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October 14, 2011

Welcome to Deploy Depot

by Shelly Bird

Hello, my name is Shelly Bird.  I’m a Microsoft Solution Architect whose expertise for over twenty years has been deployments of operating systems and major applications.  I help customers deploy servers, desktops, laptops, tablets and even phones.

I’m an odd Bird, not only because I’ve been at it so long in this space, working with literally hundreds of customers, but I’ve been doing it mainly with Public Sector customers in US Federal Government. I have worked for almost two decades with Civilian, Military, Intel, and even State and Local Governments.

This is unusual.  There are a lot of additional challenges in these spaces due to the sheer scale of government customers:  we’re dealing with tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of devices.  Also, this kind of customer is extremely focused upon pursuing privacy and security, to a degree rarely found in the commercial space.  So I’ve had to learn host security at a level of depth not normally encountered in an infrastructure consultant.

I’m launching this blog for one reason.  Much as I love the geek blogs that give us great scripts, great tools, and terrific advice on the latest way to streamline and strip down the deployment to the minimal number of steps necessary, I see a huge gap out there.  I see people making their deployments—and their lives–a whole lot more difficult than they need to be.

Customers often don’t understand the real reasons why deployment of a new operating system or application is frustratingly slow.  They sometimes miss the fact that most of these reasons have little to do with the features of the products, the bells and whistles of deployment technologies.

Deployment has a lot more to do with psychology and turning large ships, because ultimately deployment is about change, and while change can be good, it is not always welcome.

I want to tell deployment stories.  I want to show how customers made it through major deployments, the kind of events that transform an enterprise.  This blog will give insight into what I and some of the brightest deployment consultants in the world have seen work and fail–and why–over the years.  The hope is readers will pick up information that will help make more deployments succeed.

Finally, I’m deliberately aiming this at decision makers, the “non-geeks” in many of the blogs here, because most of our current deployment blogs are more technical than process and people oriented.  And as stated above, the biggest challenges don’t really come from the technology.

One final note:  if you are a former customer, and think you recognize yourself in certain descriptions, please think again.  I am choosing situations and behaviors that I’ve seen over and over again; ones that are so ubiquitous I now regard them as a human condition.  Take comfort in the fact you are not alone.


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