IT/Dev Connections 2016 Speaker Highlight: Michael Van Horenbeeck

IT/Dev Connections 2016 Speaker Highlight: Michael Van Horenbeeck

Part of an ongoing series, we're highlighting the excellent speakers we have handpicked to present phenomenal and extremely valuable content at the IT/Dev Connections conference. Want more? Get the Insider’s Scoop About IT/Dev Connections 2016 on September 8!

This speaker highlight is Michael Van Horenbeeck.


Michael's IT/Dev Connection sessions:

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


ITDC: Give us a brief introduction to you.

Michael: My official name is Michael Van Horenbeeck, but in the community most people know me by my nickname "Van Hybrid". Unlike most nicknames, I didn't pick this one myself, but it was sort-of given to me by fellow MVPs after they noticed I couldn't shut up about Hybrid (Exchange) deployments :-D. This was in a period where hybrid was a relatively new concept and thus a very exiting topic (it still is!). Over the years, I have worked with many, many customers to help them deploy (or troubleshoot) a hybrid deployment in almost every possible shape, way or form. Today, because of how hybrid connectivity and configuration has improved dramatically, I'm less (pre-)occupied with the actual setup of a hybrid environment, but more involved with how to get most (value) out of your deployment and how you can leverage other technologies to securely operate such a setup.


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

Michael: Both sessions I am presenting are tidbits from the real world. Based on my experience as a consultant, I gathered the most interesting (customer) stories and molded them into the sessions I will be presenting. The "day in the life of an O365 consultant" session mostly discusses the (technical) challenges you face as a consultant --mostly due to the odd or outright bizarre requirements some customers have. The second session is about how to leverage (new and other) Microsoft technologies to complement an Office 365/Hybrid deployment. That sessions are also heavily geared towards securing your environment/data. Security is a hot topic these days. It's an important one too. Hence this session to show you what is possible and how other companies are using these technologies to build some very neat solutions to meet their specific requirements.

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

Michael: Lots of things! First, attendees should be able to take away the real-world challenges of migrating to Office 365. I'm not only talking about SSL certificates, but also challenges around data location, security and perhaps even company-politics. I also really want attendees to understand what great things they can do with the various features available to them. For example, the features inside EMS/Azure AD Premium are nothing short of amazing, and I believe more organizations should embrace them!


ITDC: What is your primary reason to be excited about IT/Dev Connections?

Michael: It's the one conference I would gladly pay for myself to attend because it provides you information about how technology is used out in the real-world. Many other conferences provide information about technologies, how they were designed and how they are supposed to work. And there's the catch. Technology isn't always used in the way that is supposed to, and often doesn't behave the way you expect either. Because the conference is so focused on providing real-world information, every single session will provide you with at least a few tidbits you didn't know because they are badly or not documented at all. THAT is the real value. People talking about the practical use of technology rather than the theory of it.


ITDC: What is the one key technology you believe is changing the technology industry right now?

Michael: It might sound a little cheesy, but I would say "cloud" in general. I realize it's a buzz-word, but all cloud-technologies, more specifically because of the speed at which they evolve, leave a big mark on how technology is used and how organizations adapt to new technologies/usage cases/features. It's an exciting time to realize what various cloud-related technologies unlock in terms of usage scenarios, empowering organization (and thus their end users) to do more things, more securely in a more flexible way than they were ever able to do before.


ITDC: Assuming attendees want to know, what’s your favorite, non-technical hobby or pastime? What’s one thing that totally irks you.

Michael: I'll let you in a little secret: I've been practicing martial arts for the better part of my life and am an avid practitioner (and instructor) of Krav Maga; a self-defence system originally developed in Israel. Now that you know this, we should perhaps talk about my scores on the upcoming session evals, don't you think? ;-)



IT/Dev Connections runs from October 10 – October 13, at the ARIA Resort in Las Vegas. IT/Dev Connections has been designed specifically for IT, DevOps, and Developers. You can read all about what IT/Dev Connections offers you HERE.

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


Topic Tracks

Full Sessions Catalog

Pre-conference Workshops

Travel and Lodging Information


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