Tag Archives: MVP

Renaming and rebranding my blog

I have been thinking about this a while, as my previous blog URL address systemcenterpoint.wordpress.com and title SystemCenterPoint not longer accurately reflected the blog content I produce.

When I created the blog for over 4 years ago, I was heavily invested in System Center products, and especially Service Manager and Operations Manager, and most of my content published on the blog was related to that.

These days, I still work a lot with SCSM and SCOM, and with partners such as Cireson, SquaredUp and itnetX, but also more and more with Cloud and Azure based solutions such as Operations Management Suite. The same with System Center Orchestrator, where I now automate more with PowerShell and Azure Automation than Orchestrater Runbooks.

In addition, being awared Microsoft MVP for Enterprise Mobility I also focus a lot on Identity and Access Managment and Security with Azure AD and EM+S!

So, what to rebrand my blog URL and Title to?

When I was at the MVP Summit recently I was very inspired by James Whittaker that had a session on the importance of story telling. And he challenged us, what is your story?

My story is not finished, it is a working progress. But if I should start somewhere I would be saying to anyone that asks that: “I’m the Go To Guy!”

I realize that this title is not exclusive to me, many people are Go To Guys in their workplace or community. But I’m already labelled (one of the) Go To Guy in my workplace, amongst many customers and as a MVP I’m aspiring to be a Go To Guy for many in the communities I participate in.

So, thats why my blog now has a new URL: http://gotoguy.blog ! And the blog title has been updated to GoToGuy Blog.

Looking forward to produce more great content on the blog!

(PS! All old references to systemcenterpoint.wordpress.com will of course work for the future until eventually not needed anymore)

Sleepless in Seattle – Impressions from MVP Summit 2016

As I’m just back from attending my first ever MVP Summit, I wanted to take to opportunity to recap some of the impressions and experiences I had. One note though, the first rule about the MVP Summit, is not to talk about the MVP Summit! The reason for this is that generally all that is shared with us MVPs from Microsoft is under NDA. All the while, there are some general information that can be shared, which shows the importance this Summit not only has for the MVPs, but also for Microsoft and the Product Groups, the Community and in the end, the customers themselves.

As the title of this blog post refers to, sleep can be hard to come by. Both because of many MVPs are travelling from far and beyond, myself fighting a jetlag and time difference of 9 hours to Norway, but also that the fellowship of MVPs in official and unofficial social gatherings on the evenings quickly see hours fly away.


What is the MVP Summit?

The MVP Summit is held once a year at Microsoft Campus in Redmond, just outside of Seattle, Washington. All active MVPs from around the world are invited, and many will attend. At the Summit MVPs will have sessions with the Product Groups, where discussions and feedback are central, as well as looking forward to what might or will come in the future. This is where the NDA is vital. In addition to the sessions there are a lot of networking with fellow MVPs and the members and managers of the Product Groups.

Most MVPs stays at selected hotels in Bellevue outside Seattle, not far from Redmond, with the Hyatt Regency as the social hub, and we get transported to and from Redmond.


My impressions of the MVP Summit

As this was my first MVP Summit, I had 3 things I looked forward to:

  1. Meet fellow peers and MVPs
  2. Meet the Product Groups
  3. The NDA stuff!

And I can safely say that it delivered on all 3 points! Over the years I have met and been introduced to many MVPs in the community, but know I had the chance to first hand see and meet many of the community leaders I have read blog posts from or followed on Twitter.Always nice to see and meet the rock stars 🙂

It was also very nice to meet of with the Product Groups and engage with them in sessions, it’s always helpful with a name and a face, and they are genuinely interested in any feedback we can give from our own opinions and from our customer experiences.

A lot of information, roadmaps, features, private previews and more were shared as well, which of course are under strict NDA. So you will have to wait for that, no need to ask, but wait patiently for exciting things to come.A general feeling is that Microsoft is more open and engaging than ever, and the best of times are yet to come!

So with that I will conclude this short blog post, and although I cannot share any more details I can assure that Microsoft and MVPs together are working together for the benefit of customers and end users. It has been great attending my first MVP Summit, and hopefully I will be back next year!

Awarded MVP Enterprise Mobility! Introducing myself to the community.

On Friday April 1th I got one of the best e-mails in my professional IT career so far, Awarded MVP for Enterprise Mobility for 2016!


This is my first MVP Award, and I’m incredibly proud and honored to be part of such as amazing community and network of professionals.

I thought this was a good opportunity to introduce myself to the community, so in this blog post I will write a little more about myself and what I do.

Some personal info

I’m from Norway, a town called Sarpsborg some 100 kilometers south of Oslo. I work as a Architect for Cloud and Datacenter solutions at Skill AS, a Microsoft Partner with offices in both Oslo and Sarpsborg. My company has received numerous partner prizes and finalist awards over the last years, embracing the Cloud and Microsoft especially.

I’m born in 1971, at an age where I’m old enough to know how and when to use my experience when I need to, and young enough to eagerly learn new stuff and use technology to solve challenges and use solutions creatively. When I’m not working I spend time with my family, I’m married and have two boys at the age of 10 and 12. Its all about football (soccer) in the spare time, and at least 3 of us are huge Arsenal fans. You can guess who 😉 We also spend a lot of time in our cabin in the mountains, where we ski (cross country) a lot. This is where we recharge our batteries, a very needed window of family quality time in a mostly hectic work and activity filled weeks.

Work and career

I’ve been in the IT industry for over 20 years now. When I started I did IT support on IBM OS/2 machines, my first internet e-mail experience was using 3270 terminals and if I remember correctly something called Office Vision. I wrote documents using Lotus Ami Pro, Later I achieved my first Microsoft MCP certifications on Windows 95 and Word 6.0. From there on it has been mainly Microsoft products and solutions for me!

A large part of my first career I spent at a private educational institution, and was an instructor for Microsoft Official Curriculum courses. I kept my Microsoft Certified Trainer certification from 1997-2012. I have spent thousands of hours teaching students and business IT pros on MCSE certifications for NT 4.0, Windows 2000, 2003 and beyond. For a few years I was even a Citrix Certified Instructor. While working as an instructor I started to get more in to consulting as well, working at customer sites and presenting company seminars.

I remember that I could hold the BackOffice 4.5 CD folder in my hand, and say that I had knowledge of all Microsoft management, productivity and server solutions! Try to say that today 😉 The first “System Center” product I worked on was SMS 2.0, later I started working with Microsoft Operation Manager (MOM) from 2000 and up, I have been working with e-mail and productivity from Microsoft Mail via Exchange 5.0 to todays Exchange Online and Office 365, identity solutions from “User Manager of Domains” to Azure Active Directory. It has really been a great journey, but nothing compares to how rapid Microsoft and Cloud solutions evolve these days,

After leaving the educational institution, I worked for a few years as a consultant and freelance training, before I worked some years at an Application Service Provider. I was working with the Datacenter and Infrastructure, moving into virtualization slowly by using Virtual Server 2005! Exchange 2007 was my first meeting with PowerShell, love at first sight, and offered Hosted Exchange as a Service. If only we had something called Office 365 and Azure Stack etc.. 😉

In 2010 and till today I have been with my current employer, Skill. In these years I have been working more and more with Azure, Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite and System Center, while at the same time been working closely with Microsoft, being a P-TSP for Cloud OS and Datacenter management.


Over the last years I have been more and more engaged in the community of IT-professionals, visiting conferences, using social media, blogging and networking with other MVP’s and other community influencers. I have also been a speaker at local events and at conferences like Experts Live, Nordic Infrastructure Conference and will also be speaker at this years System Center Universe in Berlin, August.

It is with huge pride my contributions has led me to receiving the MVP award, and I can only look forward to contributing more in the years to come. While Enterprise Mobility and especially Azure AD is an area I focus greatly on, I will also continue to contribute in areas related to Azure, Cloud and Datacenter Management (CDM) with OMS, Service Manager, Operations Manager and more as these are solutions I work a lot with in my daily work as well. I will especially look for contributions where EMS, CDM and Azure can work together and play to each others strengths 🙂

Thanks for reading, looking forward to engage with you all. In addition to this blog, you can follow me at social media using:

Twitter: @skillriver

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jvelven