Playing Well With Others, or What I Learned at the Microsoft Virtual Summit

“This has truly been the biggest year for SharePoint”.
Jeff Teper, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Office, SharePoint and OneDrive
Yesterday, much like the majority of the Microsoft community, the PixelMill team gathered around our conference table, devices and snacks at the ready, and embarked on the journey that was the Microsoft Virtual Summit.  It’s been a year since the last major update on the future of SharePoint and Office 365. The SharePoint Server and the road map for SharePoint changed the game for hybrid and cloud users alike, but back to this year. What was going to blow the roof off the Microsoft world this go around? How will this years big updates alter our universe as we know it? Well Pixel Friends, where we’re going, we don’t need roads…but maybe a couple friends.
This year it’s all about collaboration and momentum. Microsoft unveiled the latest innovations for SharePoint and OneDrive, including powerful integrations across Office 365, Windows and Azure. These developments build upon 2016’s vision, with innovations to reinvent content collaboration and usher in a new generation of mobile and intelligent intranets. The rise of popularity in SharePoint and OneDrive is quite notable. Check out the number of users currently using those platforms:
Impressive, right? It’s like The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin got together for the greatest rock show of all time, and everyone wants to go. Speaking of things that rock, here are some of the big takeaways from yesterday’s big event:

  • Sharing is caring.
    Starting this summer, you’ll be able to share Office 365 files directly from File Explorer on PC and Finder on Mac. Holy hot-dogs Batman! The sharing experience has been simplified, so you can share a file or folder with specific people or send a link that enables anyone who needs access, inside or outside your organization. In addition, you can now control how long a link provides access, and you can easily view and modify the permissions you have granted. The new sharing experience is the same, no matter how or where you share your information.
  • Let me tell you a story…
    Also coming this summer, communication sites! A communication site is a dynamic site that lets you reach a broad audience to keep the organization informed and engaged. Communication sites work on all platforms. While your team site lets you share within your group as you’re working, a communication site lets your group share broadly and communicate its message across the organization. Not to mention, creating a communication site is faster than a NASCAR driver and more customizable than Barbie’s closet.
  • Help! I need somebody.
    Microsoft did a little fancy work on the SharePoint homepage. You want interactive reports? You got em’! How about a Message Center and a Service Health dashboard tuned to the needs of SharePoint administrators? Blammo. This is your opportunity to connect with thousands of experts in the Microsoft Tech Community.
  • It’s alive!
    Did we mention Summer? Starting this summer, you will be able to use Microsoft PowerApps to easily create custom forms that surface right in the context of a SharePoint list or library. Users can then create, view and interact with data using your custom form, rather than default SharePoint forms. As our President would say, this is huuuuuuuge for SharePoint and PowerApps, as it empowers any user to drive transformation of team and organizational processes.
  • Whooooooo are you?
    When you’re searching for knowledge, it could be hiding anywhere from news and files to the dimension where socks get lost. However, it might also be found through your colleagues. In the next few months, you will have a more personalized search that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence from Microsoft Graph to surface more relevant and valuable results, faster. Your search results will activate ‘people cards’, so you can learn at a glance about a person and the content they work on. One more click activates an extended view with richly detailed information from the user’s profile.

How ya doing over there? Bursting at the seams with knowledge yet? Feeling overwhelmed? There was so much information packed into the SharePoint Virtual Summit, you may be empathizing with a Thanksgiving turkey right about now. Oddly enough, PixelMill has the solution.
‘Do the SharePoint Virtual Summit Announcements Affect You?’
We invite you to join us on Thursday, May 18th from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST for a star-studded expert panel debriefing from the SharePoint Virtual Summit. This is the perfect opportunity to ask your own questions by a group of Microsoft gurus that includes:

  • Eric Overfield (2-time Microsoft MVP, Microsoft Regional Director, President/Co-Founder of PixelMill)
  • Christian Buckley (6-time Microsoft MVP, Founder/CEO of CollabTalk LLC)
  • Ryan Schouten (Microsoft Certified Trainer, SharePoint Developer for ZAACT)
  • Peter Allen (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Senior Consultant for Kiefer Consulting)

So if attending the Virtual Summit and/or reading this blog didn’t fully unravel the secrets of the future, never fear! Join our interactive webinar and ask our expert panel the tough questions. Go ahead…try and and stump them! These guys are like Jeopardy contestants on a sugar high.
Register here to get your questions answered!

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