To Redmond and back – a short journey to Microsoft Central

February 15, 2010

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To Redmond and back – a short journey to Microsoft Central

After a week of jetlag and flew, I can finally share my visit to Microsoft central @ Seattle.  

I have been invited by one of my customers to escort his 3 days visit to Microsoft EBC (Executive Briefing Center) facility in Seattle. My customer was invited by Microsoft and managed to arrange a priceless meeting with MS CRM E2 (Microsoft Dynamics CRM Engineering for Enterprise) team members to review a current MS CRM project, to which I am consulting.

Before our visit to Redmond, I took the opportunity to visit New York for the first time. New York has been a cultural icon for me through my adult life, and although I have been the US before, I found this city to be most amazing in all aspects: architecture, cultures diversity and atmosphere.
We had 3 days of Sunshine which, I have been told, is considered a miracle in January.

 View from the Rockefeller center Leaning against the Empire State building The Naked Cowboy Times Squre  

After roaming the streets of Manhattan for 3 days, shopping like crazy and visiting some of the tourist attractions (really, what can you manage in 3 days?) we pressed on. I got the view of Manhattan streets at 5 am while riding a taxi to the JFK airport to catch my flight to Seattle. We landed in Seattle on Sunday noon, and did some site seeing.

Now, fast forward to business: The Microsoft EBC facility is located in Redmond in the heart of what seems like Microsoft city. The interior is very fancy and well suited to accommodate decision makers. We got a private lecture room, in which we spent the following two days.

   EBC 1 EBC 2 Me @ EBC Out room     

During the next two days we took a variety of lectures from Microsoft Product Managers regarding Microsoft products roadmap and as these were private sessions, we got a great opportunity to ask questions that usually don’t get a straight forward answer. We also had a funny tour at the virtual house, in which Microsoft displays its vision for the future living space. At this point I should say I am under NDA and therefore can’t really share any product related information here.

At day 3 we visited Microsoft development center at Redmond in which the Microsoft Dynamics products development team is located and met with MS CRM E2 team members, Amir Jafri, Jim Toland, and Morat Ozturan.

This is what I came for. The project is very challenging and the product abilities are stretched to great extent. During the project design, some major implementation issues were raised and although some of these issues arise in many projects, it was important for to confirm that the solutions I selected are correct and relevant in light of the upcoming version 5.0.
This session was worth the long trip. I gave my presentation, raised the issues and got straight forward answers that I probably couldn’t get anywhere else. Also got some hints regarding version 5.0, just enough to know my customer isn’t throwing money on features that will come of the shelf in the near future. Again, NDA.

I want to thank my customer, Microsoft Account Manager Oren Ben Yosef and MCS Georgy Sazonov for arranging this visit and giving me the rare opportunity to personally converse with Microsoft Dynamics CRM development team members.

Also, credit for all the photos in this post goes to Oren Ben Yosef.

“I would like to buy a Damburger”

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