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ShiftHappens Conference Day 1: Full Recap

This is Part 1 of our ShiftHappens recap. You can find a recap of Day 2 here.

AvePoint’s annual #ShiftHappens Conference kicked into full swing this week with a litany of sessions from Microsoft 365 experts and customers the world over. As this was the first all-digital incarnation of the conference, we were able to reach out to speakers from various countries to cover the topics they’re passionate about.

Couldn’t make Day 1 of ShiftHappens but want to know what you missed? Read on for a quick summary of each session.

Building a Life-Saving Ventilator at Lightning Speed with Microsoft Teams 

Speakers: Julie Peck and Joel Sutherland (Cambridge Consultants)

When the country necessarily went into lockdown, the news that the NHS ventilator capacity was limited in the UK and that they needed more quickly spread. At the request of the UK government, a team of 185 people from Cambridge Consultants came together virtually to develop a robust ventilator device fit for as many NHS patients as possible.

Julie and Joel shared how Microsoft Teams helped their specialists around the world collaborate as a cohesive team while keeping the operation secure. From the struggles of working from home to the disaster recovery measures they put in place, they dove deep into what it was like to rapidly collaborate for such an important cause.


4 Ways Microsoft Viva Connections Puts Employees at the Center

Speakers: Steve Nguyen and Michael Holste (Microsoft)

Microsoft Viva has been a hot topic recently, and Viva Connections is at the forefront of the conversation. With as many questions being raised as there have been answers, Steve and Michael from Microsoft sat down to explore the functionality of Microsoft Viva Connections in detail for leaders interested in leveraging it.

The two touched on its uses for company-wide communication, an improved user experience, and how Yammer plays a central role in its success behind the scenes. Speaking of Yammer, Steve and Michael also dove into how the Yammer live event experience is being improved and what the feature roadmap looks like for both Yammer and Viva Connections.

5 Steps to a Successful Microsoft Teams Rollout

Speakers: Jennifer Peabody (HAVI) and Timothy Boettcher (AvePoint)

Launching a smart collaboration platform such as Microsoft Teams might seem like a simple task, but there is a wide range of important considerations to keep in mind such as adoption, user experience, employee engagement, technical support, and data security.

AvePoint’s own Tim Boettcher sat down with Jennifer from HAVI to explore how her team managed a successful Microsoft Teams adoption. They touched on everything from planning and raising awareness to how Jennifer’s team helped users adapt. Of particular interest might be her tips on how to establish a champion’s program and some of the events they held to raise interest in the adoption.


Application of the Microsoft 365 Maturity Model Following Rapid Adoption

Speakers: Melinda Morales, Phil Childs, Richard Vine (Dyson), and Christian Buckley (AvePoint)

The digital transformation of your business requires an acute awareness of where you are today and a baseline from which you can build your long-term transformation strategy. How does an organization create such a baseline (and amidst a pandemic at that)? Melinda, Phil, and Richard from Dyson came together to discuss how the company adjusted to the new working conditions and the subsequent period of rapid growth and user adoption. They also broke down the Microsoft 365 Maturity Model and how it gives them insight into areas where they want to grow in the future.

Easy Does It: 5 Steps to Secure Microsoft 365 While Increasing User Satisfaction 

Speakers: Ryan Hafeman (Kohler Co.) and Jay Leask (AvePoint)

Though the benefits of using Microsoft 365 to collaborate are undeniable, the open nature of its tools (Groups, Teams, Yammer, and SharePoint) often leaves Security and IT wondering how to ensure that their sensitive data stays safe.

Kohler’s Ryan Hafeman sat down with our own Jay Leask to dig into actionable Microsoft 365 management solutions that Kohler used to increase user satisfaction while keeping their data secure. Additionally, Ryan went into how Kohler is planning to handle approval policies, project support, guest access, and more.

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Take a Holistic Approach to Data Protection in Microsoft 365

Speakers: Timothy Romig (Amgen) and John Peluso (AvePoint)

Data protection might not be the sexiest topic, but it’s undoubtedly the most important. Timothy Romig dove deep into how Amgen (a large biopharmaceutical company) implemented a comprehensive data governance program. Identifying key weaknesses, enabling employees to access the content they need, and creating a simple, automated governance process are only a few of the topics Tim and John touched on. The real treat, however, was the clever Wizard of Oz analogy Tim used to describe Amgen’s governance journey.

Microsoft Teams vs. SharePoint: Choose the Right Tool for the Job

Speakers: Douglas Schulz (Arent Fox L.L.P.) and James Nankervis (AvePoint)

Microsoft Teams and SharePoint are both critical to effective collaboration. But for which tasks benefit the most from each tool? Doug Shulz from Arent Fox L.L.P. had a great ShiftHappens session with AvePoint’s James Nankervis on how the law firm utilizes these two tools to the utmost without compromising the intensely confidential information at their disposal.

They then explored a variety of use cases to illustrate when Microsoft Teams might be more beneficial to use and vice-versa. If you’re an IT admin or business leader unsure of which to use when it comes to audience, the advantage of private channels, Planner integration, and more, this was a key session to tune into.


Take Your Digital Transformation Plan from Dream to Reality

Speakers: Ashli Smart (Sonoco) and Michael Wit (AvePoint)

Challenges of the past year have expedited (or expanded) digital transformation at many companies. Ashli Smart from Sonoco and our own Michael Wit spoke on how to build a strong community of people who want to engage in the transformation. Everything from driving engagement and discussions to being flexible with remote employees is critical, and Ashli and Michael explored both (and much more) during their session.

The Future of Work is Here and It’s Hybrid 

Speakers: Cyril Belikoff (Microsoft)

This was one of the few sessions during ShiftHappens that a solo presenter, but it was also one of the best. A universal topic that employees of any organization in the tech space can relate to, the shift to hybrid workspaces as a result of the global pandemic has forced many companies to seriously rethink how they operate. As we look at the rest of this year and beyond, the question remains: will we only do the bare minimum to accommodate this new normal, or will we embrace it with open arms?

Cyril’s talk was enlightening and relatable, and he laid out a convincing argument as to why organizations should look at this hybrid space as an opportunity to grow and thrive. He also offered important advice for ensuring the well-being of employees and gave examples of what the most successful companies are doing to leverage this new world of hybrid work (such as hiring talent from anywhere now that the office walls have been “broken down”).

teamwork of partners concept of integration and startup with puzzle picture id1170630902

Solving The Microsoft 365 Guest User Puzzle

Speakers: Yatindra Ranpura and Damian Hallmark (AvePoint)

Microsoft has made adding external users to Microsoft 365 and Teams easier than ever, but managing the guest user lifecycle can still be troublesome for even seasoned IT teams. In this ShiftHappens session, AvePoint’s Yatindra and Damian went over key strategies for effectively manage guest user access.

Successfully managing guest user access for Microsoft 365 is a difficult task for even the most seasoned IT & Infosec teams. Keeping tabs on who has access to what is a difficult but essential task for compliance and collaboration, and they touched on everything from identifying the critical areas of user management to the benefits of using both native and third-party solutions to handle governance.

Rethinking Microsoft 365 Backup – How to Comply with Long Term Retention & Combat Growing Storage Needs

Speakers: Kevin Ryan (daa)

Do you know how long Microsoft 365 will retain and back up your data? And do those numbers comply with your data retention policies? These are the exact questions Kevin Ryan from the daa (Dublin Airport Authority) sat down to answer during his session. He explained the daa’s strong Microsoft 365 backup strategy, how they protect against ransomware and human error, and how to manage the increasing amount of data so many organizations are struggling to store.

Keep up with everything ShiftHappens by subscribing to our blog.

Brent Middleton
Brent Middleton
As the former Content Marketing Specialist for AvePoint, Brent led the strategy and direction of all AvePoint's blog properties.


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