Tuesday the 30th we had our July meeting of the Office 365 International User group. Overall the meeting was good, it started out sounding more like a Mobile Phone user group though J In the opening open discussion I mentioned that I bought the Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone 8 Phone and we all got into a discussion about the phone and the differences between U.S. and European wireless service plans and roaming. It was interesting for me to learn that in Europe if you leave your home country you are considered to be roaming; this reminded me how the U.S. service providers handing leaving your home state and then you went were considered roaming as well. This ended in the States several years ago and all the major carriers, and probably most of the carriers, now allow you to freely go from state to state without roaming. Some of the European members mentioned that European carriers are looking to move to this model as well, I hope it happens!
After that initial discussion I began a recap of the Microsoft World Partner Conference (WPC) 2013 that was held in Houston, TX a couple weeks ago. Helping me out with the recap was Matthew Hughes (@Mattmoo2), it was very helpful and while Matt and I have been twitter friends for a long while we finally got a chance to meet in person at WPC. Matt and I talked about the activities, announcements and networking opportunities at WPC. While this was both Matt and I's first WPC, we both came away very impressed with the conference overall and the fact that Microsoft provided greatly discounted prices on the Surface RT and Surface Pro didn't hurt! Below are links to some of the Keynotes and big announcements, you still should also be able to access most of the content from WPC at www.DigitalWPC.com
Steve Ballmer's Opening Keynote
Jon Roskill's, Corporate VP for Partners, Keynote
Windows COO and CFO Tami Reller's Keynote – Important Office 365 info, Upgradable SKUs and other great info, as well as Windows 8.1 info and Demo
Microsoft's Server & Tool (STB) Business President Satya Nadella's Keynote – Very cool info and Demo of PowerBI with Office 365!
Kevin Turner's Keynote
After the WPC recap presentation/discussion, we talked about the status of upgrades from Wave 14 to Wave 15. A quick poll showed more tenants have been upgraded than not, but the one's that have not been upgraded are very frustrated, understandably so!
After that discussion I took the opportunity to make some announcements. I wanted to highlight several Yammer groups that I think the group as a whole would benefit from joining. Also plugged a the European Office 365 Connect conference and a new website that is highlighting many different Cloud based blogs in one location. All the links are below and I encourage you to join the appropriate Yammer groups and check out the other two sites!
European Office 365 Connect http://www.nccomms.com/Office365_connect/Home.aspx
January 28-30, 2014
Cloud Bloggers List http://www.cloudbloggers.net/
Near the end of the meeting we had a pretty important discussion about how Microsoft is changing the way Partners can be recognized with competencies in different countries. I was hoping to get a "guest Blogger" submission about this but have not received it yet, will hopefully blog about this soon.
I actually remembered to record the meeting all by myself this time! (Though I did get some friendly reminders from the group, thanks Darrell Webster (@DarrellCWebster)) Below is the agenda for the meeting with a link to the meeting
Open talk mainly about Microsoft changing Competencies for countries
July 30th Meeting Agenda
2:00 PM (Denver Time) Welcome Open Discussion - Sean remember to hit record!
2:30 PM WPC13 Recap
3:00 PM Yammer groups and other announcements
3:15 PM Upgrades Update and discussion
3:40 PM Open Discussion
A couple side items:
Microsoft Launched Office Mobile for Android Devices for Office 365 subscribers, and for those of you still on the fence about Office 365, John Santiago (@JohnASantiago), Catapult Denver GM, and I co-authored a blog titled: Choosing Office 365 is a Slam Dunk! On the Office 365 Blog!
I'm running Windows 8.1 preview, are you?
Look forward to the next meeting, I am pretty busy the next couple months but with get the August meeting scheduled and sent out!