Tech Corner
July 21, 2011

Rick Claus
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Fix the hole in your skills toolset

Most of the time it is not the technology you know, experiences you have or length of time you are in the workforce that influence your chances of progressing in your career. It usually comes down to who you know. You could be a hands down expert in virtualization or Exchange messaging solutions — but if you are missing the key ingredient of communication skills and developing relationships — you have a better chance of being passed over for that next job opportunity.

What can you do to build this area in your professional skillset? Participate in online forums instead of just looking for an answer. Find out if there is a local user group or regular IT Meetups in your area. If there isn’t one — start one like the folks behind www.maritug.ca just did! We can help with logistics and training — let us know about your existing or new groups ! The point is to get out there and talk with people about “things IT” to get yourself known. You’ll be one step closer to the next opportunity and you’ll be developing a support network of like-minded experts who will help you out in the future.

TechEd and the Cloud

When I was at
TechEd 2011 in Atlanta , the most talked about announcement for Technical Professionals was around what Microsoft is doing in the Private Cloud space . This included our preview release of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 with its ability to interoperate with “the other guys” virtualization stacks as well as acting as the bridge between private clouds and public cloud resources.

We didn’t stop at the interoperability part - it also includes Server App-V to compartmentalize your server apps and make them easily transportable between Virtual Machine guests and any Private Clouds you create. We already are great at managing apps and physical machines by extending the monitoring with System Center Operations Manager, but now we’re also including the ability to help you manage your public cloud resources in Azure as well. It’s a constantly evolving space with all the players jockeying for position - make sure you stay connected to the blog to find out more on where we’re going with our private cloud strategy going forward.

For some handy Private Cloud training on the latest and greatest, head over to the Microsoft Virtual Academy. We even have courses on Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals.

Launch of Office 365: Threat or Strategic Bet?

As Technical Professionals, we have a lot on our plates every day. Keeping the lights on for the main line of business apps our users depend on takes time. Configuring, patching, monitoring, sizing, managing - it all takes cycles. Top that off with maintenance and procurement/upgrades of hardware. With the
launch of world class servers in the cloud with Office365 — you can view this as either a “Threat” or “Strategic Bet”.

If you currently reside in the “Threat” camp — it’s time to move past your concerns and educate yourself on the realities and opportunities. Things are changing and we have to be knowledgeable about the risks AND the benefits for going with a Software as a Service solution for the modern workplace in order to figure out how it fits into YOUR environment. Companies as small as individuals and up to multiple thousands can find a fit for Office365 at a price point that makes sense . Don’t worry — this isn’t about you being replaced — only a portion of the nasty routine stuff you probably don’t like to do anyways has the opportunity to be delegated out to the online provider.

If you’ve migrated over to the “Strategic Bet” camp — welcome to the modern world! You are going to have a chunk of more time you can spend providing more Proactive services to your clients / users and making yourself look like a superstar.

If you haven’t already — sign up for a trial of Office365 to see what it’s all about. It’s not that scary — trust me.