You’ve probably seen the news in the last couple days, about how well Microsoft’s System Center brand is performing. If you’ve not heard the news, read through Mary Jo Foley’s comments on it here:
What doesn’t get mentioned is the history of the System Center brand and how this community helped nurture, support, and evangelize a series of small-time Microsoft management products since the very beginning. Without all of you, there would not be a “System Center” brand and the products that make up the System Center group would either a) not exist, or b) have taken completely different directions.
Through your comments, complaints, and perseverance over the years, you have enabled Microsoft to take the next steps to providing full-featured management products. Are the products perfect now? No. There’s still a lot of work to do, and let’s hope that the deep history is not forgotten.
There was a time when “SMS” was considered the red-headed stepchild at Microsoft – garnering very little support and very little funding and resources. There was a time when “MOM” was considered just another acquired product that may or may not make it due to poor sales. But, these two products have now blossomed into an actual direction for Microsoft that is predicted to provide them a huge amount of revenue for the future. How long ago was it that we were all taken aback that neither Bill Gates nor Steve Ballmer would ever mention “SMS” or “MOM” in speeches or keynotes? What a short time ago it was that Bill Gates was supposed to speak at MMS and it was determined that we were less important than something else that was going on at the time.
Remember when 80 or so people gathered for the very first SMS conference? Now, remember how we filled the Venetian in 2009 despite a horrible economy. Remember the early years of myITforum.com, formerly the SMS section on Swynk.com? Now, think about the 50,000 plus people that visit myITforum.com daily for information and community support for all System Center products.
There are a lot of “new dogs” at Microsoft who have entered over the years, and who don’t realize the history of their System Center product lines. You may not get a direct pat on the back from the Microsoft folks, thanking you for your dedication, but that doesn’t mean that the “old dogs” in the product groups don’t remember you. I’m sure if they could, they’d heap tons of accolades your way.
But, I remember. And, I don’t forget. System Center goes beyond just products. System Center has brought together the finest community around. System Center has produced tons of memories through the years and brought people together in ways unimaginable. The System Center community sticks together. And, I’m sure, as time goes by, as long as Microsoft doesn’t forget – the System Center products will be just as successful as this community.
So, congratulations! And, thanks for being the best System Center community in the world.