It’s been great to see the level of SharePoint knowledge, expertise and large number of businesses represented at this year’s New Zealand SharePoint Conference. The NZ SharePoint Conference is a world-class event that I’d highly recommend adding into your diary for next year.
Hundreds of people (along with speakers from NZ, Australia, United States, Canada and Malaysia) converged in New Zealand for the 3rd annual New Zealand SharePoint Conference. A key theme of this year’s conference was something for everyone. Sessions spanned 4 streams focusing on Business, Technical – IT Pro, Technical Developer and Voice of the Customer.
The conference kicked off with the key note speech from Joel Olsen and Mark Miller who are at the tail-end of a whirlwind tour around Asia/Pacific. They emphasised the importance of building local SharePoint communities, learning from each other’s experiences, sharing knowledge and the power of social computing. In Vietnam they had people fly in from Cambodia, Indonesia and Japan to attend their presentation. It was great to see them and all the international speakers here.
SharePoint Idol provided an entertaining approach to showcasing key sponsor’s products (i.e. each vendor was given 5 minutes to present and the each day the winner was voted by the audience). A classic quote was from one of the vendors in response to “how many web parts does your application have?” was “Three ‘cause four was too many and two was too few.” Day two woke with Dux Raymond Sy’s SharePoint rap song (to the tune of “Ice Ice Baby”) and a keynote focused on “Delivering SharePoint Success”. He covered the need for:
- Business owners
- Business buy-in
- Assess the impact and priorities for delivering SharePoint solutions
- Planning for the delivery of SharePoint solutions (including Training and User Adoption strategies)
- Project Managers to manage SharePoint projects
- SharePoint specialists with an in-depth knowledge of SharePoint to map business requirements to SharePoint capabilities
- Infrastructure people with the appropriate skills to enable them to implement, manage and support SharePoint
- Potential to leverage core SharePoint capabilities, solutions developed by third party vendors and developers where there was a need to extend SharePoint beyond SharePoint’s core capabilities.
The response from attendees throughout the conference was fantastic with large numbers attending all sessions across all streams. A quote I overheard from one attendee was “I’ve got more out of the last day and a half than I have from 15 years of conferences and seminars.”
The SharePoint user community in New Zealand is strong and continues to grow with new user groups establishing in Dunedin, Palmerston North and Hawkes Bay which complementing our existing user groups in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.
A big thank you goes out to the conference organisers (including our own Nick Hadlee) and speakers. We look forward to the continuing growth of the SharePoint user community in New Zealand and hope to see you at next year’s NZ SharePoint Conference.