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.  

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  • Tech days 2010 – UK, covering Virtualisation, Office 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio, the Essential Mix, Rich Client and Windows Phone

    Registration for UK Tech Days events from 12 th to 16 th April is open!. UK Tech Days 2010 is a week-long series of free events run by Microsoft and technical communities to celebrate and inspire developers, IT professionals and IT Managers to get more from Microsoft technology.  Our day events in London will cover the latest technology releases including Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Virtualisation, Silverlight, Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 plus events focusing on deployment and an IT Manager day. Please visit our website for full details: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/techdays and follow what’s happening @uktechdays   The agenda looks like this: Monday 12th April Tuesday 13th Wednesday 14th Thursday 15th Friday 16th IT Pro Days Virtualization Summit Office 2010 - the next wave Windows 7 - Deployment SQL Server 2008 R2 - The Platform Raising the profile of IT Dev Days Visual Studio 2010 Launch Visual Studio 2010 and .NET The Essential MIX Rich Client Windows...
  • Want MIX08 in the UK? Then come to ReMix08 in Brighton on 18th and 19th September and save if you book an early bird place now

    I love what goes on at these events. It would be good to see you there. Here is the little advert: Final chance to save £110 . Very limited Early Bird places left - don't say we didn't warn you! 1,000 web developers, designers, development managers and technology evangelists are going to take the media they love to the next level. Why? Because ReMix UK 08 is getting bigger and better. Scott Guthrie Developer Track Bill Buxton Design and UX Track For Designers, Developers, the Community and Beyond Work Julie Howell, Fortune Cookie • Brendan Dawes, Magnetic North • Paul Foster, Microsoft Evangelist • Guy Smith-Ferrier, Capella • Tim Regan, Microsoft Research • Mike Taulty, Microsoft Developer Evangelist See the website for the growing list of speakers... What's in the mix • Panel discussions to Interactive Mash Ups • Designers and developers hand-in-hand to • All day VJs to conceptual walls • Open Source project, CodePlex • Backnetwork to Moo cards • Photosynth master classes to Microsoft Surface • Our...
  • Why Microsoft Partners should embrace S+S and still deliver on premise solutions

    I was at the Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference when Microsoft announced their S+S (Software plus Services) and some partners decided to throw their toys out the pram and start a whole bunch of scare mongering around the partner opportunity. I’ve decided I will cover both off here, so here are some thoughts – please note, this is not an official communication, but simply my view and response having spoken to partners and Microsoft people alike. What are the customer options? A customer can choose from two non-exclusive models for their IT Services – On Premise on Hosted. The reasons why someone might want to have a solution hosted are many, but can includes: Remove IT from premises Remove soft off of the books Outsource the IT management Deliver IT from the best place for their customers (eg where they have low bandwidth) Outsource IT upgrade & delivery Enable simple price per seat solutions Should a customer choose to have a solution hosted then their is a choice as to who hosts the solution – Microsoft...
  • How to sell Hosted CRM (CRM Online) in the UK and still retain your customers and a good profit – by working with Increase CRM

    [updated with contact details at 16:38] I have a partners or two that are looking to implement CRM internally and through the conversations about how they could do this came to know of the guys at Increase CRM. The good folks at Increase CRM seem to understand how SBSC partners think because the offerings they have for referral and resellers seem to be quite good to me. if you want the brochure on the subject, let me know, but here is the important piece for partners: What is the Referral Program? Partners in the Referral Program refer their customers to Increase CRM and we offer hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM and support services directly to the customer. Typically, the partner will provide implementation consulting services and may choose to provide first and second line support. Referral Partner Commissions The Referral Program guarantees partners commissions from any customers referred to Increase CRM: Subscribers Commission 5-10 100% of the first month’s subscription fees 11-50 200% of the first month’s subscription...
  • Where will your customers be looking for solutions – will they stick to on premise, or will they move towards a S+S or SaaS solution not from you?

    I know the table above is really, really simple, but I wanted to start the ball rolling – I have been thinking about this for ages!! Let me explain the diagram. The horizontal axis signifies how much of a solution is hosted. An example of this might be Office Live or Hotmail, where almost all of the solution is hosted. We then have the “on premise” or on-site IT going vertically. For most people, this is solutions like SBS 2003. A typical S+S solution might be MS CRM Online which has online components, but also enables you to go off-web and use Outlook or one of the mobile clients when on the road. While many thought on-line would be the next best thing even the king of on-line, Google, have recently admitted that it would not always be the answer in the posting they made on April 1st. Steve Clayton did the leg work and checked this was not form of April fool too!! Even the NY Times is talking about it, which to me says it really is going mainstream - http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_002570DE00740E180025742400363509...
  • 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...
  • How to buy Microsoft products - for businesses up to 250 PCs

    I saw this ( How to buy Microsoft products ) and thought I should share. Not only does the site have some very simple information on what solution may well be right for each customer and how to choose, but if you are still confused there is a good questionnaire to help you and a link to find your local SBSC partner. Find the right purchasing option for you Volume Licensing Best option for companies that would like to save money on software by buying in bulk. If you are buying more than 5 licences for any mix of Microsoft products, you could save money in comparison to buying boxed software. Learn more Hosted software Best option for businesses that want to outsource IT. You can rent the right to use Microsoft products through an IT provider who offers Software as a Service (SaaS). Learn more Software in a box from a retailer Best option for companies that only need one or two copies of software, or that want the convenience of an instant purchase. You can buy software in a box that contains a licensed software...
  • Microsoft unveils more online services and additional features for Office Live

    You may well have missed this on Microsoft Press Pass, but I think all partners should read this and work out if there is even more opportunity for them. It was introduced under a title that might not have caught your attention: Microsoft Charts Its Software Services Strategy and Road Map for Businesses Company introduces “Online” services and Microsoft Office Live Workspace, solutions that combine client, server and services offerings to deliver connected computing options for people and businesses. REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 30, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today laid out the next phase in its strategy for online services, offering a road map for new offerings that synthesize client, server and services software for people and businesses. These offerings will combine elements of client-based programs with software that runs large servers and new services delivered over the Internet. The offerings announced expand Microsoft’s existing portfolio of software plus service solutions — solutions that weave together the best...
  • Microsoft, web services, new business models and small business

    In the IT market the term "change is the only constant" has been around for years (well, certainly since I left ICL where change was not constant, but that was due to the contract that dictated that everything did not change, so fell behind). Note, this post is purely the ramblings from my mind, not a statement from Microsoft in an Official or Unofficial capacity We've seen big iron, then smaller systems, the rise of SMP, the reduction in IT hardware and software costs for solutions, the rise of Microsoft servers, client server, 3-tier, clustered computing, multi-core and now internet enabled computing. There is much more, of course, to come, but how we deliver IT to customers has changed too. Of course, this is all generalised and some people have always been at one end or the other, but general acceptance is always shifting - remember the ASP business model of the late 90's - dead, yet here it is again with Software as / plus service. The pricing of some services even appears to be £0, yet...
  • Building Office Live applications - this is where you need to start

    I had a partner ask me about Office Live today, so these are the places you need to start: 1) Client SDK - Windows Live ID Client 1.0 SDK in Alpha 2) Web Based Info - http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/showpost.aspx?postid=924592&siteid=1 and http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905514.aspx 3) Windows SharePoint v3 APIs - Working with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Web Services (what is supported from WSSv3 and what is blocked) 4) Some important sections: How to: Integrate Access 2007 and Excel 2007 with Office Live How to: Integrate Office Live with other Office 2007 applications Chris's unofficial Office Live developer blog That is it for now - the client SDK is key - you can build rich client applications and then share data via the OfficeLive web. nice. ttfn David Technorati tags: Office Live , Live , Saas , Software as a service , software with service
  • Microsoft, BT hook up for hosted apps | Tech News on ZDNet

    Given the recent good moves forward with Office Live (UK web site - http://www.officelive.co.uk , partners getting excited - Tim Long , bCentral information on the products and 5 amazing case studies ) I thought I would share this further advancement in the online world. There will always be a place for the small business products that rely on physical servers, but the business by Vlad and many others shows us that the SaaS (Software as a Service and Software AND Service) work well for a business model. The difference between SAAS and SaS, IMHO, is one is rich in both client and web based tools, the other is ONLY rich when connected. Take Exchange and Outlook - Outlook is a great client when connected to Exchange. OWA is a great client too, however Outlook's offline ability is what sets it apart. You can get get great online and offline experiences with SaS. Microsoft and BT are to launch an online marketplace for hosted applications, with small-business customers as the target. The BT Applications Marketplace...
  • Office Live beta in the UK and how it works & competes with SBS 2003

    I have been behind on my blogging (have you noticed)? I was at the Bristol SBS group Christmas dinner (did I say thanks yet to Richard and Mark?) and we got to discussing Office Live. So first off, as to what Live is, why not go and have a look at Eileen Browns blog on it and then lets get down to the discussion points. They were: Who really wants this type of solution? Does Live compete with SBS? Can I make money out of Live If someone has Live, can I sell them SBS too? If someone has Live, can I "upgrade" them from this to SBS? So lets answer these is order: Who really wants this type of solution? Well, there are loads of small businesses out there that want a web site, some more professional e-mail addresses than simply "davidovertonatsomecompany@hotmail.com" (don't try mailing this address, if it exists, then they won't like it, but more likely it will not). Office Live will give them a website of http://www.somecompany.com e-mail addresses that at "@somecompany.com" and a simple way to build the site - for...
  • Microsoft Office Live is coming to the UK - domain name, website, branded e-mail - hosted by Microsoft

    If you have a customer who wants these capabilities, but does not have the resources or cash to buy it, then Office Live could be quite amazing for you. Microsoft Office Live is coming - what is it Today, more than ever before, an Internet presence is indispensable for small businesses. That’s why Microsoft is introducing Microsoft Office Live — a set of affordable business productivity services designed to help you grow your business more easily by establishing a professional presence online. Microsoft Office Live will provide your company with its own domain name, Web site, and company-branded e-mail accounts for free. Additionally, Microsoft Office Live will offer you and your employees expert business management applications, such as customer, project, and document management tools, and a security-enhanced private Web site — affordably managed and maintained by Microsoft — where you can work together and share information with your employees, customers, suppliers, and contractors. If you’re not at the stage...
  • Microsoft's online strategy discussed at analyst meeting

    I saw this article from the NY Times and thought I would share it. It is a report on MS plans for Internet enabling even more things that we do. Some key statements from it included: "any big payoff from those investments would not come for a few years" - so this is a long term play "Internet search, according to Microsoft, will increasingly become seamlessly integrated into the Windows desktop operating system, Office productivity software, cellphones powered by Windows and Xbox video games" - I like the idea of hybrid utilities and the fact that search is a tool for me to do something, rather than something I explicitly have to go to a web site to do "In a demonstration, Mr. Mehdi showed some of the work being done by a group exploring the future of advertising in Microsoft’s research labs. In a digital television prototype, a viewer who liked a dress worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in an episode of “Sex and the City” could click on it, automatically pausing the video...

(c)David Overton 2006-18