I was fortunate enough to attend a small gathering last night sponsored by AvePoint and the NY & NJ SharePoint / Enterprise User groups with Jeff Teper (a.k.a. “The Godfather of SharePoint”). Over the years, I admit that even myself, I have had challenges knowing if the path Microsoft was taking was right for myself and my career. However, since Satya Nadella has become the leader of Microsoft, I continually see a company evolving into something I am proud to represent (as an independent consultant and Microsoft Certified Trainer.) In regards to this, I wanted to share some of the thoughtful and influential notes from last night’s event with you:
- Office 365 now has 120 million users with some organizations having over 400k.
- A question was asked regarding overcoming challenges of moving the cloud: “Would you rather use technology that is 5 days old or 5 years old?” Jeff said.
- Moving the cloud can be a challenge for highly customized applications, even at Microsoft, there was a small group of sites that needed extra time to move to the cloud. *Matthew’s advice: start with simple applications, gain adoption on those first and formulate a rollout and re-build plan for more complex apps or consider a hybrid scenario for applications you feel uncomfortable moving to the cloud at this time.
- A quick reference was made to when to use Microsoft Teams vs. Yammer vs. Outlook with the “inner circle outer circle method”.
- Jeff discussed some internal conversations between the product teams and Satya Nadella regarding the importance of usage and adoption over only that of sales numbers. The understanding that growth and adoption are leading indicators and sales are trailing indicators has become very relevant. *Matthew’s note: This was the most powerful discussion of the night. It reaffirms my belief in Microsoft as a company changing to one that focuses on impact and improvement with profit vs. what used to be one mostly concerned only with profit (IMHO).
- Jeff also discussed the amount of time and effort his teams have been putting into understanding why, for example, mobile apps are not being utilized as fully as they could for SharePoint and OneDrive. *Matthew’s note: their focus placed on identifying the reasons and thoughts behind the human behavior of users to overcome these challenges also impressed me.
- A new SharePoint Central Administration center is coming with more features related to controlling and monitoring site collections in bulk as well as added adoption-related information. The release date at the moment will be confirmed in the near future.
- Unified search across all of Office 365 vs. just the search within SharePoint is a possible feature coming next year.
If you ever get a chance to go to a Q & A with a Microsoft executive, I highly recommend you attend! These are rare, more intimate opportunities to get to know the people behind the product. They are also a lot of fun!
Many people were involved in sponsoring and organizing this event, including:
- Dux Raymond Sy & AvePoint
- Tom Daily
- The Soho Dragon Team
- Jeff Teper