IT/Dev Connections 2014 Speaker Highlight: Darwin Sanoy

IT/Dev Connections 2014 Speaker Highlight: Darwin Sanoy

Part of an ongoing series, we're highlighting the excellent speakers selected by the community to present phenomenal and extremely valuable content at IT/Dev Connections 2014.

Today's speaker highlight is Darwin Sanoy

Speaker's IT/Dev Connection session:

Office 365 ProPlus Click-to-Run (Office 2013 Desktop Applications): Enterprise Deployment Blueprints (as in ITIL-Compatible)

Has the term "Office" been tacked on to enough things to make your head spin yet? This session will focus on the desktop applications that have traditionally carried the label "Office" (not the IaaS parts that are also called "Office 365," such as mail in the cloud). First we'll unpack some differences between traditional MSI-installed Office and the new Click-to-Run (as well as their accompanying licensing models). After that we'll focus on Click-to-Run deployment. Microsoft pushes three main ways to provision Office 365 ProPlus Click-to-Run in your environment; however, knowing the full flexibility of the Office Deployment Toolkit can help you make the correct decisions for how Office should be tested and deployed in your environment. Should you utilize Microsoft's CDN or on-premises source? Should auto updates be enabled or disabled? How can Office 365 be customized? When should a full Office 2013 MSI deployment be used instead of Office 365? Come to this session to learn how to build out Office 365 infrastructure in a way that's ITIL sensitive and compatible with System Center Configuration Manager.


Recently, we asked Darwin to give us a little information about himself. Here's what he shared:


WITPRO: Give us a brief introduction to yourself.

Darwin: I have been working with managing and automating windows for over 20 years.  I thoroughly enjoy sharing my knowledge and scripts with whomever can benefit from them.  I especially enjoy making the day of individual IT professionals when something I've shared helps them become a better master of their craft.

I find my work separates into roughly three major buckets.  Creative Mode is where I revel in understanding challenges and formulating innovative solutions.  Execution Mode is where I focus on the realization of some solutions.  Bug Hunt Mode is where I get to play Sherlock and work - and I love the rush of solving a tough case!


WITPRO: Describe the sessions you are presenting and why you feel the topic is important.

Darwin: I am presenting Office 365 Pro Plus Click to Run (Desktop Applications): Enterprise Deployment Blueprints.  In this session we'll be reviewing Click To Run versus MSI and then launching into the technical design and sample code for creating a ITIL release oriented approach to deploying 365 Pro Plus CTR.

Office 365 Pro Plus Click To Run is a sea change in that a commercial product has basically gone to an agile mode.  The industry emphasis for agile methods has basically been around software that is developed within the same company (whether a commercial software company or in-house development at other companies).  Many IT organizations are trying to understand how to absorb this approach and how much to trust the updates that now touch features, performance and security updates.  Since there is no way to break the three types of updates out they have to decide between slowing down security updates or dramatically speeding up all updates for desktop MS Office applications. 

I feel that there is great benefit in articulating how the Office 365 Pro Plus (desktop applications) can be designed to be more ITIL friendly.  With the technical understanding of both design options: (a) continuous integration and (b) ITIL release integration, companies can choose for themselves what is best.


WITPRO: What should attendees expect to be able to take away from your sessions?

Darwin: An overview of the dramatic differences between MSI and Click To Run in both technical and licensing aspects.  Insights from a full year being the primary deployment engineer for an Office 365 CTR deployment for a company of 20,000 seats (and 17 languages).  Some historically significant Office 365 releases that signify the maturing of the product.  An understanding of the significant limitations of the Click To Run engine versus MSI.  A source folder design and program execution that works with SCCM 2012.  The reasons that scripting is required for an enterprise to use one package to service all their desktops.  PowerShell sample code and config.xml samples.


WITPRO: What is your primary reason to be excited about IT Connections?

Darwin: I've always been a bit of a toolsmith - trying to understand how challenging IT tasks can be made easier - both through sharing actual code as well as structuring explanations to help people over cognitive hurdles to understanding how things work (and how they don't).  I also love learning - whether from attendees with their interesting scenarios and challenges or from other sessions.


WITPRO: What is the one key technology you believe is changing IT right now?

Darwin: I would have to say Software as as Service.  Although SaaS is no longer the new kid (past it's hype-cycle) - it is putting unique and strong pressure on IT as the business can shop at other places.  IT is having a very uneven response as they oscillate between trying to be another player in this Services Marketplace and old habits of using technical constraints to shutdown user choices.  Quite possibly a little former soviet republics trying to become free market countries.  So IT is coming under the pressure of being evaluated like another company in the marketplace - something that is disruptive as older corporate responses to this will not easily fly.  A secondary, and important effect of SaaS is the ability of IT to leverage it to gain efficiency and even gain better ability to meet SLAs as specialized solutions are able to assure that SLA right through to IT's end customer.


WITPRO: Do you think Satya Nadella can rebuild Microsoft into a Cloud powerhouse?

Darwin: All the raw materials and global infrastructure are available for this to happen.  I have been impressed with Microsoft's approach so far.  The opportunity to become a cloud powerhouse is based largely on the massive investment companies have in software built on the MS platforms.  If these softwares can be moved to the cloud with relative ease then I think it can happen.  If, however, companies find it just as easy to re-evaluation all their options when it's time to transition to the cloud - then they will have to work harder.  As with all shifts in business models all the designing and planning has to be done right - but even done right, the results will depend on how the execution.


WITPRO: To get to know the real you, give us one thing about yourself you believe will be of most interest to attendees.

Darwin: I believe that entrepreneurial responses to the commoditization of IT and SaaS are a key to IT's survival and to the survival of individual careers.  Personally I am excited about the application of product management skills to IT service management at a high level.  The IT department becomes analogous to a company and major IT projects to new product launches.  I am also excited to apply principles of Lean Startups at a micro-level of enhancing existing automation streams.  I constantly ask and try to answer "What are the fewest and least disruptive changes we can get away with that deliver a *customer impressing* new capability."  It's delightfully amazing how frequently this perspective can yield a low cost, low risk iterative enhancement to an already working automation stream.



IT/Dev Connections runs from September 15 – 19, at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas. IT/Dev Connections has been designed specifically for IT.

And, there's still time to register!  Here's some important resources to check out:


Windows, System Center, and Cloud Sessions

Travel and Lodging Information

Full Speaker List


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