After much deliberation and over 20 entries, the judges have reached their decision in our ‘Convince your boss to send you to TechEd’ competition. You offered countless brilliant suggestions that would undoubtedly have resulted in a ticket to Amsterdam, as well as some beer-focused ones that we’re not sure would quite wash! But in the end there can only be one winner of our ticket to TechEd Europe in June, and that winner is…
Many congratulations to Patrick who will soon be joining us at TechEd in Amsterdam for a packed week of sessions and hopefully taking lots back to his business as a result. The judges particularly liked that his entry was very current, taking into account the financial pressure that we’re all seeing at the moment. Not only that, we loved his plan to use the trip away as a proof of concept for implementing DirectAccess, here’s hoping it works like a dream! Check out Patrick’s full entry below.
“My boss always wants us to do more for less, including less training budget >:/
Well I say to him that, same as in previous years, attending TechEd means I can do lots more for much less as a week spent at TechEd is worth at least two weeks spent in more traditional classroom environments. The event format enables me to pick & choose the content relevant to my/our business needs and interests, as well as providing access to a unique combination of Microsoft & industry experts, interactive sessions and hands-on labs.
On top of this, the location means it makes economic sense as well (MMS being in Vegas does stretch credibility a bit ;)
Besides, I can still be productive while I'm there as it'll be a perfect opportunity to prove our upcoming DirectAccess implementation!”
Of course Patrick wasn’t the only person that impressed us, oh no. In fact we were so impressed that we picked out an additional runner up because it was just too close to call! Second place goes to Samuel Roach, who will be receiving a shiny new Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone. The judges were impressed with his enthusiasm for cloud computing and that he was actively promoting Office 365 to customers, as well as the fact that he was already taking part in our IT Camp events.
“As we're a small IT solution provider whose customers are mostly on the various versions of SBS, it's easy to become complacent and think we don't need to take a serious look at Hyper-V & the cloud in general. Unfortunately, sometimes it's easy to think cloud solutions like Office 365 aren't relevant for our small clients. However, my boss' interest in persuing cloud solutions began to change not only when one of our clients (though one we didn't mind losing) switched providers in favour of a cloud solution but also when he received an unexpected cheque in the mail for being the Partner on record for an Office 365 client I set up! Surprise!
Today, I'm at a Microsoft IT Pro Camp showcasing Hyper-V, SCVMM and other virtualisation solutions and realising just how many tools Microsoft has out there to make creating and managing VMs so much easier, efficient and flexible. Tools such as the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target and other remote management tools either built into Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7, or readily available and free from Microsoft online.
When I get back to the office tomorrow and show the boss some of the things we can do with Microsoft tools to make our jobs easier and cut down on time spent on the phone with client issues, he'll have to send me to Microsoft Tech Ed. Maybe this would be a good time to get another client up and running on Office 365 so he gets another [surprise] cheque in the mail! :-)”
Third place and the lucky recipient of a bag of Microsoft Swag is Martin Milne! We were thrilled to see that he’s pushing full adoption of Microsoft technologies in his business and actively updating their legacy applications. His willingness to use underhand tactics also made us laugh, and would definitely convince his boss to send him to TechEd!
“My employer has just moved from Lotus Notes to the Microsoft Platform. I would use the sense of unease with the technology and simply advise them of the benefits of TechEd. Complete immersion in MS technologies that would provide the starting point for building fantastic solutions with the product suite.
Failing that the Christmas office party photo's may be used as leverage. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.…”
Our runner up was Randy Perkins, who will be receiving a mini swag bag for his entry. He highlights what a great networking opportunity TechEd is and how there is so much you can learn not only in the sessions but also through talking to others who may have been in the same position as yourself.
“Being a contractor means I am my own boss. When justifying training I have to not only think of the cost of the course but the lost income if I attend one. So I would convince myself by saying it is one of the best IT related networking and training events in the world. One that will enable me not only to learn about a wide range of products but understand the vendor space that helps fill the gaps. Also I will able to discuss challenges with likeminded people who may have been in my position.”
Thanks a lot to everyone who entered, we really enjoyed reading through all of your very persuasive arguments, if we had our way we’d send you all to TechEd! Unfortunately we can’t do that, but at least you can now pinch our winners’ ideas for the next time you pitch a trip to your boss. Good luck!