Going “All In” and My New Job

by Richard Harbridge on June 1, 2010


Within the next few months I will be moving to Boston, Massachusetts and working with Allin (pronounced ‘All In’ like the poker term) as a Senior SharePoint Evangelist. I will be actively consulting (primarily on SharePoint) and engaging far more than before with the SharePoint community.

To say I am excited about joining Allin and my new role is a bit of an understatement.

Why Allin?

  • The right approach.
    Allin and I are in complete alignment with how to approach a successful technology implementation. It’s about more than just the technical execution and planning. It’s also about the people, the challenges, and bringing it all together effectively.
  • A great team.
    You know that feeling you probably had when you were graduating? You had all that energy, ambition, ideas, and an amazing enthusiasm for the future.  You were going to do stuff, make changes, and make a big impact. That’s what Allin feels like to me. An entire team of people like that exist at Allin and it’s going to be awesome working with them.
  • Experience and flexibility.
    SharePoint Consulting is just a part of what Allin does well. Honestly go and take a look at their website. These guys do a lot and they do it well. The integration areas of the business are really important because as an organization they understand that while SharePoint is a powerful platform it doesn’t replace, or necessarily fit all the business solutions that organizations have to leverage. It has to be a part of an overall strategy and technology implementation. There are more examples but I will let you connect the dots.
  • They understand the value of community involvement and thought leadership.
    The role is one centered around building an honest, dependable, and reputable relationship with both the community and thought leaders in our technology industry. It’s one thing to stay on top of all the industry trends and technology advances. It’s another to understand that to be truly successful over time you need to build strong relationships based on trust with your community, partners, and customers. I feel like Allin really understands the latter point.

In the end though it’s not about me, or even Allin. It’s about all of you and why this is awesome for everyone because it means I can be more active in the community than ever before.

What does this mean for my personal blog or twitter?

No marketing and corporate fill here. Promise.

The content of my blog will remain the same. I will be posting the same sorts of articles, thoughts, and ideas I always have. Only now I will actually have more time to spend writing more meaningful entries. In fact it is my intention to finally start publishing the 20+ drafts I have already started. 🙂

My twitter stream will also remain the same. If it gives you value then hopefully it will continue to do so.

On both of these points though it provides a perfect opportunity to ask a question:

  • Is there anything you would like improved or changed about how I use twitter or my blog?

I am always open to suggestions or feedback.

What does this mean for my involvement in the SharePoint Community?

It only gets better! With more time and energy dedicated to the community due to the role change (from an internal focus to an external one) I can come out to far more events, and share far more with everyone.

It is my full intention to still stay involved and actively support our wonderful Canadian SharePoint Community. There are a large number of SharePoint User Groups now in Canada and the number of sessions, conferences, camps, and events continues to grow every year.

Our Mississauga SharePoint User Group will be having some great talks coming up and many more to follow:

  • June 22nd, 2010 – Peter Carson will be doing a talk about Business Process, Workflows, and Forms in SharePoint 2010 (NOTE this is no longer scheduled for the beginning of June)
  • July 6th, 2010 – Shai Petel will be doing a developer oriented talk around SharePoint 2010 and the Ribbon

BurntSand is helping us get our new website going which should be available soon.

In Toronto the next SharePoint User Group session is scheduled for June 16th and is sure to be fantastic as well.

I cannot be as physically present as I have been with attending user groups, creating SharePints, and lots of other SharePoint activities in the local Toronto community since I will be living in Boston. I will still support the User Groups virtually, as well as SharePoint Saturday Toronto, SharePoint Camp, and hopefully will even organize our first SharePoint Unconference in Toronto as well. So really I won’t be leaving the Canadian SharePoint community behind at all.

My being located in Boston does however mean more User Group interaction within the United States. I will get involved in more of the User Groups (not just SharePoint either) within the US. Especially in the Boston area (such as the  Boston Area SharePoint User Group) and along the east coast.

More speaking and attending SharePoint and Technology events! I will speak and attend far more SharePoint Conferences, Camps and Events than I was able to previously. With Allin supporting me it means I can connect and share more with more people across a larger area than my limited personal budget and personal resources could afford.

What does this mean for my current clients and my consulting company?

While I have been working primarily internally during the past couple years since leaving a previous Microsoft Gold Partner I have not stopped consulting and engaging clients externally. I have in fact been running my own business with a fantastic partner in Ontario, Canada. This has enabled me to keep a sharp edge on my consulting skills and still be challenged with many different industries and environments which further enriched my internal work with organizations like Cosma.

The down side has been that I have been turning down tons of work on a regular basis (or providing alternatives) because of my internal time commitments with organizations like Cosma (and the extra hours I put in).

This has been especially difficult as well because of how active I am in the community co-founding the Mississauga SharePoint User Group, speaking at many SharePoint Saturdays, Camps, and Conferences, Organizing and Interacting with tons of other groups and events (TEDx, Ignite, YearUp, etc).

My new role with Allin means that I will be effectively turning the business completely over to my partner so that I can dedicate all my time to the community (all of you) as well as my clients at Allin (hopefully you will be one of them in the future?).

If you are a current client of mine, don’t worry I will be contacting you personally to develop a plan for transition of work and all existing Statements of Work will be completed within the next few months before I join Allin.

Thank you to everyone for being so patient and understanding with this. I have worked with quite a few brilliant ‘freelance’ people to help ensure my clients get the help they need and will continue to do so at Allin in the future.

Why now and why the new role?

I love the SharePoint and Technology community. This new role allows me to focus on what I love most.

Nothing gives me more joy than helping someone in the community solve a problem, discuss the challenges a technology like SharePoint brings, or bring a bunch of people together so we can all become a bit smarter and better at our jobs together.

Within this past year I have spent quite literally tens of thousands of dollars of my own money and have been dedicating hundreds of hours of my personal time supporting and following this passion. Seriously. Now I will be able to continue to do that, but with the un-conditional support of Allin Consulting. This will empower me to do far more to help more people.

It’s not just a new job to me. It’s my dream job and it’s one I have no doubt I will throw everything I have into.

I’m going “All In” to help you and other people and Allin is going “All In” with me.
Richard Harbridge

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