sharepoint, sptechcon boston
Some dirty water, a little clam chowder (hopefully those aren’t connected) and the SPTechCon. 

Boston is home to the 10th SharePoint Technology Conference next week, and we’ll be there Monday Tweeting (@cmswire, #SPTechCon) and reporting. The conference, put on by BZ Media LLC, runs from Aug. 11-14 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.

SPTechCon Conference Lowdown

Conference organizers are planning for more than 90 sessions, catering to developers, IT pros, information workers, architects and more. The exhibit hall will feature more than 50 vendors, who get to play in the largest SharePoint conference environment outside of Microsoft’s own event, according to David Rubinstein, conference chairman.

Tidbits from ‘SharePoint Joel’

Joel Oleson, or “SharePoint Joel” as he’s affectionately known in this industry, will be delivering Monday’s keynote address. Oleson was on the original team at Microsoft that conceived of SharePoint and built the first rollout. He’s traveled from Antarctica to Zimbabwe and points all over in between “evangelizing for SharePoint and helping users understand how to use it and what it can do,” Rubinstein says, adding Oleson is the first person asked to do a second keynote at SPTechCon.

“His talk at the 2011 SPTechCon in San Francisco on ‘SharePoint Worst Practices’ got rave reviews from the attendees,” Rubinstein says, “and we're thrilled to have him back this time.”

Oleson, catching up with us about the industry in a Twitter exchange, says that Microsoft now recognizes it is No. 3 in the mobile OS space. 

“As a result they have recognized that both iOS and Android exist,” Oleson says. 

The SharePoint team has released three Apps and now has Windows Phone and iOS versions for 3.3 with Android 2.3, Oleson adds.

Further, he says, “Office wants to know what devices you use, including iPad and Android Tablets.”

Latest on SharePoint

SharePoint has been all over our radar

We’ve discussed organizations diving into SharePoint Online, and how they are taking advantage of platforms to share content externally with business partners and customers. At the same time, organizations must govern and build a security plan for models like this, we wrote, because no one wants to share too much. 

We’ve also reported SharePoint’s e-discovery support system that provides access to key information in legal cases. But are your vendors in e-discovery supporting cloud data stores such as SharePoint Online or Box? That’s a question companies must ask. 

Speaking of vendor support, we’ve also covered AvePoint’s announcement its productivity apps now support SharePoint 2013 on-premises and online. The new v2.0 of AvePoint Meetings and AvePoint Task & Calendar Sync are working for SharePoint 2013 and toward the possibility of working with SharePoint Online in Office 365.

Boston Ready for SharePoint MVPs

Essentially, there’s a big community pool SharePoint owns, and vendors and companies want to make a splash. This will be happening all next week in Boston at the SPTechCon.

Learning Opportunities

Rubinstein, the conference chairman, tells us that his team ensures speakers are key industry players who are “knowledgeable, engaged, and have a great delivery of the information.”

“The majority of our speakers are MVPs or certified masters, and those that aren't are true subject matter experts in their areas,” Rubinstein adds.

Using SharePoint the Right Way

One of those speakers, Eric Riz, executive vice president of Concatenate, a software firm based in Toronto, says too many organizations do not take full advantage of SharePoint and its capabilities. Too often, he says, it is used only for its off-the-shelf capabilities, which include portals, document management, collaboration and search.

However, they fall short, Riz says, of recognizing SharePoint’s true value and what Microsoft intended it to be: a platform for organizations where people are the backbone of the business; and where assets and business process play a major role, collaboration is critical.

"For a decade the ideal platform has been there, deployed in most companies," Riz says. "But how many of those companies have embraced it as a platform and incorporated their own business language as the basis for how things are stored and shared? How many have focused on their most valuable or costly business processes and used SharePoint to make them a competitive advantage?"

SharePoint is seen merely as an infrastructure component and tool, Riz says, but it's what you do with that infrastructure and tool set that matters.

Further, when rolling out a SharePoint development strategy, Riz says organizations must identify the right people for the right roles. Do not, for instance, roll out your typical project team that includes general titles like project manager and business analyst. Create enterprising roles like SharePoint administrator and SharePoint architect to round out your project team and build the internal collaboration.

This is never more important than for organizations migrating from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, where “internally and in the cloud,” Riz says, “the changes are quite extensive.”

Tweet us if you’re going to the conference @DomNicastro and @cmswire, #SPTechCon or follow our Tweets live from Boston Monday, Aug. 12.