Here in Auckland, we've been having a great time. With a conference that sold out in 6 days with speakers from all over the globe and very passionate attendees.
Last night I hung out with the SharePoint community folks here in NZ as well as some high profile SharePoint folks like the author of SharePoint Unleashed (Michael Noel) and the SharePoint Best Practices book and SharePoint Admin Companion (Ben Curry). As well as top notch SharePoint developer Todd Bleeker whose SharePoint talks are never less than 400 level. Only the best here for New Zealand. Chandima and his mates from Wellington showed us a good time as we went from place to place.
When I arrived in NZ I was so jet lagged I pretty much slept through Friday and most of Saturday... going from Chiang Mai at 1:30PM to Bangkok to Sydney to Auckland at 2:30PM the next day was a killer. The only thing we made it to was a free bus ride through the city on Saturday. We rented a car from EXplorer (wouldn't recommend that company as we wasted over an hour getting our car that was reserved) even though we got it for $39 NZD.
We took our car and headed south to Rotorua through Hamilton. (We saw the LDS temple and school. The school is getting flattened in the next couple years, so it was cool seeing this LDS high school in remote NZ. The community around the temple is 98% LDS according to the temple visitor center.) After some soup and bread thing at a local church we went to the hot pots and geothermal activity (like yellowstone, but tons of 'em and in the middle of the city, like in the city park!) with a quick stop by a Kiwi place (rainbow springs). Amazing town next to a beautful lake. I highly recommend Rotorua. Incredible place. At night we went to a cultural/traditional Mauri place where we saw the dancing, canoe, and haka with the tounge sticking out. Wild guys. Fun times. You'll have to watch my flickr feed
for these photos.
Ben and I on the first day of the conference went up on the Sky tower with my kids. Scott and Jared both had a blast up there. The elevator itself has a glass bottom area, and on the top there are areas with glass that you can walk over. A freaky experience. We've been debating the jump and the walk around the top on the outside. Only in NZ!!
In the hall, I beat the crew running Aerosmith Guitar Hero on Hard. Good times, my first time on that game. Not a lot of SharePoint partners in the hall, but HP, F5, Commvault Foundry, and Quest, as well as some SIs were there. I would recommend checking them out if you're here. Jelly beans and gummy candy, even a mug with a cozzie are swag you can collect down there.
Just finished my global deployment talk... I'll include some links and a summary of the goodness from the talk in a follow up post. Governance is tomorrow! Don't miss it.
I'm here in beautiful Auckland, city of sails. After flying from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to Sydney to Auckland, I was a bit tired and wasn't able to do too much on Friday, but today, Saturday I was able to get around a little bit in the city. Tomorrow after church I plan to see a bit more in the south.
My sessions at Teched NZ are:
||Planning and Implementing Regional and Global Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Deployments
||02/09/2008 10:45-12:00 |
||Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Governance: From Chaos to Success in Ten Steps
||03/09/2008 14:20-15:35 |
My Teched Australia sessions are:
||Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Governance: From Chaos to Success in Ten Steps
||04/09/2008 17:15-18:30 |
||Planning and Implementing Regional and Global Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Deployments
||05/09/2008 14:00-15:15 |
I'll post the decks on my blog in the presentation doc lib after the conference.
A few months ago after the cyclone hit Myanmar, I was pretty flustered or frusterated about the whole situation. I had wished there was something I could do. I posted my thoughts on the topic and a few of my MVP friends among others shared interest in helping. Through the grapevine I was connected with Bob German (SharePoint Expert at the Microsoft MTC in Boston and a good friend) and a few others who volunteered their time in the effort.
I was pleased to know they were working on a SharePoint site to coordinate the relief work that was being done and that there was something I could do. I was able to help them setup some list serv stuff and put some mindshare into an email archiving solution that would integrate somewhat into our web based SharePoint collaboration solution for the relief effort.
Yesterday my tour guide up here took us to Myanmar/Burma. Wow! I was not really expecting that. I had wanted to spend a couple of days in Laos to get my roughing it and add on to my goal of visiting a new country every year. (By the way I'm now up to 37 according to "Where I've been app on facebook.) My guide convinced me that we'd be totally safe and we'd go see a few temples, walk through the market, and see a major pagoda and come back. It did go smooth and I got another stamp in the passport. I've got some great photos and some interesting encounters. Nothing too scary really. Just feel for the people. I could feel the oppression in the air... I don't think it was just me.
So I'm headed to New Zealand tomorrow (yep a new country for me) and will be delivering 2 sessions, my famous Governance 10 Steps to success, and SharePoint Global Deployment. My Governance session was the TOP session in the Office track at Teched South East Asia (Whoo Hoo!) I do love that conference and *really* enjoy working with the people that put that conference on. They were really really kind to my family and kids as well. I think they ended up with more of the prizes from the speaker party than anyone... plus a lot more than that.
So my Global Deployment session is being experienced first hand as I upload this blog post from a terminal here in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. You can check out my flickr feed for my latest photos.
I am open to having new contacts if you want to connect through flickr as well.
I promise to do a post on the Teched SEA speaker party and after party when I get my photos all uploaded :)
There were a ton of cool people there the MVP lounge was a great idea it was fun just "chillin" with the MVPs.
I don't know if it's been attempted at this scale, I'm sure Kimberly Tripp and Steve Reilly have done it. I see them a few times a year US, Europe for sure and then at random ones in between like Connections. A couple of years ago Steve was trying to do a customer meeting at the same time as me in the Patronus towers in KL and they wouldn't let him in with his shorts. Ha ha. I see him in shorts, often the same ones (unless he has multiple pares of the same mid calf ones). You can win lunch with Steve this year at Teched SEA. Fun times :) I wonder when people are going to give lunch with me as a prize?
So this next trip is going to be the biggest, longest, trip for me ever. Last year's was a dozie and my mideast one rocked. We won't break our family number of countries in one trip record, but we will on distance and diversity of cultures. To give you an idea of our big family trips... The first time we went to Europe we drove from Barcelona to Naples (Pompeii) and up to Venice and back to Barcelona to fly out. The second was a trip to Stone Henge/Bath, Marrakech Morocco, Budapest, Croatia, Prague, Austria and Bratislava. I think it was 9 countries we did that trip.
Our plans? We fly into Bangkok via South Korea on Asiana (are they cool?). We stay a couple of days there before we fly to KL (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) where we stay downtown near KLCC for Tech Ed South East Asia by far one of my favorites from a venue standpoint. The staff is a ton of fun, and the speaker parties and attendee parties are very creative and out of the box. We had durian at the speaker party one year. It's not uncommon to see paid models with SQL or Windows sashes (Like Miss USA). I hope to see a model with the SharePoint sash. So after that conference we spend some time in the area, likely go to Malacca, Singapore maybe see the Elephant Reserver or Fireflies and maybe Panang before we fly back to Bangkok where we'll go to the floating village, go to a cobra show, ride more elephants and see the variety of Wats (Temples) with the standing, sitting, lying, gold, jade, etc.... Buddahs. At this point we may head over to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat (the coolest Wat in the world, but by far the largest) before flying up to Chang Mai. I really want to see the girls with the rings around their necks before that goes out of style. Maybe it already is. I read a story about a girl in the Karen tribe who wore the rings cause her mom wanted her to make money with tourists... Maybe it's a lost cause to see culture as culture not as a side show. I'm hoping to get out away from the city there to do some hiking, water falls, elephant safaris that kind of thing. Maybe a ride up into Laos is in order?
Next we fly back to Bangkok and that's where I've got the details so far... but over the next week I think we'll go to Bali before heading to Aukland, NZ for TechEd NZ. I plan to do some country side driving and let NZ soak in and then back to TechEd Australia in Sydney. We plan to scope out the areas around Sydney and hope to fit in a flight to the Gold Coast and Brisbane to do some scuba/snorkling around the great barrier reef if it's not too cold. If you can believe it we're thinking about moving there.
Yep you heard it right. We are actually in the process of packing up right now. Monday the movers come, Tuesday the cleaners, Wednesday pictures for the rental magazine, and Thursday we fly out. Our house is for rent if you want to rent it while we're gone. :) We plan to rent while we're in Australia.
I think it would be great for our kids to pick up an Auzzie accent. LOL. No really, at 8 and 10, my boys could really learn a lot by getting out of the U.S. and gaining some real perspective. It would also get me some real international experience and scratch my itch to get out for a while. Hey the Aussie economy isn't half bad, just compare the USD to the AUD. Getting paid in another currency might be good in the long term.
Don't worry, you'll see me likely as much as you do now, I still plan to be just as involved in the community and involved in the various Tech Eds and SharePoint Conferences.
It's a shame I'm missing the SharePoint "Best Practices" Conference, it's not for not wanting or even being invited. Thanks Ben Curry, I really do appreciate the invite, I'm flattered.
SharePoint Connections this fall? How come I haven't gotten that email yet? I don't know, I think my good buddy Dan Holme appears to be hogging all the sessions to himself. Jab jab. I think they target MVPs and then Microsoft, guess I slide under their radar. Even though I was a featured speaker last year without even speaking. Thanks Shane Young and Mike Watson for covering, maybe they are sore from that? You can blame Tom or Arpan for that. I think Lawrence was still holding out that I'd be able to go back to back to Connections and IT Forum in Barcelona.
So despite the fact that it looks like I'm on my way to Australia to live, I don't have a work visa yet. So I plan to live in Utah until at that happens after I get back from my month long "Tour" of South East Asia/AUS/NZ.
So, yep I've been a bit busy and will be for a little while.
I had a great time at TechEd US in Orlando. WOW it was awesome! The sessions were great, the venue wasn't bad (Go Disney/Universal/SeaWorld etc...), but the social experience was tough to beat. Obviously it's better when we can combine the IT Pro and Dev audience.
TechEd South East Asia for parties is THE best! Last year I found a few MVPs to hang with that knew the best places to go. KL is very alive at night. Last year's attendees party we were at a top club of Malaysia and we had Malaysian idol. They had models, pictures, awesome music, and games. Everyone had a great time.
Where else can you combine great technical sessions for cheap, awesome social environment with people from all over asia and only the best from corp, plus the best of the best repeat speakers that know how to have fun. Then add on a firefly tour, and Elephant reserve where you can feed the elephants and ride one into a river! Not in the US! The very cheap Tours are unique, I blogged about a few of them last year
while Europe has become prohibitive in cost. Malaysia and South East Asia has continued to be a great place to visit from around the globe.
Of course you'll likely go for the rich technical sessions. I've got 3...
SharePoint High Availability, Backup/Restore and Disaster recovery
The most frequently asked question of a SharePoint Administrator is how do I backup my farm, and then what do I do for high availability and disaster recovery. This common, but often complex question will be broken down with the best practices and lessons learned.
SharePoint Governance: Chaos No More, 10 Steps to Success
The chasm between business and IT can be breached with SharePoint. These 10 key steps to successful SharePoint deployments will help you bridge that gap and help you utilize the full power of SharePoint and without it... it's chaos.
STSADM - Automating SharePoint Administration
STSADM is the hidden path to simplify and automate SharePoint Administration. There are many properties and commands that are only accessible to the command line interface. This session will provide examples and tips for using the power of STSADM and demonstrating how it can simplify your life.
See you there!
Tomorrow is the last day, but after spending some time going around today I found a few things that surprised me. Here are the "Wow" SharePoint booths...
is working on new multi-staged deployment for SharePoint. They are still in pre-public beta, but it looks really interesting.
has a new product called MashPoint that further blurs the lines between WSS and MOSS and also goes far to expose backend business data in your SharePoint deployment. I plan to do a post on their top sellers in the next week or so.
the black Share. (point not dot) T-shirts are still the coolest. Say hi to Genesi
I love my job shirts (a few of them have) similar to the I love New York which ties nicely with their corporate headquarters is pretty cool. While you are there you'll see those booths are surrounded by many other SharePoint booths... grab the swatch for XBOX 360 and visit all those booths (especially the Nintex one to get a Demo. The new AvePoint DocAve 5.0 shipping soon has some amazing config features. DocAve 4.5 is still impressive and a must see demo. (Awarded Best in Show Teched 2008 for SharePoint.)
- It's the launch you have to see this before you leave. It's hotter than I remember at SPC. Reports are pretty cool. Even if it doesn't have the report you want, there are many ways of getting what you need and there ears are wide open.
- Check out there new stuff for SharePoint. Secret not yet shipped stuff they are working on for IT Pros. More than 10 tools!!! (look at this
has a new tool - S.W.A.T. - SharePoint Work Acceleration Toolkit. Tools for testing and development.
(With fear of missing some... here are SharePoint booths to see... Sytergy (check out the UI replication stuff they've added), Mindsharp (training (look at onPath)), Black Blade (consulting), BinaryWave (consulting), K2 (hear about future blackpoint), Tsunami (migration), BinaryTree (migration), Quest (tools, tools, tools), even EMC has sharepoint integration with Documentum stuff with big signage.)
No offense if I missed your booth, just include it in the comments... (I'll add links to these later, but for now you can search and find their latest)
Ok, so TechEd 2008 started off with a very powerful pre-conference on Upgrade and Deployment talk by Shane Young and Todd Klindt. While they were talking I was working with Nicola Young and John Ross on a new Ted Pattison Group course to be called Planning and Governance.
(My (Joel Oleson) photostream on Flickr.com is where you can get the pictures that would be on this blog otherwise.)
Ok, so I can't leave this picture of Bob Fox without including a bit of the story of Tuesday night. This story may be told many different ways by many different people, and you may hear it third or fourth hand. So let me tell you my story... First off the venue put a bit of craziness in us with dancing on the tables. Ted, Mike Fitz, and the waitress helped kick it off well and the rest of us were on the tables very quickly with *really* very few exceptions.
I look at dancing on the table as a good way to let go of your inhibitions and let go a little bit. After the table dancing, I found I could move the whole table around by a good swing of the hips, so my table made it around the greek place... OPA! Eric Shupps and Bob Fox... Who's SharePoint Cowboy?
So, the fountain story... which is the best. I saw the fountain outside and it looked harmless enough, I decided I'd dance on the edge of it, and in the back of my mind was picturing fountain dancing. It didn't take long for me to kick my shoes off, and for Bob (who cares about the shoes?) Fox to jump in. The really topper was the guy with the AvePoint shorts (didn't think I'd ever see anyone wearing them) from Echo Technology. Even the locals said that hadn't been done. I'll leave those picture to your imagination or another blog :)
I thought the pond dancing was over until I hear another splash and Ben Curry and Mike Watson went in. You should worry about these two getting together. Some serious mind melding and earth turning off its access could happen.
Ok, So the TPG party which included some 50-60 people from AvePoint, TPG, Nintex, Mindsharp, B&R, BinaryWave, BlackBlade (Brad Smith), Syntergy, Devosis (Mo from Jordan), Microsoft, SharePoint 911, amogst others. I'm sure these stories will go down as TechEd legends.
(Joel Oleson, Chris Regan, and Mike Watson)
The first night was SharePint at BB Kings hosted by AC, Bob, Eric, and a bit of represent'in by yours truly. A surprise visit of Mo from Jordan was awesome. I was hoping he'd make it to the party. He'd already been taken under the wing of Bob Fox, Eric Shupps, and crew. (Be scared, very scared :))
Before the SharePint Party Mike and I and the Nintex crew including Mike Fitzmaurice stopped at Charleys Steaks after a nice brisk walk of 2 miles or so. Mike Fitz was able to show off his new and improved physique ... impressive work.
The mustard on the steak took us all of guard, but Brett Campbell (Nintex) wasn't looking for Frenches, he was looking for a serious dark grain mustard, something most of us would eat on a huge sausage.
I was invited by Mike (he referred to me as his comfort blanket) to speak with him on global deployment with Doron. The three of us had a great time. Hope the attendees did. I'm afraid to look. Attendees don't realize what it does to us when they even complain about the room being too cold or too hot, or that they couldn't hear Mike with his microphone on his belly.
The Advanced Admin session gave me a chance to return the favor to Mike as we really brought he house down. That session I'm sure went really well. Shane Young, Mike Watson, and I were really able to drill on app pools, database maintenance, capacity planning amongst other more common, but hairy advanced topics. We really clicked from what I could tell. Though in one fun moment... We had an argument on what the recommended number of content databases should be... it was awesome. It's still a great debate.
I'll put the sessions up in my presentation folder in the next couple of days.
(Above... Joel and Mo rockin out on Expert on XBOX 360 Guitar Hero III. (picture to come soon...)
Photos courtesy of Windows Mobile 5 (yep, I'm old school on my Treo 700WX).. I plan to upgrade sometime in the next month or two. Fitz gave me some ideas. Thanks Windows Live Writer for making it easy to post this... (Sorry looks like live writer decided it didn't want to post the pictures, so I'll fix that and see you later...
I was just rereading the final TechEd onsite logistics and came across a *very* cool thing.
The TechEd bloggers gadget
TechEd 2008 Countdown with Bloggers feed
"View latest blog quotes on TechEd Bloggers while counting down the seconds to the big event. Customize the countdown and gadget appearance based on the TechEd event selected."
Shout out to Adi Saric. When I first saw the gadget I thought that's cool it already has my blog in it. Then I noticed it was a static image! How cool. Even though he gave me a nick name, I don't think it could be anyone else :)
Bloggers at Teched... want more traffic? silly question... who doesn't! Submit your blog with posts about TechEd to be included.
You can subscribe to the TechEd bloggers feed too...
All Posts Office and Sharepoint
I just added the Vista Gadget and now seeing a post from Richard Riley (my old office mate) on SharePoint Resources.... it's already paying off.
As far as TechEd blogging goes... don't miss my session and party post and don't miss the Tech-Ed online resources including a recap of Bill Gates' keynote with links to TechEd's world wide (see me in SEA, AUS, and NZ... so far)
Live Tags: TechEd2008, TechEdBloggers
One of the best things about TechEd is the social events and parties. I've got friends all over the world as a result of the tight community that happens around TechEds and SharePoint.
Here's events where I'll likely be...
Option 3: Late Night: After things slow down - I'm going to get a group together to go to Pleasure Island to go to one of the last comedy shows at the Disney commedy club and then dancing and live music. Last year was a blast.
Wed - MVP Party "Everybody needs MVPs" at House of Blues. This is an exclusive party so this is where most of my friends will be. Not sure if I'll be able to get in otherwise I'll be at these others.
TechTarget Party - Invitation only at Fultuon's Crab House in Downtown Disney 5:30-8pm
Redmond Party - Invitation only @ Groove Nightclub at Universal Citywalk 7:30-10pm
Enterprise Search Appreciation - Invitation only @ Bice Restorante Portofino Bay
(This is the night of Invitation Only Parties as you can see)
Fri - TBD I'm thinking a dinner show.
Sat - SharePoint at Disney World (Informal) Catch me after one of my sessions and exchange emails and cell info to join me at Disney World. Right now it's me and Mo. You're welcome to join us Dutch style if you love Mickey and SharePoint.
Note: There are always other parties going on from the various product groups and partners, when you're on the floor ask around if you haven't heard about what's "goin on."
IT Day Sessions & Chalk Talks:
In addition to these sessions I'll be hanging out at the Nintex booth and the SharePoint booth from time to time. If you're a partner I do plan to hit *all* the SharePoint booths, and would love to see a 5 minute demo.
If you haven't seen these sessions add them to your calendar. If you're wondering if these are new, kind of. I've added a few sides to the Windows Server 2008/SQL 2008 and a couple of new demos since the SharePoint Conference (the only external conference it was seen).
The SharePoint Advanced Administration is going to be similar to last year with some additional lessons learned since last year.
The Governance Session is very different from last year's teched but the same deck as the SharePoint Conference in Seattle, Dubai, and Istanbul.
The Panel should be a lot of fun. The dynamics of the audience will really play into this. I plan to bring 10 controversial topics. Here's a preview.
1. Capacity Planning and Max Database sizes
2. Max Site Collection sizes
3. How do I architect an environment for 20TB+
4. How should I backup my farm of various sizes and SLAs
5. What third party products should I consider if any.
6. What's the purpose of AAMs and why are they so horrible to setup and troubleshoot.
7. What do I need in a good SharePoint Admin or Architect.
8. What are common bottlenecks and how do I identify them
9. Give me the best D/R plan
10. What's the latest with content deployment? Should I use it?
Fun times ahead.