is Microsoft South Africa’s premier technology event of the year and Africa's largest annual technology conference for IT Professionals, Developers and technology decision makers. The 4 day event was again held at the Durban International Convention Center with approximately 2000 delegates coming from South Africa, Africa and even Europe. It’s thee place to gain the expertise, connections, insights, and lessons from the field. New Microsoft products are also showcased via technical presentations, Chalk & Talk discussions as well as Hot Labs.
Many did not like the very technical opening keynote and it showed on twitter. Even though it was a well-run demo, two hours of it is for a break-out session, not a keynote. Keynotes are supposed to be a vibrant and lively thing with a big name presenting. Unfortunately the opening party was also not what people expected and Microsoft was slated on twitter. Again. So what was left was the sessions and the closing party. And Microsoft redeemed themselves. I did not attend the closing party but from what I heard, it rocked.
The speakers for the sessions came from far and wide with this year’s big international names being Christina Leo
from PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server
), Garth Luke
(Senior Vice President of AvePoint
) and Wally Mead (the most knowledgeable person from Microsoft on SCCM). Many of our local big-hitters were also there to present, with the likes of v-TSPs (Virtual Technology Service Provider) Troy Gerber
and Bradley Geldenhuys
of GT Consult
being the most popular in SharePoint sessions, while MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals). Rob Maclean
and Rudi Grobler
stole the Windows 8 & Windows Phone developers show. Naturally, Africa’s only Microsoft Exchange & Office 365 Certified Master, Nicolas Blank
, was the main attraction for the Exchange and Lync talks.
I headed-up the Microsoft Community Hub, a lounge area in the exhibition hall where delegates could network and meet the Microsoft SA
community leaders and MVPs. I would like to thank Felix Honigwachs
and John Hormaechea
of Microsoft as well as Garth Luke
for their contribution of SWAG for the Community Hub. Thanks must also go to Mark Stacey
, Christina Leo
, Troy Gerber
and Bradley Geldenhuys
for their time spend at the Hub. I was pleased to see so many people enquiring about joining the community and wanting to learn and share more. Many did not even know about the community and the free events and meetings we run. This shows the amount of work we have to build the local Microsoft Community and we can only achieve this if we all, individuals and companies, provide some our time, effort and money freely without expectations. So let’s all pull together for the greater good.
Next up is our local SharePoint Saturdays: SPSJHB
08 June – Blanford Manor, North Riding, Jhb. SPSCPT (incorporating SQLSATCPT)
07 September – Sanlam Head Office, Bellville.SPSDBN 14 September
SPSNairobi 21 September
Spread the word and let’s build the community!