1993 University of North Carolina at Charlotte graduate, planning to attend Miami of Ohio University for a masters in Recreational Sports. This is not as lame as it sounds, the plan was to be in a college setting handling intramural and club sport programs. My roommate finds out Microsoft is hiring through a temporary agency and my now wife (then girlfriend (fiance after employment)) says “You should get that number and call”. I was accepted and 11 months later in 1994 I was hired full-time in our support group. I was hired when DOS 5.0, Windows 3.0 and Windows for Workgroups 3.1 were the dominant products. I was there for dblspace and drvspace and the Windows 95 launch. I moved to the messaging team to support Exchange 4.0 through 2000. I then moved to training full-time and delivered and wrote some of the Exchange 2003 material. I moved back to support just in time to ramp up on LCS 2003. I have supported 2005 and took on a beta role supporting Communicator Web Access and Communicator Mobile. I saw a little of the Office Communications Server 2007 beta and moved back to normal support for a few months.
Being in the group for as long as I was and making contacts with many people I was notified of an opportunity with the Product Group allowing me to remain in Charlotte. An opportunity I never thought would happen so I jumped. I did attend the OCS 2007 Summit but the process had already begun and Monday January 15, 2007 I will start my first stint as a Microsoft employee no longer in the support organization.
My role is still very much focused on the customer, now for the customers in our beta programs and specifically I will be working on a team that is responsible for getting customers deployed in production to provide us the necessary information we need about the ability to deploy, manage and use. Feedback in the form of actual bugs, design changes and suggestions will be coming in and these customers are the ones that will do more of the heavy work to hopefully make it easier on every other OCS 2007 customer in the world. One output of this team will be to make every other customer as successful as possible. This means readiness of all teams and roles handling customers, documentation, training, whatever it takes.
As we are working on a beta product I will let you know this – I will be creating material on my own deployment of this product and experiences in anticipation of the day I can post them for you. My guess is that when we have a PUBLIC beta this could happen. I need to hear from you how you want this information shared. Keep in mind that I have to help our internal folks first because it really stinks to take a call from a customer who knows more about a subject than you.
January 15, 2007 a new day.