The State of the SharePoint Community

Posted by: Mark Rackley on June 8, 2018

Well.. that was a busy two weeks… I’m finally home and mostly caught up on email so I figured it was time to do a quick brain dump of what’s been happening in the SharePoint and Office 365 world before I forget it myself.

SharePoint Conference NA

Let’s start off on my thoughts about SharePoint Conference North America that took place in Las Vegas. Ah Vegas, I love driving two hours West to get to the airport only to fly two hours back East over my house to Atlanta, to THEN fly West. Come on Delta… you need to route some flights from XNA to SLC please.

Oh wait… we are taking about SPCNA…

Where to begin? Let’s start off by talking about the big announcement that that shook the SharePoint world. I’m talking of course about SharePoint spaces. VR in SharePoint. Who in a million years thought our illustrious leader was going to step on stage and tell us that we all need to get VR Headsets… I know… I know… you don’t NEED a VR Headset to use SharePoint spaces, but I REALLY want an excuse to buy a VR headset! I literally have no idea where SharePoint spaces will really go. It’s one of those ideas that is ahead of its time, but I very much look forward to seeing where people will take it. I know my immediate first reaction was to make sure I created some “Ready Player One” spoof posters.. because… well… I’m me… I wonder if you can do tabs in VR?


clip_image004Rather than re-hash all of my thoughts on SharePoint spaces in writing, this would be a great opportunity for you to listen to our latest episode of the Techsplaining podcast that we recorded in Las Vegas where we talk to Mark Kashman about SharePoint spaces and some of the other announcements from SPC.  We also talk to Mark about his awesome new podcast the Intrazone.

For those who missed the keynote at SharePoint NA, you can catch watch it at

Of course, the best part of the keynote is where they featured The North American Collaboration Summit around the 14-minute mark


Anyone else think they’d ever in a billion years see Branson, MO on a Microsoft keynote slide??

There were a couple of other announcements in the keynote that I think will be HUGE for users. They may not have grabbed your attention like SharePoint spaces, but your users will love to get their hands on them. Starting at about 1:11:30 in the keynote Chris McNulty takes the stage to demo some functionality that you will want to get your hands on today, especially the excel copy and paste… Take a look.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about SPCNA that I wanted to make sure to call out was the attendees. The attendees were amazing, excited, engaged… energizing. These geeks were so happy to be a part of this conference and it showed in everything they did. It definitely reminded me of the “good ol’ days of SharePoint”. Thanks to everyone that attended my sessions. You guys were awesome and presenting to folks like you make me want to be a better presenter.

I haven’t seen a crowd this excited to be at a conference since The North American Collaboration Summit in Branson.

The European Collaboration Summitclip_image008clip_image010

I think I’ve discovered the secret to avoiding jetlag… spend a few days in Las Vegas and before your body has a chance to recover jump on an international flight to Europe, then stay up until Midnight hanging out with friends at a Bosnian restaurant eating copious amounts of varied meat products…. Throw in a German Riesling for good measure… and Voilá! No jetlag.

Speaking of European travel, I learned a very critical lesson… never… ever… ever… book a connection through CDG… what a nightmare… no one was helpful… the signs gave me no indication of where I should go. There was no gate # next to my flight.. I had to take a train and a bus to eventually get where I was supposed to go… and I only had an hour layover… never again…

I got sidetracked again, didn’t I?

The European Collaboration Summit

Image may contain: cloud, sky and outdoor1,500 attendees descended on Mainz, Germany (that’s near Frankfurt) to attend what had to be the largest non-profit community SharePoint/Collaboration event in the world. It was amazing… (they even had flags). For those of you not familiar, the European Collaboration Summit is the sister event to The North American Collaboration Summit and they really raised the bar. Thanks Adis, Matthias and team for an amazing event… no pressure on me now :/

I presented a session on “Transforming your organization to a digital workplace” to a packed room. I usually co-present this session with Stephanie Donahue as she’s the brains behind it, but hopefully I did her proud. The attendees may have not known where Branson, MO was and maybe they didn’t get all my jokes but they were an amazing crowd. See… just look at the smiling faces below… to be fair this was BEFORE the session started.

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A highlight of my session was the attendance of a talented sketchnote artist Luise Freese. She was able to distill my session into a sketchnote.. I had never heard of a sketchnote before to be honest, but wow I can see it being a powerful medium for succinctly conveying critical information. Just take a look


Luise put together a sway of all her sketchnotes from the event. Check them out! And thanks again Luise!

Following the conference, I got to spend some quality time with my European friends on the Rhein and got involved in various shenanigans that I’m sure you don’t care about. It was such a great time. Again, thank you Adis for welcoming me to your part of the world…

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The SharePoint and Office 365 community is alive, well, and as far as I can tell more excited and engaged than ever. It’s been an amazing two weeks, but now I need to sleep.

Thanks again to every soul that attended my sessions, shared a conversation with me, or simply said hello. It’s a great time to be in SharePoint!


Topics: SharePoint Community

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