SharePoint Sharpener

Obsessively Sharpening SharePoint

Posts Tagged ‘sharepoint conference

SPC11 Keynote: Online Focus, Delivering Productivity and Next Year: Las Vegas!

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The SharePoint Conference 2011 has just kicked off in Anaheim. Succeeding Steve Ballmer as the main keynote speaker is not an easy task but Jared Spataro gave a good performance in his own more relaxed style (hardly any shouting and sweating in sight).


The theme of the conference is Productivity Delivered which relates directly to the fact that this conference is not held in a launch year, rather focus is on getting the most out of the existing product and maximising what can be done within the boundaries of SharePoint 2010.

Jared showed a short video about how the SharePoint team had been looking (in vain) for a Hollywood spokesperson for SharePoint. The video did put smiles on peoples faces and featured, among others, Luke Perry and Carmen Electra:





You gotta have stats at a keynote. And Jared showed the following:

  • SharePoint is now one of the biggest products at Microsoft. The product continues to grow with double digits.
  • Microsoft has sold 125 million licenses of SharePoint to 65,000 customers.
  • 67% of enterprise customers have rolled out SharePoint to everyone in their organisations.
  • Office 365 now serves millions of customers (no exact numbers).
  • The conference is attended by more than 7,500 people. 240 breakout sessions are planned and 200 partners are present in the exhibit hall.


Jeff Teper

Jared handed over to Jeff Teper, the senior vice president of MS Office (and the father of SharePoint), and a huge SharePoint nerd; he really loves his product and the development community.


Some of Jeff’s key points:

  • The biggest growth area of SharePoint is within public facing sites (www and extranet) – it has seen a hockey stick-like growth of 25-30% during the past year.
  • This has been the busiest year ever for the SharePoint team at Microsoft.
  • No other collaboration software can be setup and running as fast as Office 365.
  • Microsoft are working on the next major release of SharePoint but nothing will be shown this week.
  • Worldwide more than 700,000 developers work with SharePoint.
  • 1,162 books are available about SharePoint at Amazon.
  • Office 365 will get a major update towards the end of the year. Among other things, BCS will be enabled and so will read/write access to web services.
  • Microsoft is releasing a new, advanced certification, i.e. the Certified Architects Program. This will be the most advanced SharePoint certification to date.

Jeff surrendered the stage to Richard Riley for a rather impressive on-stage demo of how well SharePoint 2010 scales and fails over event with several terabytes of data. By the way, Microsoft has released an update to the SharePoint Capacity Planning Guide.


Kurt Delbene

Kurt, the president of MS Office division, gave a speak centered around Office 365 and cloud services.


  • Office 365 is all about scalability. Even small companies are adopting the software on a large scale.
  • 80% of the smaller companies that use Office 365 have never rolled out SharePoint themselves.
  • Office 365 is backed by Microsoft which means it’s secure, reliable and fully supported by MS.
  • A few interesting industry facts:
    • 84% of organisations have a remote workforce.
    • 65% of all companies are deploying at least one social software tool.
    • 70% of IT budgets are spent maintaining inflexible and siloed data centre solutions.
    • 80% of larger enterprise IT managers are at least in trial stage for cloud computing initiatives.

Microsoft are donating $50,000 to a good cause through Net Hope. Attendees at SPC11 will decide which organisation should receive the sum and of course MS has created a web app to handle the voting (available through MySPC at the conference web site). We were given a quick tour behind the stage of the application which is based on Windows Azure, SQL Azure, SharePoint Online, HTML5, REST and JSON. Neat.


And another thing: Vegas 2012 baby!

Jared concluded with a Steve Jobs-style “And another thing”-announcement: The next SharePoint Conference will be held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on 12-15 November 2012!

Let’s go!

As expected, there were no major announcements during the keynote but what the conference may lack in sexy new product launches it certainly will make up for in usefulness. Tons of great sessions and hands-on labs are there to attend and peruse.


Written by Thomas Sondergaard

October 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm

SPC11 Survival Guide for International Attendees

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Going to your first SharePoint Conference next week in Anaheim? Or maybe you just can’t remember much of the last two SPCs in Las Vegas and Seattle?

Anaheim will be my fourth SPC – the one before Seattle was in Berlin – and every time I seem to forget a few vital things in preparation for the trip. Trust me, there’ll be plenty of things to keep you busy once you touch down in LAX so the more you can take care of in advance the better.



Social networking

Twitter is essential for staying on top of what’s happening at the conference. In most Twitter clients, like TweetDeck, you can create a column that continually displays tweets with the hashtag #SPC11. Alternatively, you can use the web version.

Also, find out if attendees from your country or user group are using a specific hashtag (like #SUGUK for SharePoint User Group UK or #SPC11DK for Danish attendees) – or you may even want to keep an eye on #SharePint.

Consider putting your twitter handle and avatar on your SPC badge. It’ll make it easier for your online friends to recognise you in person.

Of course, Facebook (or even Google+) is also a relevant source of up-to-the-minute information but Twitter tends to be more widely used during SPCs.

If you’re travelling with colleagues you can stay connected using Office Communicator, stating which session you’re in or where you’ll be during the next break.


Adding your sessions to Outlook is a no-brainer and it makes it easy for your colleagues to catch up with you.


Doing business remotely

Access to your workplace via VPN may be limited from whichever network connection you’re getting in the US. Some providers and hotels block access to the ports used by VPN. If you’re using Office 365 or BPOS this isn’t going to be an issue for you – if not, you may want to check that you’ve got access to web-based email. If there’s a chance you need specific documents during the conference, put them on your hard drive or in the cloud with SkyDrive or Dropbox.

Also consider using GoToMyPC or unattended sessions in GoToAssist as these programs tend to find ways through the thickest firewalls.



Most laptop power supplies these days are universal, i.e. they accept 100-240 volts, so you only need to bring a power plug adaptor.

Use your laptop as a charging station for your phone/tablet etc. and do bring a spare battery for your iPhone phone.

Speaking of phones: Make sure you don’t incur horrendous roaming charges on your normal contract. Instead, you should purchase a prepaid SIM card from a US carrier on arrival.


Air conditioning

If you’re from the northern hemisphere it is probably warmer in California than in your country. Don’t be fooled, though, you’ll be spending most of your time indoors at the convention centre. And let’s get one thing straight: Americans like love air condition and they don’t mind cranking it up to 11. So don’t expect tropical temperatures in the breakout sessions.


Papers, passport

By now, you’ve probably applied for your ESTA. If not, you really need to hurry up. When you’ve completed the form make sure you check the details on the print view – I found that more details are shown here than on the form itself, especially if you’re only updating flight or hotel information.

Don’t forget your passport. Silly, I know, but I’ve been on group trips before where one or two people showed up in the airport without the most obvious item needed for the trip.



We’ve all heard stories about unlucky individuals ending up with astronomical medical bills when going abroad. Medical treatment in the US can be very expensive, so make sure that you (or your company on your behalf) have adequate travel and medical insurance for the trip.



Don’t bring much cash – but do bring your Visa, Master or Amex card. If you have two different cards it’s even better as some places may accept Visa but not Master, or vice-versa. And do bring the phone number of your bank/issuer’s card cancellation service, in case your card gets stolen.


International drivers’ license

If you’re planning a road trip to an NFL game in San Diego while at SPC you should check if you need an international license, apart from your country’s standard license. In most cases you don’t but it’s worth checking out. More info here, and be aware of the scammers who want to sell you fake international licenses.


And finally: Drinking

Yes, drinking and partying is part of the SPC experience! SharePoint Conference is a very social event where many different types of SharePoint people attend. This mixed bag of individuals is a great basis for some serious partying but instead of listing all the tips here, I’ll refer you to this and this post from some of the seasoned SharePint drinkers in the community.

Peter Anker and Anders Dissing @ SharePint

In the above picture: Experienced SharePint drinkers Peter Anker and Anders Dissing partying in Copenhagen.

Make sure you check out my post about the social activities at SPC11 and bookmark the SPC11 Event Map.


Don’t forget to read some of the traditional travel advice from e.g. Lonely Planet or Rough Guides.

That’s it. Safe travels – hope to see you in Anaheim. If you see me, come and say hello.

Written by Thomas Sondergaard

September 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Welcome Back! And See You in Anaheim For SPC11

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So, I’m taking the first baby steps towards breathing life back into my severely neglected blog. It would simply be too embarrassing to go to Anaheim in a week’s time without a least a few fresh posts under my belt.

It’s not like I don’t have plenty of useful SharePoint stuff to write about; my beloved OneNote is crammed with years of scribbling about bug-fixing, coding, server trouble-shooting and mostly – let’s face it – more or less elegant solutions to overcome SharePoint’s little quirks.


Let’s meet in Anaheim

Once again, PeopleNet will probably be the largest Danish contingent at the SharePoint Conference. Almost 40 of us are going this year, including some of our valued clients.

I’m looking forward to spending some time with like-minded SharePoint enthusiasts during the course of the week, either between sessions or at some of the many social events. SharePints anyone?


Live blogging?

Yes, I’m planning to do a few posts before SPC11 but whatever I write during the conference will surely be more interesting for you to read, especially if you can’t attend yourself.

If wifi coverage is acceptable I’ll attempt to live blog during the keynote. At SPC09, literally the second Steve Ballmer walked off the stage after the keynote, I posted an article and it was probably the first semi-comprehensive rundown of SharePoint 2010’s new features to hit the internet. It got a lot of traffic.

This time a new version of SharePoint will not be released but I’m confident a few juicy announcements will be made during the keynote, so tune into my blog for coverage.

I’m probably getting over-ambitious here but I’m toying with the idea of posting some video clips from the conference as well. Not promising anything, though.


Meanwhile, follow me on Twitter (@sondergaard) – and have a safe flight to Anaheim, if you’re going…

Written by Thomas Sondergaard

September 24, 2011 at 12:16 am

Confirmed: SharePoint Conference 19-22 Oct 2009 in Las Vegas

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As I mentioned three weeks ago, the next SharePoint Conference will be held in Q4 in Las Vegas!

Early bird registration is now open at the conference site.

Focus will be on the next version of SharePoint (codenamed SharePoint 14).

More to follow.

Written by Thomas Sondergaard

February 4, 2009 at 9:37 am

SharePoint 2009 and SharePoint Conference 2009

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2009 looks to be a big year for Microsoft, release-wise. The very promising beta of Windows 7 has just been released and Office 14 should be out towards the end of the year.

This gives credit to the rumor that the next version of SharePoint is due to be released in the fourth quarter of this year. There is no official statement from Microsoft which confirms neither when the next release is due, nor what it will be called, but SharePoint 2009 is probably a good bet.


SharePoint Conference 2009 in Las Vegas!

Moreover, the next SharePoint conference is not held in March as usual; it’s been slated for Q4 as well! As you may know, the conference normally swaps between Europe and the US and since last year’s conference was held in Seattle one would assume that this year a return to Europe would be in order.

But one would be wrong in that assumption. A very good source has revealed that the conference will stay on American soil (i.e. Las Vegas). This ties in nicely with the coincidental release of SharePoint 2009. Microsoft obviously want to throw the release party (the conference) of their top products (Office, SharePoint) on their own turf


New Features in SharePoint 2009

Likely new features in SharePoint 2009 are:

In addition, I sincerely hope that Microsoft are rethinking the database architecture behind SharePoint. Most developers are acutely aware that biggest hurdle for SharePoint world domination is the way SharePoint handles relations and large quantities of data.


SharePoint 2007 Service Pack 2

Before version-next we’ll probably see another service pack for SharePoint 2007. Service Pack 2 will bring a number of improvements to the client-side Office applications as well as a few to the server:

  • Variations: Performance and manageability improvements including STSADM commands for repairing links between source and target pages
  • Office Project Web Access: Improvements around processing status approvals from Office Project Web Access into Office Project Professional 2007
  • Content databases: Improvements to read-only content databases and index rebuild timer jobs in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Not terribly exciting but more features may materialise before the update hits Microsoft’s download servers.