Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Big Picture Experience – Partner Day

So the first day of the Microsoft Big Picture Experience here in Sydney and an opportunity for me to be on the other side of ledger for a change. This means that I donned the Microsoft shirt, badge and was tasked with helping to explain technologies such as SharePoint, Lync, Office 365, Windows InTune, etc to those in attendance.

 

The day started early and I was kinda of expecting to be bowled over in the rush when the doors opened at 8am, that was to come later. There was steady traffic up till about 9am when the keynote started. I took a wander to see how many attendees were in attendance and was surprised at the number so early.

 

Once the keynote was over then things started to really hot up as people came through each location seeking information. I have to say that all this Microsoft technology is pretty impressive when you see it all tied together and working. Making Lync video calls, connecting to complex SharePoint sites, received voice mail in Outlook, etc. Sure, at the moment all of this is not available in Office 365 yet, but that is the key thing to remember – YET! When you see it all working together in a single integrated environment you begin to appreciate the power that Microsoft can bring to desktops with their suite of products. Imagine what it will be like when all of this is available through Office 365 down a business as small as one person? Very, very powerful.

 

I also have to congratulate Microsoft on trying a different format where employees (and moi) are out there giving people hands on, one to one, demonstrations of the products and answering questions. Very different from simply having people sit and look at demos on stage. Now sure, there maybe times when certain locations get busy and individuals may not get the attention they want but hey there are plenty of other things to see. So, circle around and come back in a little while. All in all I think the themed ‘zones’ at the front and ‘lecture halls’ at the back worked well. I didn’t get a chance to attend the lecture session but they were well attended from what I saw.

 

I was very pleased to ‘run into’ a number of other resellers taking in the technology. I find it interesting how many simply see this even as something to come and look at only. To me, this is a fantastic opportunity to come and meet local Microsoft people face to face, press the flesh and make a connection. Not only that, the hall is also filled with other resellers with whom you can network. Too many simply never ‘make the time’ to attend, seeing it as low priority to their business. I’d be saying the exact opposite, make time, attend the sessions, talk to people, hand out business cards and generally make good opportunity of this rare occurrence.

 

All in all a very successful day for those that attended and I hope I was able to help people who I spoke with. I thank those people who made time and came up for a chat. The scary thing now is that TWICE as many people are registered for the customer day tomorrow. It is going to be busy.