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European SharePoint Conference 2013 Speaker Interview

​The day has finally arrived! European SharePoint Conference (ESPC) is here, and as Diamond Sponsor, AvePoint will join experts and members of the SharePoint community from throughout Europe and across the globe from Monday, February 4, through Thursday, February 7, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Just before the start of the event, we caught up with the following three speakers to learn a bit more about their sessions, what they enjoy most about the event, and aspects of SharePoint 2013 they’re most excited about:

​· Michael Greth – SharePoint MVP
· Dan Holme – SharePoint MVP
· Abi Onifade – AvePoint EMEA Director of Systems Engineering

1. What is your presentation at European SharePoint Conference about?

Michael Greth: My presentation is called “Hoodies vs. Suits – SharePoint as a Social Business Platform”, I will do it together with Andrej Doms from the SharePoint User Group in Düsseldorf. We will demonstrate how young people work with social networking tools in the private sphere with smart phones, FaceBook, Twitter, etc., to do their daily tasks. We will show what businesses can learn from this way of dealing with information and how they can use the social features in SharePoint 2013 to implement such a kind of user experience.

Dan Holme: I’m thrilled to be returning to Copenhagen – one of the most beautiful, and one of my favorite cities in the world – for the European SharePoint Conference! With 1,200 people attending the event, it’s sure to be a crazy week, with lots of opportunity for me to learn from, as well as share my expertise with, the delegates, the vendors, and the other speakers. I’ll be working hard, with three sessions, a keynote shared with Christian Buckley, and a full-day pre-conference workshop! The workshop will equip attendees to administer SharePoint 2013 for collaboration. Our keynote and my sessions focus on end-to-end SharePoint governance and compliance. I believe I was selected to present that much content because I bring to the event a diverse experience with hundreds of enterprises, across almost every vertical and size and geography, and a unique insight into the intersection of SharePoint as a technology, and the real world of business.

Abi Onifade: I am presenting two sessions: “Microsoft Office 365, Windows Azure, or On Prem? Have SharePoint Your Way” and “Successful Migration to SharePoint 2013 – Planning Considerations & Migration Strategies”. I chose the former because cloud-based collaboration was front and center during TechEd Europe last year. Many organizations are still working out what type of cloud solution will really fit their strategy. Our session at ESPC will give customers an overview of some of the options available and offer practical uses cases for each scenario. I chose the latter because migration continues to be a hot topic. Organizations that are planning on moving to SharePoint 2013 may be unclear as to how easy or complex the migration process can be.

2. What is one key takeaway you want attendees to walk away with after the presentation?

MG: Social Business is not only about tools – it’s about changing the way we work together. And SharePoint 2013 is a valuable platform to create a social business infrastructure for your business.

DH: SharePoint governance has become an over-used buzzword. I hope that my presentations help delegates understand that to succeed with SharePoint, thought has to be given to many considerations, from technical to business. Because SharePoint governance will be unique to every organization, just as SharePoint itself is uniquely applied to each organization’s business requirements, there is no one blueprint for governance. Instead, there is a methodology that can be followed that will guide an organization to the right outcomes. And it’s not rocket science. I look forward to sharing the methodology and processes with delegates, and if there’s only one takeaway that’s most important, it’s a core understanding that governance is about compromise, and how to bring the right players and the right information to the table, to ask the right questions, and to get the right answers.

AO: I hope to help attendees with cloud awareness, including an understanding of Windows Azure, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) service models. I also want them to understand that migration does not need to be such a daunting project. Success can be achieved with good planning and a proper selection of tools.

3. How do you feel events like European SharePoint Conference benefit the European SharePoint community?

MG: It’s great to meet SharePoint experts from all over Europe and exchange ideas and experiences about the way they work with SharePoint. Europe has so many different cultures and it’s always very interesting to see how they use SharePoint.

DH: The ESPC is a uniquely European event. The European market – if I’m to generalize – has unique needs and perspectives. It’s invaluable to bring together customers, experts, and vendors to share those perspectives and identify solutions to those needs.

AO: The ESPC is a good opportunity to meet SharePoint enthusiasts who can share experiences from the field.

4. What aspect of SharePoint 2013 are you most excited about and why?

MG: Definitely the social business enhancements. It is much easier for the end-users to use SharePoint, to store, share, and find information and help them to accomplish their daily tasks.

DH: In my opinion, SharePoint 2013 is, in the end, two core things: SharePoint for Office 365 version 2, and an end-user (business functionality) release. In a nutshell, everything you can do in SharePoint 2010 is easier, more effective, and better suited to the needs of the modern world in SharePoint 2013. And Office 365 opens up the opportunity for many organizations – particularly small and medium sized businesses – to deploy SharePoint as a service, without the burden of on-premise installations.

AO: The Social features have really made SharePoint much more engaging. I particularly like the drag and drop feature, which makes document management so much easier.

Are you attending ESPC? Be sure to visit our microsite to learn about our plans for the event as well as stop by booths 61 and 62 to chat with our SharePoint experts. We hope to see you there!

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