I'm approaching noon of my first morning at The Experts Conference (TEC).
During introductions this morning, Gil Kirkpatrick, who founded the conference years ago while at NetPro (acquired by Quest), reiterated the conference commitment to provide training and support for industry experts in Active Directory, Exchange, and now Sharepoint as well.
Adding to that support and bringing it beyond the annual conference is The Experts Community. I'll try to get more on that, but the idea is obviously a community of knowledge sharing that goes beyond basic training into in-depth knowledge sharing for expert-level practitioners.
And the audience has already proven that they fit the description of experts challenging speakers and presenters in each session. This is NOT a conference where vendors could put up a marketing presentation and hope nobody notices some omission or flaw in the underlying technical approach.
As an example, someone stood up and asked Conrad Bayer (Microsoft's General Manager of Identity and Access) during his keynote about a slide he had put up during the presentation. The slide indicated that small businesses would be faster to adopt cloud solutions because they were less concerned with security and privacy. So, the question was important. Is that true? Does Microsoft believe that small businesses care less about security and privacy? And also - is Microsoft saying that cloud solutions are inherently less secure? Bayer clarified that small businesses are certainly concerned and that the slide content was probably referring to customer perceptions around security driving those decisions - and not actual security implications.
He also went on to confirm that Microsoft is working toward creating security symmetry between cloud and on-premise solutions to eliminate the concerns about security when moving solutions to a cloud model.
...more to come.