In case you missed the full-court-press on social media today, the press release hit about my new position as chief marketing officer (CMO) for SharePoint and Office 365 social collaboration ISV Beezy (www.beezy.net). Beezy is experiencing some growth – both in customers and employees – and I am excited to be joining the company at this time. For those who are unfamiliar with the brand, Beezy provides rich enterprise collaboration experiences for SharePoint on-prem, online, and hybrid environments well beyond what SharePoint or even Yammer can provide. Their award-winning user interface (UI) helps organizations get more value out of their SharePoint investments by helping teams better capture and disseminate knowledge, and increase end user engagement. Oh, and Beezy fully integrates with both Office Graph and all of the latest developments coming out of Redmond.
If you attended the European SharePoint Conference in Barcelona last year, you may remember that I did a brief Beezy demo as part of my keynote presentation with Microsoft’s Mark Kashman.
My passion around social technology is nothing new. It really began in the mid-1990s as the various instant messaging tools began to take hold. My good friend and college roommate went to work for AOL and invited me to provide some beta feedback of the new AOL Instant Messenger shortly after the ICQ acquisition. While working on my MBA, my project team adopted the early version of Groove, which displaced our FTP server as our primary method for sharing project documentation. The software company I co-founded in the late 1990’s attempted to identify relationships between every artifact and person within an organization and identify patterns through those relationships – something very much akin to a social graph….even though we didn’t know to call it that back then. After selling that company, I joined startup E2open.com to help them design and build a hosted collaboration platform (sound familiar?), which was a factor to my finding my way into the SharePoint community and then onto the Microsoft team chartered with creating a hosted version of SharePoint, now part of Office 365. So I’ve been working at, talking about, and presenting on social technology for close to 20 years. To say that I am excited about this new role and opportunity might be an understatement.
Of course, I’m leaving behind a great team at GTconsult, who will continue to expand and grow their US presence. I’m looking forward to a continued partnership with Brad, Craig, Warren, and the rest of the team, and plan to jointly develop new content in the very near feature. Specifically, I’m proud of the great work being done by Melinda Morales (@trulymelinda) around our launch of the SharePoint Governance Maturity Model (GMM) and by Dorinda Reyes (@dorinda_reyes) around the migration center of excellence (CoE), all of which will still apply to the work I’ll be doing at Beezy. For one, Beezy is the only SharePoint vendor to offer migration from legacy social platforms by Jive, IBM, and Sitrion (NewsGator) to both SharePoint on prem and online, and, of course, governance is a topic that touches on every aspect of SharePoint – even social. I would argue that a healthy social environment cannot exist without healthy governance. More on these topics in future weeks.
It’s been a busy week so far, and next week won’t be any quieter as I fly down to Orlando for my 6th Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (www.digitalwpc.com) where I’ll be presenting a couple sessions on – you guessed it, social collaboration. Looking forward to the event! See you there…