Asif Rehmani has been working with Microsoft collaboration tools for almost 20 years now. As founder of VisualSP, in his books, in his interactions with people online and at conferences, and in his regular column on CMSWire, he helps people overcome the common barriers standing between them and SharePoint adoption. 

Asif calls himself a "trainer and a coach." And while most of the time that involves helping businesses get the most out of their digital tools, it carries over to his volunteering as well, where he coaches almost 30 kids in the art of table tennis. 

Remain Laser-Focused on How Best to Remove User Frustration

Who are you, in a 280-character tweet? 

I am a trainer and a coach at my core. My life's purpose is to inspire, teach and support others around me to come up with and execute innovative solutions that have a positive impact on the world. I enjoy helping organizations make use of digital tools as intended and to their fullest extent. 

What attracted you to your field and what still excites you about it? 

It's a passion for me. I have been in the Microsoft collaboration technologies space since 2002. Everyone that I know in this community is willing to openly help others with their shared challenges and guide others the best they can with their knowledge and experience. It's a very uplifting feeling to see professionals in our space genuinely care about others and lend a hand where and when needed at their moment of need. 

What still excites and motivates me are the ever-increasing success stories that we receive from our VisualSP users and to realize that we are truly making a difference in people's lives.   

What project are you working on now that our readers should know about? 

Learning Opportunities

Microsoft collaboration technologies such as SharePoint and Office 365 have been spreading like wildfire all over the world. However, users of these technologies are not able to make best use of all these applications nor fully understand how it all fits together to help them get their job done. VisualSP has recently partnered with Microsoft in order to help end users get up to speed using step by step, just-in-time guidance systems exactly at the moment of their need. This has been my recent focus to make sure we are laser focused on how best to remove user frustration and increase adoption, as well as user productivity. 

What story/stories related to your field will you be following in 2019? 

2019 will be a momentous year in the Microsoft collaboration space. The release of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2019 brought harmony to the cloud and on-prem offerings. I'll be following the stories of organizations looking to use collaboration technologies in the way that it works best for them and their users — in the cloud, hybrid or behind their firewall. No matter what they choose, the users get a consistent interface which is a necessity to increase productivity.  

What was your first paying job? 

My first paying job was stocking shelves at a grocery store in Evanston, IL. I was 14-years-old and got paid around $3/hour. Those were the days when I would work a full day, get paid around $20 and would feel rich! :-) 

Speed round!

  • What word could you happily live without hearing ever again? The word "can't." I believe there is no such thing. It's just a state of mind to believe something can't be done or something you can't live without. 
  • What book are you reading now? "Small Giants," by Bo Burlingham 
  • Favorite way to spend a day off? At the beach with a book and my tablet 
  • If you could go back in time, what period would you go to? I would go to the beginning of time itself to see how it all 'really' began 
  • Quote to live by: "Meaningful work is far more important than just having a job"