David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • Must attend UK event - filling up fast - Wembley 7th October - Microsoft Partner Network

    [updated with correct URL] I saw this and thought I should pass it on. Microsoft Partner Network 2009 will explore strategies that enable you to continue to meet customers' needs and exploit new opportunities. Designed for Partner executives and sales leads, this event follows on from the Worldwide Partner Conference in July and provides more details of our UK execution plans. Join us for: - Insights from Microsoft executives as they share the Microsoft vision and strategies together with business growth opportunities and product innovation - A range of Partner-to-Partner online and offline networking opportunities, plus strategic and practical guidance on how to collaborate successfully with other Microsoft Partners - Market insights and guidance on developing customer opportunities - Useful resources to help you sell, market and deploy Microsoft technology, particularly when you find yourself in competitive technology situations - A glimpse into future industry trends and innovation, with exciting demonstrations - An introduction to the UK award winners from the Worldwide Partner Conference 2009. To register your place at this essential event, click the button below and enter invitation code 22BAF4 . You can also register by phone: call 0870 166 6670 . Check the Microsoft Partner Network 2009 website for more details about the event over the coming weeks. You can also sign up to our RSS service , or follow us on Twitter . We look forward to seeing you at Wembley Stadium on 7 October. Kind regards, Scott Dodds General Manager Small, Medium Enterprises & Partners Group - Microsoft UK ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Partners , MPN , MSPP , Event
  • Microsoft wants to know what you want for the UK SBS 2008 Launch? Time to stop saying you want it better and time to start saying what you actually want and would use!!

    One thing I have never been accused of is holding back my opinion and on the Yahoo Groups recently there has been some discussions around what Microsoft has done for partners. As part of the discussion this blog post from Sonal, the UK Product Manager for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, came up with a question around what do partners want to see in a UK launch. I thought people who read this blog might like to pop over to Sonal's blog and give a voice to their wants. I've seen suggestions from free beer, which was a Joke I was later told, to license pricing, features and benefits, how to up-sell/cross-sell. The problem with the later items is that they are simply personal to the business doing the selling - why have an upsell to mobile devices if your business can't facilitate it? What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? In May 2006 we had a server event for guys (and gals) who sell server - specifically Small Business Server. We split the event into two - the morning event was for those who were new to selling SBS and the afternoon track was for those who already have a great deal of experience in selling SBS. Both sessions went down a storm where we covered off all sorts from market analytics to Windows Mobile with SBS. With the learnings from that event and feedback from YOU, we're hoping to do it again - but better. So, while James tries to uncover how you want your content delivered, I'm keen to understand what exactly it is that you need from us. And it may seem obvious to you. But tell me anyway. As we plan the UK launch event for around the September/October timeframe, it would be really helpful to hear from you on what you need from us - either at the potential launch event, or before that via webcasts. <snipped - contact details on Sonal's blog> SBS stuff and then some... : What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Marketing , Community , SBSC , Partners
  • ISVs can learn about Microsoft’s strategy and products and how they fit into selling solutions – come to the events in TVP and Manchester on the 10th and 24th April

    One of the biggest criticisms of Microsoft by our ISV partners is that they don’t know where we are going… well this even should help solve that – see you there perhaps: Introduction 09.30 - 10.00 Registration & coffee 10.00 – 10.15 Welcome & Introduction Deliver Innovative Solutions 10.15 – 10.45 Microsoft strategy direction 10.45 – 11.30 Microsoft technology roadmap 11.30 – 11.50 Coffee break Increase your opportunities 11.50 – 12.15 Marketing & sales initiatives Close more sales 12.15 – 12.30 Services & licensing for sales acceleration Support your Customers 12.30 – 12.45 Technical support resources 12.45 – 13.00 Wrap up with Q&A 13.00 – 14.00 Lunch & networking 10 th Apr, Chicago 1, TVP Registration url: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032373283&Culture=en-GB 24 th Apr, The Lowry, Manchester Registration url: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032373286&Culture=en-GB Enjoy the event! ttfn David Technorati Tags: ISV , Microsoft , Strategy , Roadmap , event
  • Manchester SBS Group (Kick Off Meeting) - 27th March 2008 - be there to see how it all starts again - with Chris Parkes, Ceri Thomas and me

    Ceri Thomas is planning a new group in Manchester and Chris Parkes will be there to host things with him for the 1st meeting. I will also be there slightly later in the evening. Below is the mail sent out by Danny Ovens to SBSC members in the area, but all are welcome. Dear Partner New: Manchester SBS Groups (Kick Off Meeting) What is the purpose of the SBS User Group....? SBS User Groups are partner meetings, run by partner, for partners. They are an independent forum that enable partners to meet one another, share best practice, learn how to better engage with IT Vendors and also hear directly from Microsoft about our products and strategies. · Partner to partner networking – how can collaborating, learning what successes others have had, sharing problems and concerns or working as a group help your business · Connect with Vendors – The group can invite Microsoft and others to attend and present to your agenda...be heard! · Plugged in to Manchester Northwest activities – We’re increasing our engagement with partners in the Northwest through events and communities and we’ll keep the forum updated with relevant news · Ability to shape the agenda of the User group in future – What works for you...? Influence the agenda to reflect your needs. The first meeting is being held in Manchester on the 27 th March and if you’d like to register your attendance please do so through the voting buttons above. [to vote from this blog entry, click here: Yes, I'd like to attend I would like to attend but can't make this date I would not like to attend thanks ] Date & Time: Thursday 27 th March, 18:30-21:00 Agenda: 18:30 Welcome, introductions. 19:00 Microsoft Update 19:45 Partner Roundtable – Issues, concerns & successes 20:45 AOB – Agree Next meeting agenda 21:00 Close Venue: One Central Park, Manchester M40 5WW Host Partner Your host partner for the evening will be Ceri Thomas (168tech.co.uk) from 168tech and he will be supported by Chris Parkes, Microsoft Technology Adoption & Solutions Specialist and Dave Overton...
  • Microsoft Online Services - beta in US, international .. not for a while yet, but you get to see where Microsoft is going!

    What is it? I know Vlad is not going to like this, but even he will admit that this has been on the cards for a while. Software plus services is coming to town in a bigger and bigger way. At the moment there is a limited beta in the US and (just like Google), it has the beta tag on it . So what have we seen today, well we have seen Microsoft stand up and be counted in it's commitment to the software-plus-services strategy. We have seen existing "on premise" solutions of Exchange and SharePoint be offered as a S+S (software-plus-services) alternative for those customers who don't wish to run these themselves. There is no "must switch" or "dropping" of the existing, very successful products, just more options for people. As a customer you would consider whether you get better value running these in-house yourself, or with a partner delivering them for you in-house, or completely outsources to another partner or Microsoft. As a partner you have to consider how you deliver in all worlds. While today you probably add value to "on premise" solutions you need to understand how and if you add value should your customer opt for the new services. If you want to deliver theses types of services yourself, look at SPLA agreements and the information at The Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) . If you want to build solutions on top of those announced today then look at http://www.microsoft.com/online/partner/learn-more.mspx . Either way you can learn more at http://www.microsoft.com/online/default.mspx . Other's reactions As you can imagine, there have been a few prople covering this, from bloggers to journalists. Below are just some of the items I've seen so far: Press Microsoft to Expand Microsoft Online Services for Businesses of All Sizes (press release) http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Apps/Microsoft-Expands-its-Online-Services/ Microsoft moves further into the cloud.. cautiously http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/saasweek/2008/03/microsoft_expands_ondemand_ser...
  • 2008 Pre-Launch event with Bill Gates - Scott Dodds and why Partners are important

    Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch , Scott Dodds I will try to publish information from each presenter as I noted it from the audience and then my scribbled notes. I can't guarantee 100% accuracy, but the virtual even should show more of this information and the Partner Portal will have the presentations on them in a weeks time. So... here goes: Microsoft rarely does a launch even for it's partners 2 months before the "big event". It is normally the night before. Scott re-iterated that partners are "extremely important" to Microsoft as they are the feet on the ground talking to customers. If partners have not seen / heard all the messages, technology, plans then how can they participate and recommend to customers? It is also worth noting that we do not have a "Bill Gates" for the customer events - his insight was reserved for our partners! Scott kicked off the day by suggesting that there were 4 areas we were concentrating on (more on these in coming posts): Secure Trusted Platform Virtualisation Next Generation Web Business Intelligence As far as participation goes - there are many ways a partner can participate as highlighted in another blog post, however it will include the new social network community work the UK Partner Team have put together where you can form your own communities as a partner. Scott showed the new roadmap information and forums / blogs / status information available. Scott also pointed out (scarily) that the BBC had access to the event as they were following Bill's last year. Sure enough three small business partners were caught and asked to comment!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch , Scott Dodds
  • Video for Bill's last day

    I've seen this mentioned in so many places that I had to share: ttfn David Technorati Tags: Bill Gates , CES , last day
  • SQL Server Web casts (Preparing for SQL Server 2008, New T-SQL features, migrating from Access, Policy based management framework, BI, certifications, reducing hardware and maintenance costs)

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL SQL 2005 Webcasts and Virtual Labs SQL Server 2005 is data management and analysis software that delivers enhanced security, availability, and scalability to mission-critical data applications—while making them easier to develop, deploy, and manage. Choose from a wide range of live and on-demand webcasts. Or take part in a virtual lab, which allows you to cut your teeth on the new platform by experimenting with its different capabilities. SQL Server 2005 Webcasts TechNet Webcast: Prepare Yourself for Windows Server 2008 (Part 1 of 8): Product Workload Scenarios (Level 300) – Monday, December 03, 2007 9:30 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) In this first session of our series, we discuss how Windows Server 2008 addresses key deployment scenarios for customers. We start with an overview of the key product workload scenarios for Windows Server 2008. We cover as many as 10 different scenarios, and we discuss how each scenario can be categorized into one of three different design pillars. While examining the scenarios, we take a closer look at the specific technologies used within the scenario, describe how they are used, and explain why they are needed. We show which technologies comprise each scenario and the value propositions they deliver. Finally, we see how the scenario adds value to Windows Server 2008 and, in some cases, we provide real-world examples of usages for the scenario. TechNet Webcast: Prepare Yourself for Windows Server 2008 (Part 1 of 8): Product Workload Scenarios (Level 300) MSDN Webcast: New T-SQL Programmability Features in SQL Server 2008 (Level 300) – Tuesday, December 04, 2007 1:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) Join this webcast on new T-SQL programmability features in Microsoft SQL Server 2008, an extension from last year's presentation on top Microsoft SQL Server 2005 T-SQL features. We cover exciting new features such as: New data types (i.e. date/time, filestream, HierarchyID, large UDT, sparse columns) Dependency management...
  • Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC in Denver - what I know so far - Software plus Service

    Steve Ballmer has stated his case for Software PLUS Service. This should not be news for anyone who has been watching the world, but what is great to see if how Microsoft is trying to get it's existing partner leveraged model to work in the new web 2.0/3.0 world. Of course this will not suit everyone, but if done well, everyone can move forward is a happy little dance as things get re-jigged. Ballmer Outlines Microsoft's Software-As-A-Service Plans - Software - IT Channel News by CRN and VARBusiness noted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer believes the evolution of the "computational model" and new user interfaces are going to create a flood of opportunities for the vendor's channel partners. In a Tuesday keynote speech to more than 12,000 attendees at Microsoft's worldwide partner conference in Denver, Ballmer provided insight into the Windows Live platform and how new technologies like Silverlight mark the beginning of the transformation to a new user interface model. Ballmer peppered his keynote with demos and testimonials about upcoming technologies, focusing on Microsoft's Google-like Windows Live services and on Silverlight, Microsoft's fledgling Adobe Flash rival. Silverlight demos have been in the spotlight at all of Microsoft's recent conferences, including Mix07 and TechEd. Ballmer's keynote showcased an MLB.com application created by Microsoft partner Frog Design, illustrating the power of the platform Microsoft hopes will bring rich Windows functionality to mobile devices and Web browsers. One big question partners have had about the future of Windows Live is what will happen on the back end with servers, which used to be on customers' premises, but increasingly are hosted and on the Internet, Ballmer noted. The emergence of server farms, and the ability to adjust capacity on demand has enabled the focus to move from back end servers to shared computation handled on customer premises, he added. "This is a long term migration to bring the best of the web and best...
  • WPC Partner Conference in Denver - what is on and how to follow it even if you can't be there

    The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is an amazing opportunity to understand what Microsoft is planning on doing for its partners over the next 12 months, what changes will be happening to our products, look Microsoft in the eye and ask your question and to build relationships with other partners and people inside Microsoft to benefit your business. Some of the speakers include UK Small Business partners, such as Susanne Dansey , Gareth Brown and Andy Trish . They represent two areas of the community and their own companies, Westcoast a Microsoft distributor aiming at the small business end of the partner market and thriving, now Gold Certified SBSC partners who two years ago were not on Microsoft's radar and have made being a SBSC partner a real benefit. In terms of what is on that is just for small business partners we had the Symposium yesterday. As to what was expected, here is the small business blog http://blogs.msdn.com/mssmallbiz/archive/2007/07/03/3677168.aspx Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference: We know many of you will also be participating in the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) beginning Tuesday, July 10. There are several special activities planned especially for small business partners that you will want to add to your Conference schedule: · Network with your peers before you arrive by joining the Small Business Discussion Group . This group is hosted on WPC Connect and is a great way for you to stay current, share ideas, and discuss what you have seen and heard at the conference. · Also check out the Small Business Specialist Community Blog on WPC Connect to get an early glimpse of what to expect at both the Small Business Symposium and the Worldwide Partner Conference. Visit the Small Business Partner "Yellow" Lounge . This lounge is a gathering place for connecting with people who care about small business as much as you do. The Lounge is located across from Lobby F, near the 14th Street entrance to the Convention Center. C ome chat with Microsoft about small business technologies...
  • Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference - will you be in Denver?

    I attended last year and the UK partners that went said that it was a very worthwhile experience, especially the Pre-event of the Small Business Symposium (eg http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/date/2006/07/ and . This year we have that again - see below or http://www.microsoft.com/partner/events/wwpartnerconference/precon.htm Microsoft Small Business Symposium 2007 The second annual Microsoft Small Business Symposium is the event for Microsoft Small Business Specialists and other technology providers who want to energize their small business practice! You will hear strategies and methods from industry experts to help you effectively manage your time, build business value and reduce financial barriers to continued business growth. Come interact with your peers and Microsoft as we examine the recent technologies, issues and forces driving today’s small business marketplace. I expect to see a number of UK partners there again this year. More details from Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference This premier partner conference will take place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, USA, July 10-12, and will provide a wide range of valuable resources for all Microsoft Partners. Leverage your Microsoft investment by sharing in future business opportunities, get hands-on training, and network with your Microsoft team and your extended partner community. Over 10,000 partners, industry experts, speakers, exhibitors, Microsoft executives, and many others are expected to attend this year’s conference—don’t miss out! What’s waiting for you at Worldwide Partner Conference? Hear from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and other leading executives on how to position your business to take advantage of Microsoft strategies and overall vision in Conference Keynotes . Dive deep into the latest solutions with Hands-On Labs and Sessions , taught by industry experts. Celebrate your successes using Microsoft products & solutions at the Microsoft Partner Program Awards Luncheon and Ceremony. Gain even more knowledge and...
  • The Small Business Summit is coming - 19th - 23rd March - watch online

    [updated 29th March 2007] Now the event has happened you need to go to http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/small-business-summit/FY07/SummitVideo/Watch.aspx to watch the various sessions. The Microsoft Small Business Summit is just around the corner: March 19-23. It's free, it's online, and we don't want you to miss it. To help you get the best value and training for your business, we've identified the top webcasts from the Small Business Summit. With links below, we've also simplified the process of adding your chosen webcasts as appointments on your Outlook calendar. On the date and time of your preferred webcasts, you have two easy options for viewing the live webcasts : Click the linked webcast title below. -Or- Click the linked webcast title in the Outlook appointment text. Note: To view the webcasts, you must have Windows Media Player installed. March 19, Day one (9:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Pacific Time) 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Keynote: Solutions for Small Business Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Learn about new products designed to address the needs of your small business and to make a positive impact on your bottom line. Add this webcast to your calendar 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - The Importance of Branding Julie Clark, Founder of Baby Einstein Hear from the woman who started a business in her basement and within five years built a brand with annual sales of more than $25 million. Add this webcast to your calendar 11:00 AM - Noon - The Art of Innovation Guy Kawasaki, Author and Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures Learn strategic steps for creating new products and services. Renew your commitment to innovation. Add this webcast to your calendar Noon - 1:00 PM - The Economy and the Small Business Owner Wayne Best, Chief Economist, Visa USA Hear this top business analyst explain how economic trends can affect your small business. Add this webcast to your calendar 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM - Small Biz Success Stories Moderated by Cindy Bates, General Manager, Microsoft Get tips and inspiration from battle...
  • The Windows Vista and Office Consumer and Small Business Launch - 30th Jan, The British Library, London, UK.... and some demos you MUST run to understand what ISVs will do with Windows Vista.. and a couple of case studies

    Finally the day has come and the rest of us (well, you - but I felt that excited anyway) without a Volume License (or if you work at Microsoft) could get and use Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System (known as Office from here on in). The British Library was chosen as two Leonardo De Vinci codices were being brought together for the 1st time in over 500 years. One was owned by the British Library and the other by Bill Gates, who appeared in person to launch the event. These books, plus other treasures from the British Library can be accessed and downloaded from http://www.bl.uk - I've put some info on how to demo it at British Library Demo of Vista and the Windows Presentation Foundation and the Windows Vista Magazine have put their copy in the same format http://wpf.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk/ttpdownload/browserapp.xbap . As always I would like to thanks everyone involved - the partners and their customers who helped to shape and deliver Windows Vista and Office and the Windows and Office teams who put up with my rantings and demands and finally (still) invited me to the launch event to see it all so close up. Anyway, the day in pictures (clicking on the thumbnails will bring up a larger version - some will go "massive" as they quailty is better on those) The day started with a discussion between the customers, Doug Richard , the customers, the partners and Microsoft - think of this as a "what I'm going to ask you, so don't be scared... unless a great insight grabs me, and then I'll ask you something different" session The characters includr Richard Abel, with a great reference at http://www.bcentral.co.uk/products/accountancy-firm-aggarwal-profits-from-windows-vista-and-office-2007.mspx?xid=sbissues_020207 then the man in the blue shirt with the beardy is Mike Haigh - Windows Client Supremo for Small and Mid-Market customers. Next to Mike is the man who runs Bradley Photography and who said on stage "Using these tools has saved me time and will result in me saving 2 months in every 12) - his story can be found...
  • Small Business Partner Community ‘Catch Up’ Evening - Come to the SBSC Symposium "pre-drinks" - yes, drinks the night before the Reading event (so drinks on the 31st January)

    If you will be in the Reading area on the night before the SBSC Symposium, then come along to Reading and have a drink and catch up with the community. You'll have the opportunity to mix and chat to different members of the regional groups as well as exchange ideas about business (or anything you like!). No agenda has been set for the evening (as yet); think of it as a regional SBS group meeting on steroids! The VIP area has been booked out for our meeting so there’ll be plenty of space to spread out and relax. Members of the community, Microsoft, and other vendors will be available to chat to and this will hopefully be a great start to the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Symposium. And just a reminder, while some drinks will be bought, more food and drink is available, but sorry guys, you've gotta pay for yourselves!

(c)David Overton 2006-13