Subject matter expertise is a key 1E value – and arguably also the most self-explanatory (you can read about the full gamut of these values right here). It’s one we feel is reflected in the fact that we number no less than four Microsoft MVPs in our ranks: Ron Crumbaker, Keith Garner, Ed Aldrich (who happens to be the longest-serving Microsoft MVP for System Center Configuration Manager) and as of this month Mike Terrill, a 1E Technology Architect focused on Windows Systems Management and Operating System Deployment.

“I’m still on cloud 9,” Mike told us. “Just being able to give feedback on Configuration Manager, and help shape future versions of it, is what I’m most excited about. I’ve always had a passion for the community involvement but being able to be more closely involved with the product team is really exciting.”

mike-at-ignite
Mike Terrill presents at Microsoft Ignite 2016

Microsoft started the MVP program “to celebrate, honor and say thank you to top-notch technology experts who make outstanding contributions to their communities.” Successful nominees, Microsoft asserts, must show “passion, community spirit and leadership.”

We asked Mike to what extent he thought felt that this community spirit was part of 1E’s ethos, too.

“I think a fair amount,” he says. “1E got started through being known in what we then called the SMS community and now call the Configuration Manager community – by aiding the community, and providing free tools and utilities in addition to the software products.”

Q&A with Microsoft Enterprise Client Management MVP Mike Terrill

You’ve gained your MVP status through your work with Configuration Manager. Can you walk us through your history first?

I first started working with what we now call Configuration Manager when it was called Systems Manager Server (aka SMS) version 1.2. Around that same time Microsoft started deploying Windows NT 4.0. Of course, you would do the operating system deployment outside the SMS. But once you deployed the operating system, you would ensure it was managed by SMS so you could continue to deliver software to that managed system.

Then, when they came out with the SMS 2003 OSD feature pack, that gave us the ability to not only manage operating systems but to deploy them. Also around that time, there was the first what they called Business Desktop Deployment solution accelerator came out – or ‘BDD’.

BDD morphed into the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, which was originally a framework for deploying operating systems, but later became a solutions accelerator to aid in their deployment. Once SMS turned into Configuration Manger, you could actually integrate MDT with Configuration Manager to have a really powerful solution.

What do you think the most significant learning experiences were in your career?

As an outsourcer at my previous company, I got to see lots of different businesses. I joined 1E in 2007, and spent my first seven years here in Professional Services. That meant I got to work with lots of different businesses, and how they all worked (from the inside) from a systems manager perspective. I’ve been able to work with customers with just a thousand computers, all the way up to 400,000+.

What do you think fixed you on Microsoft’s MVP radar?

It’s really about giving back to the community. You’ve got to demonstrate that you’re an expert in the product. But it’s how you translate that expertise to help the community out.

I’ve been running the User Group now for just over ten years, so that was probably a big part of it. Plus I’m pretty active in blogging, whether it’s the 1E blog, or my personal blog, where I blog stuff that’s not specifically 1E related but might be Configuration Manager related or OSD. I’ve also been given an opportunity to share that knowledge through speaking engagements at other user groups as well as conferences like the Midwest Management Summit, prior to that the Microsoft Management Summit, TechEd, and now just last month at Microsoft Ignite.

Do you think your new MVP status is going to lead to even more opportunities to reach that community?

Definitely. It will broaden the horizon for even more opportunities to speak to the technical community specific MS driven events – while continuing to speak and attend conferences as well. I’m really looking forward to that. They have an annual MVP Global Summit, that’s coming up in November and I’ll be attending.

But as I said, just being able to give feedback on Configuration Manager, and shape future versions of it, is what I’m most excited about.

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Mike Terrill
Mike’s career has been focused around systems management (ConfigMgr) and operating system deployment for almost 20 years (ever since SMS v1.2). He founded and runs the Arizona Systems Management User Group (www.azsmug.org). He specializes in the design, architecture and installation of System Center Configuration Manager and also Windows operating system deployments. Mike has designed, architected and deployed System Center Configuration Manager in several Fortune 100 companies and has worked with some of the world's largest organizations (400K+ seats). Mike is now a Technology Architect at 1E. In this role, he provides technical direction for 1E technologies as they relate to Configuration Manager and operating system deployment. You can find him on twitter (@miketerrill) and read his personal blog at https://miketerrill.net.
Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath is a journalist, presenter and digital content specialist. He has written for the likes of Telecoms.com, Digital TV Europe and Business Cloud News, among others, covering topics such as apps, the Internet of Things and TV. He lives in London with his wife, son and cat.