I was in Barcelona at ITForum a few weeks ago and it was a huge event for System Center. We’ve now officially launched SC VMM, SC DPM and SCCM. Along with those launches there have been a bunch of announcements from our partners. We’ve also corralled a number of them into the System Center Partner Pavilion where they each had a pod and did demos in the theater and we officially launched our System Center Alliance program.

I was thinking about rehashing the announcements from all the partners but, there are just so many that I don’t think I could do them all justice – okay, I’m just lazy….and. Suffice to say our partners have announced everything from SCCM Config packs, update catalogs and OSD packs, to DPM appliances and SCE specific MP’s. One thing I thought was really cool was the integration between SCCM and Nokia’s Intellisynch product which extends SCCM’s change management functionality to Nokia and other vendors’ mobile devices. Something that is probably more important (though not as much fun…), especially to public companies, is what Braebion brings to the table. MS worked with Brabeion and Secure Vantage to integrate their knowledge on regulatory compliance into SCCM. By using our DCM config packs customers can use SCCM to report on their compliance to regulations such as SOX. Other partners who showed off some neat solutions were the folks at Intel both in their booth and in our pavilion with our mutual partners Wortmann and ClearPointe who were demonstrating their new server management solution which is based upon System Center Essentials. There was also FSC showing off the MP’s they built as part of their Dynamic IT for Microsoft solution.

The theme for the System Center launches is desktop to datacenter. As you can tell from some of the partners I’ve mentioned above, we are truly able to deliver on that theme. Overall the pavillion was well received by our customers, below is a picture of one of our partners, Bocada, presenting in the theater at the pavilion.

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The list of partner announcements is really astounding, we had over 25 partner announcements with more than 35 partner solutions delivered. It is amazing to see the amount of support we received from our partners.

I also got the chance to talk about our partnerships on Redmonk TV with James Governor. It only took about an hour to do a ten minute piece. If you’ve ever watched bloopers on TV and seen someone get the giggles…well that’s what happened to James and eventually me. It got so bad, we had to leave the convention center and tape it outside. The good news is we finally got it finished, the bad news is James was stuck outside for the rest of the interviews that morning and it was pretty chilly.

Along with the hard work, we did make some time for some fun at ITForum. We again hosted a dinner for many of our partners. The food was great, the wine was awesome and the conversation even better and it wasn’t because I look like Satan with those red eyes in the picture below:

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At the end of the evening, I was just happy I could find my way to a cab and back to the hotel….morning came awful early… I did remember to pack lots and lots of aspirin…

All in all, this was a great close of the calendar year event. It encompassed some significant product launches as well as all the work our partners did to support those products. At the end of the day it really shows how much System Center has grown and the breadth of the solutions we can offer when coupled with our partners. It was also a great last hurrah for me. For those that don’t know, I accepted an opportunity in another part of Microsoft. I’m very proud of the System Center Strategic Alliances team for all of their hard work. In the last couple of years we’ve gone from a pretty small partner ecosystem primarily focused around MOM and SMS where we worked in a very unstructured manner to a very broad and vibrant partner ecosystem across OpsMgr, Essentials, SMS, SCCM, SC VMM and SC DPM. I am also very grateful for the interactions and relationships I have had over the last few years with those partners. It has been a very rewarding experience for me and I’ve learned a great deal from all of them – both partners and team. I’ll miss working with you, but some of you will have to suffer with me a bit longer in my new role in the OEM Engineering Services group.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and has a wonderful holiday season. Hannukah sameach, feliz navidad, веселое рождество, buon natale, 明けましておめでとう, ano novo feliz!

- Carl