Thursday, February 19, 2009

The program for Boston is complete!!

After weeks of cajoling, tweaking, rearranging, editing and slotting, the program for the next SPTechCon in Boston (June 22-24) is now complete!
We received more than 100 submissions to fill 63 technical classes and a full day of workshops, and I can state unequivocally that this lineup of speakers and topics is top shelf all the way. We've added a host of Microsoft MVPs to the faculty, and have created an information-rich conference for developers, architects, IT admins and information workers of all ability levels. So, whether you're new to SharePoint or an expert looking for that last piece of your implementation puzzle, there will be something at SPTechCon for you!
The program has been hermetically sealed and placed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall's front porch (sorry, Johnny!), but will be up on the Web site in about a week, when we have final confirmations and everything is locked down.
Registration for the event is now open, so sign up before March 12 to take advantage of the big extreme early-bird discount!
I look forward to seeing you all in Boston!
-- David

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How Can SharePoint Help My Business?

The following letters were written in response to SPTech Report, BZ Media's newsletter covering all things SharePoint. To avoid missing out on all the latest information, subscribe today!

From Sandra Masterson, RHIA, Director of HealthSouth in Florida, came this e-mail:

“I would like to learn more about why using SharePoint is advantageous for one’s business. Our organization has begun using SharePoint, but I am not sure what the difference is in using this versus the other applications. Thanks in advance, and hopefully I am not writing to the wrong place.”

Sandra, you’ve definitely come to the right place. The quick answer would be for me to tell you to attend SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference that will be held in June in Boston. We’ll have three full days of SharePoint workshops and classes, including sessions that look at ROI, the benefits of implementing SharePoint as part of a portal or document management solution, and how to go about setting it up in a way that really brings value to your organization.

Many of the classes will be at the introductory level you need, but we also will present advanced and expert sessions for developers, admins, system architects, project managers and power users.

Of course, there are many excellent SharePoint blogs out there in this virtual universe of ours. Many can be found at Then there are the blogs from Microsoft's MVP community, and from its developer community.

Finally, I’d point out to you that Laura Rogers, one of our speakers at SPTechCon in Boston, also works at HealthSouth. You could look her up.

From Deanna McNeil of Learning Tree International came this e-mail:

“I really enjoyed this last issue of your newsletter. You know what I would love to see? Some sort of table comparing disaster recovery tools like AvePoint and Microsoft’s DPM product. Who can do what? What is the best value out there? What are the war stories? I only seem to hear the happy stories spun by the vendors, not the real-world ‘and then my server blew up’ reality checks.”

Well, Deanna, without a test lab, it’s hard to quantify differences in software tools. What we CAN do, though, is put a call out to our readers to go to my blog on the SPTechCon website and share their SharePoint disaster recovery disasters (or wins) in the comments section under this post.

THAT is what being an upstanding member of the community is all about!

-- David

Monday, February 9, 2009

Courses for Boston Coming Together

I have to tell you, the response to our call for speakers for the June conference in Boston has been overwhelming, and I'd like to thank everyone who's submitted sessions. It'll be a week or so before I can slog through all of it, but upon first glance, the program will be very strong, with introductory, intermediate and advanced classes for developers, architects, IT admins and business users.
I'm happy to say that MVPs Todd Klindt and Shane Young will be reprising their full-day workshop on SharePoint administration, which won rave reviews from the attendees at SPTechCon in Burlingame at the end of January. Also, MVP Bob Mixon will present his full-day workshop on "findability," which also played to a packed room.
Some other favorites from the first SPTechCon who've already committed to returning are Dux Raymond Sy, whose sessions on project management were very well received; MVP Darrin Bishop, who again will present on creating business intelligence portals; and Errin O'Connor, who keynoted at the first conference to a full ballroom. Also, we'll be adding plenty of new sessions and speakers, to keep the conference fresh. So just because you were with us in Burlingame doesn't mean you've already "been there, done that" with SPTechCon.
We should have the full course catalog online in the next few weeks, and I'll let you know when it's available for download. Until then, check back here often for updates on speakers and the sessions.
-- David

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

SPTechCon slides are up

Most of the slides from the sessions at the recently concluded SPTechCon are available for viewing by attendees. There are still a few "slacker" presenters who haven't quite gotten around to sending in their slides, but by and large, it's a fairly complete set. I'll let everyone know when the full set is up on the site. Also, I'll try to post some metrics as to which are the most downloaded sessions -- because I ask you, what fun is a download if you can't view some metrics along with it?

Monday, February 2, 2009

We're a hit, and coming to Boston!

At 37,000 feet above the Midwest somewhere, I’m returning to New York – mentally exhausted but excited about the feedback we received about SPTechCon, our first conference in the SharePoint community. I meant to update this blog all week, but with meeting our faculty, sitting in on their sessions, working the exhibit hall and yes, spending long evenings over libations with attendees and colleagues, the relative solace of the interior of a 757 finally has given me the time to report back here.
SPTechCon was a success. From the opening keynote by Microsoft senior director of SharePoint Tom Rizzo; to sessions that were packed with developers, IT admins and information workers hungry for knowledge; to vendor booths surrounded by attendees wanting to know how those products can augment and extend their SharePoint implementations, the event was everything we had hoped it would be – an acceptance into the SharePoint community.
At SPTechCon, we also announced that we’re producing another conference, this time in Boston in June (you can check the Web site for more details and to register). And, while most of the comments from this conference gave us encouragement that we’re on the right track, we know we have some work to do to make the Boston conference even stronger. We’ve already begun the process of winnowing out the sessions that didn’t resonate with our audience and adding some that were requested, and we’re reviewing the schedule to make sure people have enough time between sessions to move about comfortably, to grab a meal or a refreshment, or just to linger a little longer with a speaker to get that last question answered.
I would like to thank all the speakers that made our conference so outstanding, and give out a special nod to our advisory board – AJ Mirwani, Bob Mixon, Shane Young, Todd Klindt, Errin O’Connor and Jason Medero – whose contributions were invaluable.
And let me thank all the folks who, in a very tight economy, chose to spend their training dollars with us.
We had a great time in Burlingame, and we hope you can join us again in Boston. I’ll keep you posted on how that conference is shaping up.
-- David