Calling all network manager type people

Put this onto your radar:


http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/essentials/default.mspx


Had a meeting with some bodies here at the MS Australian partner conference just a while ago, in particular the lovely Frederique Dennison (Product Marketing Manager, Secfurity and Management) where we were discussing network management tools and processes.


Microsoft is certainly ramping things up for the SME end of town and if you work in this space then you need to start getting familiar with System Center Essentials (SCE) before the guy up the road does. It’s going to change the way networks are maintained moving forward – making things easier, more visible, more pro-active rather than reactive (aka waiting for the phone to ring).


You can download a VHD of SCE to play with so you’re not installing it into your production environment to begin with, and being a virtual machine you could even play with it whilst flying home from the conference [8-|]


Hint: SCE is part of the wave hitting a network near you next year (http://msmvps.com/blogs/calvert/archive/2007/08/31/aussies-add-this-to-your-rss-feed.aspx), so get your board waxed and ready ahead of time.


 

I thought I should crow about this one…

I’m at the Microsoft Australian partner conference, being held on Hamilton Island. There are 633 Microsoft partners here and around 140-150 Microsoft staff, together with 23 exhibitors including Trend, Kaseya, Wacom, ProCurve etc.


Anyway, Friday night is the big gala dinner where the partner awards are given out. I’m proud to say we’re a finalist for the Partner of the Year award for the Network Infrastructure category.


We’re up against 2 giants – Commander & Southern Cross. Just being a finalist is something special but winning will be even sweeter.


Anyway, just in case you don’t believe me, check out Nick Mayhew’s blog post – http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmayhew/archive/2007/08/21/award-finalists-announced.aspx (scroll down to the bottom 25% in the list).


Note one key name missing from this list – Axxis! Mathew Dickerson is most certainly here dressed up with Axxis branded clothes and golf buggy, as you’d expect. I forgot to bring my camera to show you but then he really doesn’t need any more publicity :)


If we win, expect another post and a rather sore head. If we don’t win I’ll still be very happy with being a finalist. Chalk one up for the SMB focussed partner.

SBSC Get Together Today

I’m at the Microsoft Australian Partner Conference, being held on Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands, just off the mid-north Queensland coast. Weather is not too bad – lots of cloud but we’re getting bursts of sunlight which keep us awake (together with copious loads of coffee).


There’s a meeting of the SBSCs at the conference this afternoon in room 312 of the Reef View Hotel at 3:45 today. Pip Marlow (SMSP Director) and Tracey Fellows (MS Australia Managing Director) will both be there.


If you’re here at the conference, and are a Small Business Specialist, make sure you come along to find out what’s happening with the SBSC program in Australia and to ask any questions you’ve got.