Microsoft’s Exchange Conference (MEC) is back after a 10-year hiatus. SherWeb’s Sys Admin Simon Poirier and IT Infrastructure Leader Samuel Nadeau will be there—along with pretty much the entire Exchange community. Will you?

It’s not much of a secret that the main topic will be Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (or Exchange 15, depending on who you ask), which is expected to be released sometime very soon. Given all the information that’s already been released on Exchange 2013, like the Exchange Administration Center (EAC), and the browser-based successor to the MMC-based Exchange Management Console (EMC), plus all the information that’s sure to come, is it worth your time and cost to attend MEC?

We think so. Here’s why…

MEC: Back and Better than Before?

MEC 2012 promises to be better than ever with keynotes, lecture halls, class rooms, hands-on labs, whiteboard sessions and more. There’s even an arena where warriors battle it out for Exchange supremacy (Simon thinks he has a good chance of winning; we’ll be rooting for him!).

With an impressive line up of speakers and Exchange leaders on the schedule, there’s bound to be lots of important information coming straight from those who help built it.

Topics to be covered include:

Exchange Server 2013 architecture
Security and protection in Exchange Server 2013
Compliance, eDiscovery and archiving improvements
Exchange Server 2013 managed availability and monitoring
Moving to the cloud with Exchange Online and Office 365

Microsoft’s PR team took the time to sum up why you should attend MEC à la David Letterman top-10 list:


10. The enlightenment – Find out where we’ve been for the last 10 years
9. The one-stop shop – Explore the wide eco-system of Exchange partners, products and training
8. The a-ha moments – Learn something new about Exchange while you’re there
7. It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know – Build personal relationships with the passionate Exchange community
6. To get it off your chest – Share your thoughts, experiences and war-stories on messaging with people who get it
5. To get it off your plate – This is the place to get your old or new gnarly Exchange questions answered
4. To play in our sandbox – Test your current knowledge and brush up on your Exchange 15 skills
3. The inside scoop – Hear exclusive Exchange 15 content delivered directly from the engineering team
2. Be intimate and interactive – Get unparalleled access to the Exchange team and experts all over the conference
1. It’s legendary – If you’ve been to MEC before, you already know

But MEC is also about community. It’s a chance to talk to other professionals who can teach you more about running, managing and deploying technology. There’s also a unique insight to be gained from hearing Exchange engineers describe the technology they work on: what they say, what they don’t say, questions they’re willing to answer, not willing to answer, how deep they go into details, etc. Plus, the insight you can get from a one-on-one discussion of specific issues with an Exchange engineer is certainly worth the cost of a drink. All these opportunities for learning add up to newly-gained knowledge you can bring back home and put to work.

Of course, Simon and Samuel are looking forward to expanding their network of contacts and put faces on all those Microsoft and other Exchange experts they communicate with on a regular basis (not to mention all the goodies that come with attending a conference of this size). But more importantly, the information they soak in over the 3 days will increase their expertise of Exchange 2013 and earlier versions.

As a close and long-standing Microsoft partner, the SherWeb team is in the enviable position of being able to communicate directly with Microsoft on a regular basis when it comes to day-to-day questions and the development of Exchange. But the presentations during MEC will certainly trigger important questions that Samuel and Simon will be able to ask the Exchange gurus face-to-face.

Is there anything you want Samuel and Simon to ask about Exchange 13 or earlier on your behalf? Here’s your chance!

Written by JP Mercier Employee @ SherWeb

JP is SherWeb’s community manager. He has been working for IT companies since 2010, in both the software and cloud computing industry. JP has a degree in communication and specializes in online marketing. As a good Canadian, he is (overly) polite and loves hockey.