Stay Informed With Our Curated List of IT Know-How for the Modern Workplace
As the tech world seems to move faster than the speed of light, it’s tough keeping up-to-date with current technology trends. No one wants to be last to the party or feel on the spot when asked about the latest ‘thing’.
At IT Lab, it’s our job - and our passion - to keep pace with the IT world. Our close relationship with Microsoft is one way we do this, and we share an enthusiasm for Modernising Workplaces, creating more productive and fulfilling environments to work.
And through our strategic partnership with the tech behemoth, we’ve been privileged to work with them in their development of exciting new managed services, such as the Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD).
We’re available to answer any questions you may have, from the prosaic (we never judge) to those that challenge us and call for out-of-the-box thinking. Sometimes, though, it's best to take time out and learn new stuff over your morning coffee (or a glass of blended grapes in the evening). So, we’ve compiled this list of the top social media accounts to follow.
Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft
Quick Bio: Redmond, WA based driving force behind Microsoft’s management offerings, including the System Centre suite and products such as VMM (Virtual Machine Manager). Brad’s team is responsible for deploying the Microsoft 365 Modern Workplace.
Why You Should Follow Brad: A legend in the tech world, Microsoft’s very own Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Top Tweet: Microsoft Defender is now being used on > 500M (half a billion) PCs around the world. I’m seeing similar share/growth in Windows 10 PCs managed by Config Manager, with > 55% now using Defender. It’s a great solution!
Michael Niehaus, Principal Program Manager Modern Deployment at Microsoft
Interesting Facts: Publishes a treasure trove of blogs in Out of Office Hours – Michael Niehaus’ Technology Ramblings. Michael’s working on “the next ten years” for deployment technology.
Why You Should follow Michael: He's an all-round great guy, willing to answer questions and share knowledge. Re-tweets witty, intriguing and moving stuff beyond tech. We liked: A possum broke into an Australian bakery and ate so many pastries it couldn't move. This is how they found him.
Top Tweet: Windows Autopilot at Microsoft Ignite https://oofhours.com/2019/10/31/windows-autopilot-at-microsoft-ignite/
Bill Karagounis, General Manager at Microsoft
Quick Bio: Sydney born Bill is the Redmond WA based founder and leader of the Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD) service. He redefines and upgrades the end-user PC experience in the enterprise. Manages the tech giant’s Enterprise Mobility and Management team with the Experiences and Devices Group.
Interesting Facts: Has a beer with IT Lab when he’s in the UK (we do indeed have many chums in high places). Handy with mechanical stuff; pit crew for his sons’ karting sessions. Proud owner of a Gibson guitar and enjoys Formula 1 and Italian food.
Why You Should Follow Bill: Microsoft veteran, cool guy, and what he doesn’t know about Windows OS is written on a postage stamp.
Top LinkedIn Post: It’s been an awesome year of growth for #microsoftmanageddesktop. Our comms folks put together this cool Xmas graphic - content courtesy of Dan Coleby of IT Lab. Happy holidays everyone, see you in 2020! #hr #windows #windows10
Per Larsen, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft
Quick Bio: Belongs to the Intune Engineering Customer Acceleration Team. As a Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) before joining Microsoft, he helps their largest customers adopt and deploy Intune. Per has a blog site: Mobile-First Cloud-First.
Interesting Facts: Per lives in ‘Denmark’s garden’ - cosmopolitan Odense, which 164 different nationalities choose to call home. Star Wars fan and handy in the kitchen; unsurprisingly, cooks a mean bacon and eggs.
Why You Should Follow Per: One to watch; Per joined Microsoft in April 2019 and is already making his mark. He knows Microsoft Intune inside out.
Top Tweet: Very interesting article by Mark Russinovich on how Microsoft does extreme and global redundancy in Azure AD. Retire noncompliant devices. Our devs have been working hard over the holidays to get the new Apps full-screen experience out soon!
Matt Shadbolt, Ian Bartlett and George Smpyrakis – The Config Manager Dogs
From L-R: Matt Shadbolt, Ian Bartlett and George Smpyrakis
Quick Bio: Trio hailing from Microsoft Intune’s product team, styling themselves as the Config Manager Dogs. Seattle-based Matt’s experience spans support and programme management across the entire Microsoft tech stack. Down under, Ian manages a team partnering Microsoft’s most complex and strategic enterprise customers. George, who also lives in Australia, is a cloud evangelist and Azure Technical Trainer.
Interesting Facts: Matt is savvy about keeping his personal info under wraps, a skill he has in common with Ian. When George was a kid, he dreamed of becoming a professional athlete, but his dad had other ideas. Today, George runs a coding club for children.
Why You Should Follow the Config Manager Dogs: Insights multiplied by three on all things Microsoft Intune and Azure. Their twitter feed includes hand-picked goodies from across the tech and business communities.
Top Tweet: Office What’s New Management Preview Updates Now Available: The Office What’s New management Preview allows your organization to decide which features are shown to or hidden from end-users in the What’s New panel of Office.
The IT Lab Group's Most Valued Professionals (MVPs)
The Microsoft Most Valued Professionals (MVP) community is an exclusive club for Microsoft technologists at the top of their game. "The Microsoft MVP award recognises exceptional knowledge and leadership," says Dan Coleby, our Modern Workplace Product Director. "MVPs are at the bleeding edge and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. And they're equally passionate about sharing their knowledge with the wider tech community."
MVPs are a rare breed; several have achieved cult status on social media and are active contributors at community events and conferences. We're proud of the three MVPs in the IT Lab group, and several colleagues are planning on joining them. You can tap into our MVPs' videos and other insightful content below. And if you'd like to learn more about Microsoft MVPs click: Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.
Steve Goodman, Principal Technology Strategist at Content and Code
Quick bio: Eight-time recipient of the Microsoft MVP award for Office 365, chief editor of Practical365.com and engaging co-host of All About 365 with Jay and Steve podcasts. Steve and Jason (below), also run an annual event for IT professionals - the Evolve Conference. Author of several books about Office 365 and Exchange.
Interesting Facts: Namesake of the Chicago singer-songwriter who recorded 11 albums of hope, humour and emotional punch. Lives with his family in historic Warwickshire, the stomping ground of many literary giants, including William Shakespeare and JRR Tolkien.
Why You Should Follow Steve: Technology evangelist with infectious enthusiasm. Has the rare gift of translating highly technical subjects into language that's accessible and meaningful. All-round cheery chap and good egg. Not precious; shares other great content too, as demonstrated by (see below).
Top Tweet: The mysterious “remove built-in Windows app” setting explained. (Retweet, @Scottduf)
Jason Wynn, Principal Technology Strategist at Content and Code
Quick bio: Two times MVP award, specialising in Microsoft 365, Office 365, Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. As a committed Microsoft advocate, technology is hardwired into Jason's DNA. Droll co-host of All About 365 with Jay and Steve podcasts. Jason and Steve, above, also run a yearly event for IT pros called the Evolve Conference. Jason is the founder and organiser of the Microsoft Cloud User Group.
Interesting Facts: A great guy to have your back in a crisis; many in Jason's fan-base mention his calm and reassuring presence. Educated in the Lone Star State of Texas, describes himself as a "displaced American". Jason has met Harrison Ford twice - on the second occasion Harrison remembered him.
Why You Should Follow Jason: Brilliant, personable communicator. Keeps a keen eye on the horizon and a steady hand on the tiller.
Top Tweet: Loads of great conversations today at #MSIgniteTheTour London - as you can see, a few interesting podcasts in the can for @AllAbout365 and topics discussed for @Practical365. See you tomorrow!
Chris O'Brien, Head of Development at Content and Code
Quick bio: Twelve times MVP award. Leads a talented team with expertise in Microsoft technologies including Office 365, Azure, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and Power Apps.
Interesting Facts: Assisted Microsoft with the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) - the renewed development platform for extending SharePoint. A Mancunian, father of identical twins and a competitive cyclist in his younger days. Chris once explored the glacial peaks, deep rhododendron forests and terraced rice paddies surrounding the Annapurna Base Camp.
Why You Should Follow Chris: Big on best practice, very hands-on. No airs and graces and endlessly charming. Publishes a highly regarded technical blog - The Nuts and Bolts of SharePoint. Helps organisations get more from their tech.
Top Tweet: My summary of #Teams announcements from Ignite 2019. Great to see better integration with Yammer and Outlook, and private channels finally available. #MSIgnite #Office365
Top Microsoft Corporate Accounts to Follow
To impress your colleagues with how current you are, here are our top three corporate accounts. After all, 580,000 combined followers (and counting) can't be wrong.
For tips, tricks and insights on transforming how your users work. Microsoft 365 combines best-in-class productivity apps with intelligent cloud services. Click here to follow Microsoft 365.
Catch Microsoft’s official blog for Windows and Devices. Click here to follow Windows Blogs.
Microsoft Endpoint Manager
The lowdown on endpoint management solutions like Config Manager and Intune, enabling the best user experiences for secure apps on any M365 device. Click here to follow Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Bonus: More IT Insights
We’re active on LinkedIn, and if you’re one of our 6,500 plus followers – we appreciate you! As well as our posts about the Microsoft Modern Workplace and Microsoft Managed Desktop, we share advice on other topics across the IT spectrum, such as the cloud, ERP, and cybersecurity. Follow us on LinkedIn here. You’ll also learn about our events and on-demand webinars. You’re bound to find something that ignites your interest, and we’d love you to join us.
You may have noticed our very own Dan Coleby got a special mention from Microsoft. Dan's our Modern Workplace Product Director, guiding clients on their technology strategy, implementation and operation. His specialities include stakeholder engagement, project management, IT transformation and process change management. You can follow Dan here. He's currently helping several companies with their business cases for the Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD) - click below to learn more about MMD.