Ruminations on the Future of SharePoint

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I’ve had quite a few people ask me why I waste time organizing these monthly #CollabTalk tweetjams. It can be difficult to follow the conversation threads, they’re full of inside jokes and side conversations, and if it’s a hot topic – its like drinking from the content fire hose. But what I love about the format is that you focus on certain themes and conversations during the event, and after reading through the March 2014 collabtalk tweetjamsummary, you find dozens of additional ideas and comments and links that you missed before. It’s a treasure trove of great content, packed into a one-hour texting barrage. And I’m planning to keep it running. I’m still thinking about my April topic, but rest assured it’ll happen at the end of the month, before I wander away and join the festivities in Barcelona for the European SharePoint Conference.

For this month’s tweetjam, we had 14 panelists, over 60 participants during the event, and more than 600 tweets produced. You can find a summary/transcript of the entire event (with most re-tweets removed) on my page at Storify. But here is a snapshot of some of the comments made during last month’s event:

Q1: In your opinion, what was the biggest news out of the conference?

  • @kkhipple A1: biggest news had to be #oslo and the introduction of the #officegraph
  • @jamescallaghan on-premises is still in MSFTs minds. More Hybrid options becoming available. Oslo.
  • @dlairman A1 Microsoft's move toward openness and transparency (ex #InfoPath replacement)
  • @diverdown1964 Q1: 1. Big Push into non-Windows platforms
  • @wictor A1: MinDB and Fort Knox
  • @buckleyplanet A1 was also great to see an iPad demo and Android SDK announcements in the #spc14 keynote
  • @jshoq Q1: I think the biggest news was the confirmation of on-prem Exchange and SharePoint coming next year.

Q2: What was the best session you attended, and why?

  • @erobillard A2 #SPC388 great walkthrough of building Win 8 and mobile apps against SP Services, and showed off #ProjectSiena
  • @SPHotShot A2: Kirk Evans Azure sessions, hands down
  • @ben3003 A2: Session by Nationwide with their case study. True real world examples with not just the why but also the how
  • @jamescallaghan A2 Keynote and a look at Office 365 behind the scenes. Microsoft take security seriously. More please – great for customers.
  • @dlairman A2 @olenickSP 6 tips session – I repurposed some of the deck for an internal preso about the benefits of moving to #SP2013
  • @erobillard A2: Dev trending towards apps consuming SP content on all devices, @waldekm's #SPC388 was the best guide yet.

Q3: What was the most underrated topic at SPC?

  • @erobillard A3 SPDesigner conspicuous by its absence, dead as InfoPath? And those Excel surveys rock. #SPC14
  • @kkhipple A3: could @yammer take over @Sharepoint as a platform for collaboration?
  • @buckleyplanet A3 an underlying theme, with support for iOS and Android, what happens to the MS stack dev strategy?
  • @NickKellett A3. SharePoint platform was buried under cloud services, infra, new widgets. Not much talk about strategy / impact
  • @sympmarc A3: Shift from cool features to real solutions. New territory for Microsoft. It isn't about the tech.
  • @teknirvana A3. ECM seems to be dead. Nobody seems to care about metadata tagging or content management much anymore

Q4: Based on SPC, what is your take on the current on prem vs hybrid vs cloud messaging?

  • @erobillard A4 MSFT will keep undermining on-prem until we're all in the cloud. #SPC14
  • @dlairman A4 The Cloud is Coming (if you aren't fully onboard, get your toes wet with hybrid)
  • @diverdown1964 A4: On-prem is the way we deliver features that we can't put in the cloud #
  • @SPHotShot … O365 is a freight train coming at you (and it's better to be on the train than in it's path)
  • @kkhipple A4 feels like roles of on-prem and cloud will switch places. 4yrs ago cloud was 2nd citizen. Now on-prem is the 2nd citizen
  • @sharepointlhorn A4: one of my customers stated after #SPC14 that his takeaway was "get to the cloud, on-prem is now a red-headed step child"

Q5: How much has/will what you've learned at SPC change your strategy for 2014?

  • @NickKellett A5: Major focus on comparing and understanding MS and other cloud offerings now
  • @shellecaldwell I would say most companies should say no to this question but alas they still answer yes #collabtalk
  • @SPHotShot A5: Didnt change so much as re-enforced what was already suspected #collabtalk
  • @barkingd A5: For #Apps strategy, the big question is, how efficiently will MS execute "stack" collaboration and API maturity #CollabTalk #HardToDo
  • @EVanRoy A5: didn't change much, need to put more effort into cloud and hybrid than I planned. Was expecting a slower push 🙂 #collabtalk
  • @teknirvana A5. No change – SharePoint App model is the future of SharePoint customization and solutions #collabtalk

Q6: What was the most interesting takeaway from the exhibit hall?

Q7: What SharePoint events are you most looking forward to in 2014, and why?

There’s a lot more than this over on Storify, so click here and peruse the detailed responses from the community. And if you missed the conference, just remember that ALL of the sessions are available (for free) on MSDN’s Channel 9. And if you’re so inclined, you can watch my #SPC14 session SharePoint in the clouds – select, mix, and deploy what's right for you, or watch my fellow #IAMCP Seattle board members and I, with Ro from the SoCal chapter, as we are interviewed by MSIT’s Karuana Gatimu (@karuana) on #SPCtv on the topic of IAMCP and why you (SharePoint vendors and consultants) should get involved.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Servers and Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and CMO of revealit.io, a blockchain-based video technology company.