My name is Chris Blackburn and I am a Microsoft UC specialist. I have worked as an IT consultant for 10 years and have had the unique experience of improving the IT environments for thousands of companies. I actively stay current with Microsoft certifications, having completed the MCSE for 2000/2003 and Enterprise Messaging Administrator certification on Exchange 2010. I am also active in the Microsoft beta community and help contribute to Microsoft as an Exchange subject matter expert.
During my time as an IT consultant, I have been involved with Microsoft Exchange messaging solutions in over 300+ environments, from small businesses (using SBS2000 on up to SBS2011) to large businesses running CAS load balancing and DAGs in separate states. During the past 7 years of working here in the Minneapolis market, I have continued to build my Exchange experience by working with Microsoft partners as a contractor in large enterprise environments.
I have performed many new deployments and version-to-version migrations, from Exchange 2000/2003 to Exchange 2007/2010, as well as migrations from non-Microsoft platforms, such as multi-server Novell Groupwise environments, to Exchange. I have also had the unique opportunity of deploying Exchange in a hosted environment for system integrators in several states, who have in turn resold email services to thousands of users - years before the current \"cloud\" boom began.
Besides deploying Exchange, I have also been active in the day-to-day administration and troubleshooting of these environments, working with Microsoft PSS to diagnose and develop solutions to complex problems, including the development and testing of hotfixes. I have also worked to develop training documentation used by dozens of organizations for internal administration, including PowerShell scripts for user management.
As a natural complement to messaging, I have also worked with Unified Communications, namely Office Communication Server and Lync. Some of the deployments I have been engaged with are new deployments of Lync, migrations from OCS to Lync, Lync implementations with Enterprise Voice, including traditional PBX integration with systems like Mitel and Avaya, to 100% PBX-free deployments using SIP trunks and Polycom Lync-enabled phones. Within these Lync environments I have implemented Exchange Unified Messaging (UM) for voicemail and attendant capabilities.
Unified Communications is an area I am passionate about, and Microsoft Exchange/Lync are the preferred technologies I have been able to come to not only intimately know, but help organizations better use their technology.