Here's some background information about me, my experience with SMS, why I'm in the doc team, and what features I'm covering.

I have a consultancy background in Active Directory and infrastructure services, and was first introduced to SMS 2003 three years ago when designing a network migration to Active Directory 2003. The customer wanted a complete Microsoft solution which included SMS and MOM to manage the new computers, and our SMS expert dropped out of the project. I suddenly had to ramp up on this complex product which I hadn’t previously touched – from designing, to installing and configuring, testing and troubleshooting.

I soon got hooked on the potential of SMS as an enterprise solution, but as a newcomer to the product I also got very frustrated with the documentation.  I couldn’t find what I needed, when I did find it the explanation wasn’t complete, there were assumptions that just didn’t fit my environment, and I simply didn’t have enough time to read all the documentation from different sources which sometimes provided conflicting information. 

The personal aspiration grew on me to help to make that documentation experience better and so I changed job roles (from consultant to writer), disciplines (from Active Directory/Exchange to SMS) and country (from the UK to US). I love living and working in Redmond and it’s a wonderful opportunity to work with the product team as they design, code and release into beta what will be System Center Configuration Manager 2007.

In the documentation team we position ourselves as the customer advocate, getting involved with the design, the terminology, and the UI in addition to the documentation. I think my “real world experience” fits in well here and although I’m still catching up on how SMS works, my previous involvement with other technologies is proving very useful as the product is now truly integrating with other enterprise solutions. 

My areas of focus for Configuration Manager (still known affectionately in-house as "SMS v4"):

  • Network Access Protection
  • Wake On LAN
  • Internet-based client management
  • Native mode (PKI integration)

 

Carol Bailey, MCSE:Security MCSE:Messaging
Technical Writer, Windows & Enterprise Management Division - UA