February 9, 2012; it was a great day for the Microsoft Cloud community and users! Cloud Fest Denver was today and it was a great event! The crew that put on this event was outstanding; I was really impressed with the number of attendees at the conference today. It really showed that Cloud computing has companies interested and that the future is bright for the Cloud. My session, ‘Office 365 Value for the Enterprise’, was well attended and the interaction from the audience showed me that Cloud computing and Office 365 is very much front and center in the minds of IT and management.

My session was meant to be a more high level session, but as I encouraged and took questions from my audience, it delved into more technical details and process, and that these items are high on the minds on the IT management and technical users in the field. My session was 70 minutes, and it could have easily gone another 70 minutes with all the great questions and interaction from the audience. I really think that if it was not for my session running up against the lunch break that we would have had to be kicked out from our room. I totally appreciated the participation and appreciate that the audience asked questions so I could assist them as a whole in understanding how Office 365 provided value to the enterprise. The Audience was very well educated, the questions asked were, for the most part, questions I had expected and tried to answer to the best of my knowledge.

I always learn when presenting, or more to the pint consulting. I know this sounds funny; I should be the one educating or expertly directing a project. But truthfully, as a consultant and speaker, there is no better way to learn than by being in a new organization and talking to clients to understand their specific needs and wants. I have found that while I might do my best to know the service or product I am implementing, seeing and hearing the needs of each client makes me learn more about the service or product. Each situation is unique, and when I go into a consulting engagement I find that my overall knowledge helps, I still learn from the client. This then makes me a better consultant.

So today I hoped I helped users and companies with information about Office 365; I learned by the questioned asked what are the issues and barriers from a company moving to Office 365. Why is implement Single Sign-On (SSO) with ADFS? Why setup a Hybrid Deployment? Why move to Office 365? What changes with my users’ experience when moving to Office 365? I try to anticipate questions and prepare for questions that my presentation will involve. But there is no substitute for actually presenting in front of an audience that is facing the challenges and real world questions of a move to the Cloud.

I want to truly thank the attendees for spending their time in my session. I hope you learned from me, because I definitely learned from you!