In a few weeks we’ll be attending the revived Microsoft Exchange Conference in Orlando. I have to say I’m quite excited about the prospect as this conference has been absent for the last 10 years. At Tech-Ed in June there was quite a bit of buzz around the return of the conference divided largely by those who have attended the MEC before its disappearance and those who haven’t. I sadly must admit I am one of the many who have not attended a previous MEC, and based on the discussions by those who have, very excited to see its return.
So what can we expect from the MEC? Well for starters, a conference solely devoted to Microsoft Exchange. This to me is critical for a conference to be a good point of learning; everyone there speaks the same language (geek, ok Exchange) and can contribute to the conversation. From a product perspective it’s a great event to deliver news and allow attendees to explore new features and functionality, with the people who are making it happen. In addition we can expect,
- Hands-on experience with Exchange 15
- Access to the engineering team
- Exclusive Microsoft content on Exchange for more of an inside look
Now, according to the official website for the MEC these will be some of the main topics covered in the breakout sessions, keynotes and hands-on-labs:
- Exchange Server 2013 Architecture
- Security and Protection in the new Exchange
- Configuring built-in Anti-Malware/Anti-Spam protection
- Setting up Data Loss Prevention policies
- Compliance, eDiscovery and Archiving in the new Exchange
- Exchange Server 2013 Manage Availability and Monitoring
- Unified Messaging in Exchange Server 2013
- Exchange Server 2013 Deployment and Exchange Server 2010 Coexistence
- Moving to the cloud with Exchange Online and Office365
Overall the conference will have the general format as any other conference however the agenda for the second and third days is filled with interactive sessions and a new format the “Exchange Arena” where attendees can compete against their peers to solve business challenges in front of a live audience. From a learning perspective the conference seems to have all angles covered.
In addition, as with any conference there are going to be a number of networking opportunities and of course an expo hall to check out Exchange specific technologies and vendors. There will be a Welcome reception Sunday night, an off-site event Monday night and a networking reception Tuesday night. All in all there is plenty of time to meet the product team, engineers as well as Exchange MVPs, vendors and Certified Masters.
At the conference approval request letter states, “It's going to be three intense days of Exchange and only Exchange.”
Anyway we’re going to be there, if you’d like to stop by and say hello we’ll be in booth 19. Also stay tuned next week as we will have an exclusive announcement regarding the conference.