Off to Toronto and #Launch2016


Happy New Year to you all!  For me it was a pretty nasty start to the year, thanks to a vicious dose of the flu and some laryngitis to compliment it.  After spending nearly 5 days in bed i’ve almost got back to normal and now trying to wade through the dozens of emails i haven’t opened.

On a positive note it’s the weekend!  In fact for me it’s an extended weekend since i’m flying out to Toronto for a few days on Monday until Thursday.  My employer is bringing together the IT and Services community from across North America for a 3-day team building conference which is highly awesome.  That’s quite a financial investment by the company for 1500 people and great to see them make that effort. Gives me a chance to speak face to face with my peers instead of on Yammer!

I’ve been to events such as these in the past, some which have had more value than others.  But been very impressed so far with the attention to detail shown in the agenda and team-building sessions lined up.  I’ll probably do a review of the event as the networking from my fellow nerds is sure to throw up some interesting talking points.  One of the things that i find most difficult as a lonely consultant out in the field, is having the opportunity to share stories and ask questions with my fellow techies as and when they arise.  We use Yammer quite extensively internally but it’s not really a substitute for a whiteboarding session or chat over coffee.  The idea is that we should all be out billing and not in the office where possible; however  the downside is the lack of face time with colleagues to share experiences and learn from projects about what we could do better.

Of course Toronto in January is pretty much like any other Canadian city in January – bloody cold – but going to make an effort to do some sightseeing and get a trip up the CN Tower for some photos.

Having been off most of the week, i’ve really been playing catch up trying to finish a couple of Azure EMS projects, specifically related to SSPR (Self Service Password Reset) and MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) enrollment.  More on that later.

Those of you new to EMS could do worse than check out this YouTube video published by the InTune team at TechEd Europe this year, called:

Building out a Successful Microsoft InTune Pilot



Really shows what a Proof of Concept should be and how it should be delivered.  As someone working for a large Microsoft partner, delivering these kinds of POC engagements is part of my daily bread and butter.  The interesting thing is that each workshop is different, depending on the customer and the environment.  Knowing how to tailor them to the customer is key to a successful delivery.

Off to to pack my bags now… ST





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