Preparing for Microsoft Ignite

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You know you’re busy when the idea of heading to a technology conference for 6 long days feels like a break from things. Between running an office and building a business, creating content for 3 Microsoft Virtual Academy courses, presenting a dozen or so webinars, and my usual self-imposed content load, including my new monthly column for Redmondmag.com (check out my latest post), Ignite should be relaxing.

I’m actually heads down working on some other content, but wanted to push out some details around my Ignite activities before hitting the road for 10 days. I can honestly say that I am excited to attend Microsoft’s inaugural Ignite event in Chicago next week. For one, I can’t wait to see so many friends again. It’s been fantastic to get off the road after a 5-year gauntlet while working with some of the biggest SharePoint ISVs, but I could use some friend-time. Plus, who is not excited about much of the news coming out of Redmond as of late? Innovation is happening inside the walls of One Microsoft Way, and there are some big announcements on their way.

As for GTconsult (www.GTconsult.com), we do not have a booth – but you’ll find myself, co-founder and COO Craig Tarr (@craig_tarr), and CSO Warren Marks (@markswazza) en force. Aside from my 3 sessions, I’ll be spending some time with Colligo, Beezy, Content Panda, and Metalogix at their booths, or otherwise roaming the expo halls recording videos for my re-launched OneThing series (focusing entirely on Office 365). If you’d like to be in a video, track me down!

As for fixed dates / times to locate me, here are the activities where you’re guaranteed to find me:

Office 365 Network Breakfast Meetup
Tuesday, May 5th
08:00AM – 09:00AM
Hall B Meal Area

Metalogix Best of Breed Award Celebration
Tuesday, May 5th
09:00PM to 01:00AM
House of Blues

clip_image002Colligo Booth (#583), pitching my latest whitepaper “Best Practices for Successfully Navigating the Transition from SharePoint to Office 365”
Wednesday, May 6th
Noon – 02:00PM

SharePoint on-prem, online and everything in between
Find the right cloud formula for you–private, public and in-between. Be it SharePoint within Office 365, in Azure, on-premises and certainly hybrid, this session focuses on the scenarios that increase both deployment scenarios and value.
Wednesday, May 6th
02:50PM – 03:10PM
Theater: Microsoft (Expo)

Strategically Evolve Your Role as an IT Pro
The traditional tasks of the IT professional role centered around configuration and administration. Going forward, one must evolve to meet the rapidly changing technology landscape, where public and private cloud, mobile, and hybrid options come into play. IT pros, today, require skill expansion on top of core infrastructure management capabilities, including technology advisory, business analysis, technical and business support, and evangelism functions. In a Microsoft environment, the IT pro role does not go away – it becomes even more essential. In this session, we discuss the transformation of the IT pro, outline some of the new opportunities, and provide much needed perspectives for businesses and individuals to prepare for the future.
Thursday, May 7th
09:00AM – 10:15AM

MVP Panel: SharePoint On-Premises, Online and Everything in Between

Imagine five great minds coming together to talk about Microsoft SharePoint across the board, be it within Microsoft Office 365, in Microsoft Azure, on-premises and certainly hybrid. Via a panel Q&A format, these MVP experts expose how online and hybrid improvements increase both deployment scenarios and value. This session is designed to help ITIs and ITDMs find the right cloud formula to deploy based on practical business and technical considerations. This is a must-not-miss session for any IT pro! Includes myself with Dan Holme, Chris McNulty, Laura Rogers, and Jennifer Mason.
Thursday, May 7th
10:45AM – 12:00PM

While I’d love to see some familiar faces during one of my presentations, I know its going to be an action-packed week of activity. In addition to all of this, I’m also going to be one of the live-bloggers for ITUnity, which you can follow along in real-time at http://www.itunity.com/ignite-live. And if you miss my sessions, please be sure to say hello if you see me in the hall.

On a personal note, as those who follow me on Facebook are probably aware, my daughter’s fiancé Jared Workman was injured in an accident with a horse this past weekend, resulting in a severe head trauma and coma. My daughter was scheduled to be married this Friday, which has now been delayed, and with plans to sign up for new health insurance as a married couple next week, the accident happened during the no coverage gap. With a fractured skull, multiple MRIs, and multiple surgeries, the costs are mounting, and a GoFundMe effort has been launched. If you’d like to donate, please go to http://www.gofundme.com/jaredworkman

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Lehi, Utah, through which he provides fractional-CMO for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem.