About Andy

Profile PicMy name is Andy Grogan and I have been working within the IT industry for the last 14 years primarily with Microsoft , HP and IBM – technologies – however my main passions have been Microsoft Exchange server, Active Directory and SQL Server.

Over the years (and many customers) I would (Guess)timate that I have personally worked on and deployed Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory solutions to over 165,000 seats in all kinds of environments – however my main focus has been mainly within the Public Sector – arena – however I have experience of Directory and Messaging implementations in many privately held organsations.

For 12 years I worked for the London Borough of Hounslow, located in West London in the capacity of Networks and Infrastructure Manager, where my day to day responsibilities include managing the 3rd Tier technical group comprising of 20 Networking and Server professionals, providing strategic technical direction for projects and technology upgrades, technical contract management and negotiation and of course – my personal favorite – running the Exchange infrastructure.

More recently I have been appointed to the post of Head of IT at Hounslow Homes Ltd, one of the top performing ALMO's (Arms Length Management Organisation) in the UK.

A few years ago (around the time of the “blog culture explosion”) I decided that it might be a good idea to start my own set of ramblings about Exchange, where I would be writing about some of the projects and the issues that I have encountered over the years.

I also thought that it would be a forum for me to test some scenarios with Exchange that I would not normally do in a production environment and share them with a wider public, and explain situations in my own words with a primary focus on what I thought System Admins would like to hear.

My first blog was based on Google Blogger – which was somewhat successful, and and was a good platform whilst I was learning how to blog. However ultimately some of the stuff that I was trying to do outgrew Blogger – therefore I made a move to WordPress (http://telnetport25.wordpress.com). WordPress was a wonderful platform to blog on and with however in late August 2008 I decided that it was perhaps time to take the blog to a another level. I wanted to offer more features to my readers, as well as more content – whilst also finally cutting out the sites own identity (www.telnetport25.com) on the Internet.

A very brief overview of my work

 

Way back in the day I started out as a freelance programmer using C++ and Delphi just to name a few languages that I have murdered – however in 1997 I took a role as the IT manager for a large Senior school in London, where in addition to running a network which at the time was mainly Apple Mac (yuck) based I taught the programming aspects of the Advanced Level in Computing Science.

During the course of my work at the School I gradually moved it away from Apple to Windows NT 4.0.

After two great years working there I joined one of London’s largest Local Government Authorities as the deputy manager of the Schools IT support service. During this period I and my team looked after 900 customers spread across 80 geographically separate locations.

It was here where I gained experience of migrating users from MSMail which was located on Novell 3.12 to Windows NT and Exchange 5.5.

However as is the habit within local government a re-structure took place (in 2000) where all of the IT provision in the Council was centralised into one single IT unit and I was given the role of heading up the Corporate Infrastructure Team – it was here where I worked on my first Exchange project where I had a number of mail systems to centralise into a singular Exchange 2000 environment in essence the project was to get from Banyan Vines, Beyond Mail & Office Power to Exchange 2000, and then an upgrade from Exchange 2000 – 2003).

Over the years of performing this role I have subsequently taken that inital installation from Exchange 2000, to 2003 and then onto Exchange 2007. In 2009 I was asked to take over the Networks Team within the Council (as the previous Head of Networks had left via redundancy) – which as a result meant that I was also in charge of all the Telephony, Routing / Switching / Firewalling as well as the 4 Cisco professionals which came with the role ~ somewhat challenging for a person whom is a "die hard" server monkey!

My work throughout 2009 / 2010 was perhaps the best experiences of my entire career – although perhaps not as Exchange Server focused as I would of liked; there were still 4 major projects which I worked within which I feel have helped define my career at Hounslow, whilst the others were based around large scale server refresh into Virtualization, and a large Disaster Recovery design and contract tender. However in Jan 2010 I had started to feel a nagging voice that some of us call "career progression" and I was beginning to worry that I would be "typecast" in technical roles (and I have never wanted to be classified as a "one trick pony") – therefore after speaking with my wife, I started to look at other much more senior roles which were available at the time on the market.

As a result of this in March 2010 I was appointed to Head of IT of Hounslow Homes, which manages the 16,500 socially available homes for Hounslow. This is a very exciting role which will be far much more financial and strategic than what I have worked on previously, but I intend fully to keep "hands in" in terms of Exchange and Windows technology platforms and hope that the experiences which I gain will perhaps take my work on the site in a new direction. In April 2009 I was awarded the prestigious MVP award (and subsequently again in April 2010 and April 2011) in the category of Exchange Server – my MVP profile is located here.

Personal Interests

 

Outside working hours you will normally find me working on this site, Facebook, Twitter or MSN, however as much as I love technology I do have other interests as well!

I am a huge Rugby fan, and indeed a prolific movie buff – and certainly by no means least spending time with my wife and little lad.

Generally speaking I am available for parties, and weddings (although what a mail server would be doing at them I do not know) and you can contact me via the mail address which is on the Contacts page of this site. I do try to answer as many people as possible, however if you are trying to sell me Viagra, or have an opinion on the size of my genitals – it’s too late – my wife has already said all that needs to be in that aspect and cornered the market so to speak so don’t bother.

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