Last week I was part of the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was my second time and I really enjoyed it. The conference started with an interesting keynote. President Bill Clinton was invited for a speech (see below). He talked about the Clinton Foundation and the partnership with Microsoft and Information Technology in general which helps the world to be a better place.

This year I picked a lot of different sessions from different tracks, Development, IT Pro, Social and Executive.

Enterprise Social

This year a complete track was devoted to Enterprise Social (read Yammer) with a lot of sessions. The message that was repeating in those sessions: Work Like a Network. If you still consider using the standard social capabilities of SharePoint 2013 called Newsfeed, you should not. Microsoft is advising to go Yammer.

Yammer Work Like a Network

Work Like a Network

The following important announcements were made during the roadmap session of Yammer:

  • Inline Social: Conversations about content available in Office 365 (will be available spring 2014)
  • Office Online in Yammer (will be available summer 2014)
  • Groups: For a seamless collaboration experience
  • Office Graph: Content and signals across Office 365 auto populating the Office Graph for teams

Development

Development for SharePoint has drastically changed since the App Model. HTML5 and CSS3 are playing an important role nowadays. We could say that SharePoint Developers become Web Developers. The slide below from Scott Hillier shows the difference in development between SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013.

From Bricks to Houses

From Bricks to Houses

Important references from the development sessions I attended:

IT Pro

The IT Pro track contained a lot of sessions, I chose to attend the IT Pro Keynote from Bill Baer to get an overview of things on the IT Pro side.

IT Experience

IT Experience

Important highlights from that session:

  • A New Version of SharePoint Server will be available in 2015
  • Multi-Factor Authentication for General Users
  • 1 TB Site Collection, Limitless Tenant (customers pay for storage)
  • Codename Fort Knox – Encrypting shredded storage (256-bit AES)
  • Encryption @ REST (256-bit AES)
  • The New IT Pro Yammer Network http://www.yammer.com/itpronetwork

Executive

My last session was an Executive session from Joel Oleson, “The strategy behind building a successful social intranet”. I would state that this session was actually best for last, because it was an inspiring talk and Joel is a fantastic speaker.

The session was about focus on the strategy behind moving your entire organization from an informed user base into a daily-engaged, active community. Lines of communication can go top down, bottom up, and it all happens wherever, whenever.

One of the nicest quotes during the session was the following, while presenting this slide that you should stale out of date information:

Your intranet feels like a Popeye Theme Park

Popeye Theme Park

Popeye Theme Park

Conclusion

This SharePoint Conference was an amazing and well organized event. I really liked the Yammer Network around this conference to catch up with other attendees. One of the most important things I learned from this year: arrive early so you have time to rest before the conference starts. The videos of the conference are available on Channel 9.

Hope to see you at the next SharePoint Conference!