Aloha, greetings, and happy New Year to all as we return to our SharePoint farms and teams and dive in! For me, this week is about gearing up for the winter and spring conference season.
I’d like to provide a short guide to some of the major SharePoint events coming up for the first months of the year. I’d also like to share two more sets of SharePoint experts' “predictions” for SharePoint in 2013 (and SharePoint 2013).
SharePoint events are a great way to learn about SharePoint, of course, but more importantly they provide a rare and valuable opportunity to connect with other people who work with the technology and to learn from their experience and expertise, directly. The peer-to-peer networking is one of the most important elements of live events. I know I always learn a lot from the questions, tips, and guidance I discover at events.
SharePoint Events in Early 2013
Over the next few months, there are some fantastic events in many corners of the globe. The following are some of the events that have jumped to my attention, including those in which I am participating:
January 14, Hong Kong
January 16-17, Singapore
The year kicks off with this pair of events produced by Share the Point and the phenomenal Debbie Ireland. My understanding is that there will be more than 800 attendees at the Singapore event, which demonstrates the traction this quality conference has built in recent years.
January 31, 18.00-21.00
London, Cavendish Conference Center
There are hundreds of vibrant users groups around the world. Are you tapped into the one in your neck of the woods? I am highlighting the London SPUG event for two reasons. As many of you know, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Europe in the last few years, supporting large commercial, academic, and government organizations around the continent. So (the first reason) I’m thrilled to announce that I will be basing myself in London for a large part of 2013, to extend my ability to service European SharePoint customers. Second, I am speaking at the London SPUG event, presenting a popular discussion of end-to-end SharePoint Governance. I hope to see you Londoners there!
February 4-7, Copenhagen
The ESPC was held in Berlin in October of 2011. This time, the event takes place in one of my other favorite-cities-in-the-world, Copenhagen. I’m heavily involved with this year’s ESPC, co-presenting a governance keynote with my colleague, Christian Buckley. I’m also doing a three-session track providing prescriptive guidance and tools for end-to-end governance; and debuting a pre-conference workshop for IT Pros administering SharePoint 2013 for collaboration.
March 3-6, San Francisco, CA
This large and popular event takes place in San Fran each spring. A tremendous number of my esteemed colleagues will be there, making it an event not-to-miss if you’re in the USA.
March 5-7, Antwerp
While the URL says 2012, this is in fact the 2013 edition of TechDays Belux event, which I’ve had the honor of participating in for the last few years. This event, produced by Microsoft Belgium & Luxembourg, returns to lovely Antwerp. I’ll be presenting a keynote and two SharePoint sessions.
March 7-8, Den Haag
TechDays Netherlands is presented concurrently with the Belux event. I’ll be presenting two SharePoint sessions in The Netherlands which, like London, have become a second home for me over recent years. I am really looking forward to seeing my Dutch SharePoint peers!!
March 18-20, Denver, Colorado
AmeriTeach and Microsoft present SharePoint Fest, which is one of my favorite events in the USA. SharePoint fest has a great balance of IT Pros, Devs, and Business attendees, and it’s a great size—big enough to provide a lot of value, but small enough to ensure great connections between attendees, speakers, and vendors. Plus, Denver is where I grew up, and is close to the offices of SharePoint Pro. I missed the 2012 event because of the Olympics, so I’m really excited to be home in the Mile High City. I will deliver a preconference workshop and sessions.
March 25-29, Las Vegas
The VSLive event includes a SharePoint track, this year, kicked off by a workshop by Andrew Connell.
I normally wouldn’t look as far out as April for events in this column, but April is insane and there are phenomenal events all over the world. Good luck choosing just one!!!
April 10-12, Atlanta, GA
This new but exciting event is focused heavily on business users, decision makers, and project managers. It’s the “business” side of SharePoint, and I’m a big fan of what the Eventful Group puts together.
April 10-11, Sydney
My favorite city in the entire world plays host to the Australian SharePoint Conference this year. At both this and the Auckland event that follows, I’ll present a workshop and several sessions.
April 16-17, Auckland
I’ll be experiencing the land of the Kiwis for the first time this year, as I join this event on Debbie Ireland’s home turf. Can’t wait!
April 15-17, London
You’d think I’d be doing this one in my new “second home” but it didn’t work out. But this is THE SharePoint event of the spring in Europe. It’s a phenomenal experience in every way, presented by Combined Knowledge, sponsored by AvePoint, K2, and many others, and expertly crafted by SharePoint MVP Steve Smith.
2 SharePoint Experts Share 2013 Predictions
Finally, as a follow up to last week’s SHAREPOINT 2013 PREDICTIONS column, in which I published an extensive collection of predictions from MVPs and other community leaders--unfortunately I missed two of them. So, last but definitely not least: Agnes and Kanwal!
Last year was a huge year for KANWAL KHIPPLE as he not only had the opportunity to help transform BrightStarr’s consulting US business but also welcome his 2nd bundle of joy, Harsimran (Simi) to the world. Just before 2013 could start, he celebrated a huge accomplishment (10k followers) for his Twitter alter-ego @sharepointbuzz -- a large feat considering he’s not Joel Oleson, Dux Raymond Sy, or Todd Klindt. This year, Kanwal will be focusing his attention on the SharePoint market in US South Central region for 2013. If you are in the area, reach out and get connected on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
He made some bold predictions last year that “look for 2012 to be the year that CxOs and decision makers seriously consider SharePoint as the platform for their public-facing sites as well as leverage SharePoint 2010 for their very own private social networks.” Last year, he made a commitment to help customers see the ROI for launching their redesigned public facing sites on SharePoint.
These predictions and commitments were timely for BrightStarr. So much so that last quarter of 2012, BrightStarr launched its own site powered by SharePoint 2013. The feedback it received was beyond BrightStarr’s expectations as it was even showcased during a Microsoft SharePoint Conference session Demo Extravaganza: Internet sites.
His predictions and focus holds true for 2013 as, the release of SharePoint 2013 will provide greater emphasis to public facing sites as well as social networking features within and outside of the company. For this year’s predictions, Kanwal wanted to provide a bit more insight into the specifics:
"Social Integration for the Enterprise - larger organizations of ours are requesting that they don’t want a traditional intranet. Project stakeholders are essentially saying that they’d like for the people to have control over the intranet and how its shaped. This means a larger focus on content discovery from day one rather than being driven by the organizational structure.
"Features like dynamic navigation driven by metadata, search results influenced by social interactions and driven by social analytics, encouraging learning through gamification, seamless communication with Lync and social discovery that goes beyond your dad’s phone directory are being requested on a daily basis.
"Whether you are integrating with Yammer or other social features from SharePoint, its important that executives see the value and how they organization will get the largest ROI in these deployments.
"Redefine your company portal – it’s not enough to continue saying that SharePoint has limitations from a design perspective. We’ve been building industry leading designs for over 5 years and SharePoint hasn’t stopped us. It’s more than just pretty news sliders and drop down menus.
"Organizations want an engaging design that goes beyond just making SharePoint look pretty. Continue to see organizations investing into user experience regardless of the technology for 2013."
Last year, AGNES MOLNAR predicted ‘continuous growth’ in Search. She’s been definitely working with Search all year long, sharing her knowledge and experience all around the world. You can follow her on Twitter @molnaragnes. She says the growth in 2013 will be even bigger, and the skyrocketing of Search will continue exponentially.
“Looks like the world didn’t end in December,” Anges exclaimed with relief. She went on to explain:
"We’re still here, but I don’t think we can avoid the explosion of the Search market next year. Even if you close your eyes or dig your head into sand, you’ll hear its bang and echo and feel how it shakes the world.
"While Search was not a real favorite topic a few years ago, today it’s really hot! Just see the big demand and the fully packed rooms at the conferences or the popularity of any Search related blog post or white paper.
"Also, companies learn the value of Search more and more, figuring out how powerful this tool is for connecting systems together, extracting information and getting new knowledge. Big Data is here, and Search can really make it to be Big Value.”