This past weekend I once again boarded a flight from Seattle to Boston to spend time with the Axceler team and the SharePoint community for SPTechCon Boston 2012. One of the better events I've attended, SPTechCon is held twice a year, alternating between San Francisco in the spring and Boston in the summer. Put on by BZMedia, what makes SPTechCon different is that the BZMedia team works hard to keep the content fresh, and to try different formats and introduce new speakers, which makes the event feel fresh and relevant. Additionally, they work hard to keep the energy level high.
At this year's Boston event, I was asked to once again present a Lightning Talk, which is normally reserved for a selection of sponsor representatives to make a case for visiting their booths in the expo hall. While Axceler was a sponsor again this year, we did not sign up for the Lightning Talks -- but David Rubenstein asked me to present anyway. After two presentations with myself and Axceler's Director of Product Management, Gail Shlansky, discussing the similarities in SharePoint's rapid growth to the success trajectory of Sonny and Cher, followed by a presentation earlier this year in San Francisco on the danger of not developing your taxonomy (which could lead to robots and aliens taking over the world), I decided to use this Lightning Talk to share my thoughts on the curious patterns between some SharePoint speaker presentations and lyrics belonging to Justin Bieber. You can watch the video of my tongue-in-cheek presentation here.
For the Boston event, I was invited to present three regular sessions:
My first session was 'The Connection Between Metadata, Social Tools, and Personal Productivity' which highlights the importance of metadata and structured taxonomy to power everything within SharePoint, how social then provides a mechanism to expand this metadata through folksonomy, or user-generated keywords, and how the combination of social and metadata is at the root of further automation and productivity efforts inside SharePoint. You can see the slides here.
My second session was 'Cleaning Up Information Architecture and Other Jedi Mind Tricks' in which I tried to relate some IA best practices to themes inside of Star Wars. The gist of my presentation, while outlining some of the tenets of good information architecture, was to illustrate the links between IA and governance. You can see the slides here.
My third session was the very popular '10 Best SharePoint Features You've Never Used (But Should)' in which I walk through some of the advances made in SharePoint 2010, culminating in my list of 10 out-of-the-box features that are often forgotten. I always enjoy asking the audience for a show of hands of who is using each of the features….with very few people raising their hands. You can see the slides here.
As always, SPTechCon provides a great opportunity for the Axceler team to meet with an abundance of current and prospective customers, and to connect with experts from around the country and the world to share ideas and build friendships. Following the Boston event -- and a day in the Axceler Boston office -- I made my way south to New York City for SharePoint Saturday NYC.
In New York, I presented an updated version of my presentation 'Law & Order: Content Governance Strategies' with some of the data from Axceler's ongoing governance initiative and survey results. You can see the slides here.
And to wrap up the event, I was invited to facilitate a panel event on community building, called 'Jumpstart Your Community Efforts.' Participating on the panel were SharePoint Saturday co-founder and Microsoft employee Susan Lennon; Boston Area SharePoint User Group co-founder and organizer of both the F# User Group and SharePoint Saturday Boston, Talbott Crowell; international speaker and founding member of the Sharing the Point tour, Paul Swider; and co-founder of the San Fernando Valley SPUG and organizer of SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles, Nedra Allmond. Between the five of us, we've organized over 25 SharePoint Saturday events, and managed more than a dozen user groups.
The panel provided some excellent insights into starting a community, building a base of sponsors and members, managing competitors to stay neutral, and keeping things relevant. The goal was to provide some insight into the panel's experiences, and relate it to internal and external efforts to develop communities around SharePoint. We had some great audience participation, and you can read some more on the discussion over on Talbott's blog here. I plan to write more on this topic in coming weeks.
While participating in SPTechCon San Francisco in late February, Axceler's VP of Sales for the Eastern Region, Nick Fasano (@nfaz4), and VP of Sales for the Western Region, Michael Burns (@michaelxburns), were interviewed by Stacy Deere (@sldeere) from SPTV (http://mysp.tv/) on the rapid growth of the company, what sets Axceler apart from the competition, and their views on what is happening inside the SharePoint community.
Watch the video here:
Watch more coverage of SPTechCon San Francisco, including snapshots of Axceler's huge "SharePoint Nomikai" party, here. For more information about the next SPTechCon event taking place this summer in Boston (where Axceler will once again be sponsoring), go to www.sptechcon.com
While many of my fellow presenters will likely post to their blogs with recaps of last week's highly successful SPTechCon event, I thought I'd focus this entry on what was clearly the networking highlight of the event -- the Axceler / Microsoft / Jornata party held at the Back Bay Social Club around the corner from the venue. It was billed as "the party of the year," and by the feedback from attendees, I'd have to say our goal was reached!
We all love a pint, but every once in a while it’s time for a martini. Some pictures from the event:
Thanks again to Scott Jamison and the Jornata team, as well as to the corporate and local Microsoft teams for participating and helping us make this a smashing success, including Christian Finn, Chris Bortlik, and Christophe Fiessinger. And of course, to all of the Axceler team members who pulled this event together. Go team Axceler!
The feedback has beenamazing, and it was overheard more than once at the event that the bar has been set for SharePoint parties! We hope to top this one, so please watch for Axceler activities at SPTechCon San Francisco next spring, and at the upcoming SharePoint Conference 2011 in Anaheim this October!
Come see the Axceler team this week at The SharePoint Technology Conference (follow on Twitter at #SPTechCon) in Boston, being held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel on June 1st through the 3rd (Wed-Fri). Axceler is a Gold sponsor, and will also be hosting a must-attend attendee party, co-sponsored by Jornata and Microsoft (register here). Be sure to drop by our booth and say hello!
For those attending, be sure to check out my three sessions, including a very entertaining SharePoint 101 (beginner) session with Geoff Varosky. Geoff and I will kick things off Wednesday night with a joint 4-minute “lightning talk” in which we will try to convince the masses to attend our Thursday afternoon session. Our pitch is entitled “Going Gaga for SharePoint: A Look at Becoming a SharePoint Rock Star” in which we will attempt to recreate a popular Lady Gaga video.
Our joint session takes place Thursday from 3:15pm to 4:30pm:
9 Ways to Become a SharePoint Rock Star
So you want to become a rock star? We’re talking actual rock star, not a metaphor for “finding stardom” at your company, but that little “band thing” you do on the side after putting in your 9-to-5 each day.
In this session, we will lead you on a fun and adventurous journey where you can not only learn SharePoint, but also springboard into that life of fame and rock stardom that you’ve been dreaming of, using the tools at your disposal during the daily grind. If, by chance, your wildest dreams of becoming a rock star do not come to fruition, you can be rest assured that you can apply what you learn in this session to become a SharePoint rock star - because it's always good to have a backup plan
On Friday, I will conduct two sessions – the first (on metadata best practices) is from 10am to 11:15am, and the second (on migration planning) is from 1:45pm to 3pm:
Looking Under the Hood: How Your Metadata Strategy Impacts Everything You Do
For many users, the importance of a strong metadata and taxonomy strategy is unclear. This presentation will walk through some common end user scenarios (adding documents to a library, participating in an enterprise workflow, finding technical expertise through some of the new social search features in SharePoint 2010) and discuss the metadata and taxonomy implications. The goal of the presentation is to show the importance of metadata and a taxonomy strategy, how the lack of a strategy can impact these common scenarios, and the ability to leverage the full functionality of SharePoint.
Don’t Just Migrate: Transform Your SharePoint Environment
Migration is not just a technical activity (provision a new system, attach and move databases), but should be a much more thoughtful and planned activity. This session will help attendees understand the difficulties surrounding migration and the ample opportunities to transform their data—building a new system that meets their environment vision.
We will discuss fundamentals of capacity planning, the overall migration schedule, how to involve end users in the process, understanding the as-is and to-be system views, outline strategies for taxonomy, and metadata management. Attendees will walk away with an action plan for their transformation and migration efforts.
As always, I will be capturing videos throughout the week as part of my ongoing OneThing video series, talking with experts and MVPs about the one thing that they want people to know about SharePoint 2010. See you there!
Another great event added to the history books, and with a weekend to recover, its good to be back in the office and getting some work done. But I thought I’d provide a quick recap and share links to the content I presented at SPTechCon San Francisco last week (February 7-9, 2011).
SPTechCon has a great energy, with David Rubinstein and the BZ Media doing a great job at continually adding new topics, working with new speakers and leading experts alike, and pulling together another fantastic event. Already looking forward to the next one in early June out in Boston (where I’ll be presenting three times again).
For those who missed my sessions in San Francisco, you will find my slides in the SPTechCon online materials, but also out on SlideShare as follows:
All three presentations from prior events, but pretty much the same. I remove most of my images from my SlideShare uploads to minimize the file size, but the meat of each presentation is there. As I mention each time I present, my sessions are no-code and heavily centered around Project Management and Business Analyst topics.
My upcoming speaking engagements through the end of March include:
- SharePoint Saturday San Diego, Feb 26th (sold out)
I’ll be presenting ‘SharePoint’s Social Media Scorecard,’ a review of the leading social computing solutions and how they compare to SharePoint 2010 (deck not available, because the content comes from a forthcoming ebook). I will also be presenting a version of ‘11 Strategic Considerations’ with a live demo of our Davinci Migrator product over in the vendor track.
- SharePoint Saturday Redmond, March 5th (also sold out)
This event is being held on the Microsoft campus at The Commons. I’ll be presenting my ‘11 Strategic Considerations’ topic, and then running to the airport to catch my flight to…
- Australia SharePoint Conference, March 8+9, Sydney
Axceler is a Bronze Sponsor for this event, and I am excited to be in town for this conference -- and to help open our new Sydney office! I will be participating in several Ask the Experts sessions throughout the event, and presenting a new topic entitled ‘Looking Under the Hood: How Your Metadata Strategy Impacts Everything You Do’
- New Zealand SharePoint Conference, March 15+16, Wellington
As with Australia, Axceler is sponsoring, and I’ll be talking metadata strategy and participating in several Ask the Experts sessions around social media, knowledge management, and migration.
- DevConnections Orlando, March 27-30
I’ll be joining MVPs Ben Curry, Bill English, Matt McDermott, Michael Noel, Dan Holme and others in Orlando for this great event. My sessions will include the new ‘Don’t Just Migrate – Transform Your SharePoint Environment’ and ‘SharePoint’s Social Computing Scorecard’
If you plan to attend one or more of these events, please stop by and say hello!
Just wanted to say a quick thank you to the organizers of SharePoint Summit 2011 in Toronto for putting together a great event this week. I also wanted to say congratulations to Max Yermakhanov, IT Manager at ObjectSharp in Toronto, for winning the Axceler giveaway of an iPad!
The prize was announced at the closing remarks -- but Max was nowhere to be found. He was surprised to learn that he had won when contacted by a fellow employee, and had to be convinced that it wasn't all a joke. Luckily, he was able to come back to the venue and pick up his prize before I left for the airport (so I didn't have to carry it back to Seattle with me).
We'll be giving away another iPad at SPTechCon this next week in San Francisco, so please be sure to swing by the Axceler booth to register! I'll also be handing out the much-sought-after CherPoint shirts at the booth and during all three of my sessions. See you there!