When Irish Eyes Are Smiling - European SharePoint Conference 2017 Wrap-Up

Beautiful Irish sunset at The Convention Center Dublin

Beautiful Irish sunset at The Convention Center Dublin

From November 13-16, our European SharePoint community gathered in beautiful Dublin, Ireland. This was my third time attending and speaking at the European SharePoint Conference. This was my second trip to Dublin, Ireland where I studied at Trinity College many years ago. I was thrilled to come back and see how the city has changed. I got a great dose of Irish warmth, food, hospitality and “Craic” (the Gaelic word for fun and enjoyment). I am always highly impressed with our ESPC event organizers, the quality content, our community and vibrant speakers. I am always grateful for the opportunity to speak at this event.

I loved the venue, The Convention Center Dublin, which did not exist back during my semester of study in the 90’s. I learned from a taxi driver that the locals call the building “the can of beans” because of the gorgeous glass cylinder that serves as the façade of the building. Many of us from the U.S. thought it looked like a “can of Guinness”. The CCD is also the first carbon-neutral convention center in the world.

From a speaker and Content Panda perspective, it was great to connect with many of our wonderful European SharePoint and Office 365 MVPs, Microsoft folks and our European partners and customers and also show off some new Content Panda feature enhancements driven by customer feedback.

Content Panda Feature Enhancements

Panda Tab

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Our updated and customizable Support experience allows users to receive help and support faster than ever. If users can't find the information they need from your help content, they can click your custom configured Support link inside the Panda Tab directing them to your own helpdesk or knowledge base.

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Content Panda Interface now supports  English, French, Spanish, German, & Portuguese.

 

 

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Panda Panels

Search functionality has moved to the bottom of the Panda Panel. Configure search to integrate with your favorite search engine. Connect to Bing, Google, Yahoo, SharePoint and more...

 

Content Panda Management Console

We've updated the look and feel of the management interface for easier access and flow.

 

 

A Few Key Takeaways from ESPC 2017

This year’s event highlighted updates for SharePoint, One Drive, Microsoft Teams and more. The keynotes were terrific and chock full of updates.

Jeff Teper and Karuana Gatimu at ESPC17.

Jeff Teper and Karuana Gatimu at ESPC17.

Momentum

Big numbers for SharePoint and One Drive Cloud Momentum on one of the first slides from Jeff Teper’s Corporate Vice President, Office, SharePoint and One Drive, Microsoft - Keynote:

  • 300K Organizations
  • 85% of Fortune 500
  • 65% seats are online
  • 90% growth in active users
  • 300% growth in sync usage
  • 6x Gartner & Forrester Leader

Additional Highlights

File Viewers – offline sync that doesn’t use storage, 277 file previews of thumbnails while using File Explorer in One Drive.

Hub Sites – Announced at Ignite, you can now connect site collections to hub sites which inherit permissions and branding.

Power Apps and Forms – the ability to create and customize forms and list in Power Apps.

Microsoft Teams

Lots of buzz on the new additions to this product, adding pages, external sharing and more clarification on how to use Office Groups, Teams, Yammer and Planner. If you aren’t already a part of the Microsoft Tech Community, do go check it out – this is the Microsoft Teams Blog.

Women in Technology Lunch

Karuana Gatimu and Heather Newman at the ESPC17 Women in Technology Lunch.

Karuana Gatimu and Heather Newman at the ESPC17 Women in Technology Lunch.

A topic near and dear to my heart, I was thrilled to pass WIT lunch keynote mantle to the ever dynamic and engaging Karuana Gatimu, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Teams. Karuana gave an inspiriting talk on 5 Ways to Inspire Female Leadership, A Co-Ed Initiative. We had a full house of close to 150 ladies, and some gentlemen enjoy networking and connecting. Was great to see our keynote and CVP Jeff Teper in the house. Super fun to hang out with so many ladies that have come since we started the WIT lunch a few years ago. For more on Women in SharePoint follow our Twitter account.

Anchoring the Last Day

Heather Newman presenting at ESPC17

Heather Newman presenting at ESPC17

My session, last session on the last day of the conference - One Card at a Time – Leverage Office 365 Planner to Plan your SharePoint End User Adoption was jam-packed and full of great questions from attendees.  Microsoft Planner is still fairly new to most folks as it only came out in June 2016 and people are working through the best use cases for this technology.  Planner is great for task management and is being enhanced quickly by the product team. I had to update my presentation four times since turning in my draft months ago. If you use Planner and have feature asks, please add them to the Microsoft Planner User Voice Feedback Forum.

My presentation focused more on the leverage of a tool like Planner to run an end user adoption campaign and the steps one takes to build and launch one inside of an organization. Planner itself can be explained fairly quickly in a demo so my concentration walked attendees through the ten steps in building out a campaign and how you might organize that using Planner. The ten steps for an end user campaign in a checklist can be found here for easy reference. I also have a white paper that delves into this on a deeper level.

On a Personal Note

Revisiting a place where you studied is always lovely. I took a morning and went to Trinity College and sat for awhile to reflect in The Long Room of the Library on campus where The Book of Kells is on display. I have always found comfort in libraries and bookstores. It was a great place to reminisce and do a little writing. I wrote a little piece about that morning here.

Trinity College Library Long Room, Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Library Long Room, Dublin, Ireland

Thank Yous

The speaker night pub crawl was wonderful, loved visiting O’Neill’s Pub and big thanks to Valo Internet for a great party at Jameson’s Distillery and the organizers and sponsors for a fun night at the Guinness Storehouse. Looking forward to European SharePoint Conference 2018 next year in Copenhagen, Denmark.