From the outside, it may appear that my day is filled with nothing more than selfie photos and tweets, but there is actual work that happens each and every day :-) Attending a conference as huge as the SharePoint Conference here in Las Vegas can be overwhelming to the senses (except for conference food, which is always underwhelming), and yet I still try to sneak in an article or two on sessions that I attend, and announcements that are made. I’m feeling behind in the area of content, but am very happy with the quality and quantity of networking that is happening – which is the most important part of an event like this.
But as a quick recap of the day yesterday, I began the morning in Jason Himmelstein’s session (@sharepointlhorn) learning more about Apps for Office. As always, Jason did a great job of providing a comprehensive view of the Office app model, showcasing how businesses can easily build productivity solutions using the new app model – and without code. As a business guy, I always appreciate learning about new out-of-the-box and no-code solutions that can help me and my team be more productive, and I took a few notes on some things I am going to experiment on when I am back in the home office, and will plan on writing about those experiences in the future.
One of the main activities of my day was recording a session on #SPCtv with my good friend, SPS Los Angeles co-founder, and now current MSIT wunderkind on all-things collaboration, Karuana Gatimu. In a panel session (still waiting for the link from Channel 9), we talked about the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) and the opportunity it presents for partners within the SharePoint community to scale their businesses – or find new business opportunities. I was joined on the panel by my fellow Seattle chapter co-founder Jeff Shuey (@jshuey) from Gimmal, and Seattle board member and Women In Technology (WIT) leader Barb Campbell from Colligo, with SoCal chapter president and partner at 6th Street Consulting, Ro Kolakowski (@ro_kolakowski). At the end of the session, we left a challenge for every SharePoint ISV, SI, or independent consultant to visit the IAMCP.org website and find their local chapter, and to visit at least once to see what it’s all about.
Roaming inside and outside of the exhibit hall, I kept running into people snapping pictures (it’s a selfie revolution!), recording videos and podcasts, and just wanting to get impressions on announcements (and non-announcements) being made at the conference. I had a great conversation with the KnowledgeLake team and recorded a quick video on their behalf – Metalogix often partners with KnowledgeLake around events and campaigns, as we have very complementary solutions.
Other notables, I found a guy wearing my CherPoint t-shirt from the Axceler days, and was able to capture a picture with Chris and Jeremy, aka the Sport Coat SharePoint Mafia.
I was also able to catch up with former peers from my Microsoft days. On Monday, it was watching Bill Baer present, with Jim Adams and Sam Crewdson sitting next to me. The four of us were on the original Microsoft Managed Services (MMS) team prior to its rebranding as Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) in late 2007. Yesterday, I kept seeing Sean Livingston as I passed through the halls, also from MMS, but was also able to chat with Chris Norred, a peer from my advertising operations days at MS, who is working a kiosk in the Microsoft pavilion on the exhibit floor.
In the afternoon, some attention was turned to the Harmon.ie booth, where they announced the latest list of Top 25 SharePoint influencers. Last year I was recognized at #18, but I think my monthly wall of content and heavy travel schedule made the difference as I was recognized by Harmon.ie, their independent analyst, and over 3000 community votes as the #4 influencer. Now I know a lot of people have a difficult time with a list like this, and I would agree that there are some HUGE community contributors who were not included but should have been, but I am still grateful for being included. I’m also thrilled to see people like Dan Usher (@binarybrewery) and Becky Isserman (@mosslover) included, as they do so much for the community – and most of it behind the scenes. For me, it makes the list that much more legitimate when well-deserving people like them are included. Oh, and as I was sitting here in the speaker room working on this post, my good friend Chris McNulty (@cmcnulty2000) sat down across from me and suggested a tweet, which I promptly pushed out:
At the end of the day, I was able to sit in a session by Fabian Williams (@fabianwilliams) as he presented on Hybrid Business Connectivity Services. I’ve seen Fabian present a number of times over the past 5 years, and I have to say that he is easily one of my favorite dev presenters. As a non-dev, I appreciate the fact that Fabian does a great job of laying out the problem space, and making it clear what is happening at each stage as he walks through his examples. He spent a good portion of his intro walking through the boundaries of hybrid, explaining the attributes of the system and the gaps (data access and security issues, navigating multiple data sources, etc), and then stepped through each of the areas that a team will need to address to fill those gaps and connect data in some real-world hybrid scenarios. If you missed his session, I highly recommend you download his deck (#SPC319).
And of course, the rest of the day was spent in countless meetings and exhibit floor conversations, meeting and greeting people I haven’t seen since the last SPC – or people who I recognize (or who recognize me) through articles and tweets and videos. When you miss SPC, you can always find the content out there – but you miss out on all of the networking. Definitely a must-attend event for anyone in the SharePoint community.
And to round out the evening – I completely ditched the main SPC party over on the Las Vegas raceway, and instead grabbed dinner with friends and partners Mark and Kurt from Hi Software, where we talked about life in Northern California gold country. Great low-key dinner, followed by some brief fun watching friends from the community lose their life savings at craps. But good entertainment for me.
Ok, heading out to the next session…