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Sun, Surf, and SharePoint: My Takeaways from SharePoint Saturday Honolulu #SPSHNL

I had the chance to make it out to gorgeous Honolulu, Hawaii for last week’s SharePoint Saturday Honolulu event (which happened to be on a Friday, go figure). SharePoint Saturdays are fantastic community events that take place worldwide and bring together top SharePoint speakers from around the country to share best practices, tips, and common challenges with SharePoint users.

I really enjoyed getting to catch up with Charles Maxson and Clint Kunz from Microsoft; Paul Swider, SharePoint Consultant and sailor; Chris Bayot and Jeff Bloom from Synergy; Wen He from eWorld as well as stepping across the competitive chasm and chatting with Stephen Cawood from Metalogix. As I’ve stressed before, it’s essential for us to continue to be community players, share ideas, and come together for the greater, global SharePoint community.

It was also great to have a chance to listen to two of my colleagues at AvePoint – Dan Holme, Chief SharePoint Evangelist and SharePoint MVP, and Randy Williams, Enterprise Trainer & Evangelist and SharePoint MVP – lead keynotes and sessions on the topics that really strike a chord with the SharePoint community: governance, using PowerShell, and bridging the divide between developers and IT pros.

In addition to checking out all of the great sessions and meeting up with friends, a couple of my major takeaways from the show include:

· One Step Back Equals Two Steps Forward: Whether a company is deploying SharePoint for the first time or has opened up its proverbial SharePoint closet and found a mess, a plan – whether you call it infrastructure management or governance or administration or “the backend” – must exist. If SharePoint is deployed poorly and then fails, it will be a long time before a second implementation is trusted or allowed to happen again.

· Official Governance Terminology: Microsoft and its partners need to decide and agree on what governance means across the marketplace. Define it, explain it, and map back to it. Governance has existed for years and, in the lifecycle of SharePoint, many deployments are overdue for a good “spring cleaning” – there is a huge need for vendors to get on the same page and stop the noise around this topic in the marketplace.

The Need for Business Value: Hawaii has an extremely cosmopolitan and diverse landscape of SharePoint community members both in public and private sector companies who are powerful, vibrant, active, and full of great feedback. They made the message loud and clear: We need governance guidance with business value solutions. The messaging must not just be tailored for IT – it must also incorporate solution selling.

Mahalo to all of you that I had the pleasure of meeting at the event, and to Jeff Ross and his entire team at Synergy for setting up a very successful event!

As we’re rapidly coming to a close on 2011 and looking ahead to 2012, do the above issues resonate with you? Do you agree or disagree? As we go into the New Year, we’d love to know how we can better serve you!


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