As promised in my June summary, July brought with it some big news: my move into the CMO role at Beezy, an enterprise social ISV that I have been a fan of for a couple years now, and had even demonstrated on stage while talking enterprise social (during my ESPC keynote last year with Mark Kashman, for example). While the month was fairly quiet from a travel perspective, with just the one road trip to Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (#WPC15) in Orlando, my time has been jam-packed with wrapping up customer commitments for GTconsult and transitioning over to Beezy, and doing all of the planning for the new role.
For those unfamiliar with Beezy, they are not new to the SharePoint space, but are a sister-company to the 2-time EU partner of the year Spenta consulting, based out of Barcelona. In a similar story to how Nintex, my old company echoTechnology, and many other ISVs were formed, Spenta had delivered an on prem social experience for a very large customer (Vodafone) which caught the eye of many other customers, and from that beginning a product company was spun off and launched about 4 years ago – Beezy. Along the way, the company continued to grow and add huge enterprise customers and winning awards for their beautiful and functional UI, all of it built on top of SharePoint. Earlier this year, I started officially advising and consulting with Beezy, helping them get ready for Ignite and their announcement of their ability to migrate Jive, IBM Connections, and NewsGator to Office 365, for which I provided a guest blog post. As far as I know, we are the ONLY company that provides this ability for all three competitor platforms – and we don’t just move the content, but we move every content type and conversation to SharePoint + Beezy. Coinciding with my joining Beezy as their first official marketing hire, we also announced our ability to seamlessly integrate Yammer and Beezy, on prem or in the cloud, which was outlined in a blog post that I co-wrote with our product lead, Maximo Castagno. To cap off these huge announcements, Beezy CEO Jordi Plana called it "the start of an enterprise collaboration revolution" – and there is much more coming over the next couple months, so stay tuned!
In August, my travels will remain light – but I’ll be ramping up for a busy fall schedule, with a lot of new content, new sessions, and several big trips planned. I’m looking forward to participating in the first SharePointFest to happen in Seattle this month (always nice to participate in a big event at home), and at the end of the month will be traveling to Auckland, New Zealand for the Digital Workplace Conference, as well as to sit through the keynote for the NZ Ignite Conference. I love visiting New Zealand, and have a couple adventures planned outside of the venue (Hobbiton, anyone?). And then looking beyond that to September, my plans include visits to Oslo, Reykjavik, Amsterdam, and then to visit some of the Beezy dev team in Barcelona... leaving just a handful of days at home. There is a lot of work to be done to prepare, but I’m excited about what’s coming up next.
From a content perspective, its no surprise that much of my writing will be turning toward social collaboration. I’ve been actively writing on the topic since 2002, and launched this blog in 2004 specifically to track and analyze the various social tools and platforms available. But I’ll always explore topics across the SharePoint and Office 365 spectrum, as well as business and marketing topics that interest me. On the topic of social, I had a few posts this past month:
- Viva La Collaboration Revolution! (buckleyPLANET) http://bit.ly/1Di0it6
- Understanding Social Collaboration in Office 365 (SlideShare) http://bit.ly/1KHRnDS
- Why Social Collaboration Fails for Many Organizations (IT Unity) http://bit.ly/1E0kPNB
- The Power of the Community Site Template (buckleyPLANET) http://bit.ly/1IwCKMX
- Using Yammer to Support Partner and Customer Communities (SlideShare) http://bit.ly/1OHxEBY
- Taking on a new role with Beezy (buckleyPLANET) http://bit.ly/1KHRUWk
With the rapid news cycle around Office 365 and other cloud initiatives, I’m also trying to put my spin on any relevant news coming out. One thing I really enjoy about the larger events is doing the live blogging. This is the second time where I’ve participated through IT Unity, providing short and sweet posts during the keynotes. Taking the notes helps you both focus on what is being shared, but is also a great way to get differing perspectives on the news as it happens.
- WPC15 Live Blogging (IT Unity) http://www.itunity.com/wpc-live
- Will Office 365 Groups Displace Yammer? (RedmondMag.com) http://bit.ly/1gQQbkJ
- CollabTalk Webisode #7 (IT Unity) http://bit.ly/1N0ZqsI
- Office 365 Updates, Rumors and Speculation (buckleyPLANET) http://bit.ly/1MEzS7H
- Takeaways from #WPC15 (buckleyPLANET) http://bit.ly/1JYn1Hx
- The Guide to Office 365 Training: Setting Up Your Domain (Datto ebook) http://bit.ly/1HfZaRu
While productivity is certainly a primary theme within social collaboration, some content is broader, and with more of a business focus:
- The Pathway to Productivity (buckleyPLANET) http://bit.ly/1DhYxvS
- People are at the Center of Change (AIIM) http://bit.ly/1JYlOzN
- Keys to Successful Enterprise Collaboration (buckleyPLANET) http://bit.ly/1LXp82E
One of the major announcements coming out of WPC was Project GigJam, a “mashup” approach to productivity that encapsulates various applications inside of a single canvas, allowing the user to quickly grab data through SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and anything else you have cloud-enabled and accessible, and then involve people through a combination of mobility capabilities, audio controls using Cortana, data parsing and updates using Delve and the Office Graph, and a dozen other really cool things. You need to see the demo to understand the direction Microsoft is going. I’ve written a couple articles on the topic, sharing links to relevant background details, and even made GigJam the focus on this last month’s #CollabTalk tweetjam:
- Project GigJam: The Next-Gen Task Collaboration App (RedmondMag.com) http://bit.ly/1M4hCEV
- Does collaboration need to be reinvented? (SPTechCon) http://bit.ly/1E0gEkR
- Transforming the Way People Collaborate (buckleyPLANET) http://bit.ly/1LXoS3M
- Microsoft Reinvents the Content Authoring Experience (Storify) http://bit.ly/1IRaPgY
As always, migration and governance will be topics that I’ll write about. This first post is something I’ve been thinking about for some time – since Ignite and the announcement of the new migration API, when all of the migration ISVs created content that were, frankly, pure fluff, and provided little detail around what the API actually did to speed up migrations. After one of my former team members (@Dorinda_Reyes) blogged on the topic, I saw it as an opportunity to expand on the topic. And the governance post is an interview with one of my other team members (@TrulyMelinda) talking about the SharePoint Governance Maturity Model she developed. Good stuff.
- The Realities of Migrating SharePoint to the Cloud (CMSWire) http://bit.ly/1OSxsAx
- The SharePoint Governance Maturity Model, with Expert Melinda Morales (SP-COM) http://bit.ly/1IcI6Qr
With the job change and product and service announcements, its was a full month of PR and mentions:
- Hiring? Make Sure to Get a Business Analyst (Redmond Channel Partner) http://bit.ly/1JEGLnK
- Doc Mgt Roll-Up: Getting Your Office Together (CMSWire) http://bit.ly/1KIOv6X
- GTconsult Launches SharePoint Governance Maturity Model (NewsWire) http://bit.ly/1KHSwuY
- Beezy Announces Two-Way Integration between Yammer and SharePoint (PRWeb) http://bit.ly/1IgsA3K
- Beezy Expands Leadership with Christian Buckley as Chief Marketing Officer (PRWeb) http://bit.ly/1Su7mti
- #WPC15 promo video (MPN) http://bit.ly/1VU73qU
With the move to Beezy, I’m trying to figure out the right cadence for blog posts, considering all of the other content commitments I now have. I don’t think the volume is going to decrease, but the balance may shift for the channels through which I write. We’ll see how the next couple months go. Right now I am focusing on some product announcements and preparing to launch a couple really big marketing campaigns. Get ready to hear a lot more about Beezy within the SharePoint and Office 365 communities. The wave is approaching…