Looking to learn about real life Azure experience and your in the Calgary area? I’ll be at the Calgary IT Pro User group on Tuesday April 21st. Come join Kevin Kaminski, App-V MVP, Microsoft vTSP, Consultant and Trainer and myself as we discuss real world Azure implementation and some of the “gotchas”. I would also love to hear how you are using Azure.
Registration link and details are here.
There are some spots left in both the Vancouver and Calgary session of ModernBiz Business Anywhere. Register here.
Come by and say hi!
Our MVP’s from Ottawa are having a MVP Event on April 11th in beautiful Ottawa, Ontario. Yes, it’s a Saturday, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a day.
You’ll get to hang out with:
Garth Jones – Enterprise mobility Suite – Intune
Todd Lamothe – Enterprise mobility suite – Hybrid Identity
Islam Gomaa – Hybrid Storage
Sean Kearney – Azure Automation
Colin Smith – Enterprise mobility Suite – Rights Management
Stéphane Fréchette – SQL Business Intelligence
Garth Gorling – Building a Lab in Azure
These can rock a room…and Sean can rock the stage with Highway to PowerShell!
And the icing on the cake, all the proceeds to go the Make a Wish Foundation.
To register click here
I wish I could go!
Thanks to all who joined me during the last ModernBiz sessions. It was whirlwind trip, from Vancouver to Edmonton, Montreal and Mississauga. I loved meeting all of you. In April, we do it again but instead of focusing on Azure as Infrastructure as a Service, we will be looking at allowing your clients to connect from anywhere, anytime securely. This includes Intune (great solution), Rights Management and Azure Active Directory Premium, all bundled together under EMS. We’ll also be showing you the new Azure Remote App! I was playing with the new template last week, Coffee Cup video is coming, and it’s awesome.
Here are the dates and registration links for upcoming sessions:
Calgary + Bonus…details upcoming
By popular demand we are running ModernBiz: Cloud for SMB monthly at the Mississauga office.
Hope to see you there.
A couple weeks ago, the kids and I went to Universal Studios in Florida (painful with the current exchange rate) for the week. Before we left I decided I wasn’t going to actively work for the whole week, but with todays technology it was too easy to keep up.
I pro-actively decided to leave my work laptop at home, and only took my 8 inch Dell Venue Pro (runs full Office) and a Bluetooth keyboard. I also had my Nokia 920, which is my personal/work phone and has an awesome camera. My daughter took her tablet and Galaxy S3 and my son took his tablet. I really did set out to have a work-free vacation, but I knew I would have Wi-Fi at the hotel and I added a “roaming” plan to my phone. I did let people at the office know that I would be checking email in the evenings and would respond to important email. Best intentions.
At Universal Studios, Wi-Fi was available – and faster than the hotels. I could stand in the long lines waiting for an awesome ride (and the rides were freaking awesome), and review some of the 200+ emails that came in during the week. Thursday, our last full day in Florida, we hung out at the hotel, and my daughter grabbed the Bluetooth keyboard and worked on her 1000 word essay on her phone, and was in contact with her teachers and classmates. Watching her made me think about all the emails I could take off the agenda efficiently, and I started sorting through the emails and responding to them on my tablet. Because I have full Office and OneDrive, I easily accessed required files to edit, send, or reference during a conference call.
I know some of you are thinking “you were on vacation, why were you working?” This was my choice; I love my job and what I do, and honestly by Thursday, I was bored. This isn’t the first time I have worked on vacation, and I blogged about a similar vacation experience a couple of years ago, but what struck me this time was just how much easier despite being in another country. Back in the day, when I vacationed locally, I would tether to my phone or use my data plan. If I travelled out of the country, I would not use my phone plan this time, as Wi-Fi was abundant and fast everywhere.
Does this mean I think everyone should work on vacation? Absolutely not! Vacation is time for family and re-charging, but if you feel you have to work or opt to (as I did), todays technology has everything you need to work efficiently and effectively.
If you are like me and find it really hard not to work, there are now resorts that take your devices away from you for the duration of your stay. Here’s a list for the USA. Personally, I think it’s all about balance and that balance will be different for each of us.
Are you able to disconnect for a weekend, let alone a full week? Let me know what you think in the comments.
As most of you know, a lot of my day is spent around Azure. I started using Azure several months before I joined Microsoft via an agency. After a good two years of becoming familiar with Azure, I decided to write 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions. I’m not going to lie, it was hard, really hard, and time-consuming. It’s been a long time since I have heard my heart pounding that loud after clicking the “submit” button. Luckily (and yes, I think there was some luck or good guesswork) I passed. It was a great way to end the year!
Of course I can’t tell you what was on the exam, but I can advise you to be familiar with every study objective:
I think I have been lucky regarding my last several exams, as I have only had to write the upgrade exams; but that has also been a downfall. Everyone keeps telling me the new exams are Powershell heavy, but until this exam, I’ve been able to get by with my limited PowerShell knowledge. All I can say is know your PowerShell, not only for exams but for all MS solutions. I do love PowerShell and I know I have to use it more now that I have completed this exam. I always recommend PowerShell in a Month of Lunches as a great way to learn PowerShell.
My only other challenge was my lack of development. I really struggled with the web and cloud services objectives and my mark reflected those weaknesses.
Here’s a list of the resources I used to prepare for the exam:
Now onto 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions – once the exam is out of beta and I find some free time (that objective will be harder than the exam!). For those of you looking for study materials for this exam, Keith Mayer has a great study guide.
Let us know how your studying is going, and please feel free to join me at a ModernBiz session at a local MS office!
Azure, Azure, Azure . . . that is where I spend most of my time lately. At the end of the 2014, I even wrote and passed exam 70-533, Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions. I’ve been playing with Azure for about two years, and I was first introduced to it a year before I started with Microsoft. No one is paying me to say this, but I love Azure!!! My favourite features are its flexibility and efficiency, and I get excited when a new feature comes out – and even more excited when I get to jump head first into that feature. Unfortunately I don’t get to play with all the functionality, which does frustrate me, but there are only so many hours in a day.
As Azure is becoming a viable option for the SMB market, IT pros are finding that it can be overwhelming at first. There are a lot of questions Azure beginners have, such as “where do I start?” “how do I do this?” and “what about that?” Or “I did this, but why isn’t it working correctly?” and the common statement “I didn’t know I had to do it that way.”
To help you become more familiar with Azure, Microsoft has several resources available for you.
1. Channel 9 – the ultimate resource for Azure. I highly recommend these well-recorded training videos.
2. Microsoft Virtual Academy – additional training videos not only on Azure, but everything else MS.
3. Microsoft Partner Network – your one-stop-shop to see what events MS is hosting, and how MS can help you for marketing, training, events, etc.
5. Expert Series – a bi-weekly series aimed to provide you with detailed technical assistance for your Azure business opportunities.
6. Azure Coffee Cup Series – quick Azure how-to videos demonstrating how to setup the most common services in Azure. Each video is conveniently about as long as it takes to consume your favorite caffeinated beverage.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you need any further assistance. You can contact me at asksmbca at microsoft.com.
I had no intention of making every post about Microsoft, but it seems like that is the life I now lead. I guess moving forward, most of what I’ll be blogging about will be Microsoft-focused. You have been warned.
I am asked daily for recommendations for companies to assist other companies, and I always point them to same site: Microsoft PinPoint. PinPoint matches clients with Microsoft Partners, particularly the ones who have the expertise you are most in need of. Clients can search for partners with a required skillset, industry, and/or competencies, and partners can register on PinPoint with the services they offer. I have always recommend working with a Microsoft partner, for a variety of reasons, and using PinPoint ensures that are you receiving assistance from a company who meets Microsoft standards.
In the example above, I have searched for partners based on the business need “Cloud Computing in Guelph, Ontario” and I have 3 matches. If we examine the first result, BDO Canada LLP, we know the company has 2 gold Competencies, and has 11 positive reviews. We can then view the company details and decide if this company will meet our needs. We can also examine other results and compare them to see which one best fits our demands.
Pinpoint can help you find a qualified Microsoft Partner with just a few clicks of the mouse.
If you are a Microsoft Partner looking to expand your client base, you should register for PinPoint (it’s also completely free!) If you are already on PinPoint, please ensure your profile is up-to-date. Keeping your profile current can help companies in need of your service find you. As a Microsoft partner, for more information about PinPoint services, reach out to your partner manager. If you are unsure of who that is, please contact me for assistance.
P.S. I always recommend working with a qualified Microsoft Partner, and I’m not just saying this because of my association with Microsoft. Would you take your car to a non-certified mechanic? Why trust your data to an unqualified “professional”?