Who Are the World's SharePoint Experts?

Mobile Man / Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It’s not often we start a post like this, but, be prepared for disappointment: Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch claimed a couple of years back that you can become an expert in anything in just two hours. Does this mean you’ve been wasting your time attending SharePoint webinars, joining community forums, and reading blogs like...ours? We’re not convinced.

Mastering SharePoint takes years of dedication, building relationships and countless hours devoted to the product to reach anything close to expert status. Experts not only know SharePoint inside out, they also use their knowledge to contribute, to give back to the community and help all of us get more out of our communications and collaboration platform. Today we wanted to give a high five to those influential folks whose in-depth knowledge gives so much back to the community.

Expert ease

So, how exactly do you define an expert? Is it the individual who has made the most money? The person with the most expansive knowledge or the best public speaking skills? It’s impossible to judge, for the most part due to the word ‘expert’ being a comparative term. Perhaps that is the reason why so many profess to being an expert themselves.

And true, while there are many great influencers and people championing and providing a wealth of advice around SharePoint, there are that special few who have really driven the success of Microsoft’s platform and we think we’ve found them. So without further ado, here’s our list of SharePoint experts!

Jeff Teper

The Corporate Vice President of OneDrive & SharePoint at Microsoft, Jeff Teper was one of the minds behind bringing someone called Satya Nadella into the company all the way back in 1992 - a move which some would say has paid off.

Often working under the alias of “The Father of SharePoint”, Jeff was one of the Foundations Knowledge Management team that later went on to develop and create the business collaboration platform. In 2011 he identified cloud computing as the most important technology of the year, and four years down the line we can see that he wasn’t wrong. It’s clear that Jeff and Satya have similar aspirations for the company, and his close relationship with the CEO combined with his hand in the creation of SharePoint meant there wasn’t really any way Jeff couldn’t appear on this list.

Julia White

Julia White is the general manager of the Microsoft Office division, which oversees SharePoint. A 13-year veteran of the company, she was caught in the firing line somewhat earlier this year at Ignite, where rumors spread about the neglect of the on-premises SP2016, forcing her to assure that SharePoint Server ‘16 was not being disregarded. She also wrote this article on “The Evolution of SharePoint” for the Office blog back in February.

What’s more, Julia has been praised for her laid-back attitude, whilst still possessing all the customary fiery traits of a businesswoman at the top of her game. She’s also been labelled “the first cool Microsoft employee in potentially forever”. Not a bad title to have!

Mary Jo Foley

A Microsoft journalism giant, Mary Jo Foley has been in-the-know with everything Microsoft for the past 30+ years, going all the way back to 1983. She continues to write freelance for a number of tech publications, and authored the book “Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era” which received widespread critical acclaim. With further successes in podcasting and news editing, it’s fair to say she knows her way around Microsoft in the press. Her ZDNet blog contains all the latest releases on everything Microsoft.

Being so involved in the Microsoft world, Mary is always the first in line when it comes to product releases, updates and everything in-between, including SharePoint.

Follow her on Twitter for rolling updates on the world of Microsoft (and occasionally craft beer!)

Naomi Moneypenny

Naomi is the Chief Technology Officer at Synxi, where she leads the development team for the adaptive recommendations and machine learning engine for SharePoint. A thoroughly active member of the SharePoint community, she was named a Top 25 SharePoint Influencer in 2014 and more recently grabbed the number one spot on the Top 25 Office 365 Influencers.

Her blog is filled to the brim with articles exploring enterprise social and collaboration, innovation, trend forecasting and of course, SharePoint. You can also view a list of events where Naomi is speaking around the world.

That’s a wrap!

As always with these types of posts, there are many more people we could have included. However, we’d like to think there’s not much room for dispute on whether or not the above deserved a place on our list. They’ve all spent a significant part of their working lives dedicated to the world of SharePoint and Microsoft, and have reaped the well-deserved rewards. Then again, maybe the true root to their success is that they all read “How to become an expert in anything in 2 hours”. We’d have to ask them!

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