Over recent weeks, Microsoft has begun revealing what will be the event of the year in 2014: The SharePoint Conference.
Just this week, it released the Top 56 sessions – the top 14 sessions for each audience:
- IT Pro
- Power User; and
This week, I'd like to point out some of the exciting things that Microsoft has planned, some of the information about the event that is not really "obvious" when you look at the event website, and amplify some of the messaging we're starting to see come from Microsoft this year.
The SharePoint Conference is taking place March 3-6 at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each member of your SharePoint team will find excellent sessions in scenario-focused tracks that cover the gamut of perspectives on SharePoint, Office 365, and how they are used.
Because of the extended breadth of content at SPC 2014, my guess is there will be well upwards of 10,000 attendees, based on what I'm hearing from the community. It's definitely going to be the place to be. I'm actually flying back early from Sochi—the day after the Closing Ceremonies of the XXII Winter Olympics—to take part in the event.
Previous SharePoint Conferences have set a high bar, but I must say, I'm thrilled with several new aspects of the 2014 event.
I'm particularly excited about the track for Executives and Senior Decision Makers. This is a group that I spend a lot of time with, and who are clamoring for guidance and insight that will help them:
- understand broader trends in work, productivity, and technology
- identify how those trends influence Microsoft’s services (and devices) roadmap
- align enterprise strategic objectives with the capabilities of technology; i.e. how to innovate to solve business problems with technology
- create a portfolio of governed IT services that are scalable, reliable, manageable and compliant
Meeting Audience's Needs
Microsoft is doing a first-rate job of assembling an event that speaks directly to this audience's needs. As you can see from the list of Top 14 sessions for each audience, a.k.a. the Top 56 Sessions list published this week, Microsoft is doing the right thing, in my opinion, by providing plenty of hype-free, technology-agnostic sessions for this audience.
The SPC's agenda is being laid out so that busy executives can attend the first couple of days and get the key content, networking, guidance and insight they need, while their direct reports and broader teams of IT pros, developers, service owners and business users stay for the rest of the event.
I've been asked to provide an external point of view to help shape and scope the exec track, alongside the primary Microsoft track owners. So, I can confidently say we're going to do everything we can to make this an event to which you can—and should—bring the boss.
If you are an executive or senior decision maker, or have thoughts about what we can do to make the event as excellent as possible for this audience, feel free to email me. We are "all ears" and have some surprises in store, as well!
Phenomenal Content for Business Customers
Second—and far less obvious on the SPC website—there's phenomenal content for platform/service owners and business users. These are the most important players in the SharePoint community—they're the "business customer." They need to know not only what's possible—the "business value"—but also how to actually achieve business goals with the technology—the "how to." You'll find sessions for this audience throughout the Top Sessions list, particularly in the Power User category. But there's not yet a hub for this audience on the SPC website. So don't overlook it. Bring those folks!
Of course, there continues to be great content for IT Pros and Developers. So in the end, this is an SPC that you can truly bring the team to. From the CEO, COO, CFO, legal, HR and of course CIO/CTO all the way through the service organization—the developers and IT Pros—to the end user. Everyone can get on the same page and tackle the important issues. Perhaps more importantly, attendees can connect with each other—with peers at the same place in their SharePoint journey and, importantly, with peers who are just a step or two ahead and have lessons learned to share.
Next, we'll look behind the content that's been announced to uncover some exciting new trends in Microsoft's approach to SharePoint, Office 365, and the realities that its customers are facing.