…also means looking back at 2015. ūüôā

First of all, let me start by wishing all of you a happy (belated) New Year. I hope that 2016 is off to a good start!

As you might have noticed, it’s been a little quiet around here these past few months. There’s a few good reasons for that:

  • I’ve been writing a lot for my employer, ENow. As a matter of fact, you could consider ENow’s solution Engine, also known as “ESE blog” (pun intended) as my new “primary” blog location. However, I realize I could do a better of “cross-posting” articles here, which I will vigorously keep an eye on in 2016. In the meantime, you can go to http://blog.enowsoftware.com to see what others and I have been writing about lately.
  • It’s been super busy at work (in a good way)!¬†We are in the process of creating something entirely new and that has been keeping me busy –along with some really interesting consulting engagements! In due time, I’ll share more details on what exactly it is that we are doing. Needless to say, 2016 will be an interesting year @ ENow.
  • The Office 365 book for Exchange Professionals has been taking up quite¬†a bit of time (rightfully so!). As Tony reported earlier, there have been a massive amount of changes in 2015 –all of which need to go into the book in one way or another. Throw in the release of Exchange 2016 and there’s plenty of things to keep you busy for a while. The upside of all this is that the latest version of the book is really, really¬†good and very up-to-date –something that would not be possible when publishing in a traditional way. If you haven’t picked up your copy so far, you can do so here.

Anyway.¬†A new year wouldn’t be one without proper resolutions, would it? The good news is that after some necessary downtime in December, my batteries are fully charged again and ready to hit to road running!

  • The Belgian “Pro-Exchange”¬†user group¬†is shortly moving to a new website (and platform). The team is seizing this opportunity to revitalize the community as well. Expect some big announcements in the days and weeks to come. I can share that we will be introducing a new name and we plan on having (more) regular in-person events. Because of everyone’s busy schedules we only had a few but successful events last year.
  • I look forward to the next release of the Office 365 book for Exchange Professionals. Although the book is updated incrementally (there’s a new release every few weeks), we find ourselves with a major update once or twice a year (there were two major releases, last year). I am in full writing mode as we speak, and you can expect a lot of new content from me evolving around authentication (Passport, Windows Hello, Multi-factor authentication), mail flow, hybrid deployments (and caveats) and hybrid recipient management. Keep in mind that I’m not the only one working on the book. Both Tony and Paul are also continuously adding new content to their chapters, so there’s much more to discover with every update/release!
  • The fall will be quite a busy time. First, there’s Ignite in Atlanta in September, followed by IT/DEV Connections in Vegas (in October) and the UK/UC Day as well. Although I am a little skeptical about Ignite as a conference, it is a must-attend event if you want to know what is happening in the Microsoft ecosphere. It’s as simple as that.
    For the past few years, I have been lucky enough to be allowed to speak at IT/DEV Connections. Compared to Ignite this is a very small conference, but very technical with lots of deep insights from the real world. Whereas Microsoft-hosted events sometimes tend to be a big heavy on the marketing-side of things, IT/DEV Connections is the independent voice which tells you what the world really looks like. I like the conference for a variety of things. First of all, it’s in Vegas (doesn’t need more explaining).¬†I like speaking there and I thoroughly enjoy attending a lot of the sessions. But foremost, because the conference runs at a much smaller scale, it is the perfect opportunity to¬†socialize with¬†the attendees and have lots of great conversations.¬†A fellow-MVP once described it to me as almost¬†having a user group feeling is pretty close to what it is.¬†If you don’t believe me: just take a look at last year’s sessions or perhaps purchase access to the session recordings. You’ll have to agree.
    Last but not least there’s the UK UC Day. It was organized for the first time, last year, and I was impressed by how well it was organized and by the amount of sessions and the quality of them. Given the reactions from the attendees, I’m confident that this year’s edition will be equally if not more successful.
  • Although I’m not making any commitments yet, I think 2016 would be a good year to write a successor to the Exchange 2013 High Availability e-book that Paul Cunningham, Steve Goodman and myself created. However, I wouldn’t expect it until later this year because none will really start deploying Exchange 2016 until after the first CU (or two)…
  • On a more personal level, I have taken it upon myself to read more books –other than tech e-books and¬†(finally?) pursue my Instructor degree in Krav Maga.

Either way, I better get going to make all this happen! I don’t like waiting¬†for¬†the sun, the stars and the moon to align properly.

Until next time,

-Michael

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