Tech·Ed 2005 plans - tell us what you think!

Published Feb 17 2005 09:11 AM 391 Views

Tech·Ed 2005 will have 440 breakout sessions and over 30 of them will cover Exchange related topics. These Exchange sessions cover everything from designing architecture to managing and troubleshooting email operations. We would love to hear what you think about the list of session topics! To view the current list,
·         Go to:
·         Under 'Track' drop down menu, select 'MSG - Messaging and Collaboration'
Please let us know in terms of the following:
·         Do we have the right mix of Exchange topics you’d like to see?
·         Are there any Exchange topics we left out?
·         What topic(s) most interests you?
·         Anything else?

While we can not guarantee to be able to accommodate all the feedback and requests, we sure will try! Please post feedback as comments to this post. Thank you!

- Doug Hung

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Bring back MEC!

There are fewer and fewer 400 level Exchange topics each year. I don't think there was a single one last year. At least this year it looks like you killed off the developer sessions for Exchange, but there look to be a number of them under other topics. Doesn't the PDC cover sessions for developers? I understand the need for Microsoft to have a very strong developer network, but the infrastructure/architecture needs to be strong and flexable in order for them to develop on.

This year will possibly be the last year I will attend if this trend continues. I know several people that have already said they won't attend because of it.
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I think once again MS proves its lack of commitment to the Messaging community. Since MEC ended we have not had a good MS sponsored conference. This isnt your fault Doug, its just the way it is.
I wish I was a programmer, when it comes to TechEd.
Exchange Connections is looking better and better.
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MEC, bring it back.
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"Ditto". I'll attend this year - being in Tampa, not going to the conference in Orlando would be silly, but it's likely my last Tech-Ed as well.
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From a messaging standpoint, TechEd 2003 was okay, but not great. I got the most valuable information by networking with other members of the messaging community, not from the sessions. In 2003 MS at least had the announcement of and information about Exchange 2003. <br> <br>In 2004 there was nothing new. Many of the presentations appeared to be recyled from 2003. There was so little new information that there is nothing that I can use to convince my employer it would be worth attending this year. Nor do I any reason to try.
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I would like to see a session dedicated to both geo-clustering and Volume Shadow backups for Exchange. Last year I had a hard time finding anyone that could explain VSS for Exchange at all.
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How about a session on future product direction? Is the product ever going to move away from Jet etc.?
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It is hard to tell without anything except the title, but there appears to be no meaningful spam/anti-spam topics... just the marketing-speak "hygiene". With the death of Edge Services, is this now totally in the hands of the third-parties?
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Thanks so much for the input – I really appreciate the candidness. Let me see if I can try to address each comment above...

Content being stale - yes from the outset the session titles look similar (and I can certainly understand) when compared to 2003/2004. Since many of our customers are just moving to Exchange 2003, the goal was to ensure we cover Exchange 2003 knowledge in all major areas of Exchange operations. Having said that, we still take it seriously when considering TechEd veterans like you get value out of attending the event – by making sure session topics within each presentation contain new and the most updated information about Exchange 2003. This is why it’s still important that you let us know what topics you want to see covered – being that we still have several months to edit content. We will have revamp materials – the OWA session this year will focus less on deploying OWA and more on customizing OWA (assumption is most people already know how to deploy, but not necessarily know the other things you can do). We’re going to update our secure messaging session significantly, a session that used to be a cabana session only. We’ll have new materials. We will have a general Exchange session on Exchange 12 investment areas and Exchange product roadmap for the future. We will talk about the improvements being done around Exchange Server 2003 SP2. We’ve included 2 new sessions on how Microsoft does IT – both in terms of best practices in operations and security. For those who haven’t used the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (ExBPA), we’ll have a session delivered by the program manager who’s responsible for the tool. These are all sessions that were not presented at TechEd 2004, or to any large audience in the US this year. I understand that many of you have attended TechEd before, but I hope you’ll still find TechEd valuable this year – content will be revamped and you can always find the speakers (who are experts or directly work on the feature) who are willing to answer your questions and listen to your pains – let us see you there.

Not enough 400 level – this is an input I would seriously take back and consider. 2 things at play here that limits our ability to have as many as we wanted in the beginning…1) attendee stats tell us that the majority of the people feel the content is too hard at level 400. 2) going deep in 75 minutes is a challenge if the presenter wants to cover more than 3~4 topics. Having said that, level 400 conversations can still happen at TechEd (at the cabana lounge). This year’s cabana areas will be used specifically for that – technical, engaged and deep conversations about your environment.

Exchange Connections – we worked very closely with the folks that ran the Exchange Connections show down in Orlando (coincidentally) – and back in October we had a number of Exchange speakers deliver sessions down there. While both events are great, there are differences. TechEd is the place you will hear first about new products from Microsoft and enjoy the large conference crowd. Exchange Connections gives you the tight community feel and perspective on Exchange from the eyes of 3rd party experts.

Geo-clustering/VSS – I would make a note of that.

Future directions – mentioned above in my long comment, we will have a session on Exchange product roadmap, Exchange 12 investment areas and new features – stay tuned for more details on the TechEd site.

Anti-spam/Anti-virus – I know the marketing speak ‘hygiene’ doesn’t convey a whole lot, but it’s actually a session that will combine our thinking and guidance around anti-spam and anti-virus to date. I am committed to making sure the content is NOT filled with marketing hubris.

If you’ve never been to TechEd, definitely try to attend. But if you have in the past, want to give it a shot after reading this and need reasons to justify – I just provided some topics that are brand new. In addition, as some of you have noted, TechEd is more than just content (of course that’s the top priority), TechEd is also about engaging and meeting others like you, talking to experts, and enjoying some time away from the same ol’ office you go to everyday.

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I agree with most of the comments above.

What I lack the most is a session about developing Outlook/Exchange solutions that should be used in Outlook 2003, OWA and on mobile devices. Developing an Outlook form is no problem, but when it comes to doing the same thing in OWA or Pocket Outlook - there is not much information available.
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I totally agree: Bring back MEC and stop that kind of information "supermarket".
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More on Exchange in Hosting environments
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What I lack is sessions about using the SDK with Dot.Net
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