Most of us are facing ever-tightening IT budgets and yet we're also being asked to deliver new, innovative solutions to our internal and external customers. How can we balance these seemingly contradictory realities? By being smart. That's what the next two weeks of my life will be about: gathering together smart people to talk about smart ideas for delivering what I call "big wins" to those customers. Big wins occur when you can leverage a technology—SharePoint in this case—with minimal customization to increase productivity of an ever-more-constrained workforce. But it requires more than technology—it requires us, as IT pros, to become business analysts. We must be able to identify big problems (what I call "pain points"), provide solutions that can be easily delivered, and sell those solutions to our leadership. Many IT pros simply don't have the time to lift their heads out of the trenches—away from the fire-fighting—so that they can do those things effectively.
So, for the next two weeks, my goal is to create a series of forums that let you quickly (in one day) get everything you need to take your SharePoint implementation to the next level in its ability to produce big-win solutions. I'll be traveling to three major events.
First, I'll be in Lisbon, Portugal (the second to last western European country I haven't visited; Andorra—you're next) for a Microsoft TechFest event at the Microsoft offices on May 5. If you can read Portuguese, you can learn more about the event on the Microsoft TechNet Exclusive Sessions website. If you can't read Portuguese and you're in Lisbon, don't despair—I'll be presenting in English.
Then, it's on to London for the first of what I hope will be a series of SharePoint Summit 09 events around Europe. SharePoint Summit 09 is at the Radisson Edwardian Heathrow Hotel on May 7.
Finally, I'll be in Los Angeles for TechEd 2009, which is on May 11-15. (There are also preconference seminars on May 10.) At TechEd 2009, I'll be presenting both SharePoint and Windows sessions.
At each of these events, I'll be providing a nuts-and-bolts session that gives practical guidance for implementing a governable SharePoint service. I'll discuss how to actually design the logical components of SharePoint to align with your business requirements and information architecture. At the European events, I'll be sharing stories about the big wins we implemented last summer during the Beijing Olympics, during my work with NBC. I'll also be digging into specific technical guidance for big wins with both document libraries and collaboration. I'll look forward to the opportunities we'll have to share the best practices attendees have uncovered, and the value they've delivered to their customers. Whether you're an IT pro, a project manager, or an IT leader, these events are sure to provide big-win insights for you. I hope to see some of you there.
And for those of you who can't join me on my "L tour," be sure to sign up for the online event, "SharePoint: From Chaos to Success" on June 17. It's free, it's online, it's gonna be great!
Stay tuned. Next week, I want to open up a discussion with you about your wish list for Office and SharePoint 2010, and for the next version of the Office family.