Coming home after the MVP Global Summit is a moment of reflection, or better the trip home is. The Summit is a time of intense interaction with peers who are very varied bunch of experienced technologists. Next to their hands on Microsoft stack expertise they also bring their experience with other technologies and companies. This gives us the opportunity to talk to each other and exchange knowledge and views. Poor in the feedback and the discussions with the Microsoft Program Managers and their management. This goes on from sun rise to sunset. It pays to come early and stay an extra day. It opens time for more meetings and discussions in and around Redmond.
The end result is a truck load of information impressions we need to parse. That can take some time. And we need to filter our conclusions for our management. The content of the MVP Summit and all talks around it are strictly NDA. The insight and ideas we harvest from that we can leverage, but we cannot expose the information.
On Microsoft’s side they get a reality check, open and honest feedback, they get our opinions and ideas. They learn about our successes and challenges in the real world. If that was not helpful to them they wouldn’t want us to show up on their campus disrupting their work week.
To me it’s also a reality check. What am I doing. How am I doing that and why? Even more importantly where am I doing this things and is what I use the best choice. It show my own strengths and weaknesses. That’s valuable as well.
Well the good news is that judged by some requests and opinions of my peers I’m an valued expert and architect. I do have some weaknesses but I’m on track to address those. The balancing act here is that we have to avoid wasting time on dying opportunities that are sill needed but are heading down hill fast. Not as much due to the technology being obsolete or no longer needed but mostly due to politics and a bad understanding on how to deliver IT cost effective and efficiently. The amount of self inflicted wounds and pain can be shockingly high. The trick is to avoid those projects as that’s wasted time, time that should be spent on moving forward. Sometimes this looks like the nineteen nineties all over out there.
One thing is very clear. Those that seek a single solution, a one size fits all approach, just for the sake of simplicity or perceived economies of scale will fail. A bipolar approach without a place for the vast amount of “stuff” in between, let alone a realistic and sound technical plan to integrate it all are going to fail. Ask any plumber . Learn how to think independently and don’t grow too dependent on industry analysts. Do what’s right for your needs.
I know that some people tend to see conferences as a waste of time and money. Going to the wrong conferences will do that yes. So is attending for the wrong reasons or in the wrong way.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. A conference is hard work, fun sure, but hard & lots of work. Don’t expect to go home with a custom magic strategy & implementation plan for all your IT needs. Much has been written by many community buddies and myself on this subject. Here’s a short reading list for you (and there a dozens more) on how to do it well.
But if you pick your conferences, make sure you plan and take the time to network and talk with industry experts, vendors, colleagues & fellow MVPs who you only get to sit down with at such events it can be a tremendously valuable experience. You network gain insights, get to pitch your ideas and views with some of the best and brightest … very stimulating and rewarding!
In my neck of the IT woods it’s a place I want to go an talk shop too the group of people mentioned above. Let me know if you’re attending, it’s always good to meet up.
But MSFT is also organizing an #IgniteJam on Twitter on February 3rd, 9:00 am Pacific Time (That’s 18:00 in GMT+1). Join them and get your questions answered.
I know a good many of people in my global network that will be there so that’s great news. Networking and exchanging information is a big part of what makes a conference a success. The right people being there makes a huge difference. Whilst on that subject, here’s a tip to the vendors in the expo hall: make sure you have technical people there as well, only sales and marketing isn’t good enough. Go for the right mix.
Follow @MS_Ignite on twitter for the latest news and developments about the conference. Go to the registration page to secure your ticket and consider add one of the Pre-Day session to the agenda to optimize your investment in time. See you there!
After Redmond (MVP Global Summit 2014), which was a great experience I flew to Berlin to attend and speak at the Microsoft Technical Summit 2014 on “What’s New In Windows Server 2012 R2 Clustering”. Germany has a seriously engaged ITPro & Dev scene, that’s for sure, and the session room was packed! Afterwards some interesting questions popped up in the hallways. That’s great as question really make us think about technologies and solutions from other view points and perspectives.
After Berlin I was off to Experts Live 2014 in Ede (The Netherlands) where I presented on “The capable & Scalable Cloud OS”. The talk went well and I had a great crowd attending with whom I had some great chats after the session.
That concluded the third leg of my international road tour where I invest in myself, the community & the people I work with. Never ever stop learning . Normally this also concludes my traveling schedule for 2014 unless I’m needed/requested somewhere to help out. Being an MVP is about sharing in the community. The only way to prosper is to share the knowledge, experience and the wealth. It provides for a healthy ecosystem from which we all reap the benefits. This should be promoted and facilitated. There is too much expertise & knowledge not being leveraged due to the fact it’s economically unfeasible, and that’s a waste when people are screaming for IT skills. In a war for talent, any waste is surely very counter productive?
As you might already know I’m speaking at the Dutch IT community event Experts Live 2014 in the Netherlands. The talk is about “The Capable & Scalable Cloud OS “ where we’ll highlight and show some of the scalable capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2 when combined with great hardware.
You can find the program at Experts Live 2014 which is very rich in content. There are 7 tracks and over 40 sessions! Chose a track or mix and match to your hearts content between Microsoft Azure, System Center, Hyper-V, SQL, Windows, PowerShell and Office365. It’s all good.
To celebrate the success of the event the organizers have allowed us to give away some free entrance tickets. This is a very nice gift that will allow you to enjoy a full day of learning for free.
So convince me you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn and we’ll help you do exactly that by making sure you get a free ticket! Leave a reply to this blog post from Thursday October 9th till Thursday October 16th in which you tell me what blog or blogs of mine you’ve enjoyed most. Leave your name, e-mail, your company and function title so we can arrange things for you. Don’t worry we will not publish these.
There is only one request/condition … if you win a ticket come to the event as a no show means some one else can’t come.
Yesterday I attended the DELL CIO Executive Summit 2014 in Brussels. Basically it was home match for me (yes that happens) and I consider it a compliment that I have been given the opportunity to be invited to a day of C level discussions.
Apart from a great networking opportunity with our peers we had direct access to many of DELL’s executives. I found it interesting to see what some existing customers had to say and share about their experiences with DELL Services. Especially in the security side of things where they provide a level of expertise and assistance I did not yet realize they did.
The format was small scale and encouraged interactive discussions. That succeeded quite well and made for good interaction between the attending CIOs an DELL executives. We were not being sold to or killed by PowerPoint. Instead we engaged in very open discussions on our challenges and opportunities while providing feedback. It reminded me of the great interaction promoting format at the DELL Enterprise Forum 2014 in Frankfurt this year. You learn a lot from each other and how others deal with the opportunities that arise.
To give you an idea about the amount of access we got consider the following. Where can you walk up to the CEO of a +/- 24 Billion $ company and provide him some feedback on what you like and don’t like about the company he founded? Even better you get a direct, no nonsense answer which explains why and where. Does he need to do this? My guess is not, but he does and I appreciate that as an IT Professional, Microsoft MVP and customer.
Before the CIO Executive Summit started I joined the Solutions Summit, to go talk shop with sponsors/partners like Intel and Microsoft, DELL employees & peers and lay my eyes on some generation 13 hardware for the 1st time in real life.
It was a long but very good day. As the question gets asked every now and then as to why I attend such summits and events, I can only say that it’s highly interesting to talk to your peers, vendors, engineers and executives. It prevents tunnel vision & acting in your village without knowledge of the world around you. Keeping your situational awareness in IT and business requires you to put in the effort and is highly advisable. It’s as important as a map, reconnaissance and intelligence to the military, without it you’re acting on a playing field you don’t even see let alone understand.
I’ve been invited and I’m attending the CIO Executive Summit with DELL’s Executive Leadership Team on Wednesday September 17, 2014 in Brussels. It’s an opportunity to meet and network with my peers and IT leaders. It also provide the opportunities to discuss challenges with Dell executives and where they see DELL help us with those.
I’ll be attending 2 “Strategic Deep Dive Sessions” that address some of critical challenges facing IT C-Level professionals. I’m doing the one on security. This is important as alone eternal vigilance, preparedness & situational awareness can help mitigate disaster. The technology is just a force multiplier.
The other track is on future ready IT solutions. That means a lot different thins to many of us. The new capabilities and ever faster evolving IT places a financial and operational burden on everyone. I’m very interested to discuss how DELL will deal with this beyond the traditional answers. The need for fast, effective & cost effective solutions that deliver great ROI & TCO is definitely there but the move to OPEX versus CAPEX and the potential loss of ownership also introduces risk that can cost us dearly if not managed right. IT, is still more than a financial model of service billing, even if sometimes it looks like that. It’s important to keep the mix in balance & do it smart.
So on Wednesday I’ll be focusing on strategy and not action or tools. Something that get’s missed way too much by way too many way too often. Michael Dell will be there and if I get the opportunity I’ll be happy to give some feedback.