What is the Future of the SharePoint IT Pro?

CollabTalk TweetJam Oct 29, 2014Across the various forums and Yammer groups that serve the SharePoint community, feedback from partners and customers alike has been that the future of the IT Pro role is in question. The largest driver of change is due to the movement toward SharePoint Online and the Office 365 platform, with SharePoint customizations and other traditionally IT Pro areas of ownership now falling under the software-as-a-service blanket of no-code solutions and a freeze of most customizations. Change within any technology platform always stirs up fear and unrest as people try to adjust to new tools, APIs, and rules of engagement with the platform owner – in this case Microsoft. Of course, some of this fear may be well-deserved, with SharePoint rapidly moving toward a more uniform, packaged solution, whether offered through its Office 365 software-as-a-service solution or the many platform and infrastructure-as-a-service options through various public and private cloud hosters, such as Rackspace, Fpweb, Amazon Web Services, and others.

As SharePoint becomes more packaged, the traditional IT Pro changes, if not disappears. Or will it? That’s the point of this month’s #CollabTalk tweetjam, focusing on “The Future of the SharePoint IT Pro” with feedback from some of the most recognized experts in the SharePoint community. We’ll kick things off for an hour of discussion beginning at 9am Pacific on October 29th using the hashtag #CollabTalk.

What is a tweetjam, you ask? It’s a gathering of experts on a very public channel (Twitter) allowing anyone to watch or participate. We provide a site at Twubs.com/CollabTalk to capture the conversation, or you can use Twitter or Hootsuite or any other platform you’d like to follow along or jump in. Over the course of the hour, we’ll walk through 7 main questions and give our panelists and participants a chance to answer, share links and experiences, and to ask their own follow up questions, The only guidance is to remember to include the #CollabTalk hashtag and, where relevant, the question/answer number so that people can follow the conversation.

The questions we'll be asking include:

  1. What is the role of the IT Pro?
  2. Where do IT Pro and Developer paths cross?
  3. How important is the IT Pro to SharePoint deployment success?
  4. Is the IT Pro role changing as SharePoint moves to the cloud?
  5. What is the current relationship between Microsoft and IT Pros?
  6. How do changes to the IT Pro relationship impact the partner and customer ecosystem?
  7. For those looking to join the IT Pro ranks, what do they need to know?

For this month’s event, the following experts will be participating in our panel:

  • Ben Curry (@curryben), SharePoint MVP, principal architect and managing partner at Summit 7 Systems
  • Dan Holme (@danholme), Office365 MVP, evangelist, and co-founder of ITUnity
  • Bill Baer (@williambaer), senior product marketing manager at Microsoft
  • Naomi Moneypenny (@nmoneypenny), Office365 MVP and cto at ManyWorlds
  • Jeffrey Schwartz (@JeffreySchwartz), editor at 1105 Media, including Redmond and Redmond Channel
  • Bradley Geldenhuys (@bradgcoza), SharePoint Jedi at GTconsult
  • Jason Himmelstein (@sharepointlhorn), SharePoint MVP and senior technical director of SharePoint at Atrion
  • Robert Toro (@SharePointToro), SharePoint practice director at Slalom
  • Adam Levithan (@collabadam), consultant and social expert at Portal Solutions
  • Jasper Oosterveld (@shareptjasper), Office365 MVP and SharePoint consultant at Sparked
  • Dorinda Reyes (@dorinda_reyes), senior solutions engineer at Buildingi
  • Fernando Melo (@frmelo21), SharePoint architect and evangelist at Helios Cooperative
  • Benjamin Niaulin (@bniaulin), SharePoint MVP and geek at Sharegate
  • Michelle Caldwell (@shellecaldwell), SharePoint MVP and director of collaboration at Avanade
  • Geoff Varosky (@gvaro), managing consultant at BlueMetal, president of Boston Area SharePoint Group, and co-founder of Boston Office365 User Group
  • Craig Tarr (@craig_tarr), co-founder and COO at GTconsult
  • Juan Carlos Gonzalez Martin (@jcgm1978), SharePoint MVP, co-director of the magazine CompartiMOSS, consultant and solution architect at LKS
  • Stacy Deere-Strole (@sldeere), owner of Focal Point Solutions
  • Eli Robillard (@erobillard), SharePoint practice lead at MNP Technology Consulting and SharePoint MVP
  • Dan Barker (@barkingd), global product manager at Dell Software
  • Marc Anderson (@sympmarc), consultant at Sympraxis Consulting and SharePoint MVP
  • Gokan Ozcifci (@gokanozcifci), SharePoint MVP and IT infrastructure consultant at Neoxy
  • John White (@diverdown1964), SharePoint MVP and cto at UnlimitedViz Inc.
  • and your host, Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet), Office365 MVP and Managing Director, Americas for GTconsult

I hope you’ll join this month’s conversation and add your opinions. My goal is to publish a summary of the event within a day or two of the tweetjam, so be sure to watch for updates through my Twitter profile at @buckleyplanet.

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.