I had the absolute pleasure to present at the Modern Workplace Summit this week in beautiful Oslo, Norway! I was so thrilled to get selected to present. I've admired Norway on paper for quite some time and really wanted to see if it lived up to my expectations and I'm happy to report that it did! But that's for another blog post. Let's talk about the conference!
The conference was held in the Thon Oslo Airport hotel which was a perfect venue. Very accessible, thanks to the shuttle bus to and from the airport. They also had a large conference venue that was attached to the main hotel via a walk way but was it's own separate building which was amazing. It felt like it was all ours. Not a shared space. Very, very cool! There was also a pretty funky snowflake light within view. I'd bet that looks amazing when there's snow on the ground. The food on offer was also pretty damn good! Thanks for the grub, guys!
The conference had multiple tracks focused on Business Productivity, Office 365, Skype for Business and Windows 10. I found the Business Productivity track to be interesting. I've never been to a Tech conference that had catered for that level. I think that was really great to have. I'll be the first to admit, Being so deep into the weeds of the technical side of things, my business acumen could use a little work so some of those sessions were very appealing to me. They did have sessions that were more about business practices but also had others providing a high level of productivity solutions like Sharepoint. Kudos to the organizers for catering to a wide area of interest. Much cool, So Usefulness!
My sessions fell under the Windows 10 track. I spent my first day attending Windows 10 sessions. I got to see great speakers like Mikael Nystrom, Johan Arwidmark, Olav Tvedt and Kent Agerlund present, which was a treat! I think and hope that if you put all of our sessions together and attended them, you'll be in a pretty great position to dive into your Windows 10 migration! I know I learned a lot!
My presentation covered some methodology for use when migrating your applications from Windows 7 or maybe Windows 8 to Windows 10. This methodology included collecting a list of your applications in use today, rationalizing this list in a way to create cost savings and streamline the migration process, analyze your applications for compatibility issues, remediate those applications with compatibility issues, deal with those damn incompatible web applications and THEN deliver. I also touched on the fact that with Windows 10 possibly being the last OS migration, it means this may be our last chance to completely start with a clean slate. With that in mind, I talked about transforming the desktop by delivering a richer end user experience and improving the working lives of your Admins. This of course was by going virtual! Something I am very, very familiar with! If you'd like to view my slides, you can find them here: (Some of the Demos will be uploaded soon)
For the last three years I have worked on the Application Virtualization Smackdown
white paper with Ruben Spruijt
and Jurjen van Leeuwen
. I've had the honor of meeting Ruben a few times over the last couple of years at conferences. MWS Summit was the first time I got to meet Jurjen! He drove 4 hours, stayed in a hotel and paid to attend the conference to meet me! What can you say about that!? Not only was that flattering and cool, He's also very, very cool! We talked for a few hours about pretty much everything! Getting to meet Jurjen was worth the long trip all by itself.
On Tuesday night, I got to take part in a panel discussion around Windows 10 as part of our group. The group was aptly named "The Four Deploymenteers". It was a pretty cool experience! Ironically, I think we may have had some technical difficulties during our discussion but I got a kick out of it! Note how awkwardly I'm shifting around on my stool. I was not only the youngest on the panel (sorry guys!), I was also by far the shortest :-)
I had a very brief meeting with Peter Cashen
as I was walking back to my room to go to work! That fecker called me up on my lack of an Irish accent! It was great to finally meet in person! No solid plan for me to move back to the European side of the pond but if I do, I look forward to meeting up with all of you guys more regularly at the conferences around the place!
Tuesday was a crazy day for me! I was pretty jet lagged. During my visit, I spent my days at the conference and my evenings\nights working remotely for my job back in the US. I had also agreed to present for a User Group back in my home city of Phoenix, Arizona. I'm a leader for the UG and it was only our second ever meeting, so I felt like I had to keep my commitment. Unfortunately, that meant staying up until 5:30am :-) HARDCORE! I ended up sleeping in for part of day 2 but did get a little more time at the conference before it wrapped up!
Thanks to all of the sponsors. Without you guys, I wouldn't have got to live out a dream of mine, visit Norway! And now to split the room by choosing favorites :)
I did walk through the vendors exhibits. I have to say, I thought that Acano had a pretty cool product! Their product was for managing teleconferencing. It seemed pretty cool! You could assign a conference room a Skype account and use the product to manage conferences, attendees and your 'telepresence'. Compared with tech used at some places that I've worked, this looked simple, effective, MOBILE and cheap! Sharegate was also pretty cool. Now, it is a product for helping to manage Sharepoint which is boring to me BUT the price point had me saying "Fuck Off!"...they told me it was 4k and that included support for the first year. Has to be the cheapest route for migrating Sharepoint to Office 365! You might pay 4k for a 50 hours with a Consultant...It was flabbergasting that price! Also, it's stupid to say but they have pretty cool business cards! KEMP have a great product for Load Balancing, I've been meaning to blog about it. I still hope to some day soon!
All in all, I loved attending and presenting at the MWS Summit. A special thanks to Johan for selecting me to present and being so cool to deal with in getting everything organized. Also...for the pints! Great job, sir! I encourage everyone that may not have attended this year to attend next year. It's a great opportunity for presenters too, so I'd encourage people to try and present. I don't know if it's unique to Norway BUT I have to say the people in attendance were incredible. Not just in my sessions but in every session I went to. People were giving their full attention to the speakers. I have never ever experienced that before and for that reason and many others. Norway, you get my full respect. Thanks for having me!