April 18th I was invited to Microsoft 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.

·         Collaboration

·         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

§  Desktop

§  Enterprise

§  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!”

· 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).


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