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TechEd – Monday

A successful Monday. Aside from free t-shirts (ultra-stylish? you bet!) and other swag, there were some good sessions, and a fun Keynote by Bob Muglia.
The Keynote started with a ‘Back to the Future’ thing – with Christoper Lloyd, the DeLorean, and everything. The joke was that MS’s "visions" of the future were getting a bit stale, so let’s concentrate on what we can do today in the real world. Bob wanted to drive home the point that organizations should be able to look at IT as a strategic profit center rather than a cost center. Certainly not a new idea, but one that he feels MS can really help deliver. To that end, MS has developed Optimization Models to help guide the organization.
Another theme of the Keynote was the importance of agility – not just in the IT organization, but in the entire organization. Agility is essentially the ability to sense and respond to change with speed and efficiency. It is critical for the future of an organization, and important for making IT strategic today. Agility has to exist across an organization, from IT to business processes – and constant communication among the technologists and their clients and stakeholders is paramount.
After the Keynote, I attended a session on Groove 2007. Being interested in collaboration, this is a pretty interesting tool – one I look forward to playing around with soon. A key feature to me was the ability to synch SharePoint Document Libraries without having to provision all Groove users with AD and SharePoint credentials. Groove has its own credential system, so it can serve as a means to collaborate on documents with partners external to the organization. I wish it would integrate other SharePoint features, such as lists, but maybe in the next release.
I also attended a very crowded session on Agile development with Visual Studio Team System. The key take-away is that MS is jumping headfirst into supporting agile development, and the tools for testing and reporting results are integrated nicely into Visual Studio.
The remainder of the day centered around SharePoint, of course – as will much of the rest of the week. For me the best part was participating in the Hands-on Labs, many of which are available online at
(you’ll need a Windows Live ID). The lab setup here at TechEd makes it really easy to fly thru these labs, and learn the basics of some features you might not have encountered yet.
The vendor area is always fun. One vendor I found very interesting is Colligo – they have a really cool "SharePoint on the Desktop" solution that integrates SharePoint with Outlook, and also provides a client application to view SharePoint site content. Worth a look.
Wow – busy day. And I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

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