I have been blessed, I got to hang out with with the guys who were doing SharePoint before anyone knew what SharePoint was. Though they may not know it, they were my hero’s, and the only source of information in the 2002, 2003. I am just lucky to be one of the team, During my time at MVP12, I arrived early to attend the first Office 365 Conference and hand with folks like Christian Buckley, Owen Allen, Fabian Williams, spoke with Joelo for a brief minute as he was headed to SPTechcon..Got to hang with Erica Toelle, Jeremy Thake (Jeremy I hate you, lol),, Corey Roth, Wouter, (we missed Wictor, but for a good cause).. The rest of the week flew by with breakfast @ 6am not finishing until 530 with Microsoft ten going out with your friends, and the release of the consumer preview of Windows 8.
Maurice Prather and I drove to Frys just so In could get another SSD Drive to build on my laptop with Windows 8 . When you talk about someone that is probably the most knowledgeable person I have had the opportunity to work with on a project and had the most impact on me its Maurice, and and then my work recently Jim Duncan who Maurice introduced me to in 2007 (we played Halo in his base on a 10ft projection screen) as while on a project in San Jose.
What was different from last year and previous experiences
Everything, all of the PGMs listened to what we had to say and al lot of the DEVs from the PG were onsite with us listening to everything we thought. This is huge cultural change for Microsoft at least for someone on the outside looking I since the beginning.
Since 1994 when I left telecommunications to become involved in the Computer Industry with Online Connecting Point and Jeff Tietser in 1994. Microsoft has become a better, better, and Partner and software Company to work with not selling vaporware but the real deal. The only sad part was when Microsoft was forced to slow down development due to regulation not improve the product as quickly as possible as it was impossible for the competition to keep up. Well that and the .COM bust was by far worse than anything else.
I remember doing huge projects (huge at the time) for American Honda North America, Nestle North, Kaiser California. Warner Bros where we where in the case of Kaiser 30k desktops / Laptops a month for 6 months and every server in California replacing Novell, with Nestle or Honda North America we replaced all Servers, Desktops, and laptops with nothing more than the Resource Kits to create a website where you could in the case of Kaiser type in the doctors name or phone number and know whether his system had to be deployed into a webpage. If it was able to be upgraded the user would be notified when they arrived in the morning of their new password (this was the most intensive part besides building the website, it required the most people), we would would move all of their GroupMail to Exchange, Novell file shares to NTFS shares, and rebuild their laptop desktop with every app installed, GPO Policies based on the Security Group locked down every application and the doctor could only access the applications of the security Group he was in.
In almost all of these cases Microsoft would attempt to say that we had somehow violated their Support Agreement and or license, in every case we eventually convinced Microsoft that we in know way violated their Support Agreement or Licensing agreement (Imagine the clients reaction from the communication) an no they couldn’t charge the client for every application deployed unless they had access to the application.
This was just one example another is SIDs everyone thought SIDs were a huge issue when cloning a master image in reality it was only an issue if your master image had ever been joined to the domain prior to it becoming an image. Due in part to our discussions with Microsoft there was a subsequent change of the agreement and a new industry was born. Now we have tools that make migrations easy or easier they still take planning and execution. imho I am sure there were many others pushing for the same thing and we were not alone
In the mid 90s thanks to Tyler Bryson and Aaron Sloman things began to change in Southern California they listened to what we were planning and helped us do things that would have taken much longer with the local office support (they were ALWAYs available). Like migrating site server from NT4 to Win2k where if you remember you couldn’t even rename a site server without breaking it and this was Win2k in advance of any HPO Drivers for the 2500s.
When working with Microsoft now, they listen to all complaints regardless of the the source. MVP12 was one of the best experiences I have had due to the honest and open communication with all levels of folks from the PG during the sessions, the content itself, but most of all getting to spend time with all of the folks that know SharePoint at least as well as myself and in most cases better.
Note: My apologies Todd Bleeker I think I gave you the SQL2012 RCO instead of the RTM version, oops…
To list all of my friends here would fill the page so I will just say thank you to the SharePoint MVP community for being my friends, helping to resolve my issues, and in general putting up with obnoxious personality. In my imho the SharePoint Server MVP Team is the best and the brightest of all the MVP Teams and groups in general
Ultimately, I would be not just remiss, but rude if I didn’t thank Microsoft for bringing all of use together Once a year and for deploying the resources to build such a great Community not just listening, being open and honest, but. There really is nothing like all us being in the same place and time in Redmond and the Microsoft Campus.
My thank goes out to the MVP community for its support and I miss you guys, thank you for signing my MVP Hockey Jersey from last years MVP11, I luv you guys and look forward to learning more from each of you…
In the next few months I’m presenting at #SPSLA, #SPSHOU, #SPSSSV, and Hopefully Orlando and look forward to seeing many of you at one of the events if not several. I’m Sure we see each other at multiple SharePoint Saturdays, Teched, DevConnectioins, Build, SharePoint Conferences, and of course online etc.
Thank you Microsoft for everything you have done over the years and everything your doing to help make the Community stronger, more agile and listening to the opinions from all of us in the trenches.