May 2015 Content Wrap-Up

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Another month in the history books with a heavier concentration of slides versus blog content, due in part to my participation in the Ignite Conference in Chicago last month, followed by several webinars. We added two new faces to the GTconsult team here in Bellevue, and had Craig sitting in the office trying to make us all sick for a good portion of the month following Ignite. I did thoroughly enjoy the Ignite event, btw – a much needed energy refill with friends and community members, and a great response to my sessions, which is always nice. A couple favorite highlights from Ignite included:

  • My primary joke from my IT Pro session, which begins around the 16 minute mark
  • Hanging out with my fellow GTconsult directors Craig and Warren (always a hoot)
  • Dinner and non-alcoholic beverages with McNulty, Frehe, Moneypenny, Gotz, and Caldwell
  • The MVP panel with Holme, Mason, Rogers, and McNulty was a lot of fun!

Of course, there were many other great encounters and discussions all week long, and it was a nice break away from the office. Of course, all good things must come to an end, and I made my way back to customer projects, webinar and content deadlines, and dealing with a second car in the shop for body repair this year (that’s right, someone hit my other car). In the midst of all of this, I managed to produce a few articles. If you’re new to these monthly updates, I try to parse them up by theme so that the body of my work is more easily consumed. You can search through my blog history for other monthly summaries and quickly thumb through these themes to find what is relevant to you. I’ve been doing it for 2 or 3 years now, and its become a nice way for me to catalog the body of my work.

As always, I spent a good deal of time thinking about the latest and greatest social collaboration topics within the Microsoft sphere. As some of you are aware, this blog was launched back in 2002 to catalog and discuss social software, and so no surprise that I am still here doing just that. Ignite included a number of announcements – some of which added to the excitement, and the confusion surrounding Microsoft’s social roadmap. Part of my intent this past month was not to answer any questions, necessarily, but to point out the gaps within the strategy so that Microsoft might step in and answer them. Also included here is the Storify summary from my monthly #CollabTalk tweetjam which focused on the topic of Yammer vs Office 365 Groups. Good stuff:

Of course, there was more than just social discussed at Ignite. For example, there were details surrounding SharePoint Server 2016, the next on premises version of the platform. I took some notes during Bill Baer’s session, but then reminded myself that all of the sessions would be available via Channel 9 within 24 hours of the session, so then sat back and absorbed rather than recorded his comments. There are some great recaps out there, such as Dan Holme’s summary, which provide excellent point-by-point analysis of the announcement made, with commentary. But here are a few things I pushed out to the blogosphere:

During the conference, I had 3 sessions – the first out on the expo floor (On-prem, online, and everything in-between), a regular session, and then a jam-packed MVP panel with Chris McNulty, Jennifer Mason, Laura Rogers, and Dan Holme. Our room had people sitting along the sides, and even our overflow room downstairs filled up to the point where they turned people away. It was an amazing turnout, and we had a lot of fun. I chalk it up to the fact that we’re all good friends and so we have great chemistry together. Well worth the views if you have not already watch the recordings.

Speaking of webinars, there were a few in May. For starters, I led a very successful webinar with Ben Henderson from Colligo on being cloud-first and mobile-first. We had something like 65% turnout, which is pretty amazing if you aren’t familiar with webinar stats (average is around 40% or less). I also did a webinar with Beezy product manager Maximo Castagno, in partnership with Metalogix and their Best of Breed program at Ignite, focusing on the 10 things you need to know when building your social strategy. Links to the slides and recordings for both webinars are included below. Also included here are links the May CollabTalk show (Episode #5) over in ITUnity, a link to my latest collaborative book project available out on Amazon, and a whitepaper I did for Metalogix, available through RedmondMag.com:

  • What It Means to be Cloud-First, Mobile First (buckleyPLANET) http://bit.ly/1M5O7PY 
  • Cloud-First, Mobile-First SharePoint — 3 Universal Truths for Successful Deployments (SlideShare) http://bit.ly/1K5KmuF 
  • Cloud-First, Mobile-First SharePoint — 3 Universal Truths for Successful Deployments – webinar recording (RedmondMag) http://bit.ly/1AH9bev
  • 10 Things You Need to Know When Creating Your Social Collaboration Strategy for SharePoint (SlideShare) http://bit.ly/1cv8pp6 
  • MVP Webinar: 10 Things to Know When Creating Your Social Collaboration Strategy for SharePoint http://bit.ly/1Q1MYyt 
  • CollabTalk Episode #5 (ITUnity) http://bit.ly/1FnsiFY
  • Improve It!: A collection of essays on using analytics to accomplish more with SharePoint (Amazon) http://amzn.to/1KzDWBY
  • SharePoint Governance Best Practices whitepaper (RedmondMag.com) http://bit.ly/1GU8VK9

I wanted to also point out separately that I was able to kick off a webinar on governance best practices with one of my new hires, Melinda Morales (@trulymelinda), who joins GTconsult from a 10-year stint at Sony Electronics. The San Diego SPUG is very family with Melinda, who also recently presented to the Puget Sound SPUG, as well. Our webinar (mostly her content) was HUGELY successful, but unfortunately we could not record the session. We'll be doing it again in the future with some updated content, but you can still find the slides here:

With all of this focused content, occasionally I write about something outside of my common themes, based on an article I read or a new topic that interests me:

And finally, I got some mentions this past month:

  • After Microsoft Ignite, How Do You Fan the Flames? (Redmond Channel Partner) http://bit.ly/1RGkLuw 
  • Webtrends : Releases Improve It! to Give Businesses Using SharePoint a Boost (4-traders.com) http://bit.ly/1K5KOJb
  • Beezy Announces Office 365 Integration and Migration Tools for Jive and IBM Connections (PRWeb) http://bit.ly/1daThOv

The plan for June is to keep my head down, focus on client projects, and get some major content completed. I just wrapped up an ebook for a new client and will be starting on a second this week, and have a couple sponsored articles and webinars also happening this month. I hope to also catch up up a few business topic articles for LinkedIn and Medium, so watch for those, as well as we draw closer to WPC and I put my business development hat back on leading up to that event in Orlando. Cheers!

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Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Lehi, Utah, through which he provides fractional-CMO for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem.