Adoption & Effective Use

Notes from – Day 1 of New Zealand SharePoint Conference 2010

Day 1 of the 2010 New Zealand SharePoint Conference was today. As with last year, it was well organized, with a good range of local and international speakers. The location was good, the food was good, there was just too much to listen and absorb. I’m tired.

I went mainly to the business sessions; here’s some notes:

  • Ryan Duguid, the Senior Product Manager for SharePoint ECM from Microsoft Redmond, gave the opening keynote. He did an overview of the “new” SharePoint … or really, the continuation of the SharePoint story. He went through the new 2010 pie and compared it to the 2007 pie, and pretty much confirmed what I’d been mapping out on the plane this morning getting here. Most interesting quote for me, speaking to the information management challenges of tools such as SharePoint: “At Microsoft, I’m a member of about 1000 SharePoint sites … but I have no idea what’s going on in here.
  • Daniel MacPherson from zevenseans spoke about social computing in SharePoint 2010, and some pointers on adoption. An interesting take on the topic, and some new thinking about how to “drive” adoption (see User Adoption Strategies for why I have “drive”).
  • Mark Orange (KnowledgeCue) and Dave Livesey (WaveAdept) spoke about the viability of cloud computing services. Dave took the theory, and then Mark dived into Microsoft Online Services — hosted editions of Exchange, SharePoint, Office Live Meeting, and Office Communications Server — all at a reasonable per user per month cost. My ‘note-to-self’: check out the Microsoft Online Services story for my business. Very promising.
  • One of the key reasons for coming to the conference this year was to get a rapid deep dive into the Content slice of the 2010 pie. So I attended a second Ryan Duguid session, “ECM for the Masses,” a deep dive on the ECM investments in SharePoint 2010. Best quote for me, which makes me think I need to kick one of my “next book” projects up the priority list, was “we were given PCs, but WERE NOT GIVEN THE SKILLS TO MANAGE the content we created.
  • Milan Gross from Synergy Corporate Technologies (Australia) presented on the integration between Visio and SharePoint. I haven’t spent any time with Visio for 7-8 years, but the capabilities for data-driven visualization was very cool. And most importantly, useful too.
  • Stephen Vidulich (DB Breweries) and Alan Marshall (Telecom Gen-i) presented on the work they had done on “Brewing up an Intranet at DB.” I was interested to listen to the approach they took, and to hear their story on user adoption. Some direct overlaps and linkages with what I have in the book … which is always good! Finally, it was interesting to hear some of DB’s thinking about whether to introduce departmental collaboration sites (team project sites are a standard way of working), or whether to emphasize the cross-organizational sites they set up for key business activities.

So, all in all, a great day. I’m glad I came. There is Day 2 of the conference tomorrow, and then an optional workshop day on Friday. I’m down for two workshops on Friday … so it’s a SharePoint fueled week …