System Center Universe Europe – this was SCU 2014

The annual community conference “System Center Universe 2014 Europe” was executed September 17-19 2014 in Basel-Switzerland. 370 people from 20 different countries made it to the conference to learn, present, discuss, meet and have fun. From the feedback we received so far (and also from our personal view), the conference was a great success. This blog post is a recap of the organization team with the most important things that happened as well as a collection of blogs, videos and pictures that others created (and that will be updated continuously over time). Have fun reading! And make sure you are part of this amazing conference next year!

The location

SCU 2014 Europe was run in the “Congress Basel”, one of the largest conference centers we have in Switzerland. The foyer, the central place where all the sponsor booths were located, allowed enough options to network and relax. All sessions rooms can be reached within 1 minute which makes is very easy not only to reach the rooms, but also to change rooms between sessions. The 5 session rooms could carry a good amount of people:

  • San Francisco: Up to 400
  • Singapore: Up to 200
  • Sidney: Up to 200
  • Osaka/Samarkand: Up to 100
  • Miami: Up to 16 (for side meetings only)

If we decide to stay in this conference center for future SCU conferences, we of course have the option to allow more attendees in the different rooms. Running conferences with up to 1500 attendees is absolutely possible and we can also add additional rooms if needed – however, our plan is to keep the conference “familiar” and don’t make it too big. Beside the main rooms we had an “Ask the Experts” area where attendees could talk to our experts (speakers and sponsors) and a speaker room where speakers could prepare their sessions and relax. The terrace was optimal for smokers and people that just wanted to get some fresh air.

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The sponsors

17 sponsors supported us for this year’s conference. Only because of this support we are able to make SCU Europe a first class event in a top conference center, with the finest food and beverages and cool parties. Again, thanks to all our sponsors that supported us from a financial strandpoint but if course also with their sessions and exhibition area presence!

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Special Sponsor

Country Ambassadors

Conference Host and General Sponsor

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The speakers

This year we could again engage with more than 35 top speakers – many of them already supported us last year. More than 25 MVPs as well as many other community leaders and experts came to Basel to make this event what it finally was. They presented awsome sessions, were available for discussions at the ask-the-experts area and also made a great job during the parties 🙂 Thanks guys for your support and whenever you need our help we will be there for you as well!

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The sessions

We launched the conference with a nice intro video that presented all the speakers of the conference. In case you missed it or could not attend SCU in person, you can watch the video here. The “Welcome Note” was then used to not only welcome the attendees, but also to give them the most important information about the conference to make sure they have a comfortable stay. During the conference we presented 60+ breakout sessions. The main topics we covered were the following:

  • Windows Operating Systems
  • Cloud & Datacenter Management
  • Enterprise Client Management
  • Security
  • Azure

During 60 minutes, the speakers presented latest news and best practices with a combination of slide decks and live demos. The only session I want to mention here is the  conference keynote. we had the plan to use another keynote format than usual. As SCU is a technical conference, we wanted to have multiple well-known speaker to present the session together. With Mike Resseler as the keynote host and Andreas Baumgarten, Pete Zerger and Travis Wright (all fellow CDM MVPs that did a great job) as the speakers that each took care about one part we had a great mix of knowledge on stage. The topic we have chosen was “DevOps” that should show the audience how their workstyle will and should change in the (very) near future. Based on the feedback we received, this keynote style was very good accepted by the audience and encourages us to choose it again next year.

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The parties

During the conference we hosted 3 official SCU parties to make sure people that attended the conference have enough options to network and of course have lots of fun as well!

  • SCU Sponsors & Speakers Party

On conference day 1 we hosted a private party for the people and companies that supported SCU from ground up – our sponsors and speakers. At the “Bar Rouge”, a cool bar on the 31st floor at the Ramada Hotel in Basel we had a private area with nice food and drinks and of course good music. Drink of the evening? White Russian, what else?

  • SCU Attendee Networking Party

On conference day 2 we had a cool networking party in the conference center. Beside nice drinks and food we had 2 nice show acts. The “Hot Sax Club” – 4 girls with saxophones – animated the audience and knew how to play with the (mostly) male attendees. A young breakdance crew from Switzerland brought a real party feeling to the house. After the official part many of us ended up in the “Bar Rouge” again where we enjoyed some nice drinks.

  • SCU Closing Party (sponsored by Cireson & itnetx)

To close down the conference we went to the club “SUD” in Basel where we enjoyed the last evening together with a buffet and drinks. At 10pm the club opened the doors to the public and we were in the middle of a 90s party where some stayed until the early morning hours.

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The feedback

The feedback we received so far (we are still collecting) for the conference was phenomenal. We will continue collection and update this information frequently. This really encourages us, thanks for the great feedback!

SCU Overall Rating

SCU Session and Speaker Lineup

SCU Conference Center

SCU Location next year

SCU recommend to others

Some quotes from the feedback:

  • Keep the good things up!
  • Thanks for the great event. Looking forward to SCU 2015!
  • Thanks that was great. Good job!
  • Keep up the awesome work!
  • Great conference, keep up the excellent work, will definitely visit next year!
  • Great work, loved SCU!
  • Was a great SCU, happy to join next year again!
  • You did an amazing job!
  • Nothing else, just to say it once again: good place, great sessions, fantastic food & party!
  • Great WiFi at the venue!
  • Thank you so much for a great conference, really enjoyed it and will come back next time for sure. Thank you itnetx (especially Marcel Zehner) for arranging this!
  • Go on with SCU!
  • Will definitely be present 2015. Organisers of SCU 2015 Europe did a superb job!
  • Looking forward to SCU 2015 Europe!
  • Well done, carry on! Good luck for the next years!
  • Very well organized!
  • Thanks for the good time!
  • Thanks to the organization team, the staff and all speakers!

What are others saying about SCU 2014 Europe? Check out these links to different resources from attendees, speakers and others.

The future

So what’s next with SCU Europe? The only thing I can say now is this: “After the conference is before the conference”, that means that we will definitely continue with SCU in Europe and we will be back next year for sure! With an even better conference quality! For that we will closely look at your feedback and take this into consideration once we start planning. And this will happen very soon! So make sure you watch out for our first announcements for SCU 2015 Europe! Until then have a great time and keep SCU 2014 Europe in good memories!

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About Marcel Zehner

Microsoft Azure MVP
This entry was posted in Events/Speaking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to System Center Universe Europe – this was SCU 2014

  1. Pingback: System Center Universe - Disaster Recovery with Azure Site Recovery - Server Talk

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