MICROSOFT is over the moon with Gen-i. The integrator has booked 150 of its staff to attend Tech Ed 2005, the vendor’s upcoming annual training event for developers and IT professionals.
This is a huge commitment from Gen-i, says Sean McBreen, Microsoft New Zealand developer and platform director.
“It represents a huge number of billable hours and shows how important the event is to Gen-i,” he says.
“Gen-i is a services company and Tech Ed is the best way for them to come up to speed with our technology.”
Rick Hook, Microsoft practice manager for Gen-i’s software solutions group, agrees, saying Tech Ed will enable the company to prepare for new Microsoft products which are on the horizon, such as Indigo and Longhorn.
“There will be core changes to the techno-logy this year and next year,” he says.
The 150 attendees will come from the combined Gen-i and Computerland operations from across the country.
Hook says another reason for the large contingent is the quality of content and speakers on offer.
“The speakers last year were excellent. Their knowledge is incredible,” he says.
The knowledge attendees will gain from attending will result in a rapid return on the investment the company is making, Hook adds.
“Last year we saw an instant return on the time our staff spent at Tech Ed.”
Gen-i sent 75 people to last year’s event.
McBreen says a second company may commit to sending 120 people to Tech Ed, which is being held at the Skycity Convention Centre in Auckland from August 28 to 31.
Microsoft is making corporate pricing for the event available from today.
“This is the most cost-effective way for companies to send people to Tech Ed. The more they book in, the lower the price is per person,” says McBreen.
Under the scheme a company can send up to 120 people for $48,000 or three to five people for $3,499.
Early bird pricing at $1,499 a person is available until June 30, after which the full $1,777 is charged.
Sessions at Tech Ed will be divided into eight tracks, which are security, server and management infrastructure, messaging and collaboration, data, developer tools, smart client, business applications and business intelligence, and architecture.
Each track has 13 speakers, of which 80% have been confirmed.
McBreen says highlights will include sessions by the team developing BizTalk Visual Studio Team System, which is due for release at the end of this year.
The team includes the suite’s product manager, Scott Woodgate, who is a New Zealander.
“It is always good to see a local guy come home,” says McBreen.