Photo Recap: 1E Visit to Nashville, TN and Austin, TX

Last week (January 13th and 14th), 1E visited and presented at two user group meetings late in the week, Tennessee SMUG (TnSMUG) and Central Texas SMUG (CTSMUG). Here are some highlights with pictures. Click on each photo to view the larger version.

It really was a whirlwind tour, visiting the TnSMUG Thursday evening and then the CTSMUG on Friday morning. I had very little time to kick-back after my arrival in Nashville on Thursday, due to having to find a package of SWAG sent to me at the hotel from Ed Aldrich the day before. The hotel could NOT find it, and after a couple hours, they finally realized they had entered the package into the system under the name Ed “Albright” instead of “Aldrich”. One simple mistake like that…ugghhh. But, at least the view my from room was good (shown in the photo).

The unfortunate thing is that a political rally was setting up in the square, just right of the tower shown in the photo. Stay tuned, this will become important shortly.

So, after locating the box of SWAG and hooking up with Mike Stone, Enterprise Business Manager at 1E, we drove to the TnSMUG user group meeting. We were early, so Mike and I had a chance to chat for a while. Ed Aldrich was supposed to meet up with me in Nashville for this meeting, but all his flights had been cancelled due to the snow even on the East Coast. Instead, Ed was to meet up with me once I landed in Austin the next morning for the CTSMUG.

The User Group meeting was great! We gave away all the SWAG through a raffle, except the 1E stuffed bear, which was handed out to Paul Ramsey. Paul is having having a baby girl in a couple weeks. Early congrats, Paul! Then I presented on 1E products for a couple hours. It was great visiting the Nashville area as I have friends there from long ago. I used to travel to Nashville quite a bit in “another life” where I helped out with the national infrastructure for SMS 1.2 for a large accounting/tax firm that I worked for at the time. A couple of those friends were at the meeting. It was great reconnecting and I hope to see those same folks at MMS 2011 in just a few weeks.

Due to my already failing lack of sleep, I completely blanked on taking photos of the Nashville meeting! Arrggghhh! So, I’ll have to post some from the next trip.

After the meeting, we drove back to the hotel. Mike headed out to meet up with a friend in the area, and I headed off to the room to grab some much needed sleep. I had to get up around 3:45am the next morning to get ready and head out for a 6am flight to Austin. My thoughts were good, but the execution was terrible, primarily due to the political rally overflow (mentioned earlier) into the hotel bar after the event – and the fact that the hotel’s architecture and extremely thin walls made the room probably one of the noisiest I’ve ever stayed in (even worse than the San Diego MMS’s and the trains!).

So, despite a comfortable bed (shown above), and nice room, sleep totally evaded me. The hotel was really noisy and, between the issue with locating the SWAG box and the noise, I’m not sure I’ll stay here again.

Somewhere along the way, after the alarm went off at 3:45am, I got my second-wind so things were rolling and I made the airport and my flights in plenty of time.

Once on the plane, I was able to look out the window at the exact moment my luggage was being loaded. I considered that a good omen.

A couple hours of flying later, I met up with Ed at the airport and we took a cab to the User Group meeting. This is where things got a little exciting. The cab driver assured us he knew where he was going, but after a few wrong turns, the cab driver stopped to ask a pedestrian where the Microsoft office was located (this is where the CTSMUG was being held) and away we went on a wild good chase. You can read through the whole story on the CTSMUG Twitter hashtag page http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23CTSMUG, but it took us a lot longer than it should have to reach the User Group meeting. Apparently, there’s two Microsoft offices in the area relatively close to each other, and it was only after I yanked out my Droid X and utilized Google Maps with the exact address that we were able to get on track.

When we arrived, Greg Ramsey was finishing up a presentation on ConfigMgr 2012 features (shown above) and we were just in time for LUNCH!

Texas BBQ was on tap for lunch! Sponsored by 1E, the meat, BBQ sauce, and picnic salads really hit the spot (shown in the picture above).

After lunch, Ed stepped on “stage” to give away all of the SWAG we brought with us (shown as Swagapalooza in the photo above).

After a brief mention about his “Camaro” (shown in the picture above), I stepped up talked about myITforum.com and 1E for a half hour or so. Then, Ed took the stage back and gave a presentation on 1E products for the next couple hours. Ed did a great job and it was enlightening listening to him relate how 1E’s focus is cost savings and IT Efficiency. In fact, in both User Group meetings, I think it was eye-opening to understand how many people actually “get it”, but maybe didn’t realize how powerful, full-featured, interoperable, and easy to implement 1E’s products really are. The best-of-breed message from Microsoft is extremely valuable and powerful, but it goes even further than that. Power Management is an instant hit, but all of 1E’s products and solutions are developed with the simple concept of saving the business time, money, and resources.

Systems Management is a term coined in the 90’s and for the longest time the components never seemed to change. From a real-world perspective, systems management means managing systems – ALL systems. In the real-world, the components of systems management have changed and been added to over the years. Things like client power management (NightWatchman), server power management (NightWatchman Server Edition), user empowerment (Shopping), licensing management (AMP), and intelligent software and OS deployment (Nomad Enterprise), should already be part of the list of systems management components. So, it was great to talk with so many in the IT world that already know this, and it’s great to see that 1E is so in tune with what is going on in the minds of technologists.

I believe we have another User Group meeting scheduled for February sometime (more on that soon) in Calgary, Canada, but we’re always open and willing to help fill some time at your next meeting and talk about 1E’s products and solutions. 1E can also help with your SWAG and meeting refreshment needs. Drop us a note if you’re interested in hooking your car to the 1E user group train.

I’ll leave you with the following photo. This was my first real chance to play with a Microsoft Surface computer. Pretty neat!

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