At SharePoint Conference 2014, we're looking forward to mingling with thousands of people whose daily lives involve SharePoint.
Yes, thousands. Imagine taking half the town in Wyoming where this SharePoint observer grew up and telling all 10,000 of them to show up at the Venetian Hotel on March 3.
Plus a few extra thousand for good measure.
Aside from the sheer size of the thing, here are five questions we're curious about around SharePoint Conference 2014:
#1: Is the Enterprise Joining SMBs in the SharePoint Cloud?
We’ve heard a lot about SMBs going to SharePoint in the cloud, but the conventional wisdom has pointed to the enterprise as more likely to stick with on-premises for a while.
Hosting company Fpweb.net CEO and founder Rob LaMear IV will present a session “The Tipping Point Between On-Premises and the Cloud.” In it, he’ll look at both sides of the on-prem versus cloud debate, from the NSA to the Target breach and beyond.
Although you might say “sure, he’ll give token arguments for on-prem and then steer us to the cloud” I’d say who better can tell you when the cloud is NOT appropriate than a cloud hosting vendor?
We're also looking forward to checking in with the SharePoint gang from hosting vendor Rackspace at the confererence to hear their perspective--Laura Rogers, Todd Klindt, Shane Young, Jennifer Mason, and Jeff DeVerter.
#2 What IS the Biggest User Complaint About SharePoint?
We’re curious as to what your end users most complain about when it comes to SharePoint. Probably “it’s ugly” isn’t a big one.
Although “SharePoint’s too complicated to use” is a likely runner-up, we’re guessing the most common user complaint about SharePoint is that it’s too slow. In the SPC14 session, “Advanced Performance Analysis for SharePoint,” Microsoft senior consultant Ryan Campbell is diving in to cover strategies for identifying problem areas.
When your performance issues are fixed, will the “ugly” complaint still hold true? Stay tuned.
#3: Who Has the Best Expo Hall Booth and Giveaways?
We don’t know the SharePoint attendee who won a motorcycle last year from AvePoint, but we're sure he or she wasn’t thinking “Wow, I owe this all to SharePoint.” Still, it's true, in a roundabout way.
The “win an Apple iPad or Surface Pro 2” bit has pretty much played out, but there’s always something even better in the expo hall. From the big guys like K2 and KnowledgeLake, to the little and medium guys who show you tools you cannot live without, creativity and sheer coding chops prevail.
But cool swag is still a fixture at conferences. Let’s hope so—your kids or coworkers expect SOMETHING from your trip to Vegas.
#4: Is Bill Clinton our Disneyland and Bon Jovi?
You could just hear the OMGs out in the Twittersphere when President Bill Clinton was announced as the keynote speaker for SPC14. And then everyone started calculating the dollars involved in getting him. After that, it was “Cool, but why?”
Now we’ve moved beyond all that to ask, “If you’re paying all this money for Clinton, does that mean he’s our Night at Disneyland (2011) and Bon Jovi (2012)?”
#5: What Big Burning Question are You Hoping to Get Answered at SPC14?
Based on the SPC14 sessions listed, we think Microsoft is expecting your big questions to be about SharePoint development (60 sessions)--naturally--and for IT pros, deployment and implementation (16) and operations and management (8) but not as much about migration/upgrade (3).
As others have pointed out, there are quite a few sessions for devs and IT pros about on-premises, in addition to cloud, which makes many people feel better.
Then again maybe playing the numbers game isn’t quite accurate. For example, there’s only one session on licensing—but that’s all you need (although you definitely need it)!
What are you looking forward to at Microsoft SharePoint Conference? What conclusions have you drawn about what you’ve seen so far?