News from the European SharePoint Conference 2015

Mobile Man / Thursday, December 3, 2015

The annual European SharePoint Conference (#ESPC15) is always worth getting excited about, and 2015’s Swedish edition was no exception. The conference is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested or involved (probably both!) with all things SharePoint. The Conference spanned four days, with a day-long workshop to kick things off and conferences spread out across the remaining three days. ESPC was packed with big names from all around the SharePoint world. There were over 1500 attendees in total, coming from all over Europe, and over 100 sessions were held revolving around one central theme - SharePoint. The conference covered everything you would expect, including the On-Premises and Cloud versions of the platform.

Image Courtesy of ESPC

From IT Pros to budding and veteran developers, ESPC had something for everyone. And, to top it off, it was all held in the beautiful city of Stockholm. So, to celebrate, we thought we’d give you some highlights from the event.

Headline Keynotes

The headlining Keynote came from probably the most experienced SharePoint trio out there: Jeff Teper, Bill Baer and Seth Patton. As you would expect, its focus was on how Microsoft is continuing to evolve the collaboration platform, both in terms of On-Premises and in the Cloud. There was also mention of the new improvements and capabilities in SharePoint 2016, as well as the SharePoint Online, Office 365 and hybrid variants. It was enough to get attendees asking for more, as the three speakers are amongst the biggest names in the SharePoint world:

Jeff Teper, also known as “the father of SharePoint” is leader of the SharePoint and OneDrive team, serving hundreds of thousands of users across a massive 80% of Fortune 500 Companies. Seth Patton is the global senior director for SharePoint and OneDrive product marketing, and has worked with Project, Dynamics CRM and Office 365. Bill Baer is a senior technical product manager and Microsoft Certified Master for SharePoint.

ESPC Community Award Winners

The European SharePoint Conference awards are an integral part of the ESPC and its community. Held in the home of the Nobel Peace Prize - Stockholm city hall - the winners were voted by SharePoint community members. Awards were related to SharePoint and Office 365 as well as Mobile and Social solutions. You can see the full list of who won here.

SharePoint lives on

The rumors can finally subside… it was confirmed that SharePoint 2016 will NOT be the last ever On-Premises version of SharePoint. The numbers make it impossible for Microsoft to end support. Around 60% of companies continue to depend on the On-Premises version, and are unlikely to go elsewhere in the near future. There is interest in Office 365, and rightly so, as it’s been doing fantastically. However, a lot of companies are reluctant to give up on the investments they have already made with SharePoint On-Prem. Plus, Microsoft are directing more attention to the hybrid environment.

While there had been fears that SharePoint On-Prem was on the way out, ESPC indicated that the opposite is true - Microsoft announced the release of the SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2, which is now readily available. Microsoft say this second iteration is a lot closer to the RTM (release to manufacturing) version, offering deeper insight into what the final version will look like come next year. So, great news for all you SharePoint lovers (which we presume is each and every one of you!)

Live Hackathon

ESPC had its fair share of interactivity, too. Jeremy Thake hosted a 3-hour live hackathon, where participating teams were tasked with taking hold of the Office and SharePoint Add-ins model, a powerful extensibility model that you can leverage as a web developer. See some real-world examples in the Office Store to get an idea of what went on. In addition to an ego-boost, the winning team were awarded a brand new Xbox One. If you think you could do better, make sure you get involved at ESPC 2016!

The latest on OneDrive for business

Hans Brender, a long-time SharePoint MVP who has worked with collaboration tools since the beginning of SharePoint, hosted a talk dedicated to OneDrive for Business and its little brother, OneDrive. Hans gave a great overview of the restriction of files and folders in SharePoint Online and On-Premises. Attendees got to learn about these conflicts and, more importantly, how to resolve them.

  • Mass importing with PowerShell script.
  • How to work offline with documents from SharePoint
  • How to resolve problems with restricted files
  • Other tips and tricks with OneDrive for Business

For more information on the events that transpired at ESPC 2015, you can check out the website. Be warned, though, as the next ESPC is a whole 11 months away, so you don’t get excited too early!

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