SharePoint Conference 2014 in Vegas – Clinton to Keynote

Author’s Note: This article was written for a client last week. According to GeekWire’s coverage of the speech we are pleased to report the following had it nailed as far as his focus, with the exception of comments relating to the recent issues surrounding the Ukraine and Russia.

Clearly the longest running and common intranet collaboration platform, SharePoint, is well known for its many conferences throughout the world but this year’s SharePoint Conference in Vegas will feature a former U.S. President.

About a month ago Microsoft announced that former president Bill Clinton would give the kick off address to the conference focused on SharePoint, Yammer and Office 365. Clinton has always been a strong supporter of technology advancement and has in the past supported a number of efforts to bring more technology to healthcare in the form of mobile health apps and telemedicine.

It is hard to say if these will be subjects he will cover at the conference but Microsoft and its huge ecosystem of companies that use these platforms include the kinds of efforts that fit his view of technology that help folks lead better lives.

Perhaps an outgrowth of a Wired interview that featured both President Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates last November. Clinton, as did Gates, spoke at length about examples where connectivity and technology were utilized to aid people in developing nations.

Regardless of the content of his keynote it is further evidence that, for Microsoft devotees that is, that they have a mission beyond just building a dominant technology company. With over 200 session covering the entire Microsoft SharePoint ecosystem and three “sub-keynotes” that focus specifically on IT Pros, Developers and Executive level decision makers; there is something of interest for entire teams.

2014 is expected to be a big year for SharePoint and Office 365 in particular with feature and development shifts that are likely to drive increased adoption of the platform by small enterprise and mid-sized businesses. Still not a cheap project and many internal IT teams simply do not have the time or experience to further the adoption of these tools, even if budget dollars are there to support it.

So for these folks, who are likely not attending the conference, all is not lost. Many companies have long track records in analyzing, planning and either migrating or deploying sophisticated platforms like SharePoint and 365. The importance of fully understanding how these tools will be used, what will best drive adoption, what might need to be developed in order to integrate with legacy systems, and what, if any, is required from a mobile device standpoint can’t be downplayed. These firms will save you precious time and money.

Attending the conference won’t necessarily answer all your questions but if you can make this one you’ll likely hear an interesting technology viewpoint from this former president. If you can’t at least check out the Wired interview from last year as it is well worth hearing Gates and Clinton’s thoughts and experiences with technology that builds solutions to real world problems.