Heading to IT/DEV Connections in Las Vegas

The annual IT/DEV Connections conference takes place in the ARIA Hotel, Las Vegas next week. After the rush-and-bustle and massive scale of the Microsoft Ignite conference, Connections will be very different. Relaxed. Time to think. Time to chat. Time to ponder. At least, that’s the theory.

Last-minute speaker snafus aside, I’m looking forward to the event. The conference is a nice size and is focused on practical issues of implementing Microsoft technology rather than the (sometimes) colored view that emits from the folks who inhabit the Redmond campus. Because the Redmondites use the latest and greatest software and have access to internal resources that no one outside their closed community can use, it is logical that their view of the world is somewhat different to that of an administrator who struggles with “last season’s” technology, complete with bugs that have since been fixed or features that might no longer exist. In any case, we’ll have fun discussing all that needs to be discussed.

Among the (technical) heavyweights of the Exchange/Office 365 community who are speaking in the Enterprise Collaboration track this year are:

Andrew Higginbotham, co-author of the “Exchange Server Troubleshooting Companion“. Andrew is speaking about Exchange virtualization mistakes (that he’d like you to avid), Office 365 migration and administration for small businesses, and troubleshooting Exchange performance, disaster recovery, and migration.

Paul Cunningham, traveling over to join us from Brisbane, Australia. Paul is Mr. ExchangeServerPro and has contributed to many books, including the unique and (we believe) tremendously successful Office 365 for IT Pros ebook.

Paul Robichaux, who collaborated with me on the Exchange 2013 Inside Out series, will address the serious topic of monitoring Office 365 and explain what works and what doesn’t. Paul’s second session looks at how to go beyond Office 365 in the world of the Microsoft cloud.

Ståle Hansen, a well-known personality in the Skype for Business (and Lync) world, is speaking about how to design global voice solutions with Skype for Business and how to succed with Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast.

Jeff Guillet (Expta), who seems to get more energy as the years go by (perhaps he has shares in Duracell), is speaking about how to confirm a “proper”! SMTP relay for Exchange on-premises and Exchange Online. Jeff also has an interestingly named session called “Autodiscover is Hero of Exchange Motherland”. Make of that what you will…

Jaap Wesselius and Michel de Rooij, MVPs who know their way around PowerShell syntax and even understand it from time to time, will conduct a workshop on Monday morning that promises to tell people some advanced secrets of the dark art of scripting. Maybe they have been reading too many Harry Potter books…

That’s just a brief glance into the speaker line-up – there are many others who deserve mention but I can’t fit into this space.

Apart from running around to help make sure that things run smoothly, I’ll be speaking about “MyAnalytics and the rise of machine learning inside Office 365” on Tuesday. I also have the pleasure of introducing a fine panel from the Exchange development team on Wednesday when the challenge exists to “bamboozle the Exchange experts”. The members of this panel include Greg Taylor, David Espinoza, Brian Day, Ross Smith IV, and Jeff Mealiffe, all of whom are well-known within the Exchange community. It should be interesting – that is, if the folks at Connections come up with some difficult questions.

More details about the IT/DEV Connections sessions for 2016 can be found in the catalog.

No doubt some folks will find their way to the Scheduled Maintenance party in the Ghostbar of The Palms Hotel on Tuesday (9pm-midnight). Passes to this party are by invitation only. Request yours on this site. And if you attend the party, please be sure to turn up for Wednesday’s sessions with a smile on your face. You know it makes sense.

Follow Tony on Twitter @12Knocksinna.

Want to know more about how to manage Office 365? Find what you need to know in “Office 365 for IT Pros,” the most comprehensive eBook covering all aspects of Office 365. Available in PDF and EPUB formats (suitable for iBooks) or for Amazon Kindle.


About Tony Redmond

Lead author for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook and writer about all aspects of the Office 365 ecosystem.
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