Category Archives: Wpc

Remind me to take more pictures next time

Remind me to take more pictures next time…. a little bit of sessions, a little bit of sightseeing

There’s other interesting sets tagged with WPC10 as well

Check these out —

Random thoughts regarding WPC

Hi, I’m Susan and I’m from Horse and Hound Magazine…

You remember the scene in Notting Hill where Hugh Grant accidentally gets in the press line trying to see Julia Roberts and pretends to be from Horse and Hound Magazine?

Well that’s what I felt like all this week for me.  Ending up in the Press line and not quite feeling like I am a member of the Press.

 So on a plane home tonight… and now stuck for the evening in a Denver hotel… here’s some random thoughts typed up regarding WPC ….

Finally the next versions of SBS are announced

 And it’s about time.  I was hoping that the SMB sessions listed –  would be recorded.  I would have loved to hear what people thought, what questions people had but unfortunately I don’t think that many of them are recorded.  I’m finding few SMB track sessions on the  And unfortunately, due to the small size of the room and the fact I was late coming down from another meeting, I missed it.  The “bouncers” monitoring the room attendance turned away more than a few due to overcrowding and firemarshall rules.  Even some web sites noted it as “little noticed announcement”  

Now the good news is that there’s enough videos up from various sites (   that it should give you an idea.  Take Home Server, stick it on 64 bit, (think like it’s brother Vail the beta of the next version of Home server), make it a domain controller, limit it to 25 pcs,  have it back up the workstations.  For Exchange and SharePoint, those two items will be in the cloud.  You won’t be able to (nor will you want to) stick Exchange 2010 on it.  There’s no WSUS on it either

There’s a add in console where various vendors can add in their plug ins… think of Home server now and how many doo dads and add ins that are there.  Now here’s where you come into play.  You want a connection to a cloud service in Aurora?  Ask that vendor to sign up for the Aurora beta and download the SDK when it comes available.

 SBS v7

 Many people said about SBS 2008 that there was no wow.  That you waited until the hardware changed out before needing an upgrade.  SBSv7 will probably be a similar story.  As you can see from the video the console of SBS v7 looks the same as SBS 2008.   Exchange 2010 is new, SharePoint 2010 foundation is new, the RWW page has the adjust the monitor size back in again (remember it was taken out in SBS 2008), and it’s be redesigned and it’s running on Win2k8 R2 but … and sit down on this one… there’s no client backup in it.  Yup, I know, you are going “man, that would be so cool”, but honestly, I don’t want it on SBSv7.  The client backup is a different file structure set up.  The last thing you want is Exchange 2010 sitting on that drive extender stuff doing it’s thing.  You just need to trust me on this that there’s a reason that I’m so strongly “I don’t care” that SBS v7 doesn’t have client backup.  Just stay tuned and that’s all I can say right now.

 The leadership team

 I’m still a bit scratching my head as to why Microsoft would flip flop Jon Rosskill with Allison Watson right before the partner conference… but then again flipping them right after would be just as bad, wouldn’t it?  Of all the keynotes I watched or heard, the one that resonated the best was Kevin Turner.  To be honest, I dunno, Jon Rosskill did not impress me.  Especially so when he said that Microsoft has earned the partners trust.  Man, not from my view point.  It’s still needs to be earned regarding the issue where partners have to put in their client names and contact info.   Now mind you (and I need to confirm this) but I think they are making more changes in the BPOS program and I thought someone said there was going to be some announcements about margins, but I couldn’t find it in the information online  (for example), so I’ll check around and report back on that one.   Eron Kelley who is a product manager for BPOS actually was more honest about the fact that they need to continually earn the trust of partners and it was something they were still working on.   

Migration options

One thing that wasn’t clear from some of the early articles was the migration paths to Aurora and v7.  Both with have a “migration” story.  But seeing someone’s comment the other day about how there was no migration story for SBS 2008 and that you had to practically clean install, I want everyone to step back a bit and take a look at what you are asking for.  My feeling is that many folks still asking for a migration path are looking for an inplace upgrade.  You are moving from 32 bit to 64 bit …there is no upgrade path.  Then Exchange has not provided an inplace upgrade as 2003 is different from 2007 is different than 2010.  

 The “ask” I’m seeing from folks, just isn’t possible.  There is a migration story now.  A good one.  One provided both by Microsoft and third parties.  But it certainly isn’t an inplace upgrade for sure.
 …well that’s enough of a brain dump tonight…

P.S. Aaron did an interview of me here –

FTC Blogger disclosure:  Microsoft has offered to pay for and I accepted travel, lodging and pass for WPC.  Otherwise I’d be cheap and watching it on  and following the #WPC10 hashtags on

Becky on Becky

So for those of you not at WPC remember that you can experience Becky Ochs Senior Product Manager for Small Business Server just like Becky did at WPC

You can go to the Coffeecoaching channel on Youtube and see her there.

Have you taken the geek quiz yet?

Kevin Beares’ back advertising the geek quiz

Between now and October it’s time to take that SBSC exam!

So the good news is that SBSC is here to stay.  The next news regarding the partner program is gold and silver is here to stay as levels of partners. 

The way the partner programs works is if you specialize in small business you want (you need) to get the SBSC updated credential.  It’s a doable exam.  If you want to showcase a level up from SBSC you go for the Mid market gold or silver compentency.  Now if I were in charge of the universe I would have made it the small and mid market competency, because as a small business I hear “mid” and I tune out thinking that’s not for me.

Between now and October it’s time to take that SBSC exam!


Microsoft Partner Network and Microsoft Partner

 The Microsoft Partner Network remains the name for Microsoft’s overall partner ecosystem community that provides opportunities for partners to find customers, create innovative solutions and strengthen their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Members of the Microsoft Partner Network are Microsoft partners, and beginning in October 2010 they will be eligible to use a new market-facing Microsoft partner designation along with reference to any gold competencies and/or silver competencies they’ve earned. As an example:

Rebranding Advanced Competency and Competency to Gold Competency and Silver Competency


Gold competencies and Silver competencies (formerly Advanced Competency and Competency) enable partners to differentiate their business, demonstrate recognizable expertise, and capitalize on benefits tailored to specific business needs.  Partners with Gold competencies have demonstrated the highest, most consistent capability and commitment within a Microsoft business solution area and are entitled to the highest value benefits from the network.  Partners with Silver competencies have demonstrated strong competence and capability within a Microsoft business solution area and are also entitled to high value benefits and a competitive advantage with this designation. The requirements to earn these designations have not changed.

Competencies are aligned to how customers actually buy, making it easier for partners to demonstrate relevant areas of expertise.

Gold” and “Silver” describe specific competency expertise, not the aggregate partner.

Partners can earn a combination of both Silver competencies and Gold competencies.

Gold and Silver competencies, new membership opportunities, will be available to partners beginning in October 2010.

More information about competencies is available at:

The one on one conversations

Okay I want you to scroll down and read Randy’s comment… here lemme copy and then I’ll comment on the message I got from WPC that does NOT come across in the digitalwpc presentations …

I think that one thing we MSP/support provider partners tend to forget is that there are other types of partners out there and that really we are at the bottom of the partner ecosystem… somewhere down by the blown out wellhead.

So, when Microsoft makes policy and product decisions, they are more concerned with the Dev community, or the Dynamics community or the partners catering to the enterprise where they might sell 100 server licenses at a pop or deploy 5,000 VDI seats under contract.

Our world doesn’t orbit close to their sun. We are probably more closely aligned with Uranus (appropriate peer planet name) than Mercury.

While it’s true that there are different partner sizes,…  it’s true there are different partner sizes.  What do I mean by that?   I’m going to go back to the theme that Ballmer blew it this year with his presentation.  I didn’t hear from Ballmer that he has people in the Partner channel concerned about the different types of partners and ensuring that each TYPE of partner was looked at to ensure that there were solutions for them, I heard it from the one on one  conversations that  this invite to WPC allowed me to have.

It was in the one on ones where conversations where had where they said they feel they have a strong SMB presense and other competitors are trying to gain a foothold and they can’t figure out a way in.  It was in those one on ones that you really got the view that Kevin Turner and other execs were will pushing to ensure that the every unique type of partner was considered… from the large account resellers to the OEMs to the independent software vendors to the value added resellers to the disti’s to the solution partners.. make no mistake here folks… Microsoft has yet to build a self healing, self configuring, self deploying SMB server that can do all this stuff on their own.   Customers will still want someone to handle this stuff. 

The SMB partner may not sell 100 server licenses a pop but don’t sell yourself short folks… Microsoft hasn’t built the software that can self configure, and they can’t reach the SMB businesses like you can.

Can they do a better job for SMB resellers?  Absolutely.  But do they need you more than you think?  You betcha they need you.

Think about this folks.  Microsoft paid to send me here.  They aren’t telling me what to write.  They didn’t tell me what to say.  Many of the one on ones I was giving feedback (yeah got in about VLSC),  telling people that Ballmer’s comments didn’t go over well, saying what you’ve said over and over again about the partner program about the trust factor with BPOS.  If they really and truly didn’t care about the SMB space at all, and the SMB partner was at the bottom rung of the ecosystem, why send me here at all? 

So I’m not convinced that the SMB partner is at the outer edge of the solar system.  Microsoft still needs you.

More than you think… and maybe more than they want you to know.

FTC Blogger disclosure:  Microsoft has offered to pay for and I accepted travel, lodging and pass for WPC.  Otherwise I’d be cheap and watching it on and following the #WPC10 hashtags on  Fortunately today it’s much cooler so I can’t say I’m blogging from hot and humid DC this evening.

Rise – being your cloud

Check out Rise ….nice interface… you control the billing of the customer and even ability buy short blocks of processing power as needed for a server project.

I met with them at booth 100 at the WPC.  I was impressed.  They have some good stuff going on and ability to be your cloud provider.  I can’t do it justice, nor can I show you the cool server provisioning interface that I saw at the booth.  My advice is to fill out the contact form and ask for a demo.

I was impressed.


Sometimes the good stuff is in the comments

Sometimes you find the interesting stuff not in the main article but in the comment section.

The second comment down in that article is from someone I know.  And quiet honestly there’s a part of me that has the same feeling.  One shouldn’t have to spend a truck load of money to get this information about what Microsoft is doing. 

I mean I get it that a lot of the value of a conference is the hallway talk.  I get it that you can’t capture that in a virtual venue, but I still think there’s got to be a better way to communicate to the SMB partner space without having someone trek across country and spend a lot of money. 

In the meantime if you are looking to investigate more about Microsoft’s cloud offerings…here’s the link:

All you have to do is click.

Got lost on the way to Hybrid Cloud

I’m bummed.  I got lost (as usual) at the Wash DC convention center and arrived too late to enter the “Hybrid Cloud” presentation… the reason… the room was too full.  Obviously that’s a good thing for Microsoft that there was enough people interested in what Aurora was about that they overfilled the room.

It’s always of interest to hear…not the presentation.. but the questions from the people in the room.  Oh well, I had a nice coversation with Jeff Loucks and Suzanne Dansey in the hallway. 

But here’s some presentations I found online that may be of interest:

Aurora preview:

SBS v7:

Now keep in mind that the beta’s are not public yet.. but you can sign up at to be alerted when they are released.

FTC Blogger disclosure:  Microsoft has offered to pay for and I accepted travel, lodging and pass for WPC.  Otherwise I’d be cheap and watching it on and following the #WPC10 hashtags on  Fortunately today it’s much cooler so I can’t say I’m blogging from hot and humid DC this evening.

The Partner trust issue

Susan here from Horse and Hound Magazine….my readers want to know….

Or so it feels like when I’m invited in to Press Briefings that include folks from the ChannelProSMB and TheVarGuy and what not….

So in a Q&A with Jon Roskill the new channel chief (the new Allison Watson) and one of the question came up was about Partner Trust.  He said that they had gotten over that hurdle with partners and maybe I hang around with the paranoid crowd but I still think it’s a concern.  In the later Q&A with Evin Kelly (sp?) that is the BPOS product manager he acknowledged that the trust issue would still need to be worked on and was still an issue. 

I agree.  Microsoft may be less evil than Google but the partners need to trust Microsoft as much as the customer base has to trust the Partner.  He also acknowledged the other feedback that I gave, that partners dealing with BPOS were struggling with the exposure to the issues that may be happening should their customers call up and indicate there was a problem with the services.  In the old days of on premises you could remote to the server, check the status of services reboot as needed and with BPOS you can’t do that.  He acknowledged that that feedback was taken up and will be reflected in the next wave with more scripting and API exposure. 

Kevin Turner in his keynote this morning said that customer want to get out of upgrading and maintenance.  I think that is a wrong message to put forth.  There is STILL upgrades and maintenance on cloud services, maybe it’s just not ones that you control though is all. 

Microsoft needs you to get off the old versions of software (see slidedeck view below)

If it takes putting revenue via cloud opportunities they want that too.

Kevin Turner sees more revenue.  I see a lot of less secure workstations in that view.


FTC Blogger disclosure:  Microsoft has offered to pay for and I accepted travel, lodging and pass for WPC.  Otherwise I’d be cheap and watching it on and following the #WPC10 hashtags on  Fortunately today it’s much cooler so I can’t say I’m blogging from hot and humid DC this morning.