So the party has been over for one month or so, and the end of the year is coming quickly now, so it’s perfect timing to give a little look in the past.
Figures are great and with over 1500 attendees from 50 countries, 100 speakers coming from all over the world, and an amazing staff, EPSC is clearly the leading conference in Europe dedicated to SharePoint and Office 365 ecosystem.
The best point here is that you can expect to meet most of the people who are working in this area in not only in Europe but also a lot of other people coming from US, Canada and Asia too.
Here are some great meetings (among so many others) I had :
So what we learnt and what can we we expect in the following months ?
The first keynote was on The Modern Workplace: Evolution of SharePoint and Office 365 and delivered by Jeff Teper, Seth Patton & Bill Baer, Microsoft, Redmond, USA. It can be seen online here.
Mission and strategy were recapped by Seth Patton:
“SharePoint and Office 365 are the heart and soul of our ambition to reinvent productivity.”
and as he said there is a renewed focus on SharePoint within Microsoft (great news !) and this was illustrated by Jeff Teper being back as the head of the SharePoint and OneDrive engineering team.
He detailed major shifts that are happening in the workplace these days.
One of them being a shift from information overload to more accessible insights, and we will develop this later with Delve Analytics.
The growth numbers are staggering ! Especially for content growth with a 500% YtoY in SharePoint online and OneDrive for business !
The newest features that were pointed out are :
OneDrive for Business with new Sync engine, mobile apps and simplified browser experience
Then Bill Baer did a great demo showcasing the whole set of tools we have in Office 365.
At the beginning it’s about an individual and an idea. OneDrive is here for that. After that initial phase, you need to communicate and share to get things done. That’s where Groups appears to foster collaboration by putting content and conversations closer together. Beside content creation you need an intelligent way to discover content, that’s whereDelve is useful. With it you can learn more about individuals in your organization, for example by going to the new user profile. You can there discover information not only in forms of documents but also as videos stored in Office 365 Videoportal (or as SharePoint sites).
In the future, Delve will also help you to manage your time, via Delve Analytics. There you will be able to find some great insights on with who and how you collaborate. Last but not least, almost all of these features are accessible in the browser but also on mobile devices.
Then Jeff Teper came back to restate that
“Microsoft is committed to release on-premises versions of the servers Exchange and SharePoint.”
Cloud-first mean that features will come first in the Cloud and then eventually on on-premises versions.
In Office 365 the code is deployed on 30 000 VMs handling SharePoint workloads and 20 000 VMs handling SQL Server for SharePoint workloads !
Bill Baer then demonstrated DLP options in SharePoint Online. He then shows results of an hybrid search showing both on-premises and in the cloud contents. Hybrid scenarios will be made easier to deploy.
Then Jeff Teper announced SharePoint 2016 beta 2 which is now here, and described SharePoint 2016 hybrid scenarios.
He also restated the engagement toward developers
Then he gave us a glimpse (starting at 55’ of the recording) on what is planned next and he described the main topics ofthe roadmap for the 6 to 12 months ahead.
Developers and IT Pro will be empowered to address Enterprise requirements like Governance, Compliance, Security, Policies…
Analytics is also a great area where we can expect to have a lot of new features (around Delve Analytics)
new Hybrid features will be added continuously
Microsoft is committed to continue making SharePoint a hard core developers platform.
It will be easier, simpler and faster to customize SharePoint with no code.
SharePoint will be more mobile.
Since this keynote, a lot of great news have already happened, especially:
- Introduction of Microsoft Graph at Connect()
- Announcement of SharePoint 2016 beta 2
- Introduction of PowerApps
That illustrates clearly that Microsoft is on a continuous innovation process. So we can expect a lot more to come in the near future!