Organizers

So who is putting this shindig together, anyway?

Comms vNext is a passion project that is being organized by Microsoft MVPs with a desire to bring a Microsoft UC-focused conference back to the scene. The specific desire of these individuals is to create a conference that focuses solely on Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and the future of Microsoft UC as a whole. Think Lync Conference, but by the Community (More on that Here). Meet the team:

 

Josh Blalock - comms vNext

Josh Blalock (@GetCsJosh)

MVP: Office Servers & Services
Sr Microsoft UC Technical Consultant, Integration Partners
Josh’s background includes lengthy roles in various versions of Windows Server, Exchange, and Active Directory, as well as moderate experience managing and implementing ISA 2006, SharePoint 2007 R2, Office Communications Server 2007 R2, and Hyper-V.

Within the last couple years, Josh’s career has strongly taken root in the Unified Communications path with Lync Server 2013, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Office 365. He has been immersed in a wide variety of Lync Server 2013 and Skype for Business Server 2015 deployments during this time, including lots of Hybrid fun, and has gained a great deal of knowledge that he hopes to share with others as they find their way through this complex product suite. Follow Josh on Twitter at @GetCsJosh, and check out his #TeamsRecap webcast series on YouTube.

Jonathan McKinney - Comms vNext

Jonathan McKinney (@ucomsgeek)

MVP: Office Servers & Services
Senior Unified Communications Architect, Time2Market
Senior Unified Communications Architect at Time2Market, a Blogger at “ucomsGeek Blog“, and a leader of the Colorado Unified Communications User Group (COUCUG).

Prior to joining Time2Market, I spent 11 years working in the services organization at Nortel/Avaya. However, going back even further, I started working on Microsoft products back on Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups, and actually hold an MCSE on Windows NT 4.0 (earned the hard way). I pride myself in being a true Converged Engineer… being able to communicate with the network engineer, voice engineer, server administrator, and business leaders in their native terminology and being able bring them all together on the same page when deploying Microsoft Unified Communication solutions.

Adam Ball - comms vNext

Adam Ball (@AdamCBall)

MVP: Office Servers & Services
Solutions Architect Team Lead, ConvergeOne
Adam Ball is a Solution Architect Team Lead for the Microsoft practice at ConvergeOne. Adam holds top level certifications from Microsoft and VMware. Since 2014, Adam has been a part of the Microsoft MVP Program.

Adam has been working in Information Technology for 20 years. During that time, he has spent over half of it doing consulting for clients around the world. His background includes a vast array of technologies from Unix/Linux systems to Virtualization to Unified Communications. He has had to support large networks and can tap into those skills in order to speak across technical lines to help keep projects moving. Adam currently works with Microsoft Unified Communications products such as Skype for Business, Office365 and Exchange.

In addition to his full time role as a consultant, Adam leads the Denver-based Colorado Unified Communications User Group. The goal of the user group is to build community among UC professionals and to share information around UC solutions. Adam helped found the group in May of 2011.

When not working with clients solving business problems or interacting with the user group, Adam likes to spend time outdoors in the mountains of Colorado with his family.

Pat Richard - comms vNext

Pat Richard (@patrichard)

MVP: Office Servers & Services
Principal Architect – Microsoft UC, VOSS Solutions
Pat Richard is the Principal Architect for Microsoft UC at VOSS Solutions. Pat is well known as a thought leader in the Unified Communications space. With more than two decades of experience with Microsoft technology, Pat is a leading authority in Skype for Business, PowerShell, and Microsoft Exchange related projects including migration, upgrades, design, and automation. Pat’s scripts have been used to deploy and manage millions of seats on Microsoft platforms. Pat was awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status in 2006 and has received 11 MVP awards to date. He brings to the role a deep understanding of Microsoft UC, and a wealth of field experience. Prior to VOSS, Pat spent eight years as a Principal Professional Services Consultant at Innervation, carrying out migration projects and implementing complex messaging infrastructures. Pat is also an accomplished author, having most recently written “Skype for Business Unleashed”. Visit Pat’s blog at https://ucunleashed.com, and follow him on Twitter @PatRichard.