TechDays Online is returning for 2013 and we want you to get involved in the process of choosing the topics, speakers and content so that you get the most out of your time with us. Last year we ran TechDays Online as a 2 day event and focused only on Server and Cloud technologies but this year we are also going to include a developer track and add a third day!
Feel free to share the event poll and date with your colleagues and friends who you think may also be interested in attending this event as well by using the social sharing buttons. We know that many of you haven’t been able to attend our in person events so we are hoping to consolidate those events to bring a really useful 3 day event.
<a href="https://saraallison.wufoo.com/forms/m7p5k9/">Fill out my Wufoo form!</a>
If licensing has been a pain point for a long time or if you’ve ever wanted to gain knowledge on Microsoft licensing then the new simple and effective MVA licensing courses would be an exceptionally great place to start. This training can be taken at any time and at no cost to you which is not bad for becoming a Microsoft Licensing Expert!
The Microsoft Virtual Academy’s new Licensing Training and Accreditation will help you build foundational knowledge on licensing programs and solutions, and enable you to maximize the value of your software investments.
Take the first Microsoft Licensing – Programs Fundamentals course to begin your licensing discoveries and put to rest any niggling queries you may have on licensing. This course provides a comprehensive but simple overview of Microsoft's licensing programs and licensing models. Topics covered include the benefits of volume licensing, ways to purchase licenses, and the various licensing programs and models available. Descriptions of license types such as device licenses and client access licenses (CALs) are also included, as well as overviews of Software Assurance benefits.
Whether you are beginner, intermediate or more advanced you are sure to find the course extremely useful. Not only that, but the course is extremely valuable no matter the size of organisation you work in. For those who work in organisations with more than 5 but fewer than 250 devices or users you may be keen to gain knowledge about the different choices of Open Agreements. For those in larger organisations with 250+ devices or users you will learn all you need to know about Select Plus Agreements and Enterprise Agreements.
Learn about the benefits of standardization from Volume Licensing Agreements such as savings for deploying standard sets of products across the organisations. Volume Licensing Agreements also has other great benefits including software assurances, pricing advantages and a range of offerings such as program choices for organisations of varying sizes which are covered in the module.
The Microsoft Licensing – Fundamentals course also breaks down in simple terms the basic application of CAL’s (Client Access Licenses). Take the course and listen to the great scenario and methodology that the presenter uses to explain why, when and how you would need a CAL when you are accessing the services of a server.
Also find out the fundamentals about the two levels of CAL’s (Standard CAL’s and Enterprise CAL’s) depending on the level of functionality that you need your users to access.
We view other licensing options for Microsoft Cloud Services and understand how to use Volume Licensing programs to license Microsoft Cloud Services including Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune, Windows Azure and Dynamics CRM Online. In addition you can realise how the key benefits from Software Assurance can help you plan, deploy, use and manage your Volume Licensing purchases in ways that can be less time consuming and costly.
These courses really are a great chance to stand out from the crowd, become a trusted advisor in your organization, build expertise on Microsoft volume licensing and match your organization's needs with the right licensing solution.
Stephen Rose is the Sr Product Manager for the Windows Commercial team at the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, WA. Before joining Microsoft, Stephen spent 15 years running his own IT consulting company. In his current role, he manages the Window technical content on the Springboard Series on TechNet, he oversees the Windows 7 and 8 Forums, is the editor for the Springboard Insider Newsletter, writes for Windows Team Blog, acts as the moderator for the Windows Virtual Roundtables and leads Springboard Series Tours in North and South America, as well as Europe and Asia.
You can follow the Springboard Series on TechNet via Twitter @MSSpringboard or on his personal feed @stephenlrose
Stephen Rose came over to Microsoft UK towards the end of last year and I had the opportunity to put him in the hot seat and ask him all about what he does, who he is and what he sees as most important to UK IT professionals. I got him to show me some of the gadgets he had on him along with the key things that he loves about Windows 8 for enterprise.
Here’s what Stephen had to say!
YOUR EXCLUSIVE INVITATION TO THE MICROSOFT HYBRID IT ROADSHOW Get the latest insights and learn what's new in Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 SP1 and Windows Azure Virtual Machines. Windows Server 2012 redefines the server category. It delivers hundreds of new features and enhancements spanning virtualisation, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation and more. System Center 2012 is a unified and flexible platform for managing traditional datacentres, private and public clouds as well as client computers and devices. With Windows Azure Virtual Machines, you can deploy and run Windows Server and Linux virtual machines, as well as migrating applications and infrastructure, without changing existing code. DELIVER BUSINESS VALUE WITH HYBRID IT This series of 1-day events will provide you with the best possible opportunity to learn about what's new in the Microsoft Hybrid IT vision, strategy and roadmap.
08:30 - 09:30
09:30 - 10:00
Keynote The Microsoft Hybrid IT Story
10:00 - 10:30
Voice of the Customer Early Adopter Customer
11:00 - 12:00
Building Your Cloud Platform with Windows Server 2012
12:00 - 13:00
13:00 - 14:00
Manage Your Cloud Platform and Extend It with Windows Azure
14:00 - 15:00
Manage & Automate Services with System Center 2012 SP1
15:00 - 15:30
15:30 - 16:30
Manage and Deliver A Modern User Desktop with System Center 2012 SP1 and Windows Intune
This is an opportunity you won't want to miss!
REGISTER HERE FOR THE MICROSOFT HYBRID IT ROADSHOW:
Location: Reading (Thames Valley Park) Date: 29 January 2013 REGISTER HERE >
Location: Manchester (Hilton Deansgate) Date: 26 February 2013 REGISTER HERE >
Location: London (Cardinal Place) Date: 5 March 2013 REGISTER HERE >
Location: Edinburgh (Waverley Gate) Date: 19 March 2013 REGISTER HERE >
You’re back to work and ready to learn the latest new technologies in 2013. If Windows Azure and cloud services are your thing then these 3 events that are coming up in January should definitely be added to your calendar!
LIDNUG presents Scott Guthrie's 15th Open Q&A, 15th January - Online
Scott has been coming back to LIDNUGs members each quarter for the past couple of years and it's been one of the best sessions to get answers directly from The Gu himself. In this session Scott answers questions on technical solutions, advices on implementations and draws comparisons between methodologies - all in the span of 90 minutes where his sole focus is to answer whatever question that comes in from the attendees.
The Cloud and Big Data: HDInsight on Azure, 25th January – 10am to 1.45pm - London
This session will cover an overview of Big Data and the Cloud plus how to get started with HDInsight and Azure.
Hybrid on Azure – A Pragmatic Approach to Cloud, 29th January 12pm till 5pm - Manchester
Cloud solutions are often presented as an all-or-nothing deal, in reality a move to the cloud is very rarely that straightforward and a much more pragmatic approach has to be taken. That is where Hybrid deployments really come into their own, the Windows Azure platform has been built with this in mind and gives infrastructure and software architects an all-encompassing toolkit. Join us in Manchester on January 29th to hear about how you can deploy hybrid cloud solutions across a wide range of common business applications and architectures and discover the benefits not only in terms of performance but also in terms of cost.
If you’ve not yet tried out Windows Azure get your free 90 day trial here:
Guest Post by Rob Fraser, Cloud Services CTO, Microsoft Ltd
A new study from Forrester, commissioned by Microsoft Ltd, has found that cloud computing is empowering ‘change agents’ from all corners of an organisation to deliver business innovation and drive positive business change.
Essentially, it shows that where there are certain types of people who are willing to push boundaries and innovate within their organisation, with applications and services delivered via the cloud acting as catalysts for positive change.
You might expect then that the study would reveal a sort of ‘wild west’ of IT, with un-sanctioned projects popping up all over the place and creating an unmanageable IT environment, what is often referred to as shadow IT. But the reality is quite the opposite. It shows that the most successful cloud deployments are those with strong alignment between business and IT and that all projects from those interviewed had engagement from IT.
This is clearly good news to ensure IT environments remain secure and adopt the correct rigour towards governance and privacy. But Forrester did make some bold recommendations to IT as cloud adoption becomes more widespread.
IT to evolve
The study suggests that IT departments could consider becoming ‘cloud brokers’, offering a marketplace of services and applications which the business can call on to innovate and deliver value (see how Microsoft is supporting this at www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com)
Skills to change
Forrester suggests that cloud computing is accelerating the shift in skills requirements for the IT function from technology to business management. One of the study contributors, the head of IT at a UK University said: “We will have to start having people with different skills. 80% of the [IT] department today consists of technical resources, 20% is business. We will shift to more business management skills when managing multiple [cloud] services.”
Maintain the close alignment between IT and business
Independent of the origin or executive sponsorship of a cloud project, successful initiatives require strong collaboration between business and IT. Forrester states that “The vision of ‘swiping a credit card’ and getting a complete, functional cloud solution is a fairy tale in most cases.”
Ultimately, we think that cloud computing will provide the impetus for IT leaders to become agents of change within their organisations and fulfil a long-promised role. IT is sometimes said to be 80 per cent focused on ‘keeping the lights on’ – the day-to-day operations that keep essential services up and running. However, the cloud means IT can start to find a way forward to providing new capabilities, adding new value and working with the business to create new offerings.
What do you think? Has cloud driven innovation in your organisation and how have you kept control over shadow IT deployments? Please share your examples with us or join the discussion at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Cloud-Computing-Microsoft-UK-3837607/about
To read the full report, visit www.microsoft.co.uk/changeagents
New years resolution: must blog more! It's only taken me to the end of January to start my resolution but I'm going to try one blog article per month.
We're bringing back Tech.Days Online on the 24th/25th & 26th of April. This time with more days and more topics. Simon and Andrew will be back and we'll be introducing some new faces as well! We will also be providing free MVA points for the learning!
If you can't spare the time to get out of the office or have a travel restrictions, then this is a great opportunity to learn from your browser!
- Learn online from the comfort of your own desk
- Register once and dip in and out of the sessions you want to attend
- Half an hour, bite size sessions on the topics you most want to hear about
- Dedicated sessions for IT Professionals and Developers.
- Ask the experts questions throughout the three days
- 50 free MVA points for anyone that attends
- Plus the opportunity to win loads of cool prizes!
Day One: Visual Studio 2012 - 24th April
Dedicated to developers and testers, learn more about Visual Studio 2012 ‘the tool for developing for Windows 8’ and hear from our experts and ALM Partners. We will cover Agile development with Team Foundation Server 2012, testing capabilities of VS and the new Team Foundation Service. We also welcome your views on what additional development content you would like us to include. We will update the agenda nearer the time, so you can choose which sessions are of most interest to you. Link to the survey to have your say.
Day Two and Day Three - 25th & 26th April
Two whole days solely devoted to IT Professionals, but there’s a twist; we want your help to set the agenda. Complete our short survey and choose the topics, speakers and content that you want to learn more about, so you get the most out of your time with us.
Register for your place now, and we’ll confirm the agenda in a couple of weeks-time based on the results of our survey. Once we’ve confirmed the agenda, you can then choose to attend the sessions that are of most interest to you.
http://www.microsoft.com/click/services/Redirect2.ashx?CR_CC=200178703&CR_EAC=300073380&CR_ID=%%IndWWMDB Individual ID%%
I'm going to try and keep to my new years resolution of one blog article per month to complement the articles the rest of the team are regularly writing. I do need your help, if you don't see an article by me in a month, send me an tweet, ask me where it is :)
Thanks for reading, we look forward to seeing you online at Tech.Days in April
Whether you want to upgrade your PCs to Windows 8, gain access to exclusive offerings such as Windows 8 Enterprise edition and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, or use Windows with greater flexibility, there is a Microsoft Volume Licensing solution that is right for your organization.
Learn how simple Windows 8 Licensing is when you take the new MVA product Licensing course. This course covers:
· Windows 8 editions - identifying the type of user for each edition
· Consumerization of IT and today’s tech savvy trends
· Review the channels through which these editions can be purchased
· The licensing and flexibility of Windows 8 Licensing and go into more detail on various editions
· Companion Device Licensing
· Several typical real life customer scenarios that gives you realistic business situations where Windows 8 licensing is applied
I can’t promise Licensing is made exciting, but I can promise that it is made very simple whether you have basic or expert knowledge it is extremely handy.
Here we see the channels through which Windows 8 is made available. For example, Windows RT is only available through the OEM channel as a pre-configured system on certified hardware. It offers users a consistent Windows experience.
Did you know that you can purchase upgrade licenses through a Volume Licensing program to gain access to Windows 8 Pro? Upgrades are available through Microsoft Volume Licensing programs for small to midsize organizations such as Open License, Open Value, Open Value Subscription or Select Plus.
From the Eligible Professional Grade Offerings with Windows 8 Pro, learn how to take advantage of the convenience and flexibility available through the various Volume Licensing Programs. Especially important is the availability of Software Assurance for our Windows Desktop operating systems designed to enable customers to implement new flexible work style scenarios.
Understand how there is increased value with Software Assurance. In addition to new version rights, SA provides exclusive access to enterprise offerings, such as Windows 8 Enterprise edition and to the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP).
SA offers greater flexibility for how customers use Windows. For example there is a new use right called Windows To Go, allowing employees to access a corporate image running Windows 8 Enterprise from a bootable USB.
Qualifying operating systems - Properly licensed Microsoft operating systems (such as Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP) have either a full operating system (OS) license or the combination of an upgrade operating system license and a pre-existing, full operating system license. Only certain editions of the Windows operating system qualify for upgrades under Volume Licensing agreements.
If your OS license qualifies, you can purchase the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade license, under your Volume Licensing agreement. It is important to understand that Windows licenses that are available through Volume Licensing are upgrade-only licenses and can only be acquired on top of a base OS license.
To learn more, take the assessment, print your certificate and become a certified licensing expert for Windows 8 just like that!
As many of you may have heard we ran a series of competitions across the 12 days in the run up to Christmas which resulted in a final challenge for one lucky winner to receive this fantastic prize list:
Earlier today the judging panel met up and the winner was chosen.
We are delighted to announce that Chiraag Swaly is the winner of the 12 Days of Geekmas Day 12 Competition!
The judges found that Chiraag’s entry provided a fantastic amount of high quality in depth content on Windows Server 2012, it was well presented and a lot of thought, time and effort had gone into this. There were a large range of useful links and resources included and if you are looking to find out about Windows Server 2012 then we would recommend that you take a look at this competition entry and the OneNote notes that go along side it as they provide a broad range of useful information and learning resources in one place. Well done!
The judges also wanted to give an honourable mention to MagnetmanEXE as this was the best of the rest. The video had a really nice pace and some great content as well as a nice style however got pipped to the post as it didn’t have as much depth of content as the winner.
To celebrate the launch of Microsoft Office 365 in the UK we are holding a unique event taking place based on and around the specially created Route 365 bus. The 365 will travel through London for a day, playing host to a fascinating selection of speakers sharing their personal stories of how technology supports and improves their day to day lives.
Highlights include Tess Daly, Will Greenwood and Sally Whittle all giving their personal accounts of how technology is enhancing their working and personal lives. Members of the public are invited to join the bus and get involved both online and in the real world, to ask them about their experience. Attendees and members of the public will be joined by artists, musicians and entertainers as the bus moves through London, with the whole experience being streamed live at http://catchthe365.com
The entire journey is being used to show how Office 365, including OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel and Word allows you to work and stay connected, even while you are on the move.
Far be it for us to succumb to hype and bombast when we're launching a new product such as Office 365. However, when we challenged ourselves to discover all the truly unexpected ways that people weave Office into their daily lives, we couldn't have expected such a variety of imaginative solutions to everyday problems. From using OneNote as a shopping list to sticking Excel to the fridge door as the family diary, Office has become part of the fabric of modern life. So we set ourselves the challenge of seeing just how far we can push Office 365, with connectivity and the cloud built right in.
We said we wanted to dream up a way that would show people the real power of Office. That's why today, we're asking thousands of people to Catch the 365. The Route 365 is a specially kitted out Routemaster bus that's travelling the streets of London (you can follow its journey live here: http://catchthe365.com). On this bus, we've invited special guests to give highly personal presentations on something that's close to their hearts, either in their working life or personal life or both. Microsoft Ambassador, Former British Lion, Rugby World Cup Winner and Sky Sports analyst, Will Greenwood has agreed to step onto the Route 365 to talk about how he uses mobile technologies and software such as Word and Excel to stay on top of his busy work schedule as a rugby analyst and journalist, especially during events like the British & Irish Lions tour, which kicks off this summer.
Founder of Tots 100 and the Mum and Dad Blogger awards, Sally Whittle will use PowerPoint to share her experience of running a successful business while bringing up children.
Bridget MacPherson, of the Phoenix School in Leicestershire will share her passionate position on change in education. And Juliette McMullen will give us her unexpected insights into bringing up toddlers with the help of OneNote and Excel. And to top it all off, Tess Daly has promised to become a surprise passenger, to talk about how everyday technologies have helped her build her media and business careers, whilst being a high-profile mum.
The speakers will be using the Ignite format for their talks, which means they will use PowerPoint to do a five-minute presentation, with 20 slides auto-forwarding every 15 seconds. If you've never watched an Ignite talk, this is worth seeing as it is a high-energy way to tell a personal story. And if you want to ask our speakers questions that they can answer live, online, please do so by tweeting your question using the hashtag #catchthe365
The entire bus-based experience will be streamed live, including musical moments and tablet art from Paul Kercal, to Catchthe365.com. But if you're in Central London, why not check out our live location using the Bing Map on the website and come down to try out the new Office and get involved with all the fun of the day. We will be taking over Leicester Square in central London from 12pm to 3pm today. We will also be running competitions throughout the day, so please check out the website or follow us on Twitter to find out how you could win yourself a copy of Office 365.