April 18th I was invited to Microsoft http://msmvps.com/blogs/clustering/archive/2007/03/27/it-pro-townhall-with-steve-ballmer.aspx for the first every IT Pro Townhall event. We were not allowed to take pictures, so I don’t have any of those, but we could take notes. Here are my random notes and thoughts:
We started the daily with an early breakfast. Looking around the room everyone had one thing on their mind, how did I make the cut with all these smart people? It was a who-is-who of the IT industry.
Panel Discussion #1 – Next generation of the Web and its implications on IT Professionals; both as consumers and in the enterprise
First up was a session on Web 2.0 with Bill Veghie (Microsoft), Chris Jones (Microsoft) and Craig Barnes (Attensa)
· Chris Jones @ Microsoft – does not know what it means. Applications are more interactive.
· RSS, dash boards, combination of data that was simply not possible before, integration, blogging, Google/Yahoo are bringing spreadsheet content to the web, both online/offline, AJAX, face book
· Stating Wikipedia as fact, not a great Web 2.0 idea.
· Interoperation and credentials
· Tracking data back to an original source, audit
· Community, social networking, social information tagging – Richer
· Reputation based system – Mark Minasi
· Data is not information – Jesper Johnanson
Panel Discussion #2 – The Evolution of the IT Professional Community
The second session had a panel with Dave Sanders (Culminis), Beth Quinlan (BQ), Kevin Kline (PASS), Lee Benjamin (Exchange Guy Consulting).
· Hands on lab, virtualization, connecting people and products
· Relationships – ties it all together
· User Groups
· Developers and IT Pro are the real community
Panel Discussion #3 – Data Center trends, Virtualization and Managed Services
This session had an interesting panel – Bob Muglia (Microsoft), Ron Markezich (Microsoft), Dan Holme (Intelllliem), Mark Minasi (MR&D)
· Smaller amount of IT professionals, more people running core business
· Consolidation of storage, pooling resources
· Microsoft is living all the products in Dog Food
· Everything can be virtualized – Bob Muglia we will hit that point in the future
· Check Alert to Ticket ratio, Microsoft using MOM is 1.5
· Virtualized another egg shell – Jesper
· IPSec & Server Roles – powerful security
· Microsoft does this for Energizer – LCS, Exchange, etc.
· Microsoft should dog food its own licenses
· Does this phase our IT Pros? No, it empowers them to fix issues and solve problems
· Assumption was 5 years ago 100% of IT Pro would be off shore, that is not the case today
· Slimmer product suites, maybe limit Exchange features just calendaring and Internet email
Keynote – Steve Ballmer
· What is Microsoft?
o Broad horizontal technologies
§ Online information and commerce
§ Modern consumer electronics
o Two classes of people
§ Have an IT department
§ They count on Yahoo or Hosted Services
· Web 2.0 – CRM, like the Xbox live – PC live and what that means to us
· Vista slow adoption and any lessoned learn that would help with future products like Longhorn – “it has meet my expectations”
· What do you think about User Groups – do not under invest in user groups, that would be a mistake and should be rectified.
· “If you don’t have world class email, you are sorta dead!”
· SteveB@Microsoft.com email me, I will try and get back with you in a week
We are supposed to get a Podcast of the day’s events, if we do I will share (if I am allowed).