CMG Hotness, WVD FTW, and Some EDU Love


It’s been over a year since we last had tacos met as a group of professionals. I’m not going to lie, I taco cheated on all of you. With multiple tacos. I couldn’t go that long. No one should be asked to endure such prolonged abstinence. It’s taken me a while to work through my taco grief but it’s time that we come together and talk tech again. Virtually that is.

April 9 starting around 12:30 we’re going to host our first fully virtual event. Exact technical details to be determined but I’m excited about the speakers we’ve lined up.

Jörgen Nilsson: The CMG Learns New Tricks
When the pandemic hit smart orgs made sure they had a CMG. Each release in 2020 focused on the new WFH reality and along the way the CMG has learned some new tricks. Jörgen is known for being on the top of the Technical Preview game and is going to show us how you can use a CMG to manage Bitlocker, remote control devices, and even bare-metal image them.

Donna Ryan: WVD – FTW or WTF
Windows Virtual Desktop is a new solution that has been quickly gaining attention for its capabilities in allowing application and desktop delivery in work from home scenarios. This session will cover its use cases, prerequisites, and deployment.

Liz Cox: Wait, Microsoft Has an EDU Team Focused on System Management?
Yea, I know! I was today years old when I found out too. Liz is a member of the Microsoft Education product team working on device management for schools via Intune for Education. Liz is going to lay down some truth about what she and her group are trying to do and how they view devices management for EDU.

Again, the technical details (Team, Zoom, Smoke signals) all need to be worked out but for right now SIGN UP HERE.

February Meeting: More Powershell, Win 10 FUs, and some Intune Gaps


It’s winter in Michigan which means it’s time to roll the hard six and try to get together again. Friday February 28th: same time (noon), same place (Kent ISD), and probably the same tacos (why the heck not?!)
Here’s what we’ve got lined up:

Cody Mathis: Pressing the Not Suck Button in PowerShell

Working with PowerShell to make sensical functions that can be built into a module. The focus being on how functions can help clean up your code, and how functions can be “linked” together by implementing pipeline support. Pipeline, whatif, error action. Basically the “advanced functions” stuff!

Colin Wilkins: It was a dark and stormy Tuesday night…

The second Tuesday.
In this session, Colin will bring you through discovering and creating remediations and/or mitigations for some common Windows Update and Windows 10 Feature Update failures. Give management the green circle pie/donut charts they (your job) deserve(s).

Paul Winstanley: Intune-Bridging the OnPrem Gap v2.0 – How things are changing

EM MVP Paul Winstanley will be taking a look at the Intune features which are helping admins move their Windows 10 deployments to the cloud. The session will focus on the changes around AutoPilot, security baselines, Win32 apps, encryption and your day to day management tasks.


October Meeting: Powershell, WIMs, Applications, and a sprinkle of Intune


Time to meet again and to settle into what I hope is a successful pattern: local and remote experts sharing their experience. The line up for this event crosses a whole swath of technology that system admins use every day: Powershell, image customization and maintenance, application deployment, and increasingly … Intune.

We’ll start at noon with some legit tacos care of our sponsor Patch My PC and Taqueria San Jose. Then we’ll move into the real deal:

Donna Ryan: If Donna can script, so can you!

This presentation will cover the lessons learned over the course of the last three months as the speaker learned PowerShell. Topics to help step up your scripting game include creating functions (they help scripts function), parameters (you will probably want these), and logging (steal it with pride!). Plus, the tool she has been working on will be publicly demoed and released!

Chris Thomas: PowerShell Application Deployment Toolkit (PADT)

Even if you’re just starting to learn PowerShell, you can use this powerful toolkit and it’s array of functions to automate and self-document your application installations or workstation tweaks. Sure, SCCM can take an MSI and make your life easier, but what if that teacher wants the shortcut moved or the uninstaller removed from the start menu. PADT can help make your life even easier by enabling you to have better interaction with your users, simplify your deployment tasks and standardize your deployment methodology.

Maurice Daly: How I got Intuned

A long time ConfigMgr expert and MVP three years running, Maurice has spent most of this year helping both small and large enterprise clients embrace Intune in both standalone and co-management methods. In this session he’s going to share his real-world experience to help us better understand some of the hurdles as well as the changes in thinking that modern management entails.

Justin Chalfant: 100% live Patch My PC demo

Justin will show how easy extending SCCM to patch and deploy 325+ third-party products can be! Learn how to offload the tedious work of packaging, deploying, and troubleshooting third-party updates in your SCCM environment.

Patch My PC uses the same software update deployment process as Microsoft updates with no additional servers or client agents required! Use ADR’s, Searches, Software Update Groups, Collections, Deployment Packages, and other familiar options for deploying our third-party updates including helpful options like auto-closing apps, running custom pre/post scripts, removing desktop shortcuts, and disabling self-updates!

They are hoping for a bunch of Q&A throughout the demo as well – so bring your questions!


June Meeting: The Best of MMSMOA 2019

Sign up for free here.

We have managed to strong arm four of Michigan’s own to give us their highlights from the Midwest Management Summit 2019. They will each talk about a small number of sessions that they were particularly excited about and what they plan to do now that they’re back. If you were able to attend come hear about the stuff you missed. If you weren’t there then come get a boat-load of ideas to take back to your organization.

Starting around noon with lunch provided by Recast Software. Bring any questions you have and we’ll stick around afterwards and bandy about ideas as long as people would like.

Cody Mathis: Watch as Cody excites you with tall tales about securing your ConfigMgr environment and how to get real time with ConfigMgr’s new CMPivot and Scripts features.

Donna Ryan: Don’t miss Donna waxing poetically about the new PowerShell Deployment Extension Kit (PSD) and the wild and wonderful world of patching. She will finish things off with a stargazing session into the future of ConfigMgr.

Ryan Hansard: Come let Ryan drop some knowledge on you that’ll get your Windows 10 projects moving as he discusses Windows as a Service and Win 10 customizations.

Jordan Benzing: Jordan’s going to talk about some stuff. Mostly because we’re making him. Something about secure remote administration with Admin Center and PowerShell. It should be fine. That guy really likes PowerShell.

Sign up for free here.

Beer with Nash: Wed May 1st @ Founders

Ok, this is all happening faster than I had planned but I’m just gonna roll with it.

Many of you know the man, the myth, the legend that is Nash Pherson. For those that don’t: Nash was a Microsoft Enterprise Client Management MVP for four years before joining Microsoft itself as a Customer Success Manager. He now spends his days helping Midwest state and local governments modernize their workplace with
Win 10, Office 365, EM+S/SystemCenter. The man is just a ball of passion, knowledge, and experience.

Nash is going to be in town, loves beer, but hasn’t been to a single Grand Rapids brewery. Someday I hope to give him the grand tour but for right now I figured just the mothership will do. So come join us at Founders on Wednesday night somewhere around 6:30. This is totally informal and unplanned beyond those details. So here’s hoping it’s not packed and we can find a table.

How to find us there? Great question, look at our Twitter profile pictures ( @bdam55 and @kidmystic) and hope for the best.

Just for giggles I did set up an Eventbrite event that you can see off to the right. As a simple test of the system I’d appreciate if you’d sign up there. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to be notified of future events.

WMiSMUG Is Now A Thing!

If Twitter is to be believed, and I believe everything I read on the internet, there’s a certain amount of interest in gathering of systems management professionals here on the west side of the state. The east side already has a most excellent MISCUG but some of us are lazy and don’t like driving. Doubly so in blizzards.

The good news is that we have a great local sponsor willing to host us: ITS Partners. They are getting ready to move into a beautiful new space in Ada and have a long history of excellent in system management. And I’m not just saying that because they’re going to sponsor and host us: I’ve used their services over the years and they’ve been awesome. Additionally I’ve reached out to a few other companies that work in this space and are interested in sponsoring as well.

More importantly, we a lot of local talent that we can lean-on and abuse to provide great content. The only real tie that binds right now is ‘systems management’ which is to say “how the hell do we manage all these devices?” If that’s a question you ask yourself daily then this is the group for you. I know that a lot of us are familiar with Microsoft’s long-standing products such as Active Directory, Group Policy, Configuration Manager, etc. However, we’re open to any management stack or even non-Windows stuff. Heck, I might even force a good friend of mine who consults for VMWare’s AirWatch to tell us how it really works.

In terms of timing, I hope to have our first meeting sometime in the May-July time frame. We had an informal meet-n-great at New Union brewery a few months ago and decided that Friday afternoons are our best bet. The plan is to coordinate with the aforementioned MISCUG and alternate our schedules to avoid anything close to a conflict. If you want to attend a user group every other month or so we hope to make that possible. If things really go well the longer-term plan is to occasionally combine our resources and do some day-long events in Lansing.

If you’d like to join us be sure to signup for our newsletter (up and to the right) and we’ll shoot you an email when we start scheduling events. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter: @WMiSMUG