So, I've been telling all of you for years that your feedback is valuable, but there's one sure fire way to make sure you have an impact on the shipping product - that's to take part in our Technology Adoption Program (TAP). The TAP (no - not TAP Program - that's redundant, like a GUI Interface - yuck!) is the group of customers that works INCREDIBLY closely with the SCCM product team in the early stages of the product lifecycle to ensure we hit the right feature and quality bar in what we ship. Or, like I used to tell our customers - "to ensure we never ship another SMS 2.0 quality release again". The TAP is AMAZING in what they do. For SMS 2003, we had over 250,000 managed nodes in production at release, running hundreds of scenarios in a box that we provided to make sure that all possible product scenarios got validation. The SMS 2003 TAP submitted over 300 design change requests, and over 1/2 of them made it into the product. Things like Delta Rep to the DP were because the TAP customers told us this was important.
The current SCCM 07 TAP is up and going strong with customers putting B1 and B1 refresh into production already. But we want to bring another group on at the B2 timeframe to get us new deployments, with even more feedback. Key features like Desired Config Mgmt, Internet based client management, Wake on LAN, device mgmt for Smartphones, and a TON more OS Deployment will be appearing in B2. So, this is a great time to get in and help shape the product.
Here is a summary of the program requirements, and program benefits:
· Prior to program participation, have a signed TAP Agreement and Configuration Manager 2007 (SMSv4) TAP description on file with Microsoft. (will be sent to customers meeting the final selection criteria, or is available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org )
· Commit to providing resources for the duration of the program.
· Provide a project plan for deployment.
· Deploy the Configuration Manager 2007 management client to 2000 or more computers within 14 days of Beta 2 availability; Upgrade server and managed clients at any additional pre-release milestone within 14 days of availability.
· Upgrade to the RTM version of Configuration Manager 2007 within 30 days of RTM availability.
· Participate in public relations activities as identified in the TAP agreement and the Configuration Manager 2007 Program description.
· Have a Microsoft Premier Support contract which includes a Microsoft Technical Account Manager resource.
· If upgrading an existing Systems Management Server installation, Service Pack 2 of Systems Management Server 2003 must be installed with SQL 2005.
· A head start in the next deployment cycle, taking advantage of new and enhanced features available in Configuration Manager 2007.
· A dedicated Program Manager contact in the Configuration Manager Product Group.
· Regularly scheduled conference calls with a member of the Configuration Manager Customer Team. Discussions will include deployment planning, feedback, feature review presentations from members of the Product Group, and other customer driven topics.
· Production certified pre-release builds of the product.
· Onsite visits from members of the product group at key deployment milestones in the program.
· Support and deployment guidance from the Configuration Manager Product Group, as well as 24x7 support for production deployment issues.
So, getting involved is as easy as filling out the survey at
Now, you guys know me - I'm all for transparency. This is NOT a program to just download the software and tinker with it. This is not an investment, but a commitment. If you want to know the difference, it's as simple as breakfast. The chicken - invested. The pig - committed. So, make sure you look at the requirements for the program. But, for those of you that can, this is the BEST way possible for you to ensure that the product we ship most completely matches your specific needs. You a services partner? Find a customer and get them nominated, and then learn the product ahead of the marketplace with one customer so you're ready to handle the tidal wave that will be SCCM 07 next summer. Either, way, this is a great opportunity. Any other questions, contact SMSCust@microsoft.com for more info.
Thanks as always!
Lead Program Manager - SCCM