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What you missed at SPC14

Written by Harry Spiegelman on March 31, 2014

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I got off of that plane in Las Vegas last month. I’ve attended SharePoint Saturdays in the past and assumed that the SharePoint Conference would be similar but in larger scale. Well, that was true..but I didn’t realize how much larger the scale was. There were almost 300 sessions over the 3+ days!

So how do I sum it up? Well, how about exhilarating, exciting, stimulating, and intoxicating, as words to describe the week? And the conference was pretty good too!

So here is what I saw as main points of emphasis for the week:

Cloudy heads in Vega$

I’d say (without counting) that cloud-related topics made up almost half the sessions. Now, that does include SharePoint Online, Office 365, OneDrive for Business, and Yammer. As far as specific cloud-related subjects go, there are too many to name here..but listed below are some of the highlights:

· Devising strategies for building online content

· Determining what content and functionality is more appropriate for the cloud and what should remain on-premises.

· Best practices in migrating content from on-premises to the cloud

· Incorporating a hybrid SharePoint solution – co-existence of SP Online and On-prem.

· SkyDrive rebranded as OneDrive as part of SP1

Abundant Yammering

Lots of Yammering about Yammer! For instance, within five minutes of Bill Baer’s IT Pro Keynote speech, we already had learned that Yammer Integration with SharePoint 2013 was part of SharePoint SP1 (Gotta love a brand spanking new Yammer configuration interface in Central Admin!). No shortage of Yammer sessions either..at least 25 or so. Most of the topics were around the strategy to drive adoption of Yammer as an Enterprise tool and NOT as “Facebook for SharePoint.” I am also intrigued with the Office/Yammer integration as well as the mining of Yammer data.

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Oslo – not just in Norway anymore

During the opening keynote speeches, Microsoft unveiled their new social discovery app affectionately referred to as “Oslo” (A nod to the home city where its developers reside) and it’s built on Office Graph. Office Graph is designed to dynamically populate a social dashboard with content and newsfeeds from across an Office network. Oslo acts like a dynamic map of a user’s world; displaying content literally touched by a user, trending around a user, or even trending around a user’s co-workers. Pretty slick stuff and can really help foster the discussion of Enterprise Social.

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Some other highlights:

· Azure video portal (also related to the Office Graph) – YouTube for the enterprise

· Hybrid SharePoint Solutions –hybrid search and user management for On-Premises and SharePoint Online

· In depth architecture discussions on Workflow Manager and Performance Analysis for SharePoint 2013 farms.

Some final thoughts:

So it’s a little difficult to encapsulate the entirety of the conference in a single blog post. Look for some follow on posts that get into more detail about the topics above and some that have yet to be mentioned. Also, irrespective of personal politics, I thought it was pretty cool that President Clinton gave the opening keynote address. He spoke for about 40 minutes and made many points, but the one that seems to linger is that the “technological revolution has fostered more cooperation than conflict. Technology is just a tool and can be used negatively as well as positively. No one has mastered the use of disposable cell phones like terrorist groups, but, and I quote President Clinton, “wherever the dominant form of social organization is a network of creative cooperation, good things are happening.”

Look forward to more postings.

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