Our Review of ESPC 2017
I recently had the pleasure to attend the European SharePoint, Office 365, & Azure Conference (ESPC) in Dublin, Ireland. It was a fantastic experience for all of the attendees, partners, and sponsors, and it was undoubtedly the largest SharePoint conference in Europe!
ESPC 2017 was filled with expert sessions, meaningful networking, and plenty of unforgettable experiences. Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President of Office, SharePoint, and OneDrive, mentioned during his keynote that there is hardly a culture in the tech industry as committed and passionate as the SharePoint community. He was especially proud that SharePoint received so much momentum after his “The Future of SharePoint: May the 4th Be with You” event!
In this blog post, I will summarize my personal highlights based on the sessions I’ve attended and share some of my key takeaways from ESPC. Here’s my snapshot review of ESPC 2017!
What’s New and Upcoming to SharePoint?
With SharePoint, it’s all about moving from “My Office” to an “Our Office” mindset. Dan Holme (Director of Product Marketing SharePoint and OneDrive) and Christopher McNulty (Sr. Product Marketing Manager) mentioned that social capabilities will now be a part of the Office apps, including engagement views and likes on each page. Users can expect co-authoring activities as a major strength of this suite and save pages to read later under the new Me tab.
Holme and McNulty also showed that opening and editing documents is now much faster on the web with Azure BLOB.
Teams integration into a SharePoint site will continue to improve, with PowerApps, Flow, and Forms demonstrating how easy it is to create approvals processes in SharePoint. Additionally, SharePoint News will now be a part of Teams, and Planner, Forms, and Connector will be added to team sites.
- Bring your own key
- New SharePoint Admin Center
- Single endpoint in Graph
- Support for multi-geo regions to increase latency and regional compliance requirements
- Short look into FP2 for SharePoint Server 2016
To sum up what’s new and upcoming in SharePoint, Jeff Teper shared how SharePoint and OneDrive connects the Modern Workplace with intelligent content management and intranets:
What’s New and Upcoming to OneDrive for Business?
Files on Demand
Let’s imagine that you’re working from a tablet or a smartphone. With Files on Demand, you can now download documents for offline usage (e.g. on a plane) without syncing a complete folder. To supplement this feature, you can now share documents without a required Microsoft account.
However, to ensure the compliance and security of sensitive information, Code Verification confirms via email that you have received proper access to the requested document.
File Type Previews
Stephen Rose (Product Marketing Manager of OneDrive) emphasized that OneDrive will now offer 277 different file type previews. This is especially helpful for 3D desktop applications (which you may not have installed), considering the thumbnail preview can render and turn in 3D.
These file type previews will also embed into new SharePoint Communication Sites!
Machine Learning in a Microsoft Ecosystem
Naomi Moneypenny (Sr. Product Marketing Manager of SharePoint and OneDrive) talked about the new pre-active search experience, where users can get recommendations and an increased experience of Serendipity. Now, you can not only search through receipts with Azure Cognitive Services OCR and better filters, but you can search for people with the new LinkedIn and Bing integration.
In addition to these new features, users can connect with relevant colleagues directly within the search results with chat, email, and Skype integrations.
A.I. & Machine Learning in the Modern Workplace
Metalogix CEO Trevor Hellebuyck built a bridge during his session around Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and their relevance in the Modern Workplace. He demoed Azure Cognitive Services and explained important use cases for fraud detection, security, and data protection.
Essentially, he stated that intelligent sensitive content management based on Machine Learning is going to play a major role in the future of the hybrid workplace, especially around the GDPR implementation in May 2018.
What Developers Need to Know About the SharePoint Landscape
A Google developer was on stage at the conference using an Apple MacBook to demo Angular and Typescript, which is something you would not have seen a few years ago. There was definitely a lot of excitement from the community!
In my opinion, the major improvements in Development and Management Tools for SharePoint Framework include:
- ALM APIs
- Site collection app catalog
- Asset packaging
- Angular elements sample
- Tenant properties
- SharePoint FP2
- SPFx and Angular
- SharePoint Framework Workbench 2.0
- SharePoint 2019
Now that the 2017 European SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Conference has come to a close, there is a lot to look forward to in the coming year. If you’d like to learn more about the key takeaways from ESPC 2017, check out my panel webinar with Microsoft MVPs Alistair Pugin and Vlad Catrinescu!
Ragnar Heil works at Metalogix in Germany, covering EMEA as Metalogix Alliance Manager. Before joining Metalogix, he spent the last 10 years at Microsoft Corp. in different roles like Partner Channel Lead for Office 365 E5, Customer Success Management Lead or Business Productivity Senior Consultant, focused on Office 365, SharePoint and FAST Search. He has studied Educational Science and Sociology in Heidelberg, Germany (M.A.), and is member of the Senate at the Professional Association of German Sociologists. He is founding member of Working Out Loud Community and Responsive Organisation Movement in Germany.