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APRIL 2010

Form and List

  • Name Change and Rebranding

    Although some time has passed since the official switch to the name GITCA on December 1st, 2009 occasionally you may still come across a current reference to Culminis. This means that we haven’t found it and you have! We believe that we have now tracked down most of the references [a much bigger task than we expected] but if you should come across one please email info@GITCA.org.

    All of the technical changes have now been completed to accommodate the new domain name of http://www.gitca.org/. If you are still experiencing any problems with SharePoint hosting for example, please contact technical@GITCA.org.

    For those of you with hosted SharePoint sites the URL for your site should now be - ug.GITCA.org\sites\mygroup\default.aspx and your account names are now GITCA\xxxx If you haven’t yet replaced the Culminis logo on your website please do so as soon as possible. The new GITCA logo can be found at - "http://itpro.community.officelive.com/newlogo.aspx. Please follow the guidelines for the use of the logo listed on this webpage.

  • Social Networking

    GITCA is now on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

    To join the group on LinkedIn, go to: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=144364&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

    To join the Facebook group, go to: http://www.facebook.com/ftutone?ref=profile#!/group.php?gid=10951654533

    To follow GITCA on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/GITCAORG

  • SharePoint Technical Support

    SharePoint technical support is provided by 2 great GITCA volunteers, Tobiasz Koprowski [Poland] and Ricardo Munoz [Costa Rica] plus much appreciated help from Microsoft where necessary. By way of a reminder you can find the instructions regarding hosted SharePoint sites on the Technical Support page of the GITCA website. In particular we would like to draw your attention to the Change Password and Add User functions. We get many requests for assistance around these two items which leads us to wonder if the process and instructions could be better. Therefore please provide your feedback to technical@GITCA.org on the following questions:

    • Is there something missing or unclear on the Technical Support page or the linked Account Management [password management] or the Add User [new account] pages?
    • Can we make it easier for people to find the necessary instructions?
    • Could the instructions be presented differently to make them easier to understand?
    • Is it clear that contacting technical@GITCA.org is the first thing to do if there is a problem?

  • GITCA at TechEd North America in New Orleans, June 7 – 10, 2010

    Come to our booth in the Community Lounge area, meet the Global and NORAM senior executive team to build connections, relationships, share your ideas, definitely have fun [we had a great time last year in Los Angeles], and to be involved in making a difference in YOUR community. Last year was a huge success from our standpoint and we aim to better ourselves this year. Contact Graham Jones (Chair Global Board) or Tim Vander Kooi (NORAM Regional Board Chair) before or during the conference if you wish to speak to us specifically and we will be very pleased to arrange to meet you in person.

    This will be the first time that we will be at TechEd North America under our new name and branding of GITCA. A lot has happened since last year’s event including a complete and challenging infrastructure change. We thank you most sincerely for your patience and cooperation throughout all of the changes without which we could not have made it this far. Although this will be the first time for GITCA at TechEd North America, please note that our first appearance under the new name at a TechEd will be at TechEd India, April 12 – 14, in Bangalore.

    The feedback that we received at TechEd last year showed clear support for emerging with a new name and identity. We hope that we have fulfilled that request to your reasonable satisfaction thus far. We are very aware that there is still much more to be accomplished before we can fully meet your needs. With your help we will get there! We would like to thank all of you who helped along the way regarding the name and branding. The general reaction has been very positive. Come and join us at our booth to celebrate our new identity and above all have fun!

  • TechEd North America 2010 Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) Sessions

    GITCA will be running the IT Pro BOF sessions again this year. Last year was our first experience as a volunteer organization. We are grateful to our very experienced INETA Noram colleagues who guided us through our “rookie” year. Based upon last year’s experience some changes in format were suggested and we are pleased to tell you that they were largely accepted. The most obvious change will be the addition of some panel sessions in contrast to the traditional facilitated audience discussion sessions around a specific topic. Of course audience participation is what BOF is all about. BOF has been a tremendously successful component of TechEd for several years and is enthusiastically supported and promoted by Microsoft. Make sure that you fit in some BOF sessions if you are attending TechEd.

  • The ACM needs your help

    The ACM [http://www.acm.org/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_for_Computing_Machinery] is one of the oldest and most prestigious IT organizations in the world. You perhaps didn’t know but they also happen to be members of GITCA. So let’s give them our best support.

    From time to time the ACM puts together what they call Tech Packs. Currently they are recruiting some practitioner reviewers for the Cloud Computing Tech Pack which will probably be ready for review by the end of April/beginning of May. If you are interested in volunteering for this special opportunity please send your contact information to David Schneider schneider@hq.acm.org or Lillian Israel Israel@hq.acm.org. GITCA is very privileged to have this opportunity.

    Tech Packs are integrated learning packages on a particular technical area geared especially for Practitioners (software developers, engineers). These packages are put together by a Committee who selects materials and draft the annotation (on why these resources are important for practitioners). The core materials for the Tech Pack are an annotated bibliography built around resources from the ACM Digital Library (magazines, journals, conference proceedings, etc.), multimedia content – videos, podcasts, webinars, etc., as well as the ACM online book and course collections offered through Books24x7, Safari, and Element K, respectively. In addition, non-ACM materials may be included as well (e.g., free courseware, etc.). A group of practitioners will be asked to review the selections in the Tech Packs based on the following criteria:

    • Do the selected resources in the Tech Pack provide you with knowledge you can use on your job? If not, why not, and which ones?
    • Are the resources in the Tech Pack practitioner-oriented? If not, which ones aren’t and why not?
    • Do the annotations about the resources adequately describe why they are important to practitioners? Is more or revised annotation necessary?
    • Do the selected resources give you a good understanding of the topic(s) covered? What level of understanding are these resources geared for – novice, intermediate, master?
    • Do these resources provide you with an understanding of the topic(s) not easily found elsewhere?
    • Are there any other resources (ACM and non-ACM) – articles, multimedia content (videos, podcasts, online books/courses) – that you would recommend including in this Tech Pack?

    Also, since the concept of Tech Packs is currently evolving, the ACM is interested in your suggestions for the specific Tech Pack Committee or ACM’s Professional Development Committee?

  • New Websites

    The work towards the new websites is progressing and we hope to have something for your feedback soon. Like most “temporary” websites the current site has turned out to be more “permanent” than we initially hoped or intended. However, as an interim measure the current Office Live site is being “transformed” into a SharePoint 2010 site so that you can get a flavor of what the new sites might look like.

  • Community Recognition Program

    The efforts of Associations, User Groups and individuals who consistently display excellence in supporting and growing the IT community deserve our heartfelt thanks and some well deserved recognition. Accordingly we are working on a new Community Recognition Program to be introduced under the GITCA name.

    Like many best laid plans this has not yet progressed as far as we would like. That does not mean that it is not regarded as important and we are still very keen to get your input on what you think the program should look like and the kind of rewards that might be appropriate. This program is to recognize and applaud what you and your members bring to the community. Please send your input to info@GITCA.org.

  • Elections and Volunteering

    Very soon we will be contacting you regarding open positions that will be available for the 4 Regional Boards and the Global Board. The ability for GITCA to prosper and grow is only as good as the number, quality and dedication of the volunteers that run it. Please consider applying for one of the vacant positions. If you consider the possible demands of a Board position too much we are always looking for assistance in other ways, for example contributions to Global and Regional newsletters or assistance in compiling newsletters. If you wish to help in any way please contact your Regional Chair [listed at the end of this newsletter] or email info@GITCA.org.

  • Microsoft News

    Microsoft has opened up the UGSS ordering system to allow user groups *outside the USA* to order Leader Assistance Kits during April. Any GITCA leader who hasn’t received one and would like one should register on http://www.msugss.com immediately to ensure that they are able to order a kit. This will be the last opportunity to order one of these kits until the fall at the earliest. Shipment of the kits will not commence until the ordering process is closed at the end of April. Leaders who have their user group registered within the UGSS system and have not already received a Leader Assistance Kit will receive an email early in April advising them that they may order a kit and explaining how to do so. If you didn’t receive an email and you believe that you should have done please contact ugss@microsoft.com

    This “Leader Assistance Kit” is designed to provide you with some tools which we hope will help you to market, build and strengthen your group, as well as providing content which we hope you will find useful for some of your meetings [for example NFR copies of Windows 7 as draw prizes]. We put great importance on your opinions, and will send you an email survey after you have had time to use the content so that you can tell us what we can do to make any future kits more valuable to you.

  • Operitel eLearning Portal

    Operitel offers a minimum of 50% discount off the regular price of Microsoft eLearning courses for members of GITCA groups. Your members can take advantage of this great offer at http://GITCA.itskillbuilder.com.

    Stephen Ibaraki Interviews of Prominent People in the Industry

    Over the past few months Stephen Ibaraki has been very busy interviewing many of the industry’s prominent people and we have a small sample for you here:

    Barry Sellers: Distinguished Fellow, International Technology and Professionalism Top-Authority, Chair CNP Council, Chief Judge International Awards for Professionalism, Executive Board Director and Vice-Chairman NPA

    Barry has served as a member of the NPA Board of Directors and other senior positions since the early 90s' for the Network Professional Association (NPA) and most recently as Treasurer/CFO. During his tenure, he has championed, revamped, documented and implemented the NPA Certified Network Professional Certification or CNP and is currently working on the Associate Certified Network Professional Certification (ACNP) that focuses on professionalism and ethics, which will be a requirement for the Certified Network Professional Certification. He has held all of the officer positions on the Board of Directors including Chairman over that time. He was awarded the Distinguished Fellow of the Network Professional Association (DFNPA) in 2005. Barry also serves as Treasurer on the NORAM Board for GITCA.

    Alex Lin [London School of Economics (LSE) Alumni] shares his deep insights into his participation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the global leaders summit in New York, how he built the world's largest sales channel for Intel, founded the world's largest online professional business media and service ChinaValue.net, and his thoughtful discussions with world leaders.

    Alex Lin Yong Qing is the leading international business and information technology authority, founder and CEO of ChinaValue.net, the world's largest top-ranked online business media, professional social networking service, and business marketplace intelligence service. ChinaValue has an audience of 60 million, extensive national and international partnerships, and an employee researcher contributor base of 500,000 - making it the single largest repository of business know-how in the world. In late 2009, the London School of Economics (LSE) profiled Alex in "Blazing Trails", due to his unique success as an entrepreneur and visionary innovator transforming the world. Alex is also working with GITCA in the APAC region.

    Greg Lane I.S.P., ITCP, IP3P, MBA, Global Top-Ranking Executive, International Thought Leader, Chairman CIPS, Chairman IP3, Director Avanade.

    Greg was the 2008/9 Chair of the Canadian Council of Information Technology Professionals (CCITP) of the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) and 2008-present Chair of the CIPS Office of the Executive Council. In 2009, Greg was appointed Chair of the International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3), a global initiative under the UNESCO-founded International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) to lead the development of a global IT profession.

  • Hear Directly from Microsoft Experts and Top Managers

    John Oxley, Microsoft Director; Leading Multi-Award Winning International Technology Authority and Executive; John talks about the drivers for strong leadership plus shares his top career tips and lessons.

    John is a multiple-award winning Director of Technical Audience Marketing and ICT Evangelism at Microsoft Canada. In this role, John leads and manages a team of Technical Audience Marketing Managers and Senior Technical Advisors that reach out and connect across the ICT industry. Business success, as his mandate, is measured by the technical professional's satisfaction and platform adoption. His team of select Evangelists, Advisors and Marketing Managers are Microsoft Canada's ambassadors to the ICT community; connecting, supporting and enabling the technical professional and industry. From Academia and across the Industry, his team focuses on driving industry awareness, education, training and adoption of Microsoft solutions through events, industry/community involvement and direct engagement. His globally No. 1 ranked team of Advisors and Marketing managers work exclusively in reaching out to diverse communities leveraging social media, community connections and more.

    John is very well respected at Microsoft Redmond and at Microsoft Canada, plus in the overall Canadian and global community. John is an acknowledged top-ranked speaker, blogger, web-caster, business executive and international thought leader.

  • Focus on Microsoft Research

    Some of us may be aware of Microsoft Research but probably few of us are aware of some of the truly distinguished people and great minds that are behind the products from Microsoft. Over the next few months we will profile some of these people. We tend to think of Microsoft in terms of its products and be unaware of some of the truly pioneering and unique technology that underpins them.

    Charles (Chuck) Thacker, ACM Turing Award Recipient, Legendary computing pioneer, world-renowned distinguished researcher, inventor, and engineer.

    The award was announced --March 2010. Chuck is the legendary computing pioneer, world-renowned distinguished researcher, inventor, and engineer whose innovations influence every part of our lives. Take a moment to carefully read Chuck's profile. Many of the foundational computing elements we use today (WYSIWYG PCs, Ethernet, Laser printing, High speed and peer networks, Multi-processor computing, Tablet computers, Parallel/multi-core/multi-threading, ..) can be directly traced to original innovations from Chuck. Chuck is also key to the founding of the most famous research labs including: XEROX PARC, DEC SRC (Systems Research Center), and Microsoft Research Cambridge UK.

    The ACM Turing Award is widely considered the Nobel Prize of Computing carrying a $250,000 cash prize. Chuck is the second hardware engineer to receive the Turing Award; the last one given out in the 1960s'. Chuck will receive the award in June.