Archive for category SharePoint Conference

MySPC 2014 Summary

It has been 6 days since I returned home from SPC14 but mentally I’m still ‘recovering’.  Like the previous SharePoint conferences in Vegas it has been an amazing week with some very interesting days and truly Epic nights. It was great catching up with existing friends and I had a lot of pleasure in meeting new.

But in retrospect, what did I like best about the conference..?

Microsoft is becoming more and more open
I loved the messages Microsoft was delivering during the conference. I have been visiting Microsoft TechEd’s, SharePoint and Partner Conferences for 14 years, and some things are really changing. Microsoft is becoming the ultimate ‘Open (cloud) platform vendor’ which is fully device-agnostic, and I love the growth in openness regarding roadmaps and future plans.

Here are some facts from the conference:

  • iOS and Android devices are fully accepted as platforms (for users and apps). Apple and Android demo’s during many sessions. New SDK for Android.
  • We get to see upcoming features and roadmaps much earlier. Examples are the future of Forms (FoSL), Office Graph and solid directions regarding the future of Enterprise Social (which isn’t SharePoint;)
  • Microsoft is asking us to actively and openly participate in product direction (by using the uservoice platform)

It’s all about Online Services (SaaS) and API’s now!
I was hoping for this to happen. Microsoft has been pushing the ‘Software and Services’ mantra since 2009. But now, 5 years later we really see the effects in everything that Microsoft does. The SharePoint Online API is becoming more complete every month and new API’s got introduced during the Conference. I planning to write a separate blog post on this topic in the coming weeks.

Here a summary of the SPC14 news related to the SharePoint Services world:

  • Office 365 is clearly becoming the most important platform for Microsoft (It has beaten SharePoint as being the fastest growing Microsoft product ever)
    • Triple digit growth in the past 18 months (a 485 percent growth in user access and a 500 percent YoY growth in customer content storage, since April 2013)
    • About 20% growth every month
    • 1.5 Billion dollar in revenue last year
    • 1 TB Site collection limit and Limitless tenant size (‘unlimited’ users)
  • New Powerful API’s, sample code and API tools are being released
    • New file API (Direct access to OneDrive)
    • New Discovery API (find the SharePoint and Onedrive namespace and endpoint of logged on user)
    • New Site provisioning API (Create Site Collections with options)
    • New Site provisioning and branding options
    • New People API (show stuff like “out of the office status”)
    • New monitoring APIs, like this ULS log SCOM endpoint
    • NEW PowerShell Commands
  • It doesn’t matter if you are a C#, Web, Windows, Android or Apple developer, Microsoft is providing SDK’s and Sample code to help us build cool Apps using these services
  • Services will be deliverd and updated much more frequently. No longer we have to deal with “3 year updates cycles”. Last year Office 365 went from a 12 week to a 4 week update schedule and currently they are preparing for weekly updates (just like yammer has been doing for many years)
  • More Integration
    • With the new Groups functionality we will get the ability to connect data in Exchange (mail and Calendar, SharePoint (Documents), Lync (messages) and Yammer (Social Updates) in a very powerful way.
    • The new type of “Contextual Apps” will be able to run in Office, Office Online and all device related Apps (like OWA for iOS and Android) to help you get all the data you need to make informed decisions.
    • Improved authentication integration (Azure oAuth / SAML 2.0 support)

And last but not least…  The Office Graph.

I’m preparing a separate blog post on this topic in which I will digg much deeper I what the Office Graph could bring to the Microsoft Platform. I have to be careful with my enthusiasm regarding this topic since I have been a big fan and ‘believer’ in the Semantic Web since 2004 (and still waiting for big breakthroughs;). Basically the concept of the “Office Graph” is the same as the Semantic Network Model, only at a smaller scale.  The Microsoft Office Graph will map all data in the enterprise, where the Semantic web (Tim Berners-Lee is now calling it the Giant Global Graph) will probably become the ultimate Graph, which one day will allow you to ask very complex questions ‘to the internet’. Check my blog in about a week to read about my vision on this Microsoft technology.

SPC14 was an inspiriting event, which lots of great moments. It’s just too bad we will have to wait another 1,5 year for the next one (I’m guessing October or November 2015).
I must say that the Conference was perfectly organized and the Venetian Convention Center was a great location for the event.  And yes, I really love Las Vegas, It’s the ultimate adult amusement park!



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Microsoft brings me to Las Vegas, again!

In 7 days Microsoft is bringing me to Las Vegas for the third time.  From 1 to 6 March around 10.000 people will be visiting The Venetian for the Microsoft SharePoint 2014 Conference.  Basically this means 5 days of technical sessions, drinks, conversations, meet-ups, more drinks, debates, American food, Q&A’s and Parties.

Some people might know I have been a SharePoint evangelist since the day I got my hands on the SharePoint 2001 beta. Although SharePoint 2001 had some serious limitations, it still was a much better solution compared to the tools I had been using in the previous years (combining Microsoft Site Server 3.0  with Outlook Web Access 5.5 :).

My first Microsoft SharePoint Conference was in 2002 with about 100 people in a Hotel at Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam). It was an one day conference and if I remember correctly, Mike Fitzmaurice and a marketing guy were the only speakers.

My second SharePoint conference was the ‘European SharePoint 2003 Conference’ organized by Microsoft in Amsterdam. If my brain functions properly it must have been a two day conference, and after a keynote it had 2 or 3 parallel tracks, Mike Fitzmaurice did most of the important sessions and the event was visited by 200-300 people.

With SharePoint 2003 (and WSS 3.0) the product really started the make waves. The product got picked-up by many IT professionals since Windows SharePoint Services 3.0  was an easy (and free) add-on to Windows Server 2003 that provided some useful collaboration tools.
Microsoft’s last and biggest European SharePoint conference was held in February 2007 (with the introduction of SharePoint 2007). The conference took 3 days and it had more than 50 sessions.  The conference must have had around 2000 visitors. A lot of people I knew from the Dutch ‘SharePoint Scene’ were there and we had loads of fun during the evenings. But this was probably the first conference were I also made a lot of international friends. Here are some photo’s of the conference which I found on the net.  During this conference I fully realised how big SharePoint had become…

When SharePoint (and Office) 2010 beta was about to launch, The only official Microsoft Conference was held in Las Vegas. The day I heard about the conference, I knew I had to be there. I’m not going to write much about the 8 days I had in Vegas (October 2009), but I can tell you it was a week I will never forget! For now, there’s only one picture I like to share and here are many more from other people if you’re interested.

I can be very short about the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011 (which was in Los Angeles). I had a ticket, a hotel and there was a seat in the airplane, but I wasn’t there….  My wife was almost 8 months pregnant, and the day before I was planning to leave she had ‘false labour’ pains. You can images stepping into a plane didn’t feel right, so I missed that one….

Then there was the SharePoint Conference in 2012…. again this was truly epic! I went together with a good friend and again (just like SPC09) I could write a book about all the things that happened that week. Here are some random pícture from Flickr (somehow Christian Buckley seems to on all Flickr photos).

In between the Microsoft conferences I also visited most of the ‘SharePoint Connections’ conferences in Amsterdam, organised by the good folks of NC Communications. These are  2 days conferences to get some solid knowledge and meet-up with Dutch and European friends. In 2012 (a week after SPC12) I did a session on ‘How to create SharePoint 2013 Killer Apps’ during this conference.

So, that history….

While writing this blog another day has ended, and in just 6 days I will be flying to Las Vegas for the third time. I have always loved speaking with other “collaboration and productivity software” enthusiasts and one of the best places in the world for sharing knowledge and experiences is during a Microsoft SharePoint Conference!

I hope to see you there!



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