Last night I went to the launch of a new meetup called Midlands Microsoft 365 and Azure User Group. It was co-organised by Urfaan Azhar and Lee Thatcher from Pure Technology Group, and Adrian Newton and Mark Smith from my company.
Some of you may have noticed this isn’t about Oracle. Yes we have a big Oracle Cloud Apps thing and a bunch of Oracle on-prem stuff, but we also have a lot of Microsoft stuff here, including loads of mailboxes on Office 365 etc. As a result, Azure is also becoming a big thing for us.
I’ve used Azure a bit for some Oracle trials, with the articles on the site, and I did a WebLogic on Azure talk some years back, but this is pretty far out of my lane, so I was really there to show some support to our folks and trying to learn some stuff. 🙂
The turnout was really good. I think there were about 40 people in total, with about 6 coming from our company. For the first event I was kind-of expecting more of “us”, and less of “not us”, so the fact so many “not us” turned up was awesome! Getting a couple of Microsoft Most Valuable Professisonal (MVP) speakers for the launch event was cool.
After some introductions from Urfan and Lee, the first speaker was Ed Baker with an “Introduction to Microsoft 365”. The purpose of this session was for Ed to give an overview of the M365 stack and try to gauge what we were interested in, to see how the meetup should move forward in future. Ed is an Enterprise Mobility MVP and is clearly comfortable in front of an audience.
After food (Pizza and Indian) and drinks it was time for Gareth Jones with “An Introduction to Microsoft Azure”. Gareth talked about the way Microsoft deliver the Azure services, including the setup of their data centres. Once again, this was about gauging the interest for the different aspects of Azure. Gareth is an Azure MVP, and just like Ed was very happy in front of a crowd.
It was a really good start for the new meetup. Big thanks to Urfaan, Lee, Adrian and Mark for getting this going. Thanks to Ed and Gareth for taking the time to come and speak to us. Thanks to everyone who turned up to support the event, as well as the sponsor Pure Technology Group. I look forward to the next event, to see how this moves forward!