A long, long time ago, there was an event, usually held in Las Vegas, called the SMS User Conference. (For a full history of MMS, see Rod Trent's article.) In 2002, the conference was rebranded as the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS), although that year it was still managed and maintained by Altiris. Over the years MMS grew with Microsoft's management and backing. Microsoft selected the speakers and topics, and the event became more professional as it continued to look more and more like a Microsoft conference rather than a user conference. After MMS 2013, Microsoft decided to "absorb" the Microsoft Management Summit into TechEd, an even larger event and held in Houston in 2014.
There were rumblings among many MMS alumni about the TechEd decision. If you haven't been to TechEd, it is huge, and it's certainly not limited to just management technology. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle of TechEd; think of the difference between attending a very large university versus a more specialized and smaller school.
Other events, including System Center Universe (also known as SCU, sponsored by Catapult Systems), have tried to bring the more personal feel of the earlier days of MMS.
SCU's third annual event, held in January 2014, was streamed live to over 4,000 individuals worldwide. SCU 2014, also held in Houston, Texas, was a full day of content including presentations on System Center, Windows Azure IaaS, Windows Server 2012, and Windows 8.1.
The Midwest System Center User Group is holding an event this November, called the Midwest Management Summit (abbreviated as MMS). This 3-day conference, November 10-12, is purposely limited to approximately 500 attendees to ensure no one gets lost in the crowd. Speakers will have time to meet and talk with attendees. The event is billed for "anyone looking for a conference like the early days of the Microsoft Management Summit..."; you don't really have to be from the Midwest!
At this time, most of the session submissions are from well known names in Configuration Manager community - including Wally Mead, Steve Rachui, Garth Jones, Greg Ramsey, Sherry Kissinger, and more. Travis Wright will be there as well. The list of speakers and sessions will be updated closer to the conference.
The conference website is at http://mms.mnscug.org/.
This story, "MMS: Back to the Basics?" was originally published by Network World.