Microsoft is Reinventing the Authoring Experience

June 2015 CollabTalk TweetJamWith all of the focus on the platform (SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics, etc) it is easy to miss some of the other innovations happening within the Microsoft ecosystem. Specifically, there has been an evolution underway around the authoring tools we use to create content. Yes, yes….we still have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but other tools have slowly been working their way into the Information Worker tool belt. For example, OneNote has played a more central role in my own work activities, with shared OneNote folders being the de facto note-taking mechanism for internal projects, as well as for collaborating with co-authors and collaborators outside of the company. And Microsoft has been hard at work in evolving more tools. Sway has found its way into the Office suite of tools, and the Office 365 toolbar. And have you taken the time to play with Office Mix and transform your tired old PowerPoint slide decks into more palatable videos?

What are the new authoring experiences? They include Sway, Office Mix (add-in for PowerPoint), and the forthcoming Office 365 blog capability – but at the macro level, you could also think of co-editing, the expansion Office to iOS and Android platforms, and even the social capabilities within Office 365 Groups as an extension of the authoring experience as they allow you to create searchable, relevant content across platforms. The evolution of these tools is not just about adding new features – it is about creating a more dynamic and compelling user experience, and personally, I am very excited to see where this line of innovation takes us.

In this month’s CollabTalk tweetjam, which takes place on Tuesday, June 30th at 9am PDT, the community will once again come together to hash it out over Twitter to discuss the topic “Reinventing the Authoring Experience” and where Microsoft is going with their new tools and online experiences for the Information Worker. You’ll hear from a panel of experts, as well as interested members of the community, as they share opinions and customer experiences to help shed some light (or speculate) on where the Microsoft Office and Office 365 user experience are heading. Simply follow along on Twitter, or join the conversation at Twubs.com/CollabTalk

If you’ve never participated in one of these tweetjams, they can be a lot of fun – and for those like me who do a lot of blogging, they are also a great source of material for future posts. Within each hour-long session using the Twitter UI of your choice (Twitter.com, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Twubs, whatever) we will go through a series of questions over the course of the hour, responding to Q1, Q2, Q3 and so forth with A1, A2, A3 and always including the #CollabTalk hashtag with your answers. Feel free to reply as often (or as little) as you’d like, ask your own follow up questions, share relevant links, retweet others, and engage with the audience.

The questions we will discuss during the session include:

  • What is Microsoft’s strategy in evolving the authoring experience?
  • Have your own authoring habits changed as workloads have moved to the cloud?
  • What are your thoughts on Sway? Will it change how people create content?
  • How important is UX and these tools to a successful SharePoint or Office 365 deployment?
  • What is/will be the impact of authoring across iOS and Android devices?
  • How do you see content authoring changing as businesses move to the cloud?
  • Do you see gaps in the authoring experience today? If so, what feedback would you give Microsoft?

Participating on this panel are a number of MVPs and experts on SharePoint, Yammer, and a number of other social platforms. Of course, this is open to the public, so please join in the discussion!

  • Naomi Moneypenny (@nmoneypenny), Office365 MVP and cto at ManyWorlds
  • Marc Anderson (@sympmarc), consultant at Sympraxis Consulting 
  • Chris "Mr. Social" Slemp (@cslemp), senior business program manager at Microsoft 
  • Randy Drisgill (@drisgill), SharePoint MVP and dev and UX manager at Rackspace
  • Eric Riz (@rizinsights), SharePoint MVP and ceo of Empty Cubicle 
  • Kevin Conroy (@seattlerooster), ceo at Blue Rooster
  • Eric Overfield (@ericoverfield), branding expert and author, founder of PixelMill  
  • Noah Sparks (@noahsparks), customer success manager at Microsoft v 
  • Jussi Mori (@JussiMori), SharePoint MVP, social expert and consultant at Peaches Industries 
  • Robert Toro (@SharePointToro), SharePoint practice director at Slalom  
  • John White (@diverdown1964), SharePoint MVP and cto at UnlimitedViz Inc.  
  • David Lavenda (@dlavenda), co-founder & vp of product strategy at harmon.ie
  • Gokan Ozcifci (@gokanozcifci), SharePoint MVP and IT infrastructure consultant at Neoxy
  • Eric Lytle (@sharepointmastr), SharePoint MCM and cto at BrightStarr 
  • Kanwal Khipple (@kkhipple), Office 365 MVP and founder of 2toLead 
  • Robert Bogue (@RobBogue), author, speaker, strategist and consultant at Thor Projects
  • Jeremy Thake (@jthake), Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft
  • Barry Jinks (@BJinks), founder and ceo at Colligo
  • Eli Robillard (@erobillard), SharePoint practice lead at MNP Technology Consulting and SharePoint MVP  
  • Jeff Willinger (@jwillie), director of collaboration and social business at Rightpoint  
  • and your host, Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet), Office365 MVP and Managing Director, Americas for GTconsult

The panel size will increase over the next couple days, but as always everyone is invited to participate whether or not you’re part of the panel. Simply join the conversation using the #CollabTalk hashtag and share your thoughts!

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.