Category Archives: Event Type

SharePoint Fest Chicago 2013


Editor’s note: Contributor Bonnie Surma is a SharePoint community evangelist and vice president for TechAds Network and MarketPlace. She manages the services and advertising for and is a co-administrator for the SharePoint Yammer Community #SPYam. Follow her @sharepointmom.

SharePoint Fest is in its 4th year of successful conferences. Join David Wilhelm and team in Chicago, October 7-9, 2013.


SharePoint conferences in the mid-Atlantic do not happen often. Hearing that SharePoint Fest DC was coming to our area, it was a huge deal! Other than SharePoint Saturday events and the Protiviti-sponsored SharePoint Conference .ORG, we usually have to travel many miles for the larger conferences. It was a welcomed event for our SharePoint communities here in the mid-Atlantic.

David Wilhelm brought SharePoint Fest to DC in August, and I experienced firsthand the SharePoint Fest craze! I’d never met David in person but had interviewed him via email last year for SharePoint Fest Denver. What a delightful host! Spotting passion for a cause or purpose has never been a problem for me. The minute I shook David’s hand, I could feel both his passion for community and for having a great event. I was not disappointed.

Just looking at the superstar line-up of speakers and preconference sessions spoke volumes for the quality of information that would be shared. I arrived and immediately started seeing familiar faces. After catching up with a few and seeing the camaraderie among the group, it was apparent that momentum was building for a great event….not just among the speakers but the sponsors and attendees as well.

The craze moves to Chicago again October 7-9 and will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Catch one of the full-day preconference workshops on Monday with industry experts Dan Holme, Chris McNulty, Peter Carson or half-day workshops with Ira Fuchs, Michael Blumenthal, Rob Bogue, Sean McDonough, or Jeff Willinger.

The main conference begins on Tuesday, October 8, with a keynote from Steve Fox, Director of Microsoft Consulting Services at Microsoft. Immediately following the keynote, the conference break-out sessions begin, focusing on 10 tracks: ECM, SharePoint power user, workflow, search, business intelligence, Office 365, social SharePoint, special topics, SharePoint development, SharePoint infrastructure and administration. Suggested tracks are listed on the website below the agenda. Session abstracts are also available to assist more with your planning.

As David quoted in my interview with him last year and is worth repeating this year…. “I and we are always committed to evolving along with the SharePoint ecosystem and want to always provide events that leave attendees walking away saying “I can’t wait to come back next year!’” I actually felt that after leaving DC this year. I was very glad to meet David and to see the results of his community labors through this conference.

Register today for SharePoint Fest Chicago. You will not be disappointed! Follow on Twitter #SPFestChicago.

Announcing #SPJam on 5/21: The Future of SharePoint, Yammer and Mobile in the Social Enterprise


Editor’s note: Follow contributor Mark Fidelman @markfidelman

With Microsoft’s recent announcement of the Yammer integration roadmap, several questions remain as to how to best move forward with your social enterprise strategy. Many community members applaud the integration while others believe it’s a mistake. Which solution will your business choose for enterprise social and how will you prepare?

Social SharePoint Tweet Jam (#SPJam)

Join me Tuesday May 21st at 12 pm ET for #SPJam! It’s sponsored by my client, the platform independent social software company.

We welcome the global SharePoint community to participate. All experience levels are welcome to connect with the experts that will be on hand to get the conversation rolling. The easiest way to join in is by following or including the #SPJam hashtag.

The Questions

Among the questions we’d like to explore:

  • Is Microsoft making the right moves in Enterprise Social Networking (ESN)? Why or why not?
  • Any holes in Microsoft’s social strategy?
  • How can organization best take advantage of the new SharePoint solutions and tools?
  • How will Office 365 play into this new social shift?
  • How will these Microsoft/SharePoint developments affect the community?
  • How important is mobile in an enterprise social strategy?
  • Why/how should every business prepare for mobile as part of its enterprise social strategy?

If there are additional questions you’d like to have asked and answered, tweet your suggestions to @teamharmonie.

The Experts

We have gathered together a great group of SharePoint community leaders and experts to take part in the Social SharePoint Jam, including:

  • Ant Clay, Founder of SoulSailor Consulting Ltd, @SoulSailor
  • Bjorn Furuknap, SharePoint Consultant, @furuknap
  • Corrado Iorizzo, Senior Manager - Solution Architect at Cambridge Technology Partners, @corradoi
  • Falak Mahmood, SharePoint Architect at CGI, @falaky
  • Joel Oleson, SharePoint Evangelist & Managing Director at Salient6, @joeloleson
  • John Anderson, Managing Editor at Bamboo Solutions, @SharePointBlank
  • Laura Rogers, Senior SharePoint Consultant at Rackspace Hosting, @wonderlaura
  • Michael Greth, SharePoint Specialist, @MySharePoint
  • Mike Watson, Co-Founder of Seriouslabz, Ltd @jmikewatson
  • Paul Keijzers, SharePoint Specialist at KbWorks, @kbworks
  • Paul Swider, CTO at RealActivity, @pswider
  • Richard Harbridge, Trusted Advisor, Microsoft Partner Technology Advisor, Microsoft Technology Specialist at Microsoft @rharbridge
  • Rob Howard, Founder and CTO at Telligent Systems, @RobHoward
  • Sadie Van Buren, Director of Marketing at BlueMetal Architects, @Sadalit
  • Wilco Turnhout, Owner at Rapid Circle, @wturnhout
  • Yaacov Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO at, @yaacovc

Participation Guidelines
At 12 pm Eastern Time (US), I will open #SPJam and invite participants to introduce yourselves in your first #SPJam tweet. Include your name and the organization you work for.

Then, I will introduce topics one at a time. Start subsequent tweets with the question number you are responding to and the #SPJam hashtag. For example, "#SPJam Q1 “Microsoft is movin’ and groovin’…”

Remember that this is a public chat — remain professional, be thoughtful and stay focused on the subject at hand.

And avoid pitching your commercial services or products.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Biggest SharePointers gathering European SharePoint Conference (UAE to Denmark) only 4 SharePoint ;)


Editor’s note: Contributor Mai Omar Desouki is a Software Consultant at Infusion. Follow her @MaiOmarDesouki

I have been thinking of what to write about my experience at the European SharePoint Conference… but I thought if I kept thinking I will forget and get busier and won’t write anything which is the way things happen a lot. So I thought I’d just write what I experienced and that will be more from my heart than being arranged in bullets. This is not a technical article anyway.

I was speaker at the European SharePoint Conference and my session was about “What’s new in the SharePoint Designer 2013” enjoy the slides

The European SharePoint Conference @ Copenhagen … was my first trip to Europe. It was a great experience, great adventure.. but no matter what, the best part was meeting SharePointers

The Conference was in a great venue, the organizers did really hard work to make it happen. THANK YOU AGAIN & AGAIN.

Please correct me if I am wrong but really this is the biggest SharePointers gathering I have ever seen. It was always Tech.Ed that had the big number of attendees and sessions but it was more than just SharePoint sessions. Now, this conference was for SharePoint lovers only ;)

Great sessions, Impressive keynotes.

Around 1500 attended, 78 sponsors and 90 sessions. They were SharePointers who really love this product and I found them all very helpful. They would volunteer to help you find what you need, solve your problem; try to find a solution with you and more.. and on top of that they are collaborative people. This has been my experience with most of the other conferences & events as well.

The ESPC dinner was a really amazing gathering, I was really happy to be there. I met people I’ve only followed on Twitter or Facebook or their blogs and some who follow me too. Meeting them in person was very nice and I hope to see them again soon.

One Impressive person I have been blogging with for a year but never met was Dave Coleman [MS MVP]. At the conference, I finally had the chance to say hi

As always, the best speaker ever was Raffel Lukawiecki and this time he had a keynote which was really valuable.

SharePointer Ladies: Agnes Molnar, Erica Toelle & Sonja Madsen were also there.

I actually met more and more people I never knew before but who are amazing and talented, like Mike Fitzmaurice; his experience was really apparent.

I call them my friends: Joel Oleson, Michael Noel, Paul J. Swider, and I hope Bjørn Furuknap doesn’t mind if I call him a friend too. He gave me lots of advice at the conference and I really enjoyed listening to him “I will do it, I didn’t forget“.

I will keep it brief so let me share some pics of some of the people I had the honor of meeting.

If you missed it try to go next year; to the European SharePoint Conference!

Webinar: Understanding SharePoint Content Types


Editor’s note: Contributor Benjamin Niaulin is a SharePoint Specialist at Sharegate. Follow him @bniaulin

In a continued effort to help new SharePoint users adopt the platform, I began a Webinar series on Understanding SharePoint a few weeks ago.  My first online session for this series covered the basics of a site. You can still find a recording of “Understanding the SharePoint Basics” if you missed it.

This online session will cover SharePoint Content Types. I know, the word seems complex and it feels only the SharePoint Experts are using it. But it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Session information:

Date: Wednesday February 13th at 1:30pm Eastern Time

The purpose of this session is for Power/Super Users to get familiar with Content Types in their site. Really understand what they are and how to leverage them when creating Collaboration sites or even Publishing Sites. One of the examples we will cover is how to manage “Invoices” throughout your Site Collection easily.

What is a Content Type?
An introduction to the concept of SharePoint Content Types in Sites and Site Collections.

Creating a Content Type
See how we can create a Content Type properly, using the SharePoint interface

Using Content Types
Associate a Content Type to list and libraries in your Site Collection

Understand existing Content Types all over your Site
Microsoft has already created many for SharePoint. We will look at the ones you have been using and how you can leverage them.

I will also give some time for questions at the end, the goal of this online session is for everyone to properly understand what Content Types are and how to use them.

I hope you will join me on Wednesday February 13th 2013 at 1:30pm (Eastern Time) for this online session.
Register to save your seat.

Recording of “Understanding what’s in a SharePoint Site” webinar and some thoughts


Editor’s note: Contributor Benjamin Niaulin is a SharePoint Specialist at Sharegate. Follow him @bniaulin

To my surprise, the SharePoint Webinar I organized on “Understanding what’s in a SharePoint Site” got a lot of traction. Many comments on Mark Miller’s post about the SharePoint community were related around the fact that everyone has become so knowledgeable or technical that we tend to forget people are still starting with SharePoint. I took the ball and decided to do a Webinar that would cover the basics of what is in a site and really focus on understanding everything.


Based on the feedback and questions even after the webinar, I realized there is still a very strong need for information to be available for Power Users / End User. But it’s not just because of the Webinar, the many SharePoint Saturdays I have been attending has shown me the very same thing. Where it hit me, was at SharePoint Saturday Ottawa a few weeks back. I was presenting on the Content Query Web Part, very Power User in my opinion. Well, I was in the “Developer” track. And I thought about it, editing the itemstyle with XSLT and exporting the Web Part to change commonviewfields…. Hmm yeah I guess it’s very advanced, perhaps considered developing for many. But, I have been doing this for so long that I considered it “basic” and didn’t understand at first why I was in that track. That’s what happens to many I think, we tell ourselves “Well I won’t write about that, I did it for SharePoint 2007 already” or “Everyone knows what a Site Column is, I’ll assume they do and continue”. Fact is, many do not. It’s important to continue providing a source of information for everyone and not forget the Power Users and End Users.
I will try to make these kind of Webinars available more often – based on “Understanding the SharePoint basics” and make it always available so everyone can participate.

Here is the video recording:

Presentation available:

Thank you

Again, thank you to everyone that participated and took the time to fill out the survey at the end. The feedback was amazing and it helps me want to do many more like these. Some key takeaways was that there might have been too much information squeezed into such a short time and not enough time for Q&A. I will take that into consideration for the next one.

Feel free to leave suggestions for next topics, what would you like to see covered?

Leave a comment below.

#SPC12: Five Improvements in SharePoint 2013 for End Users

You may also be interested in: SharePoint-based solutions by B&R Business Solutions


Editor’s note: Contributor Anthony Pham is a SharePoint solutions consultant for KWizcom. Follow him @spappcenter

At SharePoint Conference 2012(SPC12) two weeks ago in Las Vegas, Microsoft showcased SharePoint 2013 during the keynote session. The 2 hour session briefly covered all new features that had the audience applauding. To get more in depth information, I attended 14 of the 200+ available sessions.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite improvements in SharePoint 2013 for end users. I will follow up with 2 separate posts for IT professionals and Developers.

1. User Experience

The first noticeable improvement in SharePoint 2013 is the user experience. The look/feel is very clean and modern with the implementation of metro design principles. New improvements for the mobile experience are the ability to design sites to display on different device channels such as smartphones, tablets and desktop. My favorite improvement is the “Drag and Drop” feature which allows you to drag files from your desktop and upload to your SharePoint document libraries, is now supported. This does not require ActiveX and is cross browser supported!

2. Collaboration

Improvements to collaboration has given users the ability create discussions two ways using new templates called Community Site and Community Portal. These templates allow users to collaborate more fully because they can integrate social media feature such as mircoblog, newsfeeds and distributed cache services. These improvements to collaboration make it easier for users to stay informed about what’s going in the organization

3. Yammer

Yammer is a service used for private communication within organizations or between organizational members. Access to this service provides an organization with a variety of social tools that make it easy to collaborate and work together. Prior to SharePoint 2013, critics complained that the platform lacked enterprise social networking (ESN) capabilities. So in June 2012, Microsoft acquired ESN leader, Yammer for 1.6 billion and planned to integrate it with SharePoint on cloud hosting.

During SPC12, Microsoft showed off how Yammer provides a conversation layer to SharePoint and can actually be stored within it or SkyDrive Pro. The great thing about this is you’ll be able to preview, edit, comment, or follow items from within Yammer or SharePoint.

4. Social features

It is now really easy to invite people to a team site. There is a static social bar on the top right of every team site where you can click “SHARE” and enter the people you would like to invite. Beside it you can click “FOLLOW” to get status updates about the followed items in the newsfeed.

5. Workflows

In SharePoint 2013 the workflow platform is completely different than in 2007 or 2010. A new service is required to run these 2013 workflows called the Workflow Service Manager. There are a lot of enhancements to the workflow design interface and experience. My favorite addition is that “True stages” section has been added, which means that the workflow does not have to run only top to bottom order anymore. Loops can be created and “Go To” transition actions enable you to specify, based on conditions which stage you want to be processed next. You can set the loops to run a certain number of times, expressions and conditions.

If you are uncomfortable with these changes, the 2010 workflow platform has been carried forward too. You can keep the 2010 workflow experience by not installing and configure Workflow Manager. Working with SharePoint 2013 workflows will take some time to get used, however having the new capabilities will be worth it.

Reflecting back on SPC12


With an official announced 10,000 attendees at the SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas this year from 85 countries and over 7000 watching live on the webcast and #SPC12 hash tag trending even with extremely poor Wi-Fi access during the week…this year’s SPC12 was a major hit!

The conference was sponsored by over 200 companies and if the 250+ sessions over four days wasn’t enough the expo hall was packed the brim full of vendors ready to pitch their latest add-ons to SharePoint.

The keynote focused heavily on the cloud throughout, I do understand that Microsoft marketing team need to push the future…but a quick straw poll as we drew the winning ticket for the Ducati we gave away on the AvePoint booth on Thursday afternoon proved that a good 95% weren’t even considering it out of the 1000+ waiting to see whether they were going to win.


The biggest push in the whole keynote in my opinion came from the announcement of 3 month "service updates" for SharePoint Online Office 365 tenants. There was no announcements of any changes to the on-premises 3 year release cycles with 2 service packs. This will obviously be the way to tempt organizations to Office 365 from on-premises which won’t be getting the new features for a LONG time after.

Microsoft wanted to make a big point by having all demonstrations on Office 365 from the Amsterdam datacenter to try and prove that geographically dispersed organizations can use one central tenancies.

The other key themes or "disruptive technologies" that Microsoft wanted you to "embrace" were "mobile", "social" and "the experience".


SharePoint’s mobile story to date has been very poor with a micro-browser rendering system best left to the deceased Blackberry platform. Comparing SharePoint collaboration workload competitors who have a strong mobile story such as Google Docs, Alfresco and, Microsoft were really having to make a splash in this round. The announcement of a Windows Phone 8 client which I am already using with our own internal Intranet from a social perspective is great! The information around a iOS and Android equivalent is also great news, although expect not all functionality to be on those devices as per Microsoft’s mandate to encourage Windows Phone adoption. The existing Office app for Windows Phone has proved extremely handy and the SkyDrive Pro integration will be a big hit for offline collaboration scenarios and finally nails what Groove and SharePoint Workspace tried to achieve in the last 6 years.

There was a light demo of a Windows 8 RT app for SharePoint expected early next year. It will be interesting to see how the SharePoint iOS vendor apps survive which stronger plays in this space in 2013.

SharePoint Social

The third thing for the audience to embrace was SharePoint social, not to be confused with Yammer, which I’ll get to in a moment. SharePoint social was meant to make a big splash 3 years ago and had plenty of excuses around it being two early 6 years when it launched to be compared to Facebook. Even 3 years later in 2010, the social platform was weak and barely used from sharing activity social effort. Microsoft tended to lean on "Discussion Boards", "Wikis" and "blogs" as social, which sadly didn’t get touched in 2010 and haven’t again in 2013. The new social in 2013 was demonstrated around the "Communities" site template with very light badge functionality and the new "follow" capability for documents, people, tags and sites. I believe the platform has the ability to be adopted now in 2013 by organizations, but still think comparing it to true enterprise social platforms it really isn’t there yet, but it’s a start.


It was great to hear that this wave had 4 times as many people focusing on user experience, and it does really show. They talked about how Office 365 is the "largest scale enterprise cloud service in the world", I guess all vendors claim this, it would be interesting to see how this stacks up against Google’s numbers.

It is always interesting to see what Microsoft think are the biggest experience changes and no surprises to see SkyDrive Pro, Site Hub, Team site updates, Apps, Search and oddly Outlook web access being showcased…which is not SharePoint whatsoever. This highlighted to me that the lines between Exchange, SharePoint and Office are blurring and questioned the reality of a SharePoint conference next year and maybe more of an "Office 365 conference".


There was a distinct divide in the keynote, with the Yammer team shoved awkwardly in the middle between two very strong "blue badge" Microsoft sections of the major themes and the new development model. I like the fact that their approach was different from the usual Microsoft "voice" but suspect next time we see them present they will be "neutralized".

The Microsoft team introduced the reasons for the acquisition was that Yammer are "the leaders in enterprise social" with the largest user base of 200,000 organizations in 150 countries in 24 languages and 85% fortune 500. They focused on Yammer’s "rapid innovation" pioneering new features based on user feedback and voluntary adoption watching analytical usage data to prioritize features.

The big question a lot of my enterprise customers have been asking is around the story of SharePoint social and Yammer and I was expecting it to be presented clearly. But sadly all they really announced was that Office 365 SharePoint Online customers could get Yammer Premium as part of their package and that there was already "integration" between the two. What disappointed me was that the integration has already been known as this was already in place before the acquisition.

The Yammer guys focused on distinct features to integrate were the "enterprise graph", "post to yammer" in the SharePoint ribbon, "yammer search" within SharePoint search and embedding a document reference from SharePoint in a yammer post. Near futures touted were integration with SkyDrive Pro and Office Web Apps.

Their basic roadmap discussed an "open graph", more web parts, and integration with Dynamics (which was shown at YamJam the week earlier). Deeper integration will tackle the concerns around a unified feed, tighter integration with documents and seamless identity integration. They also went on to discuss how they would hook into all of Office 365 from Skype, Lync through to Outlook and Exchange…."faster than you might expect from us". From this I would read that "SharePoint social" at best will be a little brother not focused on anymore and that Yammer will be the true enterprise social focus at Microsoft. The biggest facepalm moment of this was from discussions with various people at ask the experts is that Yammer will be "cloud-only" so for a lot of organizations out of reach.

We have been evaluating Yammer internally and to be honest have found that even it isn’t fully baked and the Windows Phone app is barely usable which is a key to the social enterprise.

There are way too many overlaps between SharePoint social and Yammer right now and although Microsoft promise a more unified story, from my experience, don’t expect it in 2013 if they can’t even talk marketing slides yet. You can follow, like, post statuses, view activity completely in isolation of each other and there is no mechanism to see both in one stream. In my opinion, this is going to confuse the hell out of end users and so the best approach I can recommend for now is to pick one and shut the other off the best you can. The easiest one to switch off is obviously going to be Yammer as it’s completely separate. Switching off SharePoint social is not a big tick box, it’s going to take a lot of custom CSS hacks and master page tweaks for sure.


The innovation focus through the keynote and the sessions during the week were that SharePoint 2013 was “built from the cloud up” and you can see this when looking at the feature comparison between Office 365 SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-premise. And as discussed with the 3 month cadence of SharePoint Online they were “recommending you move to cloud for new experience”.

The upgrade story has got better this time round which obviously was for the benefit of them with Office 365 existing tenants and also on-premises customers. But don’t be fooled by how easy they say it is, expect the same experience as last time if you have customizations and not just a vanilla content database that can be moved to any old farm.

The main improvement from innovation aspects is the announcement of the performance improvements with “40% efficient use of bandwidth” due to “4x image compression” with one example used of the ribbon going from 400kb to 100Kb. They also quoted SQL being 50% faster due to enhanced stored procedures.

The shredded storage focus in the keynote around growth of content databases in average collaboration load being less compared to 2010 due to it storing deltas is a true fact, but if you attended mine and Dan’s session you would have also seen that with it comes a big performance hit from user experience. More details on this to come from me in the future on this and the differences between it and RBS + de-duplication technology.

I have to hand it to them from an innovation aspect on the new app-model with the ability to essentially build your app in php, perl, html5, or whatever and host it wherever and it be able to hook into SharePoint 2013 via the oAuth model if using SharePoint Online. They’re betting on the fact that existing developer ecosystems will start building integration into SharePoint, the market place is looking pretty quiet at the moment but I expect that to grow faster once SharePoint Online is in production with 2013 with all its tenants and demand starts to be driven.


I had two sessions at SPC12, one with Dan Holme focused on IT Pro story on-premises and what’s new which received very good scores from attendees and a vendor session with Dana Simberkoff around Governance and Compliance mapped to hybrid scenarios which also received above average scores. So I was personally very happy with my week! If you were unable to attend these sessions whilst you were at the conference because you were too busy, please log into MySPC and check them out!

Chris Givens has written a great little PowerShell script to pull down all the SPC PowerPoint and MP4 files which helped me grab it all and dump it on my Surface RT to watch on my many flights during my travels! Learning heaps already and encourage you to do the same as pretty sure you didn’t get to 250 odd sessions at the event itself with 8 running at once most times of the day! Note you need a MySPC login with access to sessions to get this content.

What wasn’t answered all week

For me, other than what I’ve already discussed around Yammer, some things I came away with that weren’t answered in a public forum were the release cadence for SharePoint on-premise…if our bleeding edge cloud friends get shiny new things every 3 months…when can us on-premise guys get them? In general there seemed to be a lack of theme around on-premise, and my discussions with a lot of people though out the week was that it was disappointing due to that fact.


Keynotes are always a tricky thing, especially with a room loaded with press, MVPs, office 365 customers and on-premise customers. I think overall it was a great keynote and tip my hat to those involved for a job well done. As for the conference, it astounds me how smoothly the week ran, the unfortunate Wi-Fi issues were out of their control and I spoke to a few that were seriously doing EVERYTHING they could to rectify it.


I had a great week, although extremely busy representing AvePoint and my community commitments and didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked with good friends in the community. I did however get to have a few minutes one on one with Jon Bon Jovi before the SPC12 attendee party started, Jon is a huge hero of mine and I’ve seen him over 10 times and been backstage once before but unfortunately didn’t get to talk to him. So getting a chance to chat to him made my week to be honest!

SPC12: Day 4 - Summary of Reducing Organizational Risk Through Effective Information Management


Editor’s note: Contributor Frederik Leksell is a Consultant for Accigo AB. Follow him @LetsTalkGov

Paul Olenick, presenting.

Okay, so this is the last day of SPC12. Some of us were at the Axceller party the day before, which was a very good party!

But now we will focus on the session at hand. Paul is talking some about how risk management can lead to wellness and success.


  • Define it
  • Apply it
  • Wrap it up

Information Management

It comes in, it comes out, it grows, and it rests. We want to do something with it: React, Proact (iv), Find, Safe Keep, Rely. We are not just talking about documents, but also people and other context.

The IT View is: Policy, Metadata, and Search.

Paul is now describing what all of these are. It seems a little naive as most people in this room already know what it is. Information management is not a list of features Paul says, yes that is correct. It’s more about reaction to data or how to get data reacted on.

  • React, Tools: Metadata
  • Proact (iv) Tools: Policy, Metadata, and Search
  • Find Tools: Search, Metadata
  • Safe Keep Tools: Policy, Metadata
  • Rely Tools: Metadata

Obvious stuff

  • Audits: Legal, Financial
  • Compliance: HIPPA, Affordable care act
  • Data security, Permissions, e-mail, print

Not so obvious stuff

  • Ineffectiveness.
  • Fundability.
  • Incorrect processes.
  • Inability to react.
  • Frustrated information workers.
  • Lack of transparency.
  • Loss of IP.
  • Productivity leak.
  • Loss of revenue.

Some of this probably applies to most organizations; it’s a good point as to what happens without IM.

Hidden Risks

Can’t: React, Proact (iv), Find, Safe Keep, Rely tec… Paul didn’t speak much more about this. Instead we went to a demo.

eDiscovery can make snapshots of lots of data from a search query. It can be used when you have a legal audit. SharePoint has this out of the box. It’s a very good feature in fact, I like this and it really gives business value if you have structured data.

With the auditing policy on you can create reports on document changes etc. Paul didn’t talk much more about this, just explained how much he helped companies save money with this.

Now it starts to get a bit more technical, let’s see if Paul can keep it a business track.

Example 2: Inability to visualize data

Data outside SharePoint in silos that are related but they could not be connected…By using search crawling they made a unique record that could help FAST search to crawl different file servers and relate data.

Hmmm, don’t know if this is correct since I don’t have the technical skills in this area.

Points that you need, a Foundation

  • Focus and define high-level business value
  • Everything should have a specific outcome
  • Know your audience
  • Find consensus and build form there. (Org buy-in)
  • Identify and quantify risk
  • Identify and quantify opportunities
  • Determine project scope
  • Build your buy-in

His point here is don’t talk to the CIO, talk to the business. It’s very good that he tells everyone that, it’s a big plus!

Conceptual, not technical

  • Fear of impending business.
  • Fear of automation. This is something I have felt as well, also when talking about integrations.
  • Resistance from end-users.
  • Getting into the weeds.
  • Failure to gain consensus.
  • Understand how to quantify risks.

Wrap it up

  • Stay business focused.
  • Focus on opportunity and revenue.
  • Metadata is the fuel that drives automation and search, surfacing info.
  • Challenges will be organizational, not technical.

Some very good point here!

Now I need to get to the next session, so no more about this right now. I will create an article, later on, filling in all the gaps.

What’s in a SharePoint Site? Understand the Basics Webinar


Editor’s note: Contributor Benjamin Niaulin is a SharePoint Specialist at Sharegate. Follow him @bniaulin

As a follow to Mark Miller’s article on the Evolution of Community in SharePoint I decided to organize a free Webinar to cover the basics of SharePoint. I realized through my travels in various SharePoint events like SharePoint Saturdays and large Conferences that many are just beginning with SharePoint. We have been working with SharePoint for so long that we tend to forget that some are not yet so comfortable with “site columns” or “content types”.

As a first step I would like to set up a Webinar on Wednesday December 5th 2012 at 1:30pm as a first in a series of Webinars on NothingButSharePoint to cover some of the basics of SharePoint geared to End Users and Power Users.


The Webinar (Dec 5th)

What’s in a SharePoint Site? Understand the basics. Filled with demos alongside the presentation.

What’s in the box? How do you use it and why? In this webinar, we will go over the objects that make up a SharePoint Site. When starting in SharePoint, we often don’t realize the importance of our architecture. Should you create a Site per Project or a page per Project?

A quick overview of SharePoint as seen from the top. A focus on what a Site Collection is from the perspective of a Power User.

SharePoint Sites
What’s a SharePoint Site and what are the differences between each “Templates”. In this section we will demystify what a site actually is. A big part of understanding SharePoint is understanding the terminology associated and used with it.

Lists and Libraries
We will then cover lists and libraries in a SharePoint site. We will cover the differences between each templates as well as some of the “I wish I knew that before” options available.

Columns and Site Columns
Have you ever heard of a Site Column before in SharePoint? If the answer is no or you are not really using them, then you should definitely attend this webinar and see the advantages it offers.

Content Types
A brief introduction to Content Types to understand what they are but this is a webinar on its’ own. We will cover this in detail as a follow up in early 2013.

Web Parts
Here we will go over some of the popular Web Parts used in SharePoint. We will of course start by explaining what they are and how to apply basic configurations.

What’s the difference between a Wiki Page, a Web Part Page and a Publishing Page? Understand how pages are used and when to use them in SharePoint.

Register quickly

Although I do not believe it will be an issue, I can only host 250 attendees for this Webinar.

Registration Link:

Feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter @bniaulin for any questions.

SPC12: Day 3 - Summary of Planning for the Lifecycle of Your SharePoint 2013 Website


Editor’s note: Contributor Frederik Leksell is a Consultant for Accigo AB. Follow him @LetsTalkGov

Geoffery Edge, presenting.

The session begins with an image on a disgusting toilet in the woods, saying you just want to go here if you need to. It’s the same with websites, bad content and navigation gives the same effect.

Get people to engage, make UX work and information architecture to work.


  • Project planning
  • Design roadmap.
  • Build roadmap

Project planning

We are looking at a new website here. We want to get people to stay at the site, and have a good number of visitors and have many page views.

The need for social media is important. Very good points, now let’s hope that he delivers some smart things.;-)

Waterfall project vs. Continuous project with governance. Very good! User feedback seems to be the big thing to get your website in good shape and build on.

The Team has to have lots of different people with different expertise. Mainly what I believe an intranet needs as well. Developer/web and SharePoint, Infrastructure, Business analyst, PM, UI designer, UX expert, Content strategist, Graphic designer. Last but not least a business sponsor.

3 things:

  • Site UX/Branding
  • Infrastructure
  • Content and workflows

All this is a web site…

But IA is most important, and you need to do this first, exactly what I believe in! When you have IA then you can start wireframes followed by design and functional prototype. Create meta data based on Mapped IA, pretty smart!


You need to choose what is most important, content or branding? Create wireframes to see your design and UX. MS has an expression tool for wireframes. I didn’t know this…

Make your modifications in the wireframe until you are satisfied with IA and UX. Then start your design comp. Create a functional prototype with design manager. Use your tools of choose to do the HTML site.

Social media Strategy

Social integration and social design. Social integration is Facebook, but I think twitter, LinkedIn and others also are important. Facebook is more private then business. To get FB into a site you can use an app model in SharePoint.  In the content editor MS added a FB app from the SharePoint store. The Facebook integration can take the meta data from the site/page and post that to Facebook. This is standard on WordPress which is what I know…

Social design

Designing your site to be social… Trip advisor uses FB integration to see where your friends have traveled. You can see what others think and what others have written about it.

Mobile strategy

A strategy to deliver a good experience to any device and browsers. Responsive design is what’s hot today. Personally I love responsive design ;-)

You need to think about what applications you use. You can’t add old flash stuff as then they won’t work on all devices. And you can’t use all HTML5 and CSS3 as then it won’t work in IE7 and 8.


Regarding SP2013 New WCM concepts, you need to think about how you use them. You can use search driven publishing model and that will also integrate with Dynamics eCommerce. Then it gets cool! ;-) We use search to create navigation, pages, recommendations on topics etc. You can even use this indexed content outside SharePoint.

Translation services are available but you still have to use a human to make it good language ;-)

Recommend things to look at depending on which user it is that sees the page. If they have connected with FB then you can see that the user is 44 years old and comes from Sweden etc… And based on this you can choose what you want to show.

Web Analytics

Webtrends, Google analytics. Apparently there is an app for webtrends. I guess there will be one for Google analytics as well.

This is, in short, what the session was about. I am sorry I didn’t have time to add my own reflections, but the session was very fast paced. There is also not a lot of time in-between sessions. So this will have to do.