I am excited to be a part of such a great group of strategists, hopefully bringing insight into the technology decisions you need to make over the coming months and years. My name is Bob Ballard, and I am the Principal Cloud Strategist for Planet Technologies and help lead a team of Strategist with a combined 50+ years of experience working for Microsoft. If it has happened in IT over the last 20 years, and Microsoft was involved in any way, this team has lived it. Our goal is to bring to you insightful conversations that we come across in our everyday job of helping paint the picture of the journey to the cloud. Jerry Martin, Aaron Ward, and George Scott, and myself will be bringing you information on current technology trends, hard choices our customers must make, and our perspective on both. In the coming weeks you will see a regular cadence of posts on this blog rotating perspectives between each of the Strategists on the team. Our goal is for each of us to write at least one post per month, so that we can bring you our perspectives roughly every week once you multiply that by the four of us. I look forward to this new regular connection to our customers on the horizon, but before I go, I should get down to the true assignment for this Planet Strategist blog post #1…. About me.
I started my IT journey 25 years ago by accident at a charitable foundation. I just so happened to be the most technically savvy member of the organization when there was a break-in and all of our (decidedly ancient even for then) equipment was stolen. I pieced together a new network, PC’s, and Server form the donations we received and decided this was much more fun than applying the Business Degree I spent all those years pursuing. I was off to the races in the tech world in an era of explosive growth in IT. I stopped off at a few Microsoft Partners worked with some awesome people, and ended up at Microsoft. Over the years, I covered AD, Windows, Exchange, SMS, SharePoint, Unified Communications, and much more before I became one of two. We were the first “cloud” technologist in all of Microsoft Public Sector. From early services (remember Live Meeting and Frontbridge?) to BPOS, O365 and eventually Azure we broke ground in Public Sector and helped many customers lead the way to the cloud. After 14 years at Microsoft, I decided I wanted to get even one-step closer to my customers and made the leap to Planet where I have been helping those very customers take their acquisition and make it a reality. On a personal note: I am a Dad, a Husband, and a Lacrosse guy (although that means cheering on – and coaching- my daughters today.) That’s all for now… Talk to you soon.