Scalar Cloud Study 2017 – the New Leading Edge of IT Efficiency

In my role at Microsoft I get to work with top Canadian partners to help them bring new solutions or offerings to market.  As I talk to partners about building cloud practices it is clear that  cloud maturity and experience of both customers and partners varies widely.  While most customers have some sort of cloud strategy or have adopted cloud as an IT delivery model, the number that could be classed as mature, or very experienced, is significantly lower.

One thing that differentiates beginning cloud users versus experienced cloud users is the level of automation and sophistication in operations.  Experienced cloud users are often found to be operating in a Continuous Development, Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment mode which takes advantage of cloud capabilities and speeds time to market for new solutions.  In comparison, beginning, or less mature, cloud users are still in the lift-and-shift mode which has significant potential to reduce on premise capital expenditure, but may not truly leverage the operational efficiencies that the cloud has to offer.

One of the partners I’m currently working with is Scalar ( and they have recently released their 2017 Cloud Study (  In the study they look at cloud-based delivery of applications and workloads and the new efficiencies that come along with cloud delivery. Interestingly the Scalar study finds less than 20% of respondents are classified as Experienced Cloud Users.  There is a great opportunity for partners to deliver significant value to their customers in helping both define strategy and deliver managed services that take advantage of public cloud capabilities

Whether you are an end customer or a partner I encourage you to take a look at the Scalar Cloud Study 2017 report as I think the results of the Scalar Cloud Study should generate many interesting discussions around the boardroom table.

If you are a partner in Canada looking to build or expand your cloud managed service practice, please reach out as I’d love to talk to you.

Tracking Azure usage (for Partners)

As I talk to partners across Canada about Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program I get the same questions about operationalizing the business and more specifically on how to view usage and billing information.

I recently stumbled across a solution that we (Microsoft) published on GitHub that allows for Azure Usage and Billing Analytics across EA’s, CSP, and Direct Subscriptions.  The video below provides a quick summary and the project can be found at

Download Peek from

It is important to note that this project should NOT be rolled into production as is. If you are a partner, please use this project as the foundation for your solution and ensure things like authentication and access to information are appropriately reviewed and implemented if you choose to expose this publicly.

IT’s time to go back to school

Cross posted to

As the summer draws to a close and kids return to school I have time to pause and reflect on what’s occurring in our industry.  The rate of change and innovation continues at a furious pace and I don’t see any signs of it slowing down. Just as the kids are back in school, I encourage you to take a moment to consider what your plan is to ensure you are staying educated on everything going on in the industry.

As technology innovation continues, this provides new capabilities to customers but can also cause concern as customers try to understand how these new options may help their business.  Customers are increasingly “outsourcing” IT functions in an effort to focus their energy on the “core” of their business and reduce expenses on the “context” part of the business and in doing so are driving demand for Managed Services.

From my observations, the biggest challenge I see from our partners is around prioritizing which new area to move into.  In the same way I see customers focusing on “core” and less on “context” I encourage partners to do the same – identify what you are really good at, and build your service offerings in that area.  If you aren’t really good, then look to partner with another partner to be able to deliver the types of solutions your customer is interested in.

As a partner in the IT field you are poised to take advantage of more and more services being offering in the Cloud.  This provides a great deal of democratization as now the cloud vendors are taking on the capital risk and providing new service opportunities for you the partner. 

Join me at Hosting Days in the following cities to continue the discussion:

City Date Registration link
Mississauga, ON October 20, 2016 Register now
Ottawa, ON October 25, 2016 Register now
Montreal, PQ October 27, 2016 Register now
Vancouver, BC November 1, 2016 Register now
Calgary, AB November 3, 2016 Register now

Hosting Days Canada 2015 Digital Edition now available

Thank you to everyone who joined me across Canada for Hosting Days over the last few months.  Now that the tour is complete I wanted to share a few resources for those that may have missed the event and for those who want to refresh their memory on what we discussed.

Below are the key resources for you:

If you have any questions on these or any other topics we discussed during the tour, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  My email address can be found in the slides and video, or you can comment here or on Yammer.

Updated: Join me for Hosting Days across Canada

Calgary event date has changed to Tuesday November 17th, 2015. I hope you will still be able to join me.

Since I joined the Microsoft hosting team last year I have seen tremendous innovation in both technology and the programs that Microsoft is making available to partners.  The pace of change in our industry is happening faster than I have ever seen before, and customers are looking for partners who can help them navigate through these changes and take advantage of these opportunities.

At WPC earlier this year Microsoft made a few announcements about either new or updated programs (see below) and to help partners understand these new (or updated) programs, the hosting team is going to be touring across Canada to deliver a series of hosting days where we will outline these program changes and what they mean to our partners.

Join me at Microsoft Hosting Days to learn more about Microsoft’s recent datacenter announcements and what it means to hosting and managed services partners.  Learn more about our new Azure Certified Hybrid program for partners offering hosted solutions from their datacenters and the opportunity ahead with hybrid solutions.  Finally we’ll talk about the expansion of the Cloud Solution Provider program that allows you to sell a broader set of Microsoft cloud services (Azure, Office 365, EMS) along with your own services and intellectual property to provide a greater range of solutions to your customers.

Vancouver Oct 13 Microsoft Vancouver
Ottawa Oct 20 Microsoft Ottawa Office
Toronto/Mississauga Oct 26 Microsoft Canada
Montreal Nov 2 Microsoft Montreal
Calgary Nov 17 Microsoft Calgary


The Cloud Solution Provider program allows you to sell Microsoft cloud services along with your own offerings and services.  You (the partner) own the complete customer lifecycle through direct billing, provisioning, management, and support.  This program allows you to take advantage of Microsoft’s investments and innovations and provides you with opportunities to rapidly develop new service offerings based on these innovations. The Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program enables your business for success in a Cloud First, Mobile First world. When you become authorized as a CSP partner, you can sell Microsoft cloud services including Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and CRM online along with your own offerings and services.

Microsoft Azure Certified for Hybrid Cloud provides you as a service provider the possibility to showcase and brand your unique and differentiated solutions. This program benefits service providers who have either deployed a Microsoft Cloud solution in their own datacenter, or are looking to build an Azure enabled hybrid cloud solution. If you are one of over 250 partners who has already joined the Cloud OS Network, you can refine your initial investments, allowing you to differentiate your offer, and make it easier for customers to find and recognize your Microsoft validated and Azure consistent solution.

I hope you are able to join me at hosting days as this is a great time to be a Microsoft hosting partner.

Time flies and roles change

Almost 3 1/2 years ago I posted that I was leaving Microsoft to join VMware and since then I’ve let this blog slide. I could make up a bunch of excuses on why I haven’t done anything here, however, the important part is that I’m back and I plan to keep this blog a little more active.

If you have been following me on twitter you may have caught the following tweet back in September:

That’s right – after a great stint at VMware I have returned to Microsoft. My new role is part of the hosting team where I’ll be working with Microsoft’s Cloud OS Network partners (and potential partners) to help them build out new service offerings and solutions.

Watch this space for updates on upcoming events, thoughts on technology, and the occasionally interesting random tidbit of information.

Thanks for the memories…

[An open letter to my colleagues at Microsoft]

These are never easy posts to write.  Earlier today I gave my notice and resigned from Microsoft Canada.

Looking back over the past six and a half years I wanted to share some of my fondest memories as I have been very fortunate to work on some great projects with some fantastic people and I will cherish those memories for years to come.

As I think back to the beginning of my time at Microsoft, I want to thank John for taking the chance and hiring an ex-Oracle, ex-Red Hat guy to come and work at Microsoft.  Thanks to Rick and Bruce for those early days, back when there were just the three of us IT Pros, and thanks to Damir for joining the team and helping take on the SQL workload (I had a great time working with you on the SQL launch tour).

I fondly remember my early tours with Bill Hilf and Alec Taylor talking about Linux and Open Source and even managing to get interviewed by Mary-Jo Foley.  As a team DPE has been at the heart of some awesome product launches (SQL, Windows Server, Visual Studio, Exchange, Office, Windows Vista and Windows 7) and I consider myself lucky to have been part of them.  I have been fortunate to have spent lots of time talking to the press both on live TV and in print and I’ve been privileged to be the photographer for both Bill Gates’ and Steve Ballmer’s visits.

DPE truly excels at cross-team collaboration and I saw this in action as we brought TechDays to life and I fondly remember those early Saturday EnergizeIT events we hosted at the MTCC and Congress Centre.  As DPE has grown and changed, I want to thank Mark, John, Dean, Gladstone, and Ryan for the opportunities to work on the IT Pro, Developer, Enthusiast, AMM, and Depth businesses as those experiences will remain with me for a long time.

However, as great as the past six and a half years have been, the time has come for me to move on to my next challenge.  One thing is for certain, this is a small industry and I have no doubt that our paths will cross again. 

Until then, stay in touch.


Moving to the cloud? Get free compute time with Windows Azure

Windows Azure Platform

image Are you a developer looking to launch your new web application? Or perhaps you are an IT Pro trying to understand what “the Cloud” means to you.  Or maybe you have a need for some compute time to run some computations.

Regardless of who you are, or why you are thinking about the cloud, Microsoft is making it easy for you try out Windows Azure as well as SQL Azure and AppFabric.

If you visit and select the introductory special you will be able to try a limited amount of the Windows Azure platform at no charge.

This offer is available through October 31, 2010 and is limited to one per customer.  For full details and disclosure take a look at

If you are in Canada and have question about Windows Azure, my team and I are here to help and can answer your questions.  We would love to hear what you are using Azure for.  Please feel free to email us at

What is this? I just hit F12 in Internet Explorer 8

imageAs I’m sitting in meetings I just caught a tweet pointing me to a website by Pete LePage from the Internet Explorer team at corp.  Pete has a great write up on the Developer Tools within Internet Explorer 8 (and IE 9).  I won’t re-iterate everything Pete has written, but this is something that everyone should take a look at regardless of whether you are a developer, a manager, or just someone who is interested in seeing how a site is structured.

The good news is you can try this out right now if you are using IE8 without downloading any additional software.

So go ahead, hit the F12 button and see what happens…

We’re Hiring…Come join the team

As you saw in my previous post, I have taken on a new role and in doing so have left a vacancy in our marketing team.  If you are a passionate customer advocate with a strong marketing background then the role below might be a good fit for you.

Some of the programs that you may have heard of, TechDays, EnergizeIT, and AlignIT are just some of the programs produced and executed by my team, and are all directed and led by the audience managers.

If you are interested in being part of a great team that has outreach to technical professionals across Canada to create lasting relationships, then keep reading. Continue reading “We’re Hiring…Come join the team”