Some of my Hot Picks for MMS Sessions

There are a ton of great sessions at MMS. Here’s a pic of many of the keywords you’ll find in the session titles:


There are a lot of great speakers, and I’ll be sad because I won’t be able to attend all of the sessions (only so many slots in a 3-day conference :(, and I’m co-presenting 3 or 4 of them). Check out more about MMS in my previous post.

Here are a few on my ‘must see’ list:

ConfigMgr State and Status Messages – Under the Hood – Anything from Michael Wiles or Steve Rachui are on my hot list – Steve is a support engineer at Microsoft. Michael used to be my Dedicated Support Engineer at Microsoft, until I managed to talk him into joining my team! State and status messages are a challenge, and any opportunity to understand them better, as well as ‘taming the beast’ is a good thing in my book.

Deep Dive into Content Flow – This is another session from Michael and Steve, and understanding content flow should be near the top of our list of issues to learn to troubleshoot better. Pull DPs, standard DPs, DP on and off a site server – content flow is key to keeping us employed.

OS Deployment at Level 500 – The training wheels are long gone. Johan is going to dive into the guts of OSD, and you’re going to learn about things that until now, were in the same category as Leprechauns and Unicorns.

PowerShell, PowerShell, PowerShell – Aleksandar Nikolic has three sessions diving into PowerShell Remoting, Workflows, and more. You have skills in PowerShell? Attend these sessions to learn something new.

Windows Deployment – Now and Into the Future – Michael Niehaus will be presenting this session. With Windows 10 around the corner, there are plenty of new “features” and enhancements we all need to be aware of, in order to deploy this newest OS.

Birds of a Feather Sessions – MMS has tons of them. 1) topic-focused BoF sessions each morning – bring your questions, share your knowledge, network. 2) BoF in every session – we plan for 60 minutes presentation, and additional 45 minutes at the end of each session for BoF, additional Q&A, and anything else you’d like to discuss about the presented topic.

And what’s most important to realize is that this is only a very small sampling of the content – we have so many great sessions, great speakers (and great friends), I would literally need to paste the entire session catalog to tell you about all the great content.

Oh, and I forgot to mention – NETWORKING. I have met so many people through the SMS/ConfigMgr community, and a very significant number of those people have built great friendships, as well as advanced their career as a result of networking that has occurred at previous user group and MMS events. Meet people, share ideas, build friendships (and future employment opportunities).

Stay tuned – the session schedule will be posted very soon over at



I’ll See You at the Midwest Management Summit!


Just in case you haven’t heard the news yet, my friends over at the Minnesota System Center User Group are sponsoring the inaugural Midwest Management Summit (MMS)!  This is going to be a great conference. Think old-school Microsoft Management Summit, remove the keynote, as well as the 100, 200, and most 300-level sessions. Oh yea, remove the marketing pitch too!

MMS 2014 will be a deep dive into the products you know and love – System Center 2012 (ConfigMgr, OpsMgr, SvcMgr, etc), Windows PowerShell, Service Management Automation.  These sessions are fresh, deep, and interactive.

Fresh – This is new content – not content that you’ve already viewed on Channel9, attended at Microsoft Official Curriculum courses, or anywhere else.

Deep – We’re talking as deep as 500 level stuff here (watch my blog for a few of my hot picks later this week).

Interactive – Have you ever heard of Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions? These were always very popular at MMS in previous years, and were often fully booked, and you were unable to attend. MMS 2014 has a BoF session for every single presentation. That’s right-for every session, you will see 60 minutes for presentation, and 50 minutes for BoF, Q&A, and interactive discussion.

Here’s a list of the sessions that I’ll be presenting (review full session list):

ConfigMgr Applications and PowerShell – In Depth – My friend Trevor Sullivan and I will take you “to the deep end” of using PowerShell to manage ConfigMgr Applications, end-to-end. We’ll discuss and demonstrate native cmdlets, as well as diving into WMI to handle things that are not yet supported by the cmdlets.

PowerShell and ConfigMgr – Most Requested Scenarios and Procedures – My friend Kaido Jarvmets and I will take you through the most-requested items from our blog posts, for leveraging PowerShell with ConfigMgr. Send me any special requests too!

PowerShell DSC vs. ConfigMgr Settings Management (Compliance Settings) – You’ve heard a lot about PowerShell DSC in the past year. How is it different than ConfigMgr Settings Managment? What’s the right tool for the job? In this session, I’ll dive into scenarios and advantages of one vs. the other.

Server OS Deployment Deep Dive (with ConfigMgr 2012 R2) – You’ve ‘mastered’ OS Deployment (let’s face it, we all have room to grow in this space – but regardless, you’re pretty good with OSD in deploying workstation operating systems). This session will dive into the scenarios and nuances of deploying Server OS. Managing server firmware and hardware, handling static IP addresses, safety precautions, and more.

In addition to the sessions I’m presenting, I’m also excited to sit down and learn from all the other brilliant speakers! Stay tuned – I’ll post some of my hot pick sessions soon!


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