This past week I was in Kuala Lumpur, helping to teach an Exchange 2013 course for HP. It’s been quite a while since I was last in KL when I spoke at Microsoft’s APJ launch of Exchange 5.0 in 1997. Fifteen years, two massive corporate mergers (Digital-Compaq and Compaq-HP), and ten books on Exchange have flowed under my personal bridge since.
Although it’s hard to remember detail at such a remove, it seems clear that KL has been through quite a transformation in the same period. Modern buildings (and plenty of them), better roads, and significant landmarks such as the KL Tower and Petronas Towers, continue the good impression made when you arrive at KUL airport. The only discordant note was struck by the sameness of many of the shops, all of which can be found in most international cities. Progress might be measured by the availability of Prada and Hugo Boss stores around the world, but it would be nice if shopping malls weren’t quite so similar.
The course was held in the Westin KL. Facilities were top-class and the catering was superb. In fact, I can honestly say that I have never experienced such good food at any conference. Tasty, ample, different, and varied were characteristics of the endless stream of food presented by the Westin at breaks.
The course covered a wide range of topics related to both on-premises and cloud Exchange. Amongst other things, Mr Active Directory, Brian Desmond, discussed the intricacies of directory synchronization and single-sign on between the two platforms, the BYOD conundrum, and migration strategies. Thomas Strasser, an MCM from HP, spoke about transport and the Mailbox Replication service, while I covered high availability, compliance, and collaboration. Everything seemed to go pretty well for an audience drawn from Malaysia, Singapore, China, and Australia.
Wanting to avoid a transit through Heathrow, I travelled out on Ethiad Airways via Abu Dhabi. Service was excellent and everything ran like clockwork, both hallmarks of a high-class airline. I recommend Ethiad if you’re considering travel to a city that they serve.
I’m now back in Ireland for a week before heading to Seattle and the Microsoft MVP Summit. This is usually an annual event where Microsoft gathers their “Most Valuable Professionals” for briefings by product groups. However, Microsoft ran an MVP Summit in February 2013 and I assume that this event is intended to reposition the date for future summits. We shall see.
I have commented before about problems in the MVP program and not much has changed (for the better) since January 2012, but I like meeting many MVPs at these events – and the product group too. Lots to look forward to!
Follow Tony @12Knocksinna