I received an email from Microsoft this morning, presenting me with the 2016 Microsoft MVP Award. This is the 7th time I have received this award. I’m glad that I have been able to make a difference in enhancing and enriching the IT experience for Small and Medium Businesses. Here is a snippet from the email.
Dear Boon Tee,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2016 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Cloud and Datacenter Management technical communities during the past year.
The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your significant contributions and say “Thank you for your technical leadership.”
Community & Advocacy Programs
Cortana announces the availability of Windows on 29 July 2015. The full blog post can be viewed here – http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2015/06/01/hello-world-windows-10-available-on-july-29/
Netgear has published a case study on a recent project that PowerBiz Solutions completed with the International College of Hotel Management. Here’s the overview.
International College of Hotel Management overhauls campus wireless infrastructure with NETGEAR to significantly increase performance, reliability and student satisfaction.
The International College of Hotel Management (ICHM) is an educational facility in Adelaide, South Australia. Since 1992, and in partnership with the Swiss Hotel Association (SHA) and the South Australian Government, ICHM provide Australian and international students with access to business degrees specialising in hotel management. Students come from all over the world to participate in the globally recognised courses with graduates going on to work at all levels of management within the international hospitality and hotel industry. While studying, students are housed on campus, and have access to all of the college’s conveniences. While the school has always had a commitment in offering boarding students the best facilities possible while they pursue
their studies, its WiFi network was out-dated and unreliable. The IT infrastructure on campus was causing frustration amongst the students on campus as their demand for reliable wireless grew, and as such the college staff were regularly inundated with student complaints. After making the commitment to improve its on-campus amenities, Roger Stevens, ICHM’s Business Manager sought a system that would deliver a consistent and truly mobile wireless experience. To achieve this, ICHM approached PowerBiz Solutions, a leading computer/technology solution and managed services provider, to deliver a robust and integrated infrastructure while ensuring costs were kept under control.
You can download the whitepaper here – Netgear Wireless Infrastructure Whitepaper
Thanks to Microsoft for this award in the Windows Server for Small and Medium Business. I remain as passionate as ever about representing the small business community to be a bridge in helping Microsoft build better solutions in this area.
Here’s an excerpt from the notification email.
Dear Boon Tee,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2015 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Windows Server for Small and Medium Business technical communities during the past year…
I will be presenting a session titled “The Best of Both Worlds – Maximising Microsoft Technologies in Hybrid Deployments SMBs. The session is not just for IT Professionals. If you are a small business owner, there will be some great nuggets of information to take back to your business for further thought and planning with your IT provider.
You can register for the event here – https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032610275&Culture=en-AU&community=0
I received an email overnight from Mike Hickman, Microsoft’s Director for Community Engagement, congratulating me on being presented with a 2014 Microsoft MVP Award in the Windows Server for Small and Medium Business expertise. The award is given to “award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others”
I am honored to be receiving this award for the fifth year. It has been a privilege to represent the Small Business Community in this manner. I look forward to more engagement this year to better enhance the experience of the community in working with Microsoft products.
Here is a link to a blog series covering Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. The series is presented by the USA based IT Pro Evangelists from Microsoft.
The topics covered are as follows:
- INTRO TO SERIES: Disaster Recovery Planning for I.T. Pros
- Disaster recovery for IT Pros: How to Plan, What are the considerations?
- Value of Server Virtualization to Disaster Recovery Management.
- How Hyper-v Replica can save the day
- Create Backups of VMs in Windows Azure by using PowerShell
- Cloud-based Backup and Restore for Windows Azure Virtual Machines
- Is there value in testing your Disaster Recovery plan?
- High Availability, Disaster Recovery, and Windows Azure
- File Server Disaster Recovery to the cloud with Windows Azure
- Desktop virtualization as a Work Area Recovery Option. How to set it up?
- Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM)
- Disaster Recovery Planning Checklist
- Do I need an offline backup?
- Planning for DR capacity with the Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica
- Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity Series recap
You will find the series here – http://mythoughtsonit.com/2014/02/intro-to-series-disaster-recovery-planning-for-i-t-pros/
Intel has released a JPG infographic based on Manga characters showing how a small business user can make a decision on what kind of PC, laptop, tablet or device they should pick depending on their needs.
The JPG can be viewed and downloaded here – http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/small-business/small-business-selector-tool-infographic.html
While you are at it, Intel has also put out some good articles and news information for small business owners. You can check them out here
Today, I released three new chapters to my book, An Administrator’s Guide to Windows Server 2012 Essentials. The chapters cover the following topics.
- Installing a Remote Desktop Services Server with Windows Server 2012 Essentials
- Growing beyond 25 users with Windows Server 2012 Essentials
- Virtualizing Windows Server 2012 Essentials on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V
The chapters are free for registered purchasers of the book, or they can be purchased individually. You will find more information here at http://AdminGuide.ws2012e.us
The Australian Government released its report into IT pricing entitled “At what cost? IT pricing and the Australia tax” today. You can read and download the report from the Australian Government Inquiry website here – http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=ic/itpricing/report.htm
A quick summary of the report showed (to no surprise) that Australians pay a hefty price for IT related products when compared with the rest of the world. The inquiry also investigated facotrs, such as wages, cost of living, taxes, market size, exchange rates, and localisation costs.
- We pay an average of 66% more for Microsoft products, 42% more for Adobe products and 51% more for Autodesk products.
- We pay 52% more for music.
- We pay 16% more for ebooks.
- We pay 46% more for hardware.
- And we pay 84% more for games!
The report put forward 10 recommendations. It will be interesting to see whether the Australian Government has the resources to wage this battle and get its way. The points below are taken directly from the report.
- The Committee recommends that the ABS develop a comprehensive program to monitor and report expenditure on IT products, hardware and software, both domestically and overseas, as well as the size and volume of the online retail market.
- Considering the importance of IT products to education, and in the interests of greater transparency in this area, the Committee recommends that the Australian Government, in consultation with Universities Australia and CAUDIT, conduct a comprehensive study of the future IT needs of and costs faced by Australian Universities, in order to provide clearer financial parameters for negotiations.
- The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider a whole-of-government accessible IT procurement policy, to be developed by relevant agencies including AGIMO, and in consultation with relevant stakeholder groups including ACCAN.
- The Committee recommends that the parallel importation restrictions still found in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) be lifted, and that the parallel importation defence in the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) be reviewed and broadened to ensure it is effective in allowing the importation of genuine goods.
- The Committee recommends that the Australian Government amend the Copyright Act’s section 10(1) anti-circumvention provisions to clarify and secure consumers’ rights to circumvent technological protection measures that control geographic market segmentation.
- The Committee further recommends that the Australian Government investigate options to educate Australian consumers and businesses as to:
- the extent to which they may circumvent geoblocking mechanisms in order to access cheaper legitimate goods;
- the tools and techniques which they may use to do so; and
- the way in which their rights under the Australian Consumer Law may be affected should they choose to do so.
- The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, in conjunction with relevant agencies, consider the creation of a ‘right of resale’ in relation to digitally distributed content, and clarification of ‘fair use’ rights for consumers, businesses, and educational institutions, including restrictions on vendors’ ability to ‘lock’ digital content into a particular ecosystem.
- The Committee recommends the repeal of section 51(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
- The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider enacting a ban on geoblocking as an option of last resort, should persistent market failure exist in spite of the changes to the Competition and Consumer Act and the Copyright Act recommended in this report.
- That the Australian Government investigate the feasibility of amending the Competition and Consumer Act so that contracts or terms of service which seek to enforce geoblocking are considered void.
There is a very interesting discussion in Chapter 4 regarding copyright, circumvention, compatitions and remedies. If you are involved in the IT industry, this is a must read section.
I’m hoping that we will have a balanced market and pricing parity leading to a win for vendors, businesses and consumers in Australia in the future.