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Welcome

Hello, my name is Shelly Maureen Bird.  I’m a Microsoft Solution Architect whose expertise for over twenty years has been deployments of major applications, of servers, desktops, laptops.

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, with Civilian, Military, Intel, and even State and Local Governments.  This is unusual.  There are a lot of challenges in those spaces due to the sheer scale of government customers.  Also, this type 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 rare level of depth.

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 overlook the most obvious reasons that slow down the deployment of a new operating system.  And the fact is these usually have nothing to do with features, the bells and whistles of the deployment technology.

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.  I want to try to give insight into what I and some of the brightest deployment consultants in the world have seen work and fail over the years.  I’m hoping readers will pick up some information that will help make more deployments succeed.  And I’m deliberately aiming this at decision makers, the “non-geeks” in many of these blogs, 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.

This will be a mix of my admittedly hopelessly subjective impressions, commiseration on common points of contention and conflict we all experience in such projects, and a heavy dose of humility (I’m a firm believer in learning from mistakes).  This will wade into some weeds with geek advice when the occasion calls for it, and rise high above the ground to give Executive decision makers the bigger picture on new technologies, so they can see how these might fit into their own deployment plans.  I’ll host guest bloggers on occasion, when they have an especially interesting story to share.  Keep in mind, though, that the opinions and views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Microsoft.

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.

Note:  all photographs on this site were purchased via istockphoto.com/rtortoit

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