Tuesday, September 02, 2008

WESS Tech Ed Pre-Day Post Lunch

OK, it is now 1:30 PM and we're back from lunch and immediately into EBS Sales stuff - again, I must have missed the "Sales and Marketing Ed" part of Tech Ed. :(

I'm still disappointed by the lack of Level 300 content here.

The coffee's not bad.

Wi-Fi is working well! There's enough signal coverage here that I'm sure there's going to be less nerdy kids in the world - this can only be a good thing! :)

In case anyone wonders, when The Wayne and Robbie did their "SBS+EBS Deep Dive Tour" a few months back, if you attended those, you'd have received the vast majority of the tech info we've revceived here today. So if you went there and didn't make it to the WESS Pre-Day, you've received a fair bit of the training anyway. You just didn't get to network with all of the friendly SBSCers and Partners who've made their way here for the day. :)

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying the day was not worth it - it is a *REALLY* good start to get Tech Ed to recognise the SMB sector, but there needs to be some work put into the technical content for next year's Pre-Day. And yes, if anyone has input on this, we're all ears! I think I mentioned before and I'm saying it again - congrats to Robbie and the SMB team in at Microsoft who have put this day together and managed to get this day up and running. If we're going to have a fair bit of Sales and Marketing content at Tech Ed, I think we also need to be informed before the event - not that the content wasn't valid, just it wasn't technical.


The Outspoken Wookie


Robbie Upcroft said...

Fair comments Hilton.

As discussed, we very much tried to meet the needs of the greatest number of partners, thus the mix of different types of content.

Interestingly though, the material that Wayne & Lingan presented was taken directly from the latest Level 300 hands on labs, demos & white-papers that Corp has provided. Yes, some of it was covered at the User Group tour that we did back in June.

So my question is - what additional technical content would you have like to seen? We can then build the appropriate Live Meetings, training & next series of Wayne tours around this feedback.

Cheers & thanks for taking the time to provide comments - always listening & always appreciated.


Hilton Travis said...

Hi Robbie,

The partners that spoke to me and gave me their comments about the day were not expecting sales and marketing training at Tech Ed. A number of comments were made by people along the lines of "I'll pay for business training, I'll pay for technical training, but I won't pay for sales and marketing training". In addition to this, they (and I) was expecting in-depth Level 300 technical training - going into a lot more depth than a walk through of the install procedure of SBS2008/EBS2008 and a few of the configuration wizards.

We've pretty much all had access to the latest RC releases of SBS2008/EBS2008, in a great part due to your sourcing many copies of these and making them available to the user groups and at the recent Australian Partner Conference. Anyone who hasn't downloaded these nor asked you to send a copy to them really hasn't shown much interest in the new products. With this access comes the expectation that we've all run through the install process at least once, so we've all run through the install procedure, seen the new layout, looked at a number of the wizards and had some experience with these new OSes.

When you and Wayne did your June Deep Dive in SBS/EBS tour, many people had only just gotten their hands on the new products and had not yet had a chance to look at these products so the training that Wayne delivered was right on the money and I'm sure you received a lot of comments to that end. I know a number of people in Brisbane did say that this was a good overview of the new products and that they were appreciative of this day.

Now, it is 2 months later and people had a) seen that overview and b) had enough time to run through this for themselves, so when we were told we'd be getting in depth level 300 training at the WESS Tech Ed Pre-Day, well, we expected some in depth training on some of the fiddlier points of these two new products.

Some of these could be remote office deployment using the second server (especially with imaging being the default backup and imaging a domain controller is "interesting" when you restore it), Exchange 2007 configuration and tuning, Virtualization (on Hyper-V) and how to go about this as well as hardware speccing for this, WSS 3.0 - the new CompanyWeb, monitoring configuration and customization, scripted installs and what to look out for.

I hope this helps the direction for future Tech Ed pre-day events (and as I said, the Virtualization pre-day was also light on technical content, the SharePoint one, however, was pretty much on the mark) as well as other training sessions.