Happy February 1st!

I, for one, cannot believe we’re already one month down for 2011.

The good news? Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 -- our yearly Microsoft partner confab -- is one month closer! And, after you’ve spent the day watching the thermometer travel between 30° and 45°, as well as take in all the news about the crazy winter weather across the U.S., a conference in Los Angles is looking like a mighty good idea!

Speaking of good ideas, perhaps I should formally welcome you to my new blog: Welcome!

You may remember me (queue my classic Phil Hartman voice from his days on “The Simpsons”) from such blogs as http://blogs.technet.com/ianhamer where I shared my Redmond insights around topics spanning Windows Server networking technologies, my life living on a bus for a week ahead of TechEd Berlin 2009, and most recently Exchange 2010 email archiving and discovery goodness.  Well, I’ve been in my most recent role, leading our Exchange Partner Marketing team, for nearly a year, and my team thought it would be a neat idea if I started a brand-spanking new blog to share the great stuff, you, our Exchange partner ecosystem, have been up to.

So, here it is!

After taking about a year off from blogging…I’m back!

My plan is to share not only the great things that we, the Exchange product management group based in Building 31, get to do in collaboration with our resellers, system integrators, ISV and hardware partners, et al, but also provide a glimpse into my team and how we’re getting ready for things like WPC2011, the Office 365 launch, or even the start of the 2011 Major League Soccer season (perhaps the latter is mostly about how I am getting ready for MLS First Kick on March 15th at Qwest Field here in Seattle).

For example, I hope you had a chance to read Julia White’s posts around the great work our Lotus Notes migration partners are doing to help make it even easier for former Notes customers to realize the benefits of Exchange 2010 and Exchange Online.

Or, how about the recent joint release we did with our partner HP regarding some pretty cool optimized hardware solutions for Exchange 2010. Don’t fret, there will be a lot more on the HP E5000 in the coming months.

At the same time, I really hope we can use this blog as a place to hear from you directly and solicit feedback around how my team can serve you better.  I think this is more important than ever as we think about migrating customers off Exchange 2003 to the latest release, making the journey together to the cloud, and driving new services, software and hardware offerings around the Exchange platform.

I hope you’ll stick around and stay tuned for more great stuff from me, and the folks from my team, as we ramp-up for a great 2011 and beyond!

Ian
Group Product Manager
Exchange Partner Marketing