Conference Notes

Share2011 – Keynote: Looking at the Business Solutions of SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint Online (Jerry Smith, Microsoft)

Jerry from Microsoft is at the Share conference for the second year. Key points from Jerry’s talk:
– SharePoint is a $2 billion business. It’s on the trajectory to be the faster growing product from Microsoft ever.
– Will be focusing on on-premise and online. Microsoft will get to feature parity across both at some time in the future.
– Organizations should see SharePoint as an in integral part of your information management strategy. SharePoint works with a whole lot of other Microsoft products.

SharePoint across the enterprise:
– SharePoint is available on-premises, online, and as a hybrid.
– SharePoint connects with many of the Office clients – Word, Lync, Publisher, etc.
– … With Lync, there’s a SharePoint Notification Service to alert a user who is online about a new task. You can open it from there.
– SharePoint will get better for connecting with various external services – eg., Twitter, Facebook.
– … Jerry gave a super-quick demo of Docs to connect Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Facebook friends.
– In the future, Visio, SharePoint and Project will merge closer – so WebParts are not required to link the three together.
– In the future, SharePoint will be better available on phones and tablets.
– Another area of focus is on linking SharePoint with business applications. Eg., business intelligence, SAP with Duet Enterprise to link SharePoint and SAP.
– … Jerry showed an ordering process used at Microsoft, that combines SAP and SharePoint. When searching for a new vendor, the vendor data is stored out in SAP. When the order is submitted, it kicks off an approval workflow in SharePoint.
– Visio can be connected to SharePoint Designer 2010 to create visual mappings of running workflows to display current activities.
– Jerry showed a demo of “Acing” – a new way of sharing social networking information within the business. It will create a dynamic map of people that Jerry has recently emailed with, or shared MySite content with.
– The system will also connect with Bing maps for showing where people are located, and where the individual sits inside the office. It could be extended to show live current presence too.
– Microsoft cares about searching for documents, but also beyond that – essentially people. Microsoft’s research says that 98% of knowledge inside the organization in not written down.

Retail Industry Scenario
– SharePoint enables the enablement of collaboration across teams and divisions.
– Key challenges – hiring a skilled workforce, partnering with suppliers, better connected business insights, and more. There are various IT challenges too.
– using SharePoint, you have various ways of finding people to collaborate with. A search returns documents and lists of experts. In the future, you’ll be able to have a video call with the colleague.
– In Lync 2010, there is a new free add-on for real-time language translation between people in instant messaging. SharePoint is going to follow this – with 35 languages.
– Inventory sorting and searching – PivotViewer for sorting visually on things that I’m interested in. It will be built into SharePoint in the future.
– The store manager needs to do a variety of things – eg., reviewing staff rosters.
– Use dashboards for managing supplies and inventory. Jerry showed an example of using Visio in SharePoint – that was connected to an IBM DB2 database for real-time updating of data.
– … (Jerry says, “If you use Visio for just drawing static diagrams, you need to think about Visio in a different way … because Microsoft does.)
– closing comment – within the Retail industry, Jerry says that Microsoft has a strong story with SharePoint across all of the six elements of SharePoint.
– case studies – Best Buy (using SharePoint 2010 for the Geek Squad, for PC troubleshooting, with access from Windows Mobile phones), Six Flags (a way to enhance the guest experience), and Ferrari (Web site content management, with business users to manage content end-to-end).

Closing
– Jerry showed Microsoft’s Vision 2021 video, from www.microsoft.com/office/vision.
– Jerry said that Microsoft is working on ways to link Kinect with Office. People are already imagining new ways of using Kinect.

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