The European SharePoint Best Practices Conference 2011 was held last week in London and Colligo not only attended but were proud sponsors of the event. This year saw nearly 100 session by 70 speakers in just 3 days. This year’s event wasn’t affected by the ash cloud of last year and the attendance definitely reflected the fact that people were able to travel unhindered to the conference. The Exhibitors Hall was packed for the kick off party and during the lunch breaks!
The opening keynote by Chris Johnson of Microsoft woke everyone up and got us off to a good start. Chris mentioned that SharePoint revenue was up $1.3B and that SharePoint is being used in over 70% of enterprises. This is a phenomenal number that definitely synchs with what we found in our own SharePoint survey and really got the excitement going and created a real buzz around the conference.
The key theme of the three days was around Microsoft Office 365 and whether organisations are culturally ready for the move. To add to this point, I recently watched a webinar by The Register where they had an informal discussion about how The Royal Mail took their infrastructure onto BPOS. This decision was largely driven by a very radical CIO who at the time felt they had to make a big change influenced by the way the IT climate was going. This theme was similar to many discussions being had at the conference. “Is the security right?” “Is the organisation ready?” “Is the provider ready?” were some of the questions being asked by attendees. As was the case at the Royal Mail, ultimately someone has to make the final decision and it’s on their back if it goes wrong! Check out the webinar, it’s definitely worth viewing.
Another great thing that I noticed at the conference was that many people were talking about SharePoint 2010 being deployed in production environments. Often we hear that SharePoint 2010 is still in testing or has not yet made it off a developer’s machine, so I was really excited about the number of organizations that have turned the corner and have deployed SharePoint 2010 in real live environments. This opens up a new world not just for the end users but for us Independent Software Vendors.
Finally I had the pleasure of announcing the winner of the competition that we held over the course of the conference. Congratulations to Shane Start who won the Nespresso Coffee Machine and will no doubt be getting much use out of it, keeping him wide awake to better support his SharePoint users at the British Library.
See you next year where I predict ALL the talk will be around SharePoint in the cloud… and not an ash cloud!