Thursday, January 21, 2016

A New Year, and A New Journey

I know this is severely belated, but Happy New Year, all! While this blog post serves as my inaugural 2016 blog post, it is more of a personal announcement post than a technical-awesomeness post.

A new year often brings new beginnings, or at least new sets of goals (that usually fall by the wayside after a week or two). For me, there is a little bit of both. I won't bore you with any goals of achieving washboard abs or learning to speak conversational French (I can just use Skype Translator, after all!), but I will highlight some employment news, and talk about my some Skype for Business community-related topics.

One Chapter Closes...

Tomorrow, Friday, the 22nd of January, is my last day as a "Racker". Yes, after nearly 4 years at Rackspace, I am moving on. As goes the cliche, it is very bittersweet. While I am very excited about the adventure that lies ahead of me in my new position, and the next step in my career, Rackspace has been a phenomenal company to work for. Racker's are truly like an extension of family (the good kind, lol), and the culture is the envy of many companies.

I would like to thank Rackspace, my fellow Rackers, and especially my incredible managers, for all the years of opportunity to be a part of something unique and amazing. Rackspace prides itself on its Fanatical Support, and I truly believe it has built a solid reputation around this principle in the hosting industry. I am proud to have been a part of that!

Another Chapter Begins

So, what's next? This Monday, January 25th, will be my first day as a Unified Communications Architect at Deloitte Services, LP. I could not be more excited and grateful for this opportunity, and am really looking forward to getting oriented, meeting my team, and digging into some awesome UC deployments! I believe this role will bring tremendous opportunity to grow my knowledge and skill sets, and to give me exposure to a plethora of new (to me) configurations that I have been eager to sink my teeth into.

As you can imagine, I have been busy winding things down at Rackspace, and getting all my ducks in a row for starting at Deloitte, and as a result this blog has been a little quiet over the last month (que the cricket noise). While I am sure that I will remain quite busy in the coming months as I get settled into my new role and start taking on various responsibilities and tasks, I will try to do better at keeping up with fresh content and how-to posts here.

What else is new?

So, aside from a new job, what else have I been up to?

#Skype4BRecap Episodes

While the blog has been fairly quiet, I have managed to keep up with my weekly #Skype4BRecap episodes. I have really begun to enjoy doing these episodes, and while viewership is not exactly in the "viral" category, I fully intend to keep these up. However, I may end up shifting recording to Thursday nights. As the show is not being done in a "live broadcast" format yet, this does not really impact much (unless big news gets delivered to the community first thing Friday morning!). If you have not see these, check them out on my YouTube channel, and don't forget to Subscribe:

My eBook: Skype for Business Hybrid Handbook, Version 1.2

When I released my FREE eBook on December 1st last year, it was pretty well received, but there was some work to be done. Thanks to some awesome feedback from various individuals in the community, I was able to update a chapter on User Management with accurate information and more detailed procedures, including new screenshots. I also update the few other areas in the book to reflect current information (Office 365 changes A LOT!).

About a week ago I released a newly updated version of the book, Version 1.2. This version replaced the available download on the Technet Gallery. I was quite blown away by the level of support I got from the community on this follow-up release. You all Shared, Re-Tweeted, and "Liked" the heck out the links to the Download page, and as of right now, I am just under 2,000 downloads! THANK YOU ALL! I would like to give a special Thank You to Fabrizio Volpe, Office Servers and Services MVP, for your kind blog review of the book. 

If you are interested in the downloading a copy yourself, you can grab it FREE here:

Something's Cooking in the Kitchen...

I am also working on a little something-something that I will be sharing soon, once I get the details figured out. About this initiative:
  1. It will be video in nature
  2. My hat will likely be present
  3. And there will be relief from concentrated screen time on my ugly mug 
But that's all I'm saying for now! Stay tuned...

Stay techy, my friends!