Speaking & Being Interviewed At Microsoft Future Decoded 2019

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week (2nd & 3rd of October) I attended Microsoft Future Decoded at the ExCel in London, UK.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Future Decoded or haven’t attended one before, I’ll give you a brief overview of the event below:

Microsoft Future Decoded is a 2 day event that is hosted in the ExCel in London, UK. The event is focused around enlightening business and technical decision makers about what the future looks like for themselves, their businesses and potential customers they work with or for. The event is not as technically focused like other events Microsoft host like Ignite/Ignite The Tour. This years focus areas where around AI, ML and Tech For Good.

Generally the event is a great chance to network with others in the industry, vendors and partners; let alone attending sessions and absorbing all of the latest a greatest announcements!

Why Was I There…?

This year I was attending both as an attendee, to see some of the keynotes and the breakout sessions, and also to assist with “stand duty” (as it’s often referred too) for the company I work for; CDW UK

I also had the privilege of presenting a talk this year in one of the expo breakout theatres for fellow attendees.

My Talk

As mentioned above, I was also presenting a talk this year at the event. I was actually asked by my company if I’d like to talk a few weeks ago at this event and I jumped at the chance.

This year Microsoft wanted the talks to be focused around the key points of this years event, AI, ML & Tech For Good. However these areas are not something I felt I could create a talk on in the time I had, so I took a different approach.

My talk title this years was “IaaS & PaaS – The Perfect Partnership”.

My approach for the talk was to explain why Azure is still the best place to run those IaaS & PaaS workloads, due to all of the AI & ML that Microsoft invest in and use to deliver the various services under these areas. I covered things like:

  • Project Tardigrade
  • Live Migration in Azure Compute
  • Azure SQL Offerings
  • Much more…

I was set to talk on the second day of the event, Wednesday, at 15:15 until 15:40 in one of the expo theatres. As it was near the end of the second day, I wasn’t expecting a lot of attendees. But to my pleasant surprise, there was only standing room available as one of my colleagues and friends, Anthony, tweeted about:

The 25 minutes flew by and all of the notes I spent hours refining and putting with my PowerPoint, I never even read! Amazing how the brain engages when you are in the moment!

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many people wanting to hear what I had to say about Azure. Also it was great to see so many people getting involved and coming to ask questions after the talk; this is something I highly recommend to all talk attendees, us presenters honestly don’t mind and generally are really happy to help answer/clarify any questions you may have. So next time you attend a talk, go say hi or ask a question to the presenter/s, networking is key in this industry!

Below are some more photos of me presenting:

My presentation can be download here, if you are interested.

Channel Partner Insight Interview

Near the end of Day 1, Nima Green, a reporter for Channel Partner Insight asked if id be happy to be interviewed and provide my insight into the event so far and also the Microsoft Partner world based on recent announcements etc…

I will just provide the link to the video below instead of detailing the interview. So click here to see what I had to say.


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Partner Admin Link (PAL) PowerShell Script

** Update 21/09/2019 –  PowerShell Script V2 Released **

Just a quick post today to share a new tool I have created for all Microsoft Partners out there who are helping customers design, build, manage and operate Azure.

Partner Admin Link (PAL) Overview

Partner Admin Link (PAL) is a method for partners to associate themselves to customers Azure environments, to enable them to associate themselves to that customer Azure Consumed Revenue (ACR – not Azure Container Registry this time).

A blurb from Microsoft on PAL is below:

What is Partner Admin Link?
Partner Admin Link (PAL) is designed for managed service providers (MSPs). Assuming the MSP has access to resources in the customer subscription then they can link their those accounts to their MPN ID. From that point onwards the telemetry for those resources (and only those resources) will be linked to the partner. “

Methods To Setup Partner Admin Link (PAL)

There are 3 ways to configure PAL on a customers Azure environments.

  • Via The Azure Portal
  • PowerShell
  • AZ CLI

All of which are documented nicely over in the Microsoft Docs.

My Handy PowerShell Script

I created this script for use at the company I work for, as we need to ensure this is done every time for every user when logging into a new customers Azure environment for the first time.

However, I couldn’t not share it with the community as this will likely help a lot of you out there. Also it was really nice to get some more hands on time with VS Code, Windows Terminal and PowerShell again; it’s been a couple of weeks due to mainly being in meetings etc… and no hands-on time.

Anyway, the script is available via my GitHub account in my ‘PublicScripts‘ repository.

The get access directly to the script in the repository on my GitHub account, click here.

As always please create issues or submit pull requests for any issues with the script  or anything you’d like changed. I will review them as they come in.

Finally, there are no guarantees for the functionality of this script. I have tested it several times in different Azure environments and it has worked perfectly. But please use at your own risk.

Things To Look Out For With Partner Admin Link (PAL)

Here are some quick tips, tricks and pointers about PAL that I have discovered and learnt. (I will update the Microsoft Docs pages as well if these aren’t posted over there too)

  1. You don’t need to do this on CSP Azure Environments as the ACR is already tracked automatically for you.
  2. PAL is linked on a per user, per tenant basis.
    1. With this in mind it is advised to make sure all of your employees with access to customer subscriptions should setup and configure PAL on each customer they have access to.
  3. You can have any RBAC role assigned to setup and configure PAL on a user account in a customers Azure Environment, even as low as ‘Reader’.
    1. This is because even having ‘Reader’ rights shows the customer has placed trust in you as a partner to assist them.
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