It’s a cliché to claim that software product development is driven by customer requirements, but I’ve seen a lot of effort from the System Center team to engage with customers since I joined in August. I’ve actually just returned from a trip to take part in some focus groups to help us understand IT Professional’s perceptions of the System Center products – it was very cold in Chicago but I read a great article on bacon while I was there. I love the mid-west.

Other places where customer requirements are both met and bubble up to be product capabilities include the what the Microsoft Services and Solution Accelerator teams deliver. The Solution Acelerators are all about giving IT professionals the resources to quickly and easily get their IT investments operating and giving value to the business.  It’s a great example of how the experience of working with customers impacts the features you see in System Center products is the Desired Configuration Management (DCM) capabilities in Configuration Manager 2007.  This started life as a Solution Accelerator - built to assist our Microsoft Consulting Services colleagues and customers to solve a specific problem - then became a key feature of Configuration Manager 2007.

Speaking of Microsoft Services, they’ve just released a slew of new offerings to help you get the value of IT System Management. Configuration Management Optimization, Server Consolidation using Virtualization and Service Management Optimization   are all offerings that prove Microsoft is more than just a technology vendor and actually understands many of tactical and strategic issues faced by IT departments. Expect to see more content and combined efforts from the System Center and Microsoft Services group in the future as we continue to support our customers efforts to optimize their infrastructure.

 Paul