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SharePoint Connections Keynote, Vegas Style

By 2012, 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies will be involved with the cloud,” said Microsoft’s Steve Fox during his SharePoint 2010 Keynote speech at SharePoint Connections today. But forget Fortune 500 companies for a minute—what does SharePoint in the cloud mean for you?

Fox says it means “possibilities” and “boundaries.”

The most interesting part of the two for me is the one involving possibilities, and it was a natural topic for a keynote, where the tone is supposed to slide quickly, if it wasn’t already there, into the gee-whiz-isn’t-this-cool area. Microsoft’s Paul Stubbs provided backup to Fox’s assertions of SharePoint’s coolness, demoing a most interesting presentation of a hypothetical use of SharePoint—at a major casino hotel in Las Vegas: SharePoint and security, hotel/casino security that is, from incident to contact.

Given that we had all just walked, several thousand of us, through the casino and into the miles of corridors of the conference center, the demonstration was fairly relevant. Stubbs demoed SharePoint workflows, integration with Bing maps, Silverlight, and alerts, to name a few, as he showed a SharePoint implementation at work. The maps integration could be used to check parking and other aerial views and to show locations of the plethora of webcams and to view them. He showed a possible security incident occurring on a webcam, how an image of a perpetrator could be matched against a watch list in SharePoint of photos of known offenders, an alert created, and how SharePoint workflows would handle incident reports.

For the rather creative ending, though it might have been wasted on many of the attendees, who were nursing coffees with desperation, three “detectives” barged into the massive ballroom as Stubbs was doing the demo and searched for the perpetrator, Microsoft’s Mr. Funk, and asked the audience for help. Several members pointed him out and he was taken into “custody.”The one to first spy him was awarded a $1500 certificate good toward next year's SharePoint Connections Conference Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2011. Oddly, one of the faux detectives looked in profile a lot like Steve Ballmer.


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