I am involved with an association of IT Professionals here in Sydney called SMBITPro - Sydney, of which I am currently the President. We meet on a regular monthly basis (the second Tuesday of the month) from 6pm. During our meetings we normally have a few technical presentations from vendors as well a contributions from members. At the end of each meeting everyone in attendance get to do some networking over pizza. All in all it is a good way to keep abreast of what’s happening in the SMB market as well network with other IT Professionals.
Also in past 12 months we have commenced full day SMBITPro workshops. So far we have had ones on virtualization, migration and security. The next one, focusing on backup and disaster recovery, will actually run over two days (Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd of May) and will focus on vendors demonstrating the ability of their products to not only backup an SBS 2008 server but also restore it to completely different hardware. To further demonstrate the simplicity of their products each vendor will not be allowed to touch the hardware at any stage, during back or restore. Instead they must ‘instruct’ a volunteer from the audience through the entire process. We reckon this is as close to real world as you can get in a workshop.
Although the workshop’s major focus is backup and disaster recovery there will also be a number of other sessions on business and technology. Depending on the scheduling, I plan to give at least one session on SharePoint. One topic will be around helping IT Professionals understand the basics of SharePoint, as from my experience most people supporting SBS networks really have no idea about where to start troubleshooting when something goes wrong with SharePoint. This sessions will show them exactly where they should be looking. I’ll post up more details about this session and some others I have planned as the agenda gets firmed up (we are still waiting on a few vendors to confirm their attendance).
Perhaps more important that the technical discussions is the ability to network with fellow IT Professionals, before, during and after the event. Even if you can’t attend one of the two days I’d encourage you to come along to the pre and post dinners and network with attendees. Over the last three events we have generally found that many people actually discover they get just as much from these networking opportunities as they do the technical presentations.
So, where do you find out more information about the Backup++ event? Visit http://event.smbitpro.com.au for all the details including prices and registration. The front page of the site is actually an RSS feed so you can subscribe there to get all the updates as we get closer to the event. We already over one third full and expect more registrations as the event approaches so if you are considering attending please do as I’d love to see you there. If you can’t stay tuned to the web page for the next workshop event hosted by SMBITPro – Sydney.