I always enjoy writing predictions and reviewing the previous year. I’d love to hear from you on some of these bold predictions including new Project Cortex Jobs, a MSFT Stock Split and is SharePoint Dead?
I review my 2019 predictions which you can read in the second half of this post including my prediction on Teams workload as the major investment, and the Teams battle with Slack, and a prediction that Power would be a branding investment.
1. Is SharePoint Dead? Is the Intranet Dead? You’re going to hear these question a lot this year. There will be lots of discussions about productivity, portals, and collaboration and it’s evolution. Of course the answer is No, but there should absolutely be discussions about how best to present and consume information inside the organization and updating interfaces and UX will be an important consideration and Teams will be a big part of the discussion. Remember it’s not SharePoint or Teams it is Teams and SharePoint and a whole lot more. Microsoft 365/Office 365 absolutely will work best with your files in SharePoint and OneDrive, and Teams is a great way to get them there and Project Cortex can help you make sense of the data, that’s not to say you don’t need Information architecture exersizes for determining what your Teams should be and how they should be organized into Hubs and super hubs.
2. Power Platform Expert Explosion – today organizations have few experts. This coming year you’re going to see companies get serious about the Power Platform. It’s going to go beyond the power user to business unit investments and IT experts as well as concerted efforts into getting more Power Apps experts, Power Automate experts, Power Virtual Agent experts, and Power BI experts that really know the technology and know how to help. I expect this will go from being a small individual effort to concerted efforts by IT and/or business units like HR, Marketing, Support, and product lines. You’ll see lots of partners like Perficient who are interested in helping your organization get up to speed on how they can build expertise inside the organization.
3. Personal and Team investments in Certification – This is the year of certification. So many have ignored it. This is the year to take it seriously. Microsoft has put some significant investment in making them make a lot of sense. The Office 365, Teams, Azure and Power Platform areas are great places to get relevant certifications. It may be tough to measure this…
4. SharePoint Community continues move to Office or Microsoft 365 rebranding but will it happen soon enough? The splintering of Teams Community, Power Platform Community, and SharePoint Community will continue… There will be efforts by some community members like myself who will try to keep these communities together in consolidated Office 365 or Microsoft 365 groups and communities, but will it be futile?
5. Project Cortex is going to be HUGE and will create NEW jobs and roles – Project Cortex is poised to bring next generation AI and a knowledge network for capturing the knowledge of the organization. Without diving into what it is, let me just say, this time next year you’ll know what it is and be excited about it. I do expect there to be roles in the organization related to Project Cortex. Project Cortex will provide business value to Knowledge Management and Information Management services in the organization. It will provide clear roles for organizational knowledge. I’ll be blogging about ways you can plan for Project Cortex.
6. Microsoft Teams is going to take on a much, much more significant role in the organization. Stop thinking of Teams as simple Unified Communications and wake up and realize that Microsoft Teams is your way of managing automation, productivity, collaboration, UC and ultimately managing your entire Microsoft 365/Office 365 strategy. Microsoft is going to keep investing heavily.
7. Microsoft Stock Split – It’s been many many years since a Microsoft Stock split. I’m long Microsoft and I’ve seen this run up. There’s more to go.
8. Year of Organizational Video – This would be a fantastic year to get focused on Stream and make this the year that your organization makes Video happen in a big way for your organization. Start recording those meetings and the organizational meetings that happen on Teams and Yammer. Migrate, consolidate, and expose it in search! Major investments in the video tech has already happened and Microsoft is doing the final touches in making it easy to migrate, but the tech is already super amazing and worth it.
I’m excited to announce a new Microsoft Teams full day events in both Chicago and Denver. These are full day 9am to 4pm followed by a Teams happy hour networking event. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Microsoft Teams Strategy or learn more about Adoption sponsored by Perficient and Microsoft. The event is at the Microsoft Offices in both locations.
Teams Summit Agenda follows:
More details and to register follow the links below
Join me at community events at the User Groups the day before in both locations. See the meetups for more details and to register.
Looking for more locations? Southern US for Atlanta is coming in March, and I’m working on a new community style Teams Thursday event in the Northeast planned for April 2. Call for speakers is now open!
Microsoft just announced Project Cortex this week at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. It’s AI for the enterprise and Microsoft is democratizing AI in the form of collective “Knowledge.” While there were literally hundreds of announcement… The biggest announcements you may not have even noticed was Project Cortex. What is it and why should you care? Project Cortex will create and update new topic pages and knowledge centers that are meant to act like wikis. Topic cards will be available to users in Outlook, Teams and Office. Cortex builds on top of Microsoft Cognitive services for image and text recognition, forms processing and machine teaching with LUIS, language understanding.
At the heart of Project Cortex is a much improved and largely AI driven managed metadata service which enables tagging and more across much of Microsoft 365. Cortex will leverage the Microsoft Search service in connecting to third-party repositories through connectors which already are available for Windows File Share, ServiceNow, SQL Database, Intranet Websites, MediaWiki, Azure Data Lake Gen2, Salesforce and is extensible.
Those paying attention to Microsoft technologies about 15 years ago may remember a pilot of a tool called Knowledge Network. This tool would analyze your email for keywords and people with a plan to help you organize your content around a network. It was clever, and it gave you insights about who you were working with and could make recommendations, but ultimately the project was abandoned likely due to process intense desktop app with an already process heavy outlook app. While it was improving search and retrieval in Outlook and may have provided insights, Microsoft no longer supported the app in favor of other backend improvements and efforts, they pursued enterprise metadata stores which had promise, but many would say have yet to deliver on the promise of rich enterprise metadata taxonomies for a dozen reasons. For the last dozen years, the pressure has been on building content types, and asking users to populate metadata columns, keywords, and tags and this has largely gone unused in most organizations.
The main difference between managed metadata and this new knowledge network provided by Project Cortex is the promise of a AI driven backed by crowd sourced folksonomy, largely driven not by a small group of people, but through the content creators. Artificial Intelligence does the heavy lifting and is then validated by those creating the content or tasked to manage the approvals. This UI and experience hasn’t been shared yet beyond the demos and in the expo hall at Microsoft Ignite and is only available to those in the currently very limited private preview. The program is expanding with more coming in 2020.
The promise now is the ability to have a large corpus of knowledge that is captured and built upon in a true enterprise wiki not much unlike Wikipedia, but largely driven based on the content created by the organization and categorized, extracted, cataloged and automatically connected to the enterprise corpus through highlighted topics. Imagine all of the automatic and intelligence that is driven not by the arduous effort of end users through manual keywords, columns, and metadata tagging, but through automatic extraction, machine teaching, machine learning, and the best of Microsoft Research built on the back of Office 365 which is populated not just by SharePoint alone but Outlook, Teams, Planner, Stream, Project, Tasks and so on. It doesn’t end there. The promise is just as your data in external SAAS storage such as Box and Dropbox can also be cataloged, extracted, enriched and linked by this same enterprise wiki of topic cards retrieved by enterprise search, and exposed in the documents themselves, in interactions across Microsoft’s productivity suite in Office, Word, Excel, Outlook, SharePoint, Teams and so on.
Imagine you’re adding scanning your invoices and storing them in SharePoint. Prior to Project Cortex, this largely would have provided you with some PDFs stored in a SharePoint library and thanks to the efforts of the cloud, you would already have a much better experience than in the past due to indexing of the PDFs even if they only images, but also extraction of keywords. Project Cortex with Machine teaching could extract customer names, addresses, invoice numbers, amounts, validation of the scans and this content not only would populate in relevant columns, but also know what a customer is, and highlight in the document where when you click on it could take you to an information card which then when clicked take you to a rich page with relationships spidering out to show locations, offices, people, industries, topics and so on based on both validated and extracted relationships in the data. The possibilities are exciting as today you often don’t know what you have. You definitely don’t know what questions to ask of your data, but imagine and AI that wants to make sense of both your structured and unstructured data and to build relationships around it. There is industry knowledge and taxonomies that could have vastly important impact on this.
Why do these knowledge networks, taxonomies, and structured managed metadata and tagging projects always fail? Time, effort, consensus, enterprise skills, budgets, staying power and abilities to sustain such a vast project… Dozens of reasons that come down to the need for someone that has the backing and skillset to sustain such a vastly important and critical project. It also relies on the individuals to fill in the metadata and even if you had already paid hundreds of thousands of dollars today to use cloud extraction programs your ability to do it cross platform would be limited. Project Cortex has such an incredible handle on the key elements to not only automate, but to support it long term as users see the immense value immediately. The difference is in the power of the cloud, power of artificial intelligence and the fact that Microsoft 365 is so well connected now than ever before. This can be successful and it will change the way we look at our content. You’re not just uploading a document that sits in a library. Your adding to an enterprise corpus. Remember that insightful quote from the CIO of HP? “Imagine if HP only knew what HP knows it could be twice as successful.” I truly see Project Cortex in that light. Microsoft with cloud and AI improvements delivered in Project Cortex hopes to deliver on the promise of helping unlock organizational knowledge in just that way. What could John Hopkins know if it knew what it knows. What would that do for medicine. What could Kroger do with access to it’s knowledge. On the surface this means quicker ramp up for employees who don’t know the projects, products, customers and services, but it also allows long time employees to more easily provide knowledge, insights, and incrementally help connect things by validating what the AI is seeing as relationships in the data, content, and business data. Unlocking the enterprise knowledge to a level of helping and providing insights at a level of expansiveness never thought possible. This is big and yes it changes everything. Let’s talk. I’m anxious to get started and I want to work with you.
Looking for more information from Microsoft on Project Cortex or where to sign up for the preview?
Update: You can join Joel on an upcoming Project Cortex webinar where he’ll dive into the business value of Project Cortex or see the latest Business Value infographics on Project Cortex he’s been working on.
|>>Register for the Panel
Microsoft Ignite Conference 2019 is currently being held at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida from November 4th – 8th. Microsoft Ignite is Microsoft’s biggest conference of the year with over 30,000 attendees. It was filled with announcements from the product teams including new releases and updates. It also shares an opportunity to learn innovative ways to build solutions as well as migrate and manage your infrastructure to the cloud.
Some of the Microsoft MVP’s who participated in the conference will be hosting a post Ignite live MVP panel session to go over key announcements, new releases from Microsoft, and many other important highlights that were announced/discussed during Ignite .
Microsoft MVP Panelists
|Join us for this webinar and get caught up on the latest from Microsoft on Office 365, Sharepoint, external sharing and much more!
|Sponsored by Extranet User Manager|
With Bagpipe music and to much fanfare with hundreds of guests including witnesses from both product teams Teams and SharePoint were officially (unofficially) married. The better together story included united SharePoint and Baby OneDrive with Teams with acceptable connections with Flow, PowerApps. The InfoPath Zombie made an appearance and even bit Skype who realized he was next! We sent off the Infopath zombie with an a capella rendition of InfoPath the Pipes the Pipes are calling set to the traditional Danny Boy song.
Current best version of the live stream. Better versions coming:
We tried to do a full live stream which was captured by hundreds of devices, but was quite challenging to get the audio just right. So far the stream on my facebook live might be the best since the audio on our Teams broadcast didn’t work out so well. Maarten Visser is working on posting a quality stream from his cannon.
Here’s the full script. Thanks to those who participated and made this a reality. Thanks to the over 400 people who showed up and raised for a pint at #SharePint for the community and SharePoint and Teams.
The SharePoint & Teams Wedding
The SharePoint & Teams Wedding Script written by Joel Oleson, Stacy Draper, and Joy Apple with inputs from various community friends.
Wedding party to gather Nov 3, 7:00pm at Millers Ale House (International Blvd) Wedding begins at 7:30pm sharp. [Delayed by Seahawks overtime]
|Preacher – Stacy Deere Strole||InfoPath – Nick Bratotoli|
|Teams – Joel Oleson||OneDrive – Alivia Love|
|SharePoint – Joy T Apple||Whiteboard – Jonathan Weaver|
|Flow – Jon Levesque||Maarten Visser – Community Reporter (and Stream)|
|PowerApps – April Dunham||Skype –|
|Exchange – Ryan Love||OneNote – Sharon Weaver|
|Sway – Shari Oswald||John White – PowerBI|
|Other Products as Viewed|
Bagpiper Pat – Plays traditional song for full wedding party then switches to “Here comes the bride”
Preacher – Walks up and take her place
Teams Entourage Walks out
OneDrive Flower Girl – Throws Stickers
SharePoint (the bride) Entourage
The bride then marches in a beautiful dress with veil holding flowers and/or stickers is followed by various Office 365 products…
The couple comes together on either side of the preacher facing each other.
PREACHER: Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Products and Servers, Software and Services, SAAS, and PASS. We are gathered here today at 7:30pm Eastern Standard time, to UNITE at #MSIgnite (say hastag) #SPTeamsWedding , broadcasting wide all across the world using Microsoft Teams Live Events. these two wonderful software products. #BetterTogether Would you now please take each other’s API’s…
Preacher: Wraps beads to unite the two API’s together.
FLOW & Skype: Start Crying & Moaning
Flow talking to Skype: I can’t believe this! WTF! I’M SORRY I HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING. (In a loud voice)
Flow to Everyone: I thought we had something! Seriously HOW MANY TIMES have we hooked up? What the Hell! Marriage???!! I’m happy for you, but I’m worried things will change with this wedding.
SharePoint: Flow, Flow, Flow, calm down… Please let me tell you we have had a lot of good times and your still in my inner loop. But you’re in the FRIEND ZONE. The connections we have are meaningful and I hope we can stay good friends. You mean a lot to me. Besides these are modern times we still have a lot of connections to make and actions to trigger.
TEAMS: FLOW, you’re my buddy. Nothing will change. Let’s stay connected.
Skype to Teams: I know we broke up on Valentine’s Day that was 8 months ago!! People love me, they love you, but nobody can resist my voice. (Sing…)
Teams: Skype you’ve had your time, its’ my time I’ve come along a way defeating Slack and all the haters. Just remember the good times (interrupted by Zombie sounds).
Infopath in full Zombie: (Moaning and dragging his foot. Walks around the bar staring at people and saying… I know you love me. Don’t let me go.) BRAINS! I’m NOT DEAD YET! (As InfoPath approaches the wedding party, he approaches Skype and bites his arm. (Wound is pre-prepared that becomes exposed as Infopath bites).
Skype: Yells and screams AHHHH exposing his wound. I’m NEXT! I knew it! How much time do I have? 2021!? Don’t Stop Loving me! Why doesn’t someone do something about the InfoPath Zombie! WHY IS HE STILL HERE!!
PowerApps: I know what needs to be done… Anyone seen Zombieland ya’ll!??
[Puts her hand in her pocket like she’s getting a gun, pulls out finger in the shape of a gun, and puts it up to the head of InfoPath and says]
BOOM! Yells, FLOW Help me Out here.
FLOW: Yep. This one NEEDS a Double Tap. [PullsFinger Gun.] Boom! The two of them drag InfoPath Zombie out of the wedding.
Teams: I love it Flow and PowerApps you are the best. We need to hang out more!
SharePoint: My hero! Flow and PowerApps you are welcome over anytime!
Bagpiper: Teams & SharePoint Sing Danny Boy 1st verse & bagpiper plays 2nd verse
Preacher says: Join me in bowing your heads for a moment of silence for our good friend who we have shared good times and bad. However, InfoPath we hope you stay dead so we can focus on letting Skype pass more peacefully and Flow & PowerApps can have their moment. Let us begin… (Moment of Silence). Now back to the reason we are all here to unite Teams & SharePoint. If there is any reason for these products NOT to be united Today NOW is the time to speak up or forever hold your peace.
Yammer: SharePoint, you and I were made for each other! You and I were meant to be together.
SharePoint: You had your chance. You’re Outer Loop. Get Outer Here! It’s TEAMS I love and want to be with. Teams knows how to treat me and make me feel special.
Preacher: ANYONE ELSE? (Play into the crowd)
Ok. I see no reason NOT to Unite these SASS-Y products together. Teams do you Take SharePoint to be your Storage, your Lists, your Files —- Exchange Interrupts!
Exchange: STOP!!! (Holds up OneDrive baby) What about OneDrive?
Teams looking at SharePoint: Is this your child? Why didn’t you tell me?
SharePoint: I didn’t think it mattered.
Teams: Ok. It doesn’t matter. OneDrive is a beautiful baby we can all be one big happy family.
Preacher (continues with the Vows) Where did I leave off? Files. That’s right. Do you take SharePoint and baby OneDrive for your files…? In bad times… low latency, Bugs, list scalability issues, and in outages?
Teams: I DO!
Preacher: And SharePoint, do you take Teams to be your Partner and Front End, as a hub and an Application Platform so long as both of you shall live until EOL (END OF LIFE) through licensing issues, and Health Checks.
SharePoint: I DO!
Preacher: BY the POWER of the Underwater Microsoft Datacenter. I Announce you Teams and SharePoint. Better Together… Forever or at least until End of Life and Zombie Life.
You may now officially be Better Together Forever if you both shall live. (Crowd Cheers)
The Bag Pipes Blast a fun lively song.
Teams and SharePoint dance the first dance, and the rest of the products follow… Scottish dancing, swinging, or whatever made up dancing happens in a circle. Products may hold hands with kicking (improvise).
Preacher: Everyone raise a glass to SharePoint & Teams
Preacher Toast: Asks everyone to raise a glass and toasts SharePoint and Teams… [community share their thoughts.]
SharePoint and Teams thank everyone for coming. Wedding cake is shared with everyone.
–End of Program–
It isn’t about the people in the masks. This is about the products and their relationships.
Why isn’t the product group doing this?
They think they already are married. This is an opportunity for the community to help cement that in their minds. The announcements around list integration and UI SharePoint Framework and API work is only getting better. These products absolutely need to be thought of together in all architecture, application, and design sessions. The invite on the part of SharePoint to invite Teams to join them at #SPC really is significant. Joining forces… Personally any see SharePoint person who isn’t ramping up super quick on Teams is going to be left behind. This is a serious wake up call for anyone working on SharePoint. This is not about UC. This is about Collaboration and Application and Platform development for Office 365. It’s BIG! Wake up! Learn Teams!! #BetterTogether
I don’t get it. Why have a wedding for products?
It’s about the community. It’s an important time in history for SharePoint and Teams. This is an opportunity to explore the relationship between Teams, SharePoint, Flow, PowerApps, Skype, and more. Personifying the products in this way provides a narrative for the interactivity of a…
Teams – at the heart of big families of products that is the center of attention with strong relationships with all of the products especially SharePoint, Flow, PowerApps, OneDrive, Whiteboard, Stream, Planner, Project and so on…
SharePoint – a product that has been the darling of Office 365 for a long time, and will be taking a slightly different role, but not going away. It’s playing the role of storage for lists, libraries, and content management.
InfoPath zombie – a product that just won’t die
Skype for Biz who gets bit – a product that sees the end of life coming
Yammer – a product that’s had it’s moment with SharePoint and will again rise with Teams
OneDrive – a darling baby of a product that has a special relationship to SharePoint and Teams
Did one person do all this?
No we had a dozen different roles and people working behind the scenes to make this work. This was a true community effort!