Microsoft’s Jeff Teper Rounds Up the Top 8 Innovations Added to SharePoint in 2016 [Video Interview]

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If you were one of the skeptics that thought Microsoft would be steering focus away from SharePoint, 2016 has shown us that this is far from the truth. Between the release of SharePoint Server 2016 and expansions made to SharePoint Online, the word “SharePoint” has been buzzing across the industry all of this year.

With so much built into the platform this year you may be wondering, “Which new features are the ones I should really care about?” Luckily the Father of SharePoint and OneDrive, Jeff Teper, had some time to spare with us at Ignite 2016. Here’s what he had to say:

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Transcript: Dux Raymond Sy (@meetdux) and Jeff Teper (@jeffteper) at Ignite 2016

Dux: Hey everybody. Welcome to Day 4 of Microsoft Ignite. A lot of good stuff has happened this week. Don’t you think Jeff?

Jeff Teper: Absolutely. It’s a little crazy.

Dux: Yeah, but it’s good. Why don’t you do a quick intro and introduce yourself. I know everybody knows who Jeff is, but just to make sure.

Jeff Teper: Okay, sounds good. Jeff Teper, I run the OneDrive and SharePoint team at Microsoft. I worked on SharePoint for a little bit.

Dux: You’re being humble here. So Jeff is considered as a father of SharePoint, right?

Jeff Teper: Yep, at this point, somebody called me the grandfather the other day. I said, “Let’s dial it back a little bit.” Anyway, it’s been an amazing week. Thank you guys at AvePoint for sponsoring and hosting a great party.

Dux: Oh, you’re welcome, it’s such an honor and pleasure. I got to tell you, I’m kind of selfish but I would say, all this week, the biggest buzz is SharePoint, Jeff.

Jeff Teper: Not kind of, it has been. I think we’re still leading on Twitter. In all seriousness, though, the SharePoint community is an incredibly passionate group. The people who are in it love to build solutions that solve real-world problems for their companies or their customers, and I think we gave them a lot of what they wanted this week and the feedback’s been terrific.

Dux: Absolutely. I’ve seen a lot of announcements and information on SharePoint and OneDrive. What are some of the top things, from your observations, that landed well and people are liking and enjoying and really excited about?

Jeff Teper: Great, thanks, for giving me the time to walk through it. First, we articulated strategies. SharePoint’s the mobile intelligent Internet. We now have SharePoint mobile apps on all the platforms, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Great can navigate people and content and applications and so forth.

Second, SharePoint, bread and butter team collaboration. Every group in Office 365 gets a SharePoint site. Simple, new page experience, new Doc Library experience, new list experience. Third, we want to make OneDrive the explorer for all your files on all your devices. We introduced and updated the OneDrive apps on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. The OneDrive Web UI can now browse SharePoint sites. Probably the highlight of the event for many people is OneDrive Sync, really high-quality reliable sync we shipped last year, now can support SharePoint sites on Windows 7, 8, 10, and the Mac.

So, third point, Windows is sort of your uber file browser, personal staff, and team staff on SharePoint. And then lastly, it’s going to that group of people who are building solutions on SharePoint. If you look at LinkedIn, a million and a half people list SharePoint as a skill. It’s because they like to build stuff to solve business problems.

For them, we introduce power apps and flow integration, for people who sort of know code–the rapid development folks. Then the Microsoft Graph and the SharePoint Framework are for hardcore JavaScript…whether you’re writing your app on the phone or the back end tier, they got what they liked.

And then we did lots of hybrid news. Lots of reasons to go to the cloud, like FastTrack Migration for free, migrating people, basic SharePoint sites to the cloud. But also, if you’re on prem in SharePoint, we announced the first feature pack in the history of SharePoint. It’s coming in November to give new value to our on premises customers. Something for everyone, I would say.

Dux: Man, it’s awesome. I’m sure a lot of people are very excited. What’s post Ignite for you? We’re in day three, tomorrow’s day four, I thought you were going to go take a six-month vacation. Aren’t you?

Jeff Teper: No, I got some mail from the team and I tweeted this. The pedal is to the metal and some of the sessions we showed what’s top of the mind for the team in 2017. We are going to do what we did last year when I came back to the group. About this time a year, in the fall, we had a team event to kick off what we’re doing for the next year.

In a couple weeks, we’re going to have our big team event. We have dozens of booths around a big room, where each part of the team does a little trade show thing about the features they want to build, and everybody around the room sort of gravitates. We’ve got that coming up. We’ve got the MVP summit, where the MVPs will give us some feedback on that.

And then we’re going to, obviously continue to focus on delivering the things we talked about here, but we’re going to start working on building the things that you’ll see at Build next year, and at Ignite next year. We’re pedal to the metal…

Dux: There’s Envision too, right, coming in February?

Jeff Teper: Oh my God, let me get over what is technically called conference laryngitis, from talking too much. Let me get over that before I think about the next conference, but we’ll be there.

Dux: Jeff, I got to tell you, apart from the agility and all these features and announcements, and just the transparency too, with the Roadmap and UserVoice and Microsoft Tech Community. There’s just so much ways now to engage, not only with the team but also the general community itself. We appreciate the support to the community.

Jeff Teper:
Maybe dial it down a little bit. We are very fortunate at the commitment our customers and partners made to us. We’re not entitled to that and we have a responsibility to all of you, big partners like AvePoint customers, our community, and we have to re-earn that. There’s no entitlement forever.

So we made a big focus in the SharePoint team in particular this year of getting out there, telling our story, listening, incorporating that in the product. And we want more of it. Keep pushing, give us feedback. We’re watching UserVoice, we’re at these events.

One of our other favorite things to do is the community gets together at SharePoint Saturdays. There’s 12 of those in just the month of October alone. We love to hear what people are talking about at SharePoint Saturdays, what you want us to build next.

Dux: Boy, I’m sure the community is appreciative of even the support in SharePoint Saturdays. I see you speaking on all these SharePoint Saturdays as best you can, and the team itself.

Jeff Teper: Yeah, the team’s flying around the world, meeting with customers, partners, listening. That’s how we roll.

Dux: It sounds like complacency is not an option right now.

Jeff Teper: No, no. You asked what’s after Ignite. I’m probably going to take a couple days off and take a deep breath. That’s just to re-energize to go back to work. We got more to do.

Dux: Before I let you go, Jeff, besides SharePoint and OneDrive, if you were a Microsoft product what would you be and why?

Jeff Teper: The temptation is to say Xbox, because that’s the cool kid on the block, or Minecraft. But I’d have to say, if I thought about it for a second, in the history of the company, VB was a good one because I love the idea that you could pretty rapidly assemble things together and make something cool. I love that magic in that period.

And so kind of what we’re trying to do with PowerApps and Flow and SharePoint is bring in that cloud mobile world what people loved about VB, which is, “Hey, I can build something really fast. That’s great. Get it out to my users.” I’ll give you that answer as one that maybe nobody else has given in the last few weeks.

Dux: No, and you know what? VB is appropriate because today is Thursday, so that’s kind of like TBT.

Jeff Teper: There you go. I’ll take that.

Dux: Awesome, well, Jeff, always it’s a pleasure.

Jeff Teper: Thank you. It’s so great to see you here.

Dux: Thank you for the commitment and thank you for this phenomenal event and we definitely look forward to all other events and engagements in the future.

Jeff Teper: As long as you keep coming and singing and dancing at these events, I will be here with you. Thank you.

Dux: You know, on the side, I also do weddings, bar mitzvahs…

Jeff Teper: There you go. If I sign you up for two of them, do I get a half price discount?

Dux: Yeah. We’ll talk about it, as long as I have a special entry of the new version of SharePoint. How’s that?

Jeff Teper: Okay, always for you buddy.

Dux: All right, thank you. Well, thanks again for watching and until the next episode, Jeff Teper, give it up. We’ll see you.

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