More on SharePoint from "Sharepoint Joel"

Joel Oleson, Director of Professional Services, Konica
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Joel Oleson, Director of Professional Services, Konica

I’ve been working with SharePoint technologies since December of 2000. My earlier stint with Microsoft IT revolved around operating the first global deployment of Tahoe and Office Web Server, installing the early code into Microsoft data centers. Then I moved on to architecting the first release of SharePoint Online, and subsequently joined the SharePoint product team for the SharePoint 2007 release. Since then I’ve been on the road traveling the globe sparking user groups, conferences and events while balancing a day job. I currently work for Konica Minolta Business Solutions as Regional Professional Services Director. I’m heading up transformation at Konica Minolta for the Microsoft ECM business as we move from traditional multi-functional printing to customer focused solutions for SharePoint and Office 365.

Microsoft Graph and the Shrinking World Let me start with an incredible story of one of the most fascinating IT guys I’ve ever met. This person’s father, a tribal chief in the highlights of Papua New Guinea, vividly described his “first contact” experience. They thought the World War II warplanes were birds. Many years later, his son Felix, would be taught in their village graduate go to the capital for school and become a SharePoint and Exchange IT administrator in Port Moresby. Michael Noel and I stayed with Felix’s uncle in his traditional hut made of material from the woods. And what an incredible experience it was! Rubbing mud on our bodies and mourning in a traditional funeral procession and eating live saccades is a small taste of what we saw. We found Felix online using Graph. Friend of a friend on Facebook.

  Enterprise social networks have taken us toward a more connected enterprise, but failed in bringing the tools into a cohesive single user experience   

Our connected world is very small. The concept of Graph is the same we now have with Microsoft Graph were its much easier to understand how you’re connected to others in the enterprise. Microsoft has been making huge strides in consolidating technologies into graph and powering it with artificial intelligence making it even easier to find out what others are working on, powering discovery.

Creating Connected Enterprises For some time there has been a call for innovation that goes beyond a traditional top down intranet. Enterprise social networks have taken us toward a more connected enterprise, but failed in bringing the tools into a cohesive single user experience. This next evolution of collaboration is Microsoft Teams, in my mind this is the unified digital workspace we’ve been waiting for. This digital experience connects us to work streams, bringing the data I need to work with both inside and outside the company, my files, my team, my alerts, dev assets, meetings, video chat, and team members is extremely powerful and transformative. I’m a big fan of Microsoft Teams already, incredible convergence of the products coming together in a single powerful digital workspace. Microsoft is proving they can do more with the technology when hosted and designed to take advantage of compute power with artificial intelligence and an incredible innovative stack of Microsoft’s best. Microsoft Teams, Flow, PowerApps, PowerBI, Planner, Sway and Delve. Incredible new products built to scale designed exclusively for the cloud. The new Microsoft is designed to take us where we’ve never been. It’s truly innovative and creating digital experiences that put traditional ECM on its head. Some are saying traditional ECM is dead, these legacy ECM systems are where files go to die and may still participate in enterprise flows of information, but not the interface users prefer working with. They won’t be able to keep up with the demand in this agile workspace.

Looking Down the Road I’m very excited to be headed to the first Microsoft community event in Cuba. SharePoint Saturday Cuba is set for January 21, 2017. We are working closely with the Spanish speaking SharePoint community #Latin Share, to bring the global community to them for the island officially. That’s exciting. My travels have been focused on reaching places where they haven’t seen as much support from Microsoft or community events. It reminds me a little of my first trip to the country of Georgia. I tracked down the Microsoft country lead who was quite skeptical at first. Microsoft had been in the country for less than 2 years. Piracy rates were over 90 percent and the GM didn’t expect anyone to be using SharePoint. In the end, their large conference room standing room only. The new community showed up with unbridled energy. It was the largest event they’d ever had in their country. The next day we repeated an event in Armenia and it proved even more successful. Seventy-five people sign up for the event and 125 people showed up. It’s amazing to meet someone who is passionate yet disconnected, and with a little support a couple years later they are recognized by Microsoft as MVP, and soon after they have their own business or moving across the globe to Dubai or to Germany or the US and their life is transformed. Soon after, it seems everyone knows them. The global community itself is tight transformative. It gives an individual access to the knowledge and resources across the planet. To give you an idea of how tight this global SharePoint Community is, I have access to 287,000 people on LinkedIn contacts of contacts with SharePoint somewhere in their profile or role. That’s friend of a friend.

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