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Volume 10, Issue 25 December 2008
From the Editor
Greetings New TechNet Flash Subscriber,
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How many ways can someone get a hold of you? Last time I checked – I could be reached on 5 phone numbers, 4 voice mailboxes, 2 instant messenger IDs, a handful of email addresses and a number of social networking / social media sites you can connect with me. I know that being accessible is part of my job, but this is getting out of hand! The number of ways of contacting individuals is on the rise – we have multiple phones, devices and applications that can reach us in a variety of ways and formats. It is time to take control of this and start to simplify the administration and streamline the collaboration and communication – Unified Communications, here we come.

A single phone number was assigned for me when my account was created in Active Directory. An inbound call comes into our organization and is handled by a system that can determine my presence information from my schedule and activities of my Office Communications Server client running on my laptop in the office. It takes that information and because I am not currently in a meeting – routes the call to my Office Communicator client – I grab my headset and take the call. If I need to add in a few more people and create a conference call, I pick them from my contacts and drag them into the call. If I was busy in a meeting when all this happened, the call would have redirected to my cellphone or left me a voicemail that would appear in my Exchange-based inbox. We’re just scratching the surface with what’s possible with this collaborative platform when we expand this to include presence information in websites / applications, video and desktop conferencing. Did I mention that I was actually out of the office and in a hotel room in Charlottetown PEI when this call came in?

This all sounds very complex and difficult to manage – but in actual fact, it’s not so bad. Once you’ve got the basic infrastructure setup, you can start to realize a lot of this scenario I just described quite quickly. A common set of administration tools that gives you a single point of administration to enable or disable a user to all these communication channels. To help you get started - there are some virtual labs you can try out and get your hands dirty in a safe “sandbox” lab environment online or you can download evaluation versions and make your own lab. If you would like to give your manager some background on what Unified Communications can do for your organization - I recently recorded an interview for the Microsoft IT Manager Podcast about a company who is integrating Office Communications Server 2007 with their existing PBX solution for 17 offices. Finally, since I know you are interested in the latest and greatest – stop by the main information page for Office Communications Server and sign up for the Virtual Launch Event for the R2 release – launching February 3rd.

Rick Claus | Senior IT Pro Advisor | Microsoft Canada
IT Pro blog | IT Manager blog | Twitter | Facebook| LinkedIn

On December 1, 2008 we launched we the IT Architect Community blog in Canada. The Canadian Architect Blog is designed to communicate with those of you who are currently working as an IT Architect, those who would like to be an architect one day, and all others who have an interest in IT architecture...learn more.
Have a great IT story? Share it with the Canada’s IT community by entering the Ignite IT Awards. You could win $5,000. Share your IT story now.
Take the online quiz now for a chance to win an Xbox 360 Elite prize pack. The Windows Vista Springboard Series provides you with the right resources at the right point in your technology adoption and management process. Learn more while you take the online quiz today. Contest closes December 31, 2008.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 provides efficient, unified management of both physical and virtual machines. With its familiar Windows-based interfaces, you can leverage your existing infrastructure investments by helping to minimize the time and cost of management. Download the System Center Virtual Machine Manager trial version now.
Time is running out to register for TechDays in Vancouver. All attendees receive a Learning Kit with an approximate value of $1,000 to keep the learning going after the event. Spark your passion for technology-buy your ticket to TechDays now.
You could receive up to thousands in partner subsidies when you purchase eligible software. Choose software including: Microsoft® Office Enterprise, Windows® Small Business Server 2003, Windows Server and more.

Get the inside scoop on resources, tools, and guidance to help you deploy and manage the latest Windows desktop operating system. Subscribe to this newsletter and you’ll also find tips and tricks from your peers, insight into upcoming resources, details about upcoming events, and special opportunities to share your feedback with the Windows IT Pro team.
Participate in this unique opportunity to work with engineers of SQL Server on a new application model and central management point for discovering and managing instances in SQL Server, defining deployment policies to simplify database management, optimizing resources, streamlining collaboration, and helping to efficiently manage at scale.

Evaluation Center Updates
There’s no better way to experience System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 than to try it in your own environment. Try a fully functioning version of VMM 2008 for 180 days for free.

Check out the demo in this Tech•Ed Online interview with the Group Product Manager behind the Microsoft Security Assessment Tool. Through the easy-to-use assessment process, you will find prioritized tasks with industry guidance, best practices, and recommendations to help resolve security issues identified in the detailed reports.
Videos & Presentation decks now available. In October and November, the Canadian IT Pro team went on the road to speak to IT Managers across Canada about how today’s competitive business organizations rely on their technology leaders to maintain a flexible, agile IT infrastructure to best align systems with their changing business objectives. The Microsoft Align IT Tour, featured real-world strategies for IT Optimizationmore.
The Canadian IT Manager Blog is continuously updated with posts from our local team, along with experts in the community. Check it out and connect with your peers.

Find out how to assess whether your desktops are vulnerable to viruses and spyware with the new Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 3.2. This free toolkit also assesses Forefront Client Security and Network Access Protection (NAP) readiness of your PCs.
The Security Development Lifecycle provides you and your team with corresponding levels of guidance and tools for strategy, assessment, and implementation of your security.

This beta includes the updated infrastructure components that will both deliver the performance we are targeting for the release and support our objective of delivering an IT service desk that is tightly integrated with the rest of the System Center product family.
Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V helps you leverage your existing investments by consolidating your virtual servers on a single physical machine. From the desktop to the data center, training and management time are minimized while business continuity, agility and performance can be improved. It can all mean a lower TCO for a maximum ROI. Download the trial version now.
Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM) “2” RC delivers powerful self-service capabilities for end-users of Office, rich administrative tools and enhanced automation for IT professionals, and .NET and Windows Server based extensibility for developers.
Quicker SQL Server 2008 migration starts with the new Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 3.2. Bypass the labor-intensive task of locating and discovering instances of SQL Server. Download the free toolkit today.

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Windows Vista
Volume 10 - Issue 25
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