Again the time of the year has come where I tend to browse through my picture library on my phone and look back at all the good –and sometimes bad and ugly- moments of the past year. Similar to last year I have made an overview with some highlights of 2015.
The founding of Coretech Benelux is without any doubt the greatest moment of 2015. Runner up would be my first time in Redmond attending the MVP global summit. Next to that I had the pleasure to be part again of many community driven events and conferences as a speaker, panel member or as organizer.
As pictures say more than a thousand words … have a look at the compilation I have made for this year.
Thanks to all involved in these great moments of the past year!
Happy New Year – I am looking forward to an even more exciting 2016!
Earlier this week I blogged about my stay in the US and my attendance at the MVP Global Summit during the first week. The week after the MVP Summit I have spent in Minneapolis attending the second edition of MMS – a three day conference organized by the Minnesota System Center User Group. Like last year the event took place at the Radisson Blu hotel located next to the Mall of America.
For this second edition the organizers held on to the winning formula of last year: lots of deep technical content, great sessions with extended Q&A, and a lot of opportunity to interact with speakers during or after the sessions. Add to that a nice list of Microsoft speakers and the 2015 edition was bound to be a success.
At the event I have attended quite some top notch sessions on a wide variety of topics. Next to technical content there is also a lot of show and entertainment: top sessions in that
category kitagrie remain the Configuration Manager State of the Union session and off course the Jeopardy Quiz.
As a speaker I have teamed up with Dieter Wijckmans for a session on combining the forces of Configuration Manager with Operations Manager. Next to that I was part of the panel at the EMS Ask the Experts session on Wednesday afternoon and earlier that day I did a BOF session together with Jeff Gilbert. As a board member of the System Center User Group in Belgium I also participated in the MMS At Home session – which typically is the final session that wraps-up the conference.
Like last year this has been a top event in all aspects and above all also a great opportunity to meet up and hang out with friends. No doubt this event has a lot of potential for the future and as such it should not come as a surprise that the 2016 edition was announced already: this third edition will take place in May instead of the usual November time frame. Whether this means I should pack swimshorts for going to Minneapolis remains unclear. 🙂
Make sure to mark your calendars for the 17th, 18th and 19th of May for MMS 2016! Registrations are already open!
To wrap up a few interesting links related to this event:
Until next time!
Most of the sessions and content shared during the MVP summit is under NDA – so I cannot share any details about them. One topic we got approval to disclose information about is the hackathon.
The concept of the hackathon in a nutshell:
- Prior to the summit the MVP’s could submit ideas, improvements and features they would like to have in the product.
- The Product Group made a shortlist out of the proposed items.
- A mixed team of MVP’s and Product Developers is assigned to work on each of the items on the shortlist.
- After a short kickoff meeting on Monday each team has a few checkpoint meetings during the week to further discuss and follow-up on the progress.
- By the end of the week the solution is presented to the entire group. Everyone involved can cast 2 votes and based on those votes the rankings are listed on a scoreboard (Note: there are no prices … just bragging rights).
- These are the topics that got shortlisted:
- Project Active : real time information on active clients
- Project ANT : aka Twitter for ConfigMgr
- Project SCCMARA : Azure Remote App Integration
- Recursive Task Sequences
- Wizards of Wizards : ability to save templates for settings
- In console reporting on TS progress steps
- Server Patching
- Alternate UPN for cloud synching
- Hybrid Intune enrollment troubleshooting tool
- Powershell support for creating CI settings
I was a member of the Project ANT Team. A quick line-up of the team:
- MVP’s : Collin Smith, Kenny Buntinx and myself
- Microsoft PM : Dune
- Microsoft Developers: Rae, Chris, Pong and Anton
Purpose of our project was to be able to send real time notifications to end-users via the Configuration Manager console and to log end-user consent. Additionally we wanted to be able to include similar notifications when defining deployments. It is all about involving the end-user in (sometimes complex) scenarios.
This all started on Monday and by the end of the week all projects got presented (and live demoed!) to the entire PG and MVP group. Everyone in the room could cast 2 votes for their favorite projects. Based on those votes our project ended taking the second place on the winners podium. At that time we also got approval from Microsoft to also present this solution at the MMS conference in Minnesota (more on that in a separate blog post).
Seeing an idea evolve into a working feature in the product in just a few days time is just an amazing experience. Big thanks to the Microsoft team for making this happen. Do note that this is lab work only – whether or not this feature will ever make it into the final product in any form or format is undecided at the moment.
The hackathon was definitely the top item on the agenda for the week but the content shared during the other sessions was very valuable as well. For those who were in doubt whether Configuration Manager would be dead in a few years from now: I can only say they should not fear: the product is more alive than ever!
This was the first time I have attended the summit and as such I cannot compare to previous editions. All I can say about this edition is that it has been an amazing experience: from meeting the product group, visiting the Microsoft Campus to spending time with my fellow MVP’s – it has all been great.
Until next time!
End of this week I will be heading to Las Vegas again for the 2015 edition of IT/Dev Connections. The event is taking place from the 14th to the 17th of September at the Aria Resort.
This year I will be delivering 2 sessions again with my regular co-speaker Kenny Buntinx. Both sessions are in the Enterprise Management and Mobility track:
# 1 – Securely Delivering Traditional Windows File Server Home Folders to BYOD Devices.
Discover the most hidden and underestimated Windows Server 2012 R2 feature, called Work Folders. Work Folders lets you leverage your file server investment while simultaneously providing end users with anywhere access to their data, from their work PCs to their personal devices. In this session you’ll learn about challenges for secure implementation and management not only with traditional home folders but also in the BYOD world. Discover how to deploy and manage Work Folders servers and clients, gain an understanding of how Work Folders operates end-to-end and integrates into your existing infrastructure, and learn how Work Folders takes advantage of capabilities such as multi-factor authentication, Workplace Join, and Selective Wipe to ensure that corporate data remains secure wherever it goes.
#2 – Arming Your Mobile Workforce Warriors for the 21st Century
In today’s world, your mobile workforce will most likely have expanded significantly. Managing your ever-expanding legion of mobile warriors and their arsenal of devices can be a challenging task. During this session we’ll show how Configuration Manager and the Intune extensions can help you manage your troops and arm them with the correct tools for battle. Learn how Intune and System Center Configuration Manager make it easy to manage all your Windows, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android devices with a single pane of glass. We’ll walk through how to easily configure devices for your users by pushing Wi-Fi, VPN, certificate, and email profiles as soon as they’re enrolled. We’ll cover configuration and management of device settings; provisioning profiles for email, VPN, and Wi-Fi; and other native features that come through the standard Intune extensions.
Next to Kenny and myself there is a third SCUG.be member presenting at IT/Dev Connections: Dieter Wijckmans is going to rock and roll in the Cloud & Datacenter track. Have a look at his sessions here.
Similar to last year the three of us will be using the #meetthebelgians hash tag during the event. Will you help us get this hash tag listed into the Twitter analytics again for this edition? Make sure to do so, and most of all: reach out if you see us hanging around – we are looking forward to meeting you!
Registrations for the event are still open!
Hope to see you there.