Next week, from Monday, May 13 to Wednesday, May 15, members of the Canadian Microsoft SharePoint community will gather in Toronto for the seventh edition of the SharePoint Summit series. Aiming to provide a unique environment for education and collaboration, SharePoint Summit attracts numerous decision makers, influential professionals, and other SharePoint users each year. AvePoint is proud to once again sponsor the Summit at the Platinum level.
The Summit features sessions from speakers with extensive and varied SharePoint backgrounds, categorized under three tracks to provide value to attendees of all experience levels. Delivering two sessions in the Intermediate and Advanced tracks, Director of AvePoint Client Services Sag Baruss presents for his second consecutive year. Below, Sag shares insights on his speaking topics, SharePoint 2013, and the Canadian SharePoint community.
1. You’re delivering two sessions at SharePoint Summit Toronto. Would you tell us what the sessions are about?
Sag Baruss: My first session, “SharePoint Governance in Small Steps”, is intended for anyone who is struggling with governance. It provides a checklist of things to consider and several examples of “real world” governance policies. My goal is to provide a practical starting point for anyone who is struggling with how to make governance attainable in their organization.
The second session, “Optimizing SharePoint for Capacity and Performance”, is intended for anyone who has been successful with SharePoint and is now struggling to manage the growth they are experiencing.
Both sessions will be a mix of practical suggestions and real-world disasters – I mean, “experiences” – which I am hoping will provide value for those in attendance.
2. Why did you choose these particular topics for the Summit?
SB: Both of this year’s topics come from the field; they are based on scenarios I encounter frequently in my conversations with organizations that have SharePoint about the struggles they face. I’m hoping that session attendees will be able to benefit from this experience as well.
3. What is one takeaway you’d like attendees to walk away with after each session?
SB: I’m hoping the people who attend my sessions will come away feeling that some of the most common SharePoint challenges their organizations are facing don’t need to be as complicated as most people make them.
I try to provide some practical advice and suggestions near the end of each session, so I’m hoping some of the attendees will stay awake for that part and will be able to use my recommendations to affect positive change in their organizations.
4. What is your favourite feature in SharePoint 2013? Why?
SB: I have several. I like the social side of SharePoint, particularly my personal newsfeed, which brings the information I want to me so I don’t have to go out and hunt for it. I like the simplified interface of SharePoint 2013, which I find much less cluttered and easier to navigate. I also like how well SharePoint 2013 displays on mobile phones and tablets, making SharePoint easier for me to use. I use both our corporate SharePoint portal and my personal Office 365 space far more now that they have been upgraded to 2013.
Having said all of that, what I like most is that SharePoint 2013 has provided me with a bunch of new material for my SharePoint Summit presentations this year, including an opportunity to create a presentation that includes the one Microsoft joke that I know.
5. Outside of your sessions, what are you most looking forward to at the Summit?
SB: The opportunity to see and exchange information with other members of the SharePoint community. There will be a lot of SharePoint talent and even more great SharePoint experiences at the Summit, in the speakers, participants, and vendors.
I’m coming with a list of SharePoint questions that I plan on asking to anyone I can find who might have an answer, and I hope everyone else who attends does the same.
6. How do you feel an event like SharePoint Summit benefits the Canadian SharePoint community?
SB: For me, the greatest benefit is in realizing that the challenges we, as SharePoint professionals, face are not unique. Misery loves company; I enjoy hearing about the struggles organizations face and, more importantly, how they manage to overcome them. I encourage the sharing of ideas and information, both of which the SharePoint Summit promotes.
Be sure to catch Sag’s sessions, “Governance in Small Steps” on Tuesday, May 14th at 9:30AM and “Optimizing SharePoint for Performance and Capacity” on Wednesday, May 15th at 10:15AM, both in the Tom Thomson room at SharePoint Summit Toronto!