Category Archives: Consulting

Microsoft Launches the Microsoft Virtual Academy

imageMicrosoft is launched a new learning experience for you called MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy) with the objective of helping you to build the necessary skills to grow in your IT role and career with Microsoft Cloud technologies.

This Microsoft Virtual Academy will help you improve your IT skill set and thus advance your career with a free, easy to access training portal that allows you to learn at your own pace, focusing on Microsoft technologies. Earn points, each completed trainings and get recognized by the community by moving up the ladder into a Bronze, Silver or Platinum membership.

In MVA, you will find the following resources learning content such as:

  • Whitepapers
  • Webcasts
  • Training Videos
  • Forums
  • Access to community experts
  • Statistics of your performance and professional progress
  • Level of knowledge within the career selected.

When subscribing to MVA, you will become an active member and according to your progress you will receive additional benefits such as Certification Vouchers discounts, Coupons for training centers, preferred access to Microsoft events and much more other benefits….

Register now! Visit this site and follow the registration process.

Deceptive Telemarketing

I don’t really have a problem with telemarketing. They are in the business of supplying a product and I assume they only want to reach out to people interested in their product or else they are just wasting everyone’s time.

So today I got a call on my personal cell phone from the number (312) 506-3688 – I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered anyway.

“Do you take credit cards?”

Well, since they didn’t identify themselves, I figure they have the wrong number.

“No, this is a personal cell phone, you must have the wrong number.”

“Well is this XXXX tenancy?”

“Nope, have a nice day.”

And I hung up. They actually had my last name right, but I’m not a business and don’t deal with tenants as I’m not a landlord.

Then I think, what would they have done if I had said yes? Give me their credit card info over the phone to a wrong number? So I did a quick google search on the phone number and found this interesting little service at .

Apparently, this number belongs to a company called Landmark Merchant Solutions, and is in the habit of contacting people and asking if they accept credit cards.

A quick mental checklist of where my number was and how they might have gotten it turned up that yes, last month I had to acquire a business license from the city because I did some independent consulting last year as a computer programmer from my home. Since the city classified it as a home based business, I had to apply for a home occupancy permit and a business license ($150 and $102.95) retroactively. Even though this was done last year as a part-time gig between jobs, the government always gets their pound of flesh.

I used my last name and “Consulting” as the name of the company, and since I don’t ever answer my home phone these days (anyone who needs to get in contact with me knows to call the cell, and the only reason we currently have a home phone is for the DSL) I used my cell phone as the business number. So instead of consulting, I either heard tenancy, or that’s what they said.

Either way, I have to wonder how effective that is. Wouldn’t it be more straightforward to just say they are a telemarketer from this landmark solutions company and would like to know if I wanted to accept credit cards? Or maybe even a hello, congratulations on the new business, have you thought about accepting credit cards? If they had done that, I might have listened to them and even called them back if I ever decided to go back into the consulting gig again (after all, I’ve already got the business license for it!). Instead, there goes a minute of my cell phone time and I won’t call them back when I’m ready to accept credit cards because of this initial impression.

I have to wonder where the break even point for them pounding out calls to new businesses vs. cultivating a relationship with some common courtesy resides?