SharePoint's Future Starts at SharePoint Conference North America 2018
Back to its old stomping grounds in Las Vegas! (No, I do not count the trips to California.)
SharePoint Conference North America 2018 was filled with thousands of dedicated SharePoint and Office 365 aficionados.
With a great representation by Microsoft and industry speakers, attendees were given a view into all the capabilities (e.g. Teams, Yammer, OneDrive, Planner, etc.) and were presented with the roadmap for the future.
But before we get to that…
SharePoint in Context
Just in case you haven't heard, let me remind you about the introduction of Microsoft 365 as a concept, licensing model, and a large set of capabilities.
By combining Windows 10, Office 365, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security solutions, your organization can access (as a subscription) the latest and greatest integrated software—from the desktop to the cloud.
So, within this concept, SharePoint plays a major role of empowering features in a user's experience.
Fig. 1: Slide from SPCNA18, "Where SharePoint"
The top represents how end-users will interact with content, while the bottom represents the capabilities throughout Microsoft 365 (including Azure) that are additional multipliers of SharePoint's power.
Now that we have context of where SharePoint fits into Microsoft 365, what's the new wheel for those 2007/2010 lovers? Sorry, there's no wheel, but there's a focus on the end-user and what they are really using the systems for.
These four areas: "Share and work together," "Inform and engage people," "Harness collective knowledge," and "Transform business process," make up the categories of the SharePoint, OneDrive, Yammer, and Teams roadmap.
Fig. 2: Slide from SPCNA18 representing SharePoint's core areas
SharePoint & Office 365 Roadmap
You've waited long enough!
Here are the keynote highlights and announcements organized into a single table. Take a look! I'll highlight a few key items below.
Highlight #1: Creating SharePoint Lists
Not only was the SharePoint Conference back, but lists are coming back as first-class citizens within the Office 365 set of capabilities.
The term "App" fades away, and now users will better understand the benefits of keeping data in the cloud and not in an independent document. How cool will it be to create a new list "From an existing list"?
Look how easy it is to create a list!
Fig. 3: New Create a List Menu in Office 365
Highlight #2: SharePoint Metadata in Microsoft Teams
A common frustration with all the different capabilities and applications within Office 365 are the differences in user experience.
Now, for document management at least, the full document library and all of its corresponding metadata will be accessible through teams. This allows users the full choice of where to work and which capabilities to take advantage of.
Fig. 4: Full Document Library metadata within Microsoft Teams Tab
Highlight #3: Advancements in Sharing: Adding passwords and blocking downloads
This is one of the features that highlights the vast reach of Microsoft 365.
A new sharing interface has been rolling out from OneDrive personal to OneDrive and SharePoint, and then into Office and on your Windows 10 systems. One "share" to rule them all.
And now, the advanced features of being able to add a password for a specific download and the ability to stop the downloading of a document will be rolled out. Stand-alone, these are great features, but taking into consideration where they will become available astounds me.
Fig. 5: Sharing interface with a password and blocking download of the document
Overall, a great time was had by all! Whether at the pool party, keynotes, exhibit hall, or the individual sessions, passion was in the air for the speed of development and attention to the end-user that the SharePoint teams are demonstrating.
Adam is a Group Program Manager of Secure Collaboration at Exostar and a Microsoft MVP advocating for collaboration by connecting business needs with the right technology. Prior to Exostar, Adam was a Product Manager for Migration at a market leading ISV and a Practice Lead for Office 365 in a cutting-edge Microsoft Consulting firm. Over the last decade Adam has been responsible for moving customers to the cloud, designing and implementing information architecture (SharePoint Farm and content) and increasing user adoption. Adam is an ongoing member of the SharePoint Saturday DC coordinating committee and active speaker at many national events.