My latest interview with Jaap Wesselius, Microsoft Exchange Server MVP, left me feeling extremely motivated! With only 24 hours in a day, Jaap somehow succeeds in being a Managing Consultant in the Netherlands, a writer for multiple tech blogs, an author, a presenter, the founder of the Dutch Hyper-V community, an active Tweeter, etc.
AND let’s not forget, last but certainly not least, a proud father of 3! Phew, is there a calendar in the world big enough to keep his schedule?
As you can imagine, I was absolutely amazed when Jaap so quickly accepted my interview request. Jaap and I not only discussed his Microsoft specialty, we touched on his involvement in social media and even his unique interests!
Kellie: As a Microsoft MVP, your main focus and influence has been in the Exchange community, how did you migrate in to virtualization?
JW: To be honest, it was somewhere in early 2008 and there were very little customers eager to work with Exchange 2007, so I was looking for some other challenges. Being a former Microsoft employee, I knew Microsoft was working on the hypervisor solution (called Viridian in those days) but this was a closed program. One day a customer was selected in the RDP program and Microsoft asked which consultant should help him. And that was me This is how I became involved in Hyper-V. Soon after, we started the Hyper-V community Hyper-V.nu.
Who is Jaap Wesselius outside of your career and being an “Exchange MVP?” What are you other interests? What is something your followers would be surprised to know about you?
JW: I’m a father of three, I like hiking and cycling (unfortunately not enough time) and I like plane spotting. Planes flying to Amsterdam Airport fly over my house, I scan these radar websites with real-time info so I know which planes are flying over my house. I can recognize the planes, even when they are 10,000 feet high.
Very neat hobby!
My first introduction to you was through Twitter. As social media has evolved from more personal in nature to more professional, different industries have begun to embrace its power. Why did you decide to join the social movement and was it something that came natural to you?
JW: I’m an Exchange consultant and thus working on ‘messaging and collaboration’ solutions. I’m always interested in new media and social media is definitely part of these new developments. I’m not the first to embrace these media (you can spend your entire day doing this) but when things look good in a professional manner I’m more than happy to use it. Twitter for example is a great medium to broadcast new stuff, new developments, new blog posts, etc. I’m not so sure about Facebook, this is more a personal thing and this is how I use it. LinkedIn on the other hand is 100% business and this is where you can find my resume. Did these media come naturally to me? Yeah, I guess so.
Personal questions aside, there are a few questions I am dying to ask regarding the present and future of Exchange.
Do you see Exchange remaining predominantly an on-premise installation or do you see businesses migrating towards cloud/hosted instances?
JW: I see ‘the cloud’ growing in the upcoming years, but not as fast as Exchange has grown in the early days. There are a lot of political and legal hurdles to be taken, before large, international companies embrace the cloud and move their entire messaging infrastructure to for example, Office 365.
I expect social media to become more important though in messaging environments. I’m pretty sure that is what the next version of Exchange will look like, but its successor, I really don’t know. There will be some cloud there, some on-premises and some social media. But on-premises will still be the largest part, I’m pretty sure.
There has been a lot of talk that email is dead and/or outdated. Do you agree?
JW: No, it is like the fax. People said fax was dead 20 years ago and it is still here. When I look at my kids for example, they use e-mail only for status messages from Facebook or Twitter. They don’t use e-mail at all. But don’t forget that the current generation that is working and using e-mail is much older. Before E-mail is outdated or dead, we’re 20 years from here, at least.
Would you view Exchange as a substitute for Mobile Device Management, in the present and/or future? Why/why not?
JW: Twilight zone I’m afraid. Managing devices is completely different then managing a messaging environment. There are some management aspects of mobile devices but they are very limited and do not go beyond disabling some basic features or remote wipe of the device (this is good!). But that’s not device management. The Microsoft System Center suite, that’s device management! We need more integration in that area, but the concept of ‘bring your own device’ brings other management challenges as well. But Exchange is certainly not (or should not be) a substitute for Mobile Device Management.
Looking towards the future of Exchange, what features are you most looking forward to/hope will be included in the next release?
JW: I am in the TAP program of the next version so I cannot say too much, but I’m hoping Microsoft can make a couple of things easier when it comes to management. Most customers do not understand Web Services, Certificates and Autodiscover for example. And to be honest, this is horrible. Also load balancing is utterly complex right now and should be easier as well. Oh, and don’t forget datacenter fail-over. Ever tried that? This needs some attention as well as far as I’m concerned!
For someone who has a Bachelor in Applied Physics and describes his IT beginnings as “I accidentally got a job in IT on a helpdesk at Turmac Tobacco Company..” Jaap sure has become an integral part of the Exchange Community and is an all-around pleasant and humble guy!
If you’re attending TechEd 2012 in Orlando or Amsterdam, make sure to attend Jaap’s session(s)! If not, you can follow him on any of the blogs he contributes to (Personal blog, Hyper-V.nu , Simple-Talk) or on Twitter! @jaapwess