18.700] – Karl Palachuk
All right, well, thank you and good luck. You’ll get up at 04:00 in the morning and join us at our next meeting in February.

[00:46:27.780] – Wayne
Look, I absolutely just happened on this particular meeting today. It’s nearly 06:00 p.m. In Edinburgh at the moment and yeah, I just saw the link and thought why not jump on, but yeah, I’m going to try and attend them.

[00:46:43.740] – Karl Palachuk
That’d be great. Thank you. Very cool. Will we be represented at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas? So Steve, I do not know if you know who we contact about that. I’d be happy to start that conversation or I like throwing stuff off to other people to do so. Maybe I’ll ask Andy. But any show that you know of a contact or who is organizing it, we would love to have that and we will begin the process of seeing if they will give us a table. Yes, Andrew? Yes. You have to send me an email. We are going to produce the logos and so forth. I’ve just been running around like crazy. So we’re going to have downloadable logos for paid members and instructions and all of that. So that’s sort of the last thing that needs to be done after we adopted the new logo. So it shall be done and I have nothing else to do the rest of the year, so it’ll be done quicker.

[00:47:57.200] – Jason Thomas
And that is something that we could bring up, is the welcome kit for professional members or a company membership. What would everyone like to see in those packs? Like company membership is going to be right to have the logo on their website, et cetera. But is there anything in particular that people here had an idea of what should be in those kits?

[00:48:24.550] – Karl Palachuk
That’s a great question.

[00:48:30.100] – Jason Thomas
I figure since we have our large audience here, we’ll see if we can get some more answers from Dennis.

[00:48:35.370] – Karl Palachuk
Kara is on the line. I haven’t looked this morning. So I don’t know if the code of ethics is on the website yet, but probably not just because I sent her a note with a heads up yesterday, because I knew that that question would come up. It will be posted on the website. It’s always a matter of trying to balance things because when we put something on the website, it’s like, oh, do we put it in like the about page and make that continue to grow longer and longer and longer? Should it have its own section or whatever? So you’ve all done some web development, you know how that goes. But it will be on the website and then I will be posting it in a blog and will point to its somewhat permanent location. Look at that. So in the chat, Kara has posted the code of ethics. There you go. Exactly.

[00:49:27.780] – Denis Wilson
Thank you, Kara.

[00:49:29.880] – Karl Palachuk
She’s always amazing. And let’s see, discounts for new professional members. So what is the exact question, Andrew? Do we have discounts for members or are you thinking about a discounted membership price? Because I think the price is so low, it doesn’t need to be discounted. Is my opinion. Some kind of reward for going out.

[00:49:58.450] – Jason Thomas
And recruiting professional members, was my thinking.

[00:50:05.950] – Karl Palachuk
Well, we’ll have to think about that. Again, I think anybody is a professional in this industry, the price should not be an issue. But also, if you’re a member, I kind of think you should be motivated to in your own self interest to help get as many members as possible in the association.

[00:50:57.630] – Wayne
I tend to agree with you there, but we found that naturally incentive to do seem to help some members promote more avidly than not.

[00:51:08.490] – Karl Palachuk
Right? Well, and it may be. I have talked to some vendors, including one who is one of the vendor partners, who has already given us some money about the possibility of having them pay for memberships for their key partners. So that basically we would grow membership by having our vendor partners pay the membership fees for some or all of their resellers. So there’s lots of things that we can do with that.

[00:51:42.330] – Wayne
We’ve actually got a vendor here in Australia, Karl, that as of our conference that you’re at just last month, that they’re looking to utilize their call team to call out to their resellers to join SMB It professionals here in Australia. And there’ll be a bit of a bonus that goes if they do join. Yes, they’ll have to pay full price for membership, but it’s something we’ve been working on to try and work with our vendors more clearly because, heck, they’re the channels that typically we want to try and penetrate and we want to try and work together with. So, again, anything we can do to help, let me know.

[00:52:20.280] – Karl Palachuk
Right. Very cool. We’re almost at the top of the hour, so we can stay as long as we need to, but I just want to make sure people know. If you got anything else that you want to say before people start heading off to their next Zoom meeting, now is your chance. Not sure who pays Ken for the trip to Australia to visit Wayne, so that’s a big question.

[00:52:47.650] – Wayne
I’m not really sure that’s a benefit, to be honest.

[00:52:52.900] – Karl Palachuk
Well, first price is a week with Wayne, and second price is two weeks with Wayne.

[00:53:03.850] – Wayne
Well, I see a chuckling in the background.

[00:53:10.300] – Karl Palachuk
Alright, so folks, there has been there was a blog post in September with kind of the core outline of the new membership thing, but if you have any comments, please send us notes. There are forums on our site give us feedback because barring any feedback, the board is going to take a look at this and probably make some changes here and there and some tweaks and whatever, but I think they’re pretty set to put this in place. I don’t know if it will be by the first of the year, but it’s definitely on the agenda for the next board meeting. So any feedback you have, now is the time. And we’ve done a pretty good job, I think, of being transparent with folks about the code of ethics, the values, mission and vision, you know, the things that we are producing. And this is kind of the outline of what we think the membership is going to look like going forward. So if you have feedback, we will absolutely take it. And again, this is one of these things where the governance committee didn’t rush out and put this together in a week. They took months and months to do it.

[00:54:21.360] – Karl Palachuk
So if you have feedback, give it to us and we will integrate it into our decision making process, as always. All right, Diana. Thank you. All right, any other comments, questions, whatever? We got like 3 minutes until people start jumping to other meetings. I gotta break in the storm, so I might run to the airport.

[00:54:54.450] – Larry Mandelberg
Thanks, everybody.

[00:54:56.250] – Karl Palachuk
All right. Thank you all for being here. Another great meeting. I certainly appreciate it. Could someone explain the difference between the benefits of one of a one person shop as compared to a company? Great question, Ken. So if you are a one person shop and you want to just be a professional member, that’s absolutely the core of our membership right now. But if you have three or four or five employees, you may decide that you want to be a company membership. The only real difference is that with a company membership, you would get one paid professional member. So you’d have to pick who that is. Probably the owner or the general manager, whatever. But then the rest of your employees would become associate members, which means that they’re associated with your company. And so they can sit in on meetings, they can have full access to everything on the website. And it’s just that if they are in a committee meeting, for example, they can’t cast a vote. Only the one person designated as the professional member would have the voting power, but they can fully participate. And if you think about what CompTIA does, if you’re like, I have a membership in CompTIA, so that means that Kara and I are also members of CompTIA, so they can participate and so forth.

[00:56:23.420] – Karl Palachuk
They can’t sit on the executive councils of CompTIA, but they’re full members. Right. So it’s sort of like that. Right. So I hope that answers the question. And if I got any of that wrong, the folks on the governance committee can smack me in the head and correct me. Very good. All right, so I think we got a couple of minutes left, although, like I said, if people still have questions, happy to. Yeah. So, Ken, if you’re a one person shop, there really isn’t a difference. Just join us as the professional member. So we’ll get the recording up as quick as we can. And again, it will always be in that meeting area on the site. And of course, if you have any questions in the meantime, all the boards and committees are all listed on the site. Now, we had very little change after the elections, which is good. I think it means that we had the right people in the place in the first time, but it feels very good to have them be elected by the entire body. I think that’s a huge thing for us and a major, major milestone in our evolution.

[00:57:50.630] – Karl Palachuk
Alright, so if there are no other questions, I’ll go ahead and put this meeting to bed and we’ll get the recording up as quick as we can. Alright? Alright. Thank you all. Thank you.

 

Resources and Links