MMS 2011 Post-Interview: Courtney Austin, Marketing #mms2011 #msteched

Courtney Austin Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting some interviews from various 1E people who attended MMS 2011 to get their take on the event. MMS 2011 has already been identified as probably the 2nd most popular year and best MMS since the conference started, so I think these interviews will be very interesting and helpful to understand why MMS 2011 has been rated so high.

Our interview today is with Courtney Austin from the Marketing group at 1E.

1. 1E participated as a Gold sponsor at MMS 2011 and attended as the reigning Microsoft ISV/Software Solutions Innovation Partner of the Year award winner. Why do you think this is significant?

Courtney: “We’ve actually been a Gold sponsor for the last 4 years and our intent as a key sponsor is to show our strong community support through our booth and our extracurricular activities. MMS is a key conference for 1E and always gives us one of the best opportunities each year to get direct feedback from our customers.”

2. The 1E booth at MMS 2011 received a heavy flow of traffic. It seemed that the booth was filled to capacity for each product presentation. What makes the 1E message so special?

Courtney: “To me, events are a very important medium for us where we get to engage with our customers directly. We revamped our booth layout this year to provide an improved, open flow of traffic for the 4,500 attendees and we took great pains to make our booth presentations extra interactive fuelled by magicians, entertainers and cool SWAG such as the cuddly NightWatchman polar bear. It appeared to work, as each booth presentations averaged between 50 and 60 attendees. In the lead-up to MMS, we spent a lot of time promoting our booth, booth schedules, and announcements using social media efforts so that the majority of MMS attendees knew what we were offering prior to the conference. We are very proud of our efforts this year. But, over and above our efforts, the 1E message is simple. Our goal is to help our customers save money and be more efficient with their use of IT– and that hits home with everyone.”

3. 1E made a huge announcement around software licensing and software management at MMS 2011. Do you think this was well received?

Courtney: “Absolutely! Our move into software licensing management is a direct result from listening to our core market and customers. At MMS 2011 we previewed our latest software innovation, codenamed AMP (stands for application management platform). AMP was announced this month under the official AppClarity brand name.”

4. 1E continued to hammer this “IT Efficiency” thing at MMS 2011. How is this different than just managing power states in an enterprise?

Courtney: “As I mentioned earlier, 1E’s goal is to save our customers money. Every one of our solutions does just that. Because 1E is the leader in PC power management solution with NightWatchman, our customers and the industry tend to recognize us in that way. But, 1E is so much more. It’s important to us that attendees at MMS were able to see our solutions address energy, network, and license efficiency.”

5. There were quite a number of big companies that actually presented during 1E’s “Heroes of Systems Management” session at MMS 2011. The companies represented seemed really to “get” the 1E message. Can you give an explanation of why you think these companies are so in tune with 1E?

Courtney: “1E was incredibly honored to have five customers present on our behalf! The best part about it was hearing how they are using our products in unique ways to solve real problems. For instance, Nomad Enterprise can be used to accelerate the roll out of an O/S across a large organization. Nomad is a real hidden “gem” in our software portfolio and I was pleased that nearly all of the customer presenting were so delighted with the value it provides.

6. 1E consistently talks about “Sunshine”. Can you tell us what that means to you from an MMS 2011 perspective?

Courtney: “All 1E staff genuinely enjoy all the time they spend working with our customers to help them achieve their business goals. When a customer or partner enjoys the whole experience of deploying our products and services, that’s true sunshine. This is a culture that cascades through the organization from our Founder and CEO, Sumir Karayi.”

7. The 1E party at MMS 2011 was a phenomenal success (as always). Why do you think it is always such a success and what is so important about the 1E party?

Courtney: “First, I want to thank everyone who attended the party at the beautiful Tryst Nightclub in the Wynn Hotel. It was an amazing success. This year we had a record number of customers and key partners – over 500! The band Fuse, back by popular demand, gave another cracking set, with the dance floor packed. We already cannot wait until next year’s party! Our party is such a success because we offer it, I think, for the right reasons. The party is an extension of 1E sunshine, in that, our goal is to pull together a group of customers and partners so they can relax, network, and enjoy a good time during a very busy week. I always enjoy hearing the great stories of the night before on our booth the following day! We have even set up a LinkedIn Group called “Club 1E” for attendees to keep in touch.”

8. What was your favorite MMS 2011 moment?

Courtney: “Personally, there were quite a few special moments, but there are several that really stood out to me. Of course, the 1E party was a highlight. There’s just something extra special about taking time to relax during a busy week, hanging out with customers who are also true friends of 1E whilst looking up at the huge 1E waterfall. What really makes it all worthwhile, is hearing how companies are seeing true value with 1E solutions, so the 1E Hero’s session hosted by Ed Aldrich in a Tux was really enjoyable. It really shows that all of our efforts really matter. Another neat thing was watching our customers walk by the booth and take photos starring in the video testimonials program on the enormous flat screen LCD. But, of course, it’s hard to talk a
bout favorite MMS moments without congratulating 1E co-founder, Phil Wilcock, on his Vegas wedding this year!”

9. What are you most looking forward to for MMS 2012?

Courtney: “A shorter walk to the conference center! Just kidding! We’ll be back at the Venetian next year and the conference center is just around the corner from the hotel elevators. Each year, it seems, there is a whole new crowd of System Center newbies. Even at MMS 2011, there was close to 50% new attendees. That’s phenomenal and really shows the growth of Microsoft’s System Center brand. We are really looking forward to reaching those attendees new to the Microsoft Management Summit, as well as reconnecting with our long-time friends. As always, there will be a new innovation or two from 1E over the next year – and I’m really looking forward to sharing the progress we have made on IT efficiency with our customers and partners.

10. I understand that 1E will be participating in TechEd 2011 in Atlanta this year, and that this is the first year 1E will be on hand at this event in North America. What can attendees expect to see from 1E at TechEd 2011?

Courtney: “Yes – 1E will be on-hand at Microsoft TechEd North America 2011 this year (May 16-19) in Atlanta. We have participated in TechEd Europe and Australia for many years, but this will be our first participation in the U.S. event. Next month, we will have a large booth (#1728) including a theatre with presentations and will also be attending as a Microsoft Partner of the Year, which I believe will be interesting to a new TechEd audience. TechEd attendees are becoming more and more important to 1E. Why? 1E’s goal is to improve efficiency in IT which has certainly been well-received in the System Center community. However, we want to help a wider community realize the overall cost savings available to their organization, making their job easier using our toolset. We invite anyone attending TechEd 2011 to stop by our booth to hear about how they can turn their IT department from a cost center to an IT efficient cost savings center. You may even walk off with a cuddly NightWatchman polar bear.

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