European SharePoint Conference 2014 Wrap Up Report

Hola!  We’re just back from a week in Barcelona, Spain at the European SharePoint Conference 2014.  In case you weren’t there, what did you miss?

ESPC14 is one of the largest worldwide events focused on SharePoint outside Microsoft’s own SharePoint Conference.   After last year’s event in Copenhagen, ESPC14 brought together hundreds of stakeholders in SharePoint, Yammer, and Office 365 for four days of keynotes, workshops, tutorials and networking.

HiSoftware was a prime sponsor of the conference, using the exposition as a platform to showcase the release of our newest product, Site Sheriff.  Site Sheriff provides a clean, powerful solution for SharePoint content security and governance.  Key features include:

  • Dynamic Content access is empowered by business rules using user attributes (groups, location, role) and document metadata
  • Block content access to users as needed, regardless of pre-existing, variable document-level ACLs
  • Control the native SharePoint user interface and ribbon by removing buttons and menus for restricted, denied activities
  • Assure user adoption and high quality content experiences by keeping enterprise documents inside SharePoint with our agentless Secure Document Reader

After our experience at SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas during March 2014, it was fascinating to compare and contrast the Barcelona audience.  Key topics presented throughout the week included industry trends, enterprise social networking, business intelligence and the cloud (Office 365).   My own session covered much of the same themes:

  • SharePoint Social and Yammer
  • Sharing and securing enterprise content
  • SharePoint 2013/O365 Admin 101 for the IT Pro
  • Access Apps for the Cloud with Power BI

Modern approvals in Office 365 with Power Automate and Microsoft Teams
I was equally fascinated by how these topics were received.  In general, interest levels in on premises and IT Pro content were consistent with what I’ve seen in North America.  However, interest in cloud topics was sluggish compared with the US, running about 12 months behind what I’ve seen previously.  In some sessions, attendees openly denied even the existence of a trend toward cloud solution.  Ironically, most attendees regarded enterprise social and Yammer with general acceptance (even though Yammer is a cloud only tool.)  I’d contrast this with the overall trend at SPC14, which was more cloud-friendly but regarded Yammer as still a work-in-progress.

However, cloud or on-premises, social or not, it was clear that this audience accepts the maturity of SharePoint as the preferred home for enterprise document content.  It was clear from two things:

  1. Massive interest in the BI toolset – on premises or on Office 365 via Power BI.  (My own session on Access Apps and Power Bi was filled past capacity.)  There’s a lot of indicating basic awareness that SharePoint can store documents, so…what next?  BI is a compelling “what next” for those users.
  2. Customers and prospects at our booth –   Although we heard some interest in Office 365, we heard a lot more about organizations that have outgrown conventional, in the box SharePoint security controls, and are looking to establish dynamic controls and access based on content, attributes and metadata.  Restricting downloads, tracking access, triggering reviews, encryption on demand, and quarantines are all key features for these “next generation” SharePoint organizations.

In the meantime, visit our SharePoint resource centre where Chris McNulty and other leading experts from around the world answer your questions on SharePoint 2013.

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