During the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles the ESPYs were taking place at the same venue downtown. For my International readers the ESPYs are the annual sports awards sponsored by ESPN sports network. 

Every year the Arthur Ash Courage in sports award is given out. This year it was given to an American Boxer, Dewey Bozella, who had been wrongly accused of murder and subsequently spent 32 years of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit.  He was recently exonerated because of some new evidence and released.

While in prison, Bozella vowed he would start an organization to change the world for under privileged kids by teaching them discipline in a boxing gym. He had the courage and conviction to not only withstand 32 years in prison, but go on to start something from scratch that would have an affect for generations to come.

As I listened to this man’s story I couldn’t help but think about the thousand partners in the Citrix Service Provider program who are also trying to change the world.  I talk to these partners all the time and one in particular at World Partner Conference made a huge impact on me. He told me that creating new Cloud based services was the challenge of his life. After literally traveling around the world for the past several months setting up data centers, meeting with partners and selling solutions to potential customers he was just worn out. 

His business is growing and he is seeing the fruits of his labor but only because he has the tenacity and courage to stick it out as this new market emerges. Entrepreneurs like this in the Cloud Services space are to be commended as they are the ones building a new future for the SMB.

Thank you to all of the courageous service providers who have the tenacity to build these next generation services.  You are forging ground where no one has gone before.