Office 365 and Windows InTune seminar


I am happy to announce that I’ll be presenting an end user focused ‘Getting started with Office
365/Windows InTune’ course on Thursday the 17th of November at North Ryde in Sydney. You can find details on the full day course can be found at:

http://www.ciaops.com/office-365-seminar/

This is opportunity for you to learn about these latest ‘cloud’ technologies and how they can integrate in your business. If you have been considering moving to ‘cloud’ technologies this course will give you valuable hands on information about how these technologies work. if you are already using Office 365 and Windows InTune you’ll benefit from learning how to make these applications work better and more productively as well as learning advance features and time saving tips and tricks.

The cost for this full day is only $ 299 ex GST and includes all meals and course material. If you are interested in learning about the benefits ‘cloud’ technologies can provide you or you want to get more from Office 365 and Windows InTune then you should sign up for this course. Places are limited so don’t delay.

SharePoint 2010 Certification Exams

Once you have a bit of SharePoint experience under your belt you’d really like to consolidate that and let people know via certification. The best options are the following 2 certifications available from Microsoft:

 

70-667 – TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring

 

70-668 – PRO: SharePoint Server 2010, Administrator

 

However, if you come from the world of SMB and SharePoint Foundation things are going to be a little more tricky than simply sitting these exams. This is because both of these exams focus not just on SharePoint Foundation but also SharePoint Server. This means you are going to need to know about not only SharePoint Server configurations but also things like Network Load Balancing, Virtualization, and so on.

 

70-667 is perhaps a more basic exam with a number of questions presented in sequence. You can generally return to any of the questions at anytime and review your answers. 70-668 is little different in that it gives you scenarios that you need to read, then you are expected to answer a few questions based on the scenario. Once you have answered these questions you can’t return and review them. Thus, you only have a limited time to read, digest and answer what is presented in each case.

 

If you are coming from an SMB background and SharePoint on SBS you are going to need to learn about SharePoint server. The best suggestion (apart from my Guide and installing it on a VM) is to have a look at these publications:

 

Professional SharePoint 2010 Administration By Todd Klindt, Shane Young, Steve Caravajal – http://astore.amazon.com/c00ef-20/detail/0470533331

 

and

   
Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 Administrator’s Companion By Bill English, Brian Alderman, Mark Ferraz –
http://astore.amazon.com/c00ef-20/detail/B0043M52KY

 

Not that I have read it but there is also the following book specifically focused on the 70-667 exam:

 

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-667): Configuring Microsoft SharePoint 2010 (Training Kits) – http://www.amazon.com/MCTS-Self-Paced-Training-Exam-70-667/dp/0735638853/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317964888&sr=1-3

 

At the end of the day both the 70-667 and 70-668 are focused on SharePoint Server but if you know your SharePoint Foundation stuff and are prepared to learn a little about SharePoint Server then you should be able to pass the exam and add these certifications to your roster.

SharePoint Conference-Day 4

Final day of the conference and the information still keeps coming. The first session of the day started off with a look into Access Services and how to develop solutions that will run on Office 365. It is really impressive to see how easily you can move applications from Access to the cloud.

 

The great part about this for smaller businesses is that Access Services comes with the P license (which I don’t generally recommend) and the E3 license. It demonstrates how much additional functionality a small business can get if they move to Office 365 as trying to implement the same functionality on site is simply too expensive.

 

Next up was another fantastic presentation on Excel services and what can be achieved here. I was amazed at how little effort is required to get a really powerful dashboard that includes pivot tables, slices, interactive graphs and more. The presenter even showed some of functionality of Excel from Skydrive including how to embed Excel spreadsheets on just about any web page. Really, really impressive stuff that inspired me to return and implement something similar.

 

Although it was a significant cost to attend and although the majority of the content at the conference was focused on the enterprise I’m glad that I attended. There is just so much around this product as I have said before. There is simply so much opportunity, even in the SMB space., even more so going forward with the move to Office 365.

 

Perhaps the most exciting thing is what Microsoft have planned to bring to Office 365 in the future and all of that will be available to all subscribers, big and small. Now I need to start reviewing al the other sessions I wasn’t able to attend but are available on the conference we site. Certainly can’t complain about the ongoing value of this conference. I’m sure it’ll keep me busy for at least another 12 months.

SharePoint Conference–Day 2 and 3

IMG_2560_02C87CC2

 

Phew, it’s been a hectic 2 days full of SharePoint goodness. Most of the content is aimed at enterprise types but is becoming more relevant with Office 365 (which provides enterprise SharePoint in the cloud).

 

I also finally managed to spend some time with all the vendors who are also here and must say that I found plenty of opportunities. Again, most are focused on the enterprise with enterprise level pricing but there are also a few option here that would suite SMB. I’ll need to spend some time digesting all this information before I post my findings.

 

IMG_2574_02C87CC2

 

After Day 2 we also had the opportunity to attend Disneyland (which closed off for everyone except the SharePoint conference attendees). Most of the rides were open, there was free food and drink which everyone took advantage of. It was a good time.

 

While I am here I also took the opportunity to sit the Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Configuring (70-667) exam. I am also please to report that I passed the exam and now have a SharePoint 2010 competency under my belt.

 

The event has been jammed packed with information and I realize now how much more there is to SharePoint and what an opportunity it presents. From configuring, to administering, implementation and development, there is just so much to this product.

 

Tomorrow is the final half day of the conference and then it’ll be over for another year. They have announced the one next year will be in Las Vegas in November. Roll on 2012!

SharePoint conference–Day 1

IMG_2558_7FE156E1

 

If you want an idea of just how BIG this conference is check out the dining hall or the keynote address attendance.

 

IMG_2559_7FE156E1

 

There are over 7,500 attendees here for 4 days of SharePoint.

 

The day started early with breakfast followed by the keynote. No major reveals but some nice additions coming along the track.

 

From there it was into a number of sessions including information about SharePoint Online, Business Intelligence Dashboards and improved productivity. All extremely worthwhile.

 

An even bigger day tomorrow with a full day of session followed by a party in Disneyland. Obviously Mickey must be a big SharePoint user to throw open his park (free) to all attendees!

SMBNation Fall 2011-Day 3

Well today was the final day for SMB Nation Fall 2011. It started out with an excellent SharePoint presentation by Amy Babinchuk. She spoke about all the ways that you can connect to SharePoint without necessarily having to go through the web interface. He main point? SharePoint is more than just and web site. She couldn’t be more correct.

 

Next came my session, with Harry Brelsford on Office 365. The session was well attended and those that attended got value for their time. I would have liked to go into more detail but time unfortunately did not permit.

 

After the lunch break came my session with Wayne Small on SBS Essentials (I was doing the cloud integration piece). Again, a well attended session.

 

Immediately after this I had to dash to catch a flight to LA to attend the SharePoint conference in Anaheim. On the way from the airport I heard that there is more than 7,000 attendees which is even bigger than the recent Build conference that unveiled Windows 8.

 

Roll on SharePoint. More details soon.

 

My overall impressions of SMB Nation 2011 Fall? Well from a conference point of view, the Rio Hotel was probably the best since I have been attending these events in Las Vegas. It was large, comfortable and easy to get to all locations. The only downside of the venue was perhaps the fact that it is located a little ways from the strip, however in some ways that is good as it encourages people to stay in the one spot.

 

For me the major value of these events is the hall way networking. Meeting up with old friends and making new ones is always the biggest benefit of attending. I will also say that I got value out of just about every session I attended, some more than other obviously, but overall I believe there is plenty of content in there I can take away.

 

So all in all, another successful conference. Well done to Harry and his team. Roll on 2012.

SMBNation Fall 2011–Day 2

Today started off again with breakfast in the keynote room. Luckily it was a later started compared to yesterday. The first session by Paul Morimoto on Security best practices was excellent. He spoke about the need to secure remote devices and how many of the products already in place (e.g. Windows) already contain substantial security features. All they need to be is simply enabled.

 

The next session was around building a cloud “practice’ and contained a nice overview of the areas that people should consider as they start implementing cloud products.

 

Later in the day was the technology panel, basically where attendees could ask questions of MVP’s and subject matter experts. These sessions are always well attended and probably something SMBNation should have more of.

 

The day finished with Security MVP Dana Epp talking about, and demonstrating, how to break the credential of many of the standard technologies that people use today including, Word, Excel, Windows and so on. He help the audience understand how to better protect themselves and their customers from attacks.

 

So, only one more day to go and I have 2 presentations to give on Office 365. They are:

 

GS12 – All Aboard Office 365 E3

 

and

 

GS11 – Office 365 + SBS 2011 Essentials

 

wish me luck.

SMBNation Fall 2011–Day 1

After attending a few sessions yesterday (pre-day) the first “official” day of SMBNation Fall 2011 started early with breakfast in the main room. I was surprised to find that I was one of the first to arrive at 6am, but I suppose this is Vegas after all.

 

Arriving early allowed me to have a leisurely breakfast combined with some interesting conversations with other attendees. After the keynote I attended the session by Jeff Middleton which was more a motivation speak than about the MVP Tour or his swing migration product. It was standing room only, which tell you how popular it was.

 

From there I attended a few Microsoft Office 365 sessions which unfortunately contained some incorrect information I believe. I can certainly understand how some of this important information has been fully communicated to all parties within Microsoft, unfortunately it is this kind of information that SBS and Office 365 resellers need to know. Hopefully, I’ll be able to convey the correct information during my presentations on Sunday.

 

Much of the confusion seems to revolve around the Office Integration Module for Office 365 that will plug in to SBS Essentials. Unfortunately, from what I see (and I have no more information that what is publically available), the synch’ing options with any local Active Directory is going to be very limited. It certainly isn’t going to be full single sign on (SSO). I hope to post more about the information soon. I just need to double check what I have found.

 

I also attended a great session by another Aussies (Linus Chang) from Backup Assist. If you haven’t checked out his solutions you really should.

 

My overall impressions so far? The location here at the Rio Hotel is excellent. Most sessions I have attended have been very good but there are a few that I was disappointed with, but that happens. Let’s see what tomorrow brings, but I’m really looking forward to Dana Epp’s session on password cracking. Need to get there early to get a seat I reckon.