Addressing Office 365 Adoption Challenges Infographic

Office 365 is clearly popular.  In fact the new Okta 2019 Business at Work report lists it as the clear leader in the cloud SAAS space for the past 5 years.  It’s an incredible commanding lead at this point, but while that may help comfort you in your decision to deploy it isn’t enough to call it mission successful as 76% of customers in their report also some have overlapping solutions including duplicates such Box, Google Apps, and Salesforce.  In addition, in an AIIM report focused on adoption and enhancing Office 365, has concluded in their summary the need to enhance your implementation

Office 365 is the best

Chart Courtesy of Okta Business at Work 2019 – it’s truly a must read… I’ve been following their annual reports, and they are great.

AIIM Research www.aiim.org/research survey for responses from 124 individual members of the AIIM community during the month of November 2017.  In the report, they share Forty-four percent report their users like it.  It makes sense why in a subscription model, Microsoft is so focused on adoption and consumption of the workloads.  The overlapping solutions also were exposed in the AIIM research, “Fifty-five percent of our respondents agree that getting users to manage and share their content in Office 365 and no place else is their biggest on-going issue [while] Forty-six percent feel that lack of expertise is the biggest issue.”

“Use add-on, and auxiliary products and services to supplement out-of-the-box functionality and lack of in-house to maximize your investment and transition to Office 365 and fill the gaps where they are needed.”  – AIIM Research

In my conversations with Apps 365 on their solutions and their success in the ecosystem they shared how they have been addressing Gaps exposed by the product.  It’s not unusual in fact Microsoft has a very rich ecosystem and welcomes partners to address gaps in the product.  These could be considered enhancements or things that may eventually come on the roadmap, but customers who hold their breath waiting for unannounced features may be disappointed and may want to consider proven solutions.  The AIIM research suggested 30% or more customers are looking to implement two or more third party add-ins in the next 12-18 months and more than 20% have already deployed one or more add-ins.

The Conclusion from AIIM research lines up with the emphasis Microsoft has put on it’s rich ecosystem… “Use add-on, and auxiliary products and services to supplement out-of-the-box functionality and lack of in-house to maximize your investment and transition to Office 365 and fill the gaps where they are needed.”

Office 365 Adoption Infographic
Office 365 Adoption Infographic

There are really three areas of focus in addressing Gaps in Office 365: Expertise, Staffing Resource, and Tools.

The new certifications can help you with your expertise gaps, as well hope to see you at the SharePoint Conference 2019 use discount code OLESON if you register to save yourself some money, the resources are something the many many partners can help you with, feel free to reach out for local or regional recommendations, and the tools gap is filled by the immense vendor partner network such as in the app store.  Consider these gaps in the graph below…

Apps 365 is sponsoring a webinar where we’ll be diving into the Microsoft Roadmap and in helping you understand the Gaps and Solutions.

New Webinar – 2019 YEAR OF THE LIST: Five Top Futuristic SharePoint List Trends to Follow in 2019

“We’re excited to host our first webinar from the ‘Mind The Gap’ webinar series with Joel Oleson, MVP who will be highlighting the Five Top Futuristic SharePoint List Trends to Follow in 2019.”

When: Mar 13, 2019 1:00 PM Pacific, 4:00pm Eastern

>>Register Now

Here are the 5 Trends we’ll be covering…
1: Automated Transcription and Enrichment
2: File Sharing Compliance Enhancements
3: Search & Findability Enhancements
4: Client-Side Enhanced & Extensible List UI
5: GPS 1and Location Metadata

Community FlashMob at #SPC19 Ministry of Silly Walks

Join @JoelOleson, @EricaToelle, @HeatherNewman, @PaulSwider, SPCPartyPatrol and a bunch more at the community at the SharePoint Conference Ministry of Silly Walk (click here to register to join us).

Apps 365 is providing a bunch of Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks T-shirts.  You can find out more about that on my post about the Ministry of Silly Walks at #SPC19.

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Join the Ministry of Silly Walks Flashmob at #SPC19

And Now for Something Totally Different… Those who know me know I’m a HUGE fan of community and love to put on silly things.  Some remember the Infopath funeral for good or for worse.  Others may remember the year we sang our hearts out “Don’t Stop Believing” when we were concerned SharePoint was taking a back seat to things like Yammer and becoming simply “sites” in Office 365.

This year I want to do something totally different and even more Silly.

Silly Walks Featured Photo

I’m assembling a Ministry of Silly Walks for a Community March Through the Exhibit hall at #SPC19 on the first day May 21 at lunch time.  Eat your lunch quick and meet us at the entrance of the expo hall… don’t miss the music.  We start marching at 1:01pm sharp.

What is a Silly Walk?  Haven’t heard of Monty Python?  It’s an international Phenomena see more on the Monty Python website on International Marches.  I want this to be the biggest one ever.

How do I register or get involved?  You can register on #SPCSillyWalks on Eventbrite or on The Facebook Events for #SPCSillyWalks

I’m looking to recruit the true Monty Python Fans.  For those of the Organizing Committee Ministry I will get us Bowler Hats and Mustaches.  I’m working with Apps 365 as sponsor for T-shirts for attendees.  They are totally on board and love it.  Any other vendors who want to help.  Please reach out.  We can always use more swag.

When: May 21, 2019 at 1PM Pacific Time (Las Vegas)

Where: MGM Grand SPC Expo Hall Entrance (more details provided to those who register, but registration is not required)

What should I bring: Plan to bring a funny hat, suit coat, umbrella, and whatever other silly props along with your best silly walk
Remember to register on #SPCSillyWalks on Eventbrite or on The Facebook Events for #SPCSillyWalks

Not yet involved at SPC?  Get registered and use my invite code for a discount.  It’s going to be a blast.  I’m speaking on SharePoint Search.  More on that in another post.

Register for SharePoint Conference North America May 21-23 Discount Code OLESON

Want to be part of the Flying Circus Band?   I’m looking for Flying Circus style Tuba player, Trombone player, and a whistle chorus etc… (Song is “Always look on the bright side of Life”) various percussion options.

If you’re absolutely confused.  It’s probably a problem with your walk and we at the Ministry can help you with that.

monty python swing dance GIF

Reach out to me joel.oleson@outlook.com or on twitter at @joeloleson

Need some practice or inspiration on Silly Walks?

Here’s some history on Silly Walks

Here’s the original Hillarious and Fantastic Monthy Python Sketch from 1970.

#SPCSillyWalk #MontyPython

 

 

8 Predictions for SharePoint & Office 365 in 2018

I’ve done predictions every year for the past few and plan to share some of these at upcoming Predictions Tweetjam #CollabTalk on Thursday, December 28th from 8am to 9am Pacific.  You don’t have to register. Just show up.  I’ll be posting as @joeloleson.  It’s a good opportunity to collaborate.  Scroll down to the bottom to see some old predictions.  Use the comments to let me know how you think I did, or how you think I’m right or wrong.  I promise to respond to any comments on this post.

8 Predictions for SharePoint & Office 365 in 2018

  1. People will look to Skip SharePoint 2016 and go to 2019.  It will be much better received than 2016 was, but it will still be somewhat lackluster (never will it be like it was back in the good old days of dedicated SPCs for SharePoint launches). In the first year of SharePoint 2019 release it will surpass 2016 as an install base.  (2016 still hasn’t surpassed 2013.)
  2. Hub sites will become the preferred way of doing Information Architecture in SharePoint and deep portal structures will be flattened as a best practice.  Note there will be many who cry foul and it will cause heated debates.
  3. OneDrive on Demand will become a great drive to Windows 10.  Sync for SharePoint will be carried along as a benefit and client sync for SharePoint will have its greatest adoption since groove.
  4. Modern Team Sites, Modern Lists, and Themes will soon become consistent with the expectation for status quo for SharePoint and a big line will be drawn for OLD SharePoint vs. New SharePoint based on what comes in 2019 and what’s in O365 now.
  5. WSPs are Dead – The community will abhor them and it will be an insult to think of installing them.  As a result even third party solutions will need to rethink how they not only support apps for online but also on prem.
  6. Groups will cause further confusion in 2018, but Teams will become the darling of Microsoft sales for collab as it activates multiple workloads.
  7. Microsoft AI (Simple automation, auto classification and extraction) will start to make its way into SharePoint Online amongst other workloads.
  8. Simple Communication Site based Intranets (and Intranet in a box solutions) + Hub sites will gain favor for Office 365 adopters.  Deep complicated Intranets will fall out of favor in a huge significant industry wide way.Let me share some of my old predictions… from a post in SharePoint Predictions from December of 2015
  • Microsoft will not consider an Office 365 tenant not fully utilized until SharePoint is in real use – Microsoft has been requiring many workloads. Exchange, OneDrive are not enough.
  • Mobile will become more important in SharePoint world – The SharePoint Mobile app is really a nice app, and the SP Team has committed to making it all responsive and mobile. We are already seeing it in SharePoint Online.
  • SharePoint 2016 will launch to simple fanfare – Yeah. It has been the slowest adopted version of SharePoint.
  • SharePoint gets cool again – Jeff Teper has done a great job of taking back the mantle and making it cool these past two years.  The product team has attracted the necessary talent and made it cool.
Matchmaker

Not a sell out! It’s Matchmaking

I recently read a Facebook thread about a new MVP who was being approached by a vendor and asked if they’d do a review or join them on a webinar. The question they were asking their colleagues was if they were a sell out by participating in these activities. I was surprised by the first few responses suggesting that they NOT work with the vendor, then some more seasoned community folks joined in to explain that we all have to make decisions around who we work with and what is worth our time and where the line is in terms of endorsement deals.

Since IT and the technology industry isn’t fraught with Subway ads, or Nike shoe deals, many don’t understand how one can realistically partner up with a company or even try to take an unbiased approach to working with vendors on webinars and such.

As someone who gets at least weekly invitations to post something on my blog, or join a vendor in an expo hall, webinar, and so much more… I’ve personally asked myself this question over a hundred times and that line has shifted since the beginning. I’m sure there are haters out there that would say I’ve taken too many deals to call myself unbiased, but in the same vein, how can you call me biased if I simply work with nearly everyone or at least nearly a hundred vendors over time.

As a consultant I’ve frequently been in the position of recommending or suggesting vendors and partners to customers, so knowing what the best solutions are is extremely important. Awareness is the absolute biggest challenge in the vendor space. There are literally thousands of vendor solutions out there, and there is no perfect app store that lets the best solutions rise to the top. Instead it’s a game of what partners are willing to spend at an event. At a typical paid SharePoint Conference it’s not unusual to pay $15,000 for a booth and fly out the vendor team to talk to a hundred or so people that may happen to come by the booth. Believe me, I’ve spend a ton of time in vendor halls and the little candy bars and tchotchkes may have little return on investment, but spend more and the Xbox One, motorcycles and massive parties do provide names and hopefully more leads. Why couldn’t a small percentage of that vendor marketing spend be spent with the community influencers to delivering webinars and getting awareness of product through a broader variety of means such as product write-ups, analysis, overviews and such. I understand people may say a review can’t be unbiased if it is paid, but then again isn’t it better to have someone check it out and tell us how they think a product may be valuable even if they don’t rip it apart? Would you rather these vendors spend their money on google ads or share that money

I hope the solutions delivery companies today build alliances with their preferred vendors based on NOT on how much of a cut they get, but relationships are actually forged based on the products which sell the best due to the solution being the best for the customers along with customer service levels. The worst solutions and worst companies should weed themselves out as the solutions fail to sell and lack of deployments.

As someone who has now done hundreds of webinars, events, reviews and various activities with vendors I consider my knowledge of third party product as extremely valuable. It is an asset I bring with me as I work with a company. Understanding the rich ecosystem of products and the vast network of employees who participate in this space is of great value. I consider myself a matchmaker and I don’t need to apologize for participating in a webinar with a vendor. If we can focus on the challenge that customers have and see vendors as having solutions to those problems we’ll have a greater appreciation for the Microsoft ecosystem and sharing in the marketing budgets and giving back to the community in a share the wealth proposition we can travel further and strengthen our community and network. I’ll tell you that’s my strategy. Pretty much every dollar I make from a vendor goes back into the community by helping me subsidize my event travel, but I wouldn’t blame someone if they decided to put that dollar toward their kids school or paying your mortgage.

Love to hear your thoughts!

Vendors that are looking to get more involved with the community can reach out to me through twitter @joeloleson or linkedin or email at joel.oleson@gmail.com. There are plenty of influencers, bloggers, speakers, and product companies to go around. Happy to help you gain awareness for your product or solution. There are other great examples in the community who have been able to turn their evangelism for good for sharing their talents to share their knowledge and educate.

(Curious about the photo? Yes, I’m the one in the plaid shirt next to the babushka who lives in Chernobyl. I was speaking in Ukraine at a paid event which helped to subsidize this trip where I was also able to travel to Azerbaijan and speak at a User Group that has never been previously reached by anyone in our global community. I couldn’t have done it without their assistance. To put this in context I do also put in a lot of my own money in my travels, but I appreciate being able to share the wealth.)

SharePoint and Office 365 2015 Predictions!

Here are my predictions for 2015, but we need to review 2014 before we get into 2015 so you can see if you still want to follow me. 

2014 SharePoint Office 365 and Yammer predictions were written in full here.  I’ll summarize them and add my thoughts on if it was a hit or miss.  I count 9 hits and one miss.  I expected to see bigger consoldiation.  Let me know in the comments or in a tweet to @joeloleson if you’d like to see this 2015 prediction list as an infographic…  FYI: The product is NDA so you won’t hear too much specifically about SharePoint 2015 in this post.

1. SharePoint Brand takes on changes – That’s for sure. SharePoint Online is hardly mentioned as Office 365 brand becomes stronger and SharePoint takes a back seat. In today’s Predictions call. This was explicitly mentioned by @mkashman from Microsoft.  Kudos for Christian Buckley @buckleyplanet for putting together the #collabtalk predictions tweetup.

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2. Top Influencers will Diversity their skills.  I see friends share Amazon cloud, Salesforce integration, and open source platforms… It is another world.  I don’t think I have to name names here, but purist SharePoint folks are becoming fewer.

3. Partner Infrastructure in Azure – Yes, I think some of the most successful in Office 365 now have a decent platform in both Azure and Amazon clouds.  SIs are doing a lot more in BI and Dynamics as well.  Azure had some hiccups lately, but MS continues to invest in a big way in Azure.

4. Consolidation continues – 14 months ago Metalogix bought Axceler.  About a year ago Metalogix bought up Idera’s SharePoint business. Back in October Metalogix bought by Permira a private equity firm.  I was expecting more, sad to say I think there was more attrition.  Companies that stepped out of the app space.  Hit or miss?

5. Mobile a major theme of 2014 – With the release of Office on the iPad tablet support, major Android releases of Office, combined OneDrive app for Biz and Consumer, and many updates to new Word, Excel, PowerPoint that are really good apps.  Responsive Web was an is still an important theme for SharePoint design.

6. Cloud services to get more flexible – APIs have gotten better, but there’s more needed.

7. Yammer starts popping up in new places – With the release of Delve, Groups, and yammer in the Office web apps, we’ve just started to see the beginning of yammer integration into SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and in the new products.

8. Office 365 and SharePoint Identity shift in people – We see a lot more Office 365 MVPs now.  People aren’t shying away from being identified with Office 365 where a year ago it was Exchange or SharePoint expert only.

9. SharePoint Expert too narrow – I see more diversification in people and this will continue.

10. Enterprise Social Consultant – There are definitely more jobs in enterprise social, more community managers, and people aligning IT and Business.  Cloud has blurred the technical lines.  Cloud consulting has been a big theme of 2014.

 

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SharePoint and Office 365 Predictions for 2015!!

1. 2015-2016 is the year of Hybrid – The word hybrid will become ubiquitous with things that customers need to make Office 365 work.  More and more solutions will be built to integrate, manage, report, and bring governance, search, and unity across these environments.  Even things like OneDrive as the OneDrive for consumers and business will become known as a hybrid solution even though they are both cloud solutions.

2. Fewer Paid but More Important SharePoint Conferences – Microsoft Build and Ignite are going to be a huge success.  The biggest party of the year!  I know this isn’t a stretch, but I think it’s important we all do our part to make this prediction come true. I want this to be a big reunion for all my SharePoint friends, so we can celebrate the new SharePoint vNext.  SharePoint Saturday will get rebranded or at least include Office 365 and Azure tracks in many markets.  Microsoft will continue with Office 365 conferences to try to unite communities.

3. Wearables buzz combined with Cortana and Siri starts to buzz about coming to the enterprise – Microsoft Band, Apple Watch, pebble and more will be big in consumer and people will start to think about enterprise applicability. We’ll see this pop up at Ignite keynotes for example.

4. Office 365 brand continues to Over Shadow SharePoint brand – SharePoint is Dead will be said more and more as the Office 365 brand gets stronger.  Of course it’s not dead, but is the backseat driver with Cloud First.

5. Search Driven Enterprise Apps – Successful consumer tools will be replicated in many enterprises with new products coming to market.  I’m still waiting for cool apps like Yelp, Amazon, and Cortana for the enterprise.  I want to see enterprise catalogs with serious integration… unlock the power!

6. Confusion will continue – Despite the fact that consulting companies know where they make their money, customers will be confused about investments they should make and when to make bets.  Clearer strategies are needed and Ignite should help, but know there are at least 2 or 3 paths for customers this year.  More confusion in the short term, with less in the longer term.

7. They took our Jobs! – Many will find their skillsets are becoming out of date, and will scramble to learn Office 365 identity management, Office 365 provisioning, and API development and scripting (powershell).  Azure will be expected knowledge for IT Pros.  I worry about a wave of IT Pros that won’t retool fast enough and will wonder what they should be doing and what certifications they should get.  Take a look at the new SharePoint Certifications and look at what is required… Surprise it requires Office 365 Identity and that’s step 1!  Even step 2 doesn’t feel like SharePoint.  Prerequiste to SharePoint Solutions Expert is MCSA Office 365 certification.  Don’t wait around… you need to retool!  IT Pros I worry about the most, but Devs totally got to learn a lot to stay relevant in this mobile first cloud first world.

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8.  ISVs that were SharePoint exclusive will branch out.  Our little ecosystem of SharePoint only ISVs will branch outside of just Office 365 and SharePoint…

9. Mobile and SharePoint Online and On Premises will get much better –  I’m not just talking about apps here.  I think we’ll see some announcements related to the vNext release that will also pay off in Office 365 that are waiting to be announced.

10. Community Cross Polinization – We’ll see more of the Exchange folks popping up at the Office 365 events, and even on twitter the SharePoint, Exchange, and SQL experts will get a lot closer.  The Microsoft family will come closer as a result.  Walls will come down, and the cool kids at events will be a stronger mix of people.

Bonus: A lot of companies that said they’d NEVER go to the cloud will start lining up, barriers will fall!

Some of My Fav Pics – Social Side of SharePoint Conference #SPC14

There was all this talk about working like a network, working social, and working in the open, but I felt like the SharePoint Conference was a chance to rekindle relationships with friends from all over the world.  I had friends from Argentina, Colombia, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa who travelled crazy distances to come and listen to sessions… No, they were there for the same reasons I was…  to meet up and network with friends, and see if there’s anything new in any of these roadmap sessions that will help us better understand the direction of the product teams.

In previous years there were a number of social activities planned, and just a month out I was getting worried that people were so caught up in the cloud battle and just too exhausted to try to put something together.  In the past I’ve always gotten caught up in all of the parties and trying to connect with as many people as possible, that I decided it was again important to track socially what was going on and help contribute to a calendar of activities.

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While Most saw the scene above…

 

This is what #SPC14 looked like to me…

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#ShareHike at Valley of Fire on Saturday before the event with @ghurlman @mosslover @tashasev @manojviduranga and becky’s friend Leah and Luis.

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We even took our shoes off going through the narrows… extreme!

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Sunday with my #ShareChurch friends

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Sunday night at ShareComedy with @gvaro at the ViewDo Lounge

 

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InfoPath Funeral Monday at Lunch

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Musical FlashMob… SharePoint People… Don’t Stop Believing!

@joeypatterson, @sharepointmom @darcehess @mikecferrara (not seen in this photo… another 30 singers!)

 

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Welcome reception @RonFetters is the blurry guy jumping

 

 

WP_20140303_13_41_12_ProJoin me and @ericharlan from Microsoft on Thought Leadership at 3:15 today Murano 3201-3303 #SPC14 #BambooWay

Me and my fellow YammerTime friend @mikecferrara

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Best Conversations were in the hallways… @danholme @jeffdeverter @laurarogers @toddklindt

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Exhibit Hall randomness @markrackley @fabianwilliams @joeloleson @gvaro @cjgivens @ericharlan @

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Michael Noel @michaeltnoel 19 book author signing the Russian version of his SharePoint book being photo bombed by @zlatandzinic

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@jwilly and @marcykeller with @sharepointmom @wendyneal @markrackley

 

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#Shareaoke!  David Pileggi @DavidPileggi is a so much fun!  We’re doing a repeat in Boston for Best of SPC!  We had Naomi and her friend with us… in China Town Las Vegas.

 

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More hallway conversations with @cmcnulty @marcykeller Mark and @pswider

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@markrackley and me getting bonked by an attendee

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Marti Gras parade with @NMoneypenny @pswider and @michaeltnoel

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Out at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with @popsharepoint @nmoneypenny

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@robertbogue with his lovely wife

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Concert at the attendee party!  Alena gets up and close with the band.

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Every day and night, my car was packed whenever we went out on adventures.  @pswider and his girlfriend Alena.

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The community area was really just a place to hook up your laptop and as a meeting place it was even confusing, I hope next year they listen to the community for putting this together.

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Birds of a Feather Discussions in the ViewDo Lounge with @wbaer and @nsparks and @jeffshuey

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Asif and Waldek… Legends… @asifrehmani @waldekm

Speaker Party in Hakkasan (Best club in Vegas… Really!)

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Me and Mark Freeman @sphotshot at the Red Party… Tao

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David Pileggi @davidpileggi gets a thumbs up showing off the Hammer Pants at the Axceler + Best of Breed awards party.

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Last but not least… The famous Christian Buckley @buckleyplanet Selfie

 

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Hope to see you next time!

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Until then we’ll be hanging around @tashaev shows off her climbing skills

SharePoint Hike

Next version of SharePoint in 2015 and other things I learned at SharePoint Conference #SPC14

There are a few things that I learned from SPC.  First off many saw this as a non launch year.  After day 1 I was so overloaded with announcements that I couldn’t keep up with them.  I was trying to tweet every announcement I came across, and after dozens of tweets I realized I was missing many as the track keynotes each contained more announcements, and I’ll have a lot of work to do to dig into those.  I plan to make a series that dive into the various areas, but there are some big takeaways both subtle themes and messages that while they may not be pointed out directly, there are key insights to gain.  For simplicity I’m going to give you a list of 5 key biggest takeaways from the SharePoint Conference #SPC14.  I’ll be doing a further drill down on the big 5 social features that were announced on the ViewDo Labs Blog.  So this blog serves as the overview.  I really should give the low down on the parties, hikes, dam, forts, and kareoke, but much of that is already on Facebook and twitter @joeloleson.  AvePoint Red Party didn’t disappoint great energy and some of the best music and dancing of the year, and the Metalogix party was pretty good as well (until they wouldn’t let us dance on the platforms… come on that’s what we do!), but the best club on the strip was Hakkasan.  After the speaker party, all of the speakers had access to the after event and Fergie DJ was incredible passion and energy and the club was the best on the strip.  You want more on the parties and social?  Let me know I could easily do a few pages with photos on that.

 

SPDev brain power

Lots of social announcements as well.  Chris Johnson and Jeremy Thake are headed to Redmond to work for Arpan Shah at Microsoft on a special team (Devs, if you’re not convinced about dev’ing with the cloud, they will get you there… No doubt.)  Andrew Connell was named the #1 Influencer this year by an independent study.  Congrats to AC, in my book he’s always been one of the biggest influencers.  His books, blog, and tweets and classes have been bringing up the education of the community for many years.

 

1. Office 365 & Yammer will be the focus and continue to get significant updates over the next year.  While a few of us hoped to get real concrete info on the next version of SharePoint on premises, the message was… the next release will be in 2015.  While I almost heard a groan, as many of us were hoping to see previews of the new version, I think the pregnant pause of not hearing anything significant about the next release other than the fact that it will continue to support server solutions.

2. Service Pack 1 included a significant switch to support hybrid OneDrive and Yammer. You could say the most significant announcement for On Premises customers was in the announcement and demo of the simple control to point at your yammer and or One Drive environment.  Essentially on a single page designed like a wizard, you can hook up your yammer environment so it seemlessly integrates into Office 365.  Additional yammer enhancements are on their way to support cross navigation between Office 365 and yammer making it simple for users.  The new OneDrive license with Office 365 allows one to start with a simple start of just OneDrive.  I like to think of it as dipping your toe in the water.  OneDrive has great sharing capabilities that help it compete with Dropbox and additional announcements for OneDrive including a new API for building solutions against it, and significant announcements with support for MAC and iOS.

3. Office 365 has a new within tenant self service provisioning engine supporting custom branding and a javascript injection approach with API.  Essentially supporting the idea of keeping branded sites and custom navigation.  This can really be a huge boost in adoption preventing the out of the box exhaustion of having to start from scratch every time.  Corporate branded sites and richer cloud APIs all around is a big step in the right direction.

4. Cloud APIs with a significant emphasis on a never give up approach to making Office 365 work.  I refer you to the many new cloud and Office 365 APIs and Azure integration.  Great example is the Office 365 Video portal.  I heard from more than one developer they need to shift their toolset to developing in Azure.  There were additional subtle conversations I had with Chris Johnson and Jeremy Thake which ended up being the biggest news.  Having those guys both commit to joining a new Office 365 API like DPE team led by Arpan Shah really means business.  That may have been the biggest announcement.  These guys are some of the smartest dev evangelists who already have serious credibility in the community.  There were more than a few sessions on these new APIs.  Key takeaways from me a non dev… make sure you guys are ramping up on Agile, learning to work as a network, drinking from the Javascript fire hose.  There are so many frameworks which can make your life easier.  Client Object Models and Cloud development is NOT going away.  You’ll need to understand how to build apps whether you are on premises or not.  Even many on premises deployments will be using the improvements that happen to apps and the APIs.  Don’t rely on me for all of the developer updates.  Follow guys like Mark Anderson and check out his update on the #SPC14.

Other SPC Conference wrap ups I’d recommend:

Gus SPC Wrap up from old Jersey – Nice Overview

Fabian Williams shares his Conference Wrap up Day by day wrap up

Cimares Wrap up – more detail on dev and keynote announcements

InfoPath Funeral

5. InfoPath is dead. One of my favorite events of the conference was leading a funeral march through the exhibit hall and screaming InfoPath is dead, what will we do!  You could say I had many motivations in leading this parade.  One of those motivations was to ensure people not only had heard this news, but also to ensure that Microsoft was serious in positioning the messaging loud enough to the community to help us understand the direction of web forms.  There was a session on the future of web forms, and you won’t understand what to build without digging into the new Access, new Excel surveys, and app forms.  InfoPath is farm from out of use or end of life.  We’ll see InfoPath use way beyond 2014, but most of the items in the product roadmap support a streamlined set of forms based on the user scenarios which start releasing this year.  Expansion of OneDrive API. The ability to create Workflow App Packages as SharePoint apps and new workflow activation rules based on content types. Workflow is one of the larger considerations in any upgrade and migration project.

There are many solutions beyond this not simple technical roadmap diagram.

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Jennifer Mason, while not a fan of the funeral, put together a CMSWire article that covers these Navigating the Microsoft Forms Roadmap.  I’m not sold on InfoPath support on any future versions of SharePoint, but at least we know it works up through SharePoint 2013.  I do see InfoPath support as a key consideration in many workflows and forms story.  Both Nintex, K2, Bamboo, and a dozen other partners out there would love for you to consider their solutions as alternatives as well.

 

5. Enterprise social continues to be a huge investment with Yammer and Office 365.  Organizational transformation through change and “working like a network” was a big theme in the social track.  There were many announcements and a lot of positioning.  If you think that Microsoft isn’t innovating you aren’t talking to the enterprise social team.

  • Office Graph, which uses “signals from email, social conversations, documents, sites, instant messages, meetings, and more to map the relationships between the people and things.”
  • Code-named Oslo, the first application of office Graph helps deliver personalized “insights” to help people get their jobs done, and lets users navigate, discover, and search for people and info across an organization.
  • Groups – a new feature which grows out of a combination of team calendars, team mailboxes, team tasks and sites and conversations allowing users to work together and gather and share knowledge in Office 365.  Takes the power of having email, sites, conversations and weaves these worlds together with new features.

I’m going to do a full post on this… lots to talk about…

 

Special thanks to the #ShareHike crew!  I

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