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Q&A with Microsoft Partner Andrew Brust on Live! 360

The parent company of Redmond Channel Partner magazine, 1105 Media LLC, also puts on the Visual Studio Live! event series all around the United States. I've been lucky enough to attend a few of the events, and I'm always struck by how much of the content is relevant to partners. Yet the audience is usually dominated by corporate IT developers.

In advance of the year-end blowout show, called Live! 360, I put that question about partner content and a few others to Andrew Brust, a longtime Microsoft partner himself and also one of the conference chairs.

Scott Bekker: Most of the attendees at VS Live! events are corporate IT developers. But a lot of the content seems like it would be pretty informative for developers working at Microsoft partner companies, as well. What are some of the things that a Microsoft partner could take away from VS Live next month?

Andrew Brust: I would say that partner companies, especially if they're systems integrators [SIs], need our content just as urgently as the corporate developers do, if not more so. Corporate IT shops tend to adopt new technologies at a conservative pace (as well they should), but SIs and other partners, who may need to provide guidance on the newer technologies and products, need to be up-to-speed very quickly. Live 360! is great for that. Whether it's the new Visual Studio 2012, the upcoming VS 2013, the new SQL Server 2012, the soon-to-come SQL 2014 or significant changes in SharePoint 2013, there's lots of new stuff to learn and more coming down the pike. We help tame that beast.

Scott: Are there any new capabilities of, or emerging best practices for, Visual Studio that are creating new business opportunities that Microsoft partners should be aware of?

Andrew: As Office 365 matures and reaches greater market penetration, it's creating new opportunities for partners. Getting customers on SharePoint is now far simpler and much less capital-spending-intensive than it once was, for example. Add to that the new app development model that works across Office desktop applications, Office Web Applications and SharePoint (both online and on-premises), and suddenly partner solutions can have much better reach. This impacts both SI partners and ISVs [independent software vendors], and goes a long way toward supporting the legitimacy of CSVs [cloud services vendors] as a new partner category.

Scott: For Microsoft partners, what are the top trends right now with Visual Studio that you've tried to illuminate through sessions at this show?

Andrew: The biggest trend is the orientation of both Visual Studio and .NET apps to the cloud and to HTML 5/JavaScript technologies. Whether it's JavaScript editing inside VS, or use of JavaScript frameworks like jQuery, the experience around deploying to Windows Azure or working with cloud-based ALM [application lifecycle management] tools like Team Foundation Service and its Git integration, this is an industry-wide pivot, and we're helping our attendees acclimate to the Microsoft flavor if it.

Live! 360 consists of four co-located events running from Nov. 18 to 22 in Orlando, Fla.: Modern Apps Live! SharePoint Live! SQL Server Live! and Visual Studio Live! Attendees can register for one of the events and attend sessions in the other three as part of the base registration price. More information is available here.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 08, 2013