SharePoint is making a comeback.

You’ve heard me say it before. You’ve also probably heard it from the media and even some heads at Microsoft.

But what do customers think?

When Microsoft unveiled The Future of SharePoint at San Francisco this past May, a lot was promised to them on the roadmap. At Ignite this year, Dan Holme, the Director of Product Marketing for SharePoint, took some time to tell me straight up what customers think of the product’s new vision and how they are receiving the updates delivered over the last 5 months.

Discover Lessons Learned at Ignite 2016!

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Video Transcript: Dux Raymond Sy (@meetdux) and Dan Holme (@danholme)

Dux: Hello everybody. Welcome back to an episode of Dux Quax here at Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta. With me is Mr. Dan Holme.

Dan Holme: I know it’s my first Dux Quax episode, so I’m thrilled to be here.

Dux: So Dan, why don’t you introduce yourself. I’m sure everybody knows you, but just to make sure we reach out to the folks who don’t know you yet, who’s Dan Holme?

Dan Holme: I’m the Director of Product Marketing for SharePoint, so I have a bunch of great people on my team who try to get the word out about all of the innovations we’ve delivered in SharePoint.

Dux: Wonderful. Well, Dan, before we hit on Ignite, I’ve got to ask you, how was the Olympics?

Dan Holme: Oh, they were amazing. So, as you know, I get the honor really of working for NBC during the Olympics. I support all of the Microsoft technologies, including SharePoint. This was my sixth Olympics with them, my third summer games, in Rio, and it was something I was really looking forward to a long time. And it was extraordinary. It surpassed all my expectations, both from a professional perspective as well as just from an amazing perspective.

Dux: So SharePoint was a critical platform for the team?

Dan Holme: Absolutely. Like a lot of organizations, NBC uses SharePoint to collaborate and automate business processes. So just about everything up to the moment the camera rolls has some touch to SharePoint.

Dux: Awesome. Now, that’s really exciting. So Ignite. What do you think of this year’s Ignite? I’m sure you can compare it from last year’s Ignite.

Dan Holme: Well, this year’s Ignite is like incredibly different. The energy here is extraordinary. People really see that SharePoint has come back, really. And what people missed the SPC in the past, here they see lots of SharePoint sessions, lots of announcements, lots of forums, lots of these wonderful 20-minute sessions that MVPs are giving in channels and they are seeing the delivery of all of the vision that Jeff laid out on May 4th.

Dux: Awesome. Awesome. So in the last four days, you know, I’m sure you’ve talked to a lot of people, customers. Anything that stands out from the conversations you had, especially on SharePoint?

Dan Holme: Yeah, I think the thing that stands out most is people are really starting to realize the value that Office 365 brings that enhances what they’ve been doing on prem.

Dux: Sure.

Dan Holme: In the past, I think many people viewed Office 365 as an alternative to running SharePoint in a data center. Now they see things like Microsoft Graph. They see the collaboration capabilities that are part of groups like Planner and those kinds of things and say, “Wow, those are things we just simply have never been able to do on prem. How do we get our hands on those?”

Dux: You know, that’s a great observation because even for myself…I live and work in DC, work with public sector. It’s not even an option any more. And they’re not thinking about where, well, it’s just moving a VM or SharePoint to Azure, but it’s all these advanced workloads that there’s no way you could do it on prem.

Dan Holme: Right.

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Dux: And they’re even thinking beyond, right? Like on Monday, Keynotes, all these cognitive services, AIs, bots, a lot of goodness in Azure. I heard there’s over 60-something odd services now in Azure. And people are thinking about, “How do I maximize that?” with their SharePoint investments as well. They couldn’t have done it on Prem.

Dan Holme: Exactly.

Dux: So it’s really, really exciting. Now, after Ignite, what’s on tab then?

Dan Holme:
Oh, we have a pretty busy time coming up. We have internally an event called “Vision Day,” where engineers get together and share what they want to do for next year. It’s a…they call it like a trade show. I call it almost like a high school science fair.

Dux: Nice.

Dan Holme:
With booths, with cardboard cutouts and mockups of what they want to do, and we get to enjoy their vision and then watch it come to fruition over the following year. Then we have all the MBPs come on the first week of July…November, sorry.

Dux: November.

Dan Holme: Yeah, it’s that soon. And then it’s conference season, so you and I are traveling around the globe. And I’ll be bumping into you in places like Stockholm and Vienna and Haarlem, the Netherlands.

Dux: That’s right.

Dan Holme: All kinds of other great places.

Dux: It’s funny like, Dan, because of technology, we think before the world is so big, but it’s not at all, right? We’re all connected in this community.

Dan Holme: Indeed. It’s an amazing community and I’ve got to say, you didn’t prompt me for this, but partners like AvePoint are obviously key part of that community.

Dux: Thank you. We truly appreciate that.

Dan Holme: Because you solve problems for customers, you bring them together, and help them understand how they can get to the cloud and how they can better manage their environment so that they can focus on solving business problems. And that’s huge. Because in the end, that’s what we’re all about, right?

Dux: Absolutely. Meeting business needs and solving problems. Now, Dan, before I let you go.

Dan Holme: Yeah.

Dux: Other than SharePoint, if you are a Microsoft product, what would you be and why?

Dan Holme: Oh, man. That’s a good question. I think I would have to pick Wunderlist, which is of course a new Microsoft product.

Dux: Wunderlist, that’s right.

Dan Holme: And it’s because, first of all, I love the fact that the Berlin Wall paper’s the default, and I love Berlin. But even more than that, it’s because I actually personally could not live without Wonderlist. It is how I keep track of everything that comes into my mind and then it often will go other places, but it starts in Wonderlist. I would like people to rely on me as much as I rely on Wonderlist.

Dux: There you go. And isn’t that a German acquisition, a German company?

Dan Holme: It was. Absolutely.

Dux: Then it’s Wunderlist.

Dan Holme: Wunderlist, right.

Dux: Ja.

Dan Holme: Wunderbar.

Dux: Okay. Danke. But Dan, thanks again. Awesome time here in Atlanta and looking forward to all the goodness that’s coming out of your team.

Dan Holme: Thanks a lot, man, always great to see you.

Dux: All right. Well, thanks, everybody. Till the next episode. Bye.

What else did you miss at Ignite?

Watch our Lessons Learned at Microsoft Ignite webinar, now on-demand, to recap announcements from the conference and hear a deeper discussion about what it all means for you.

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