Talking Office 365 at ShiftHappens Conference

Managing the Shifting Landscape of Office 365

This week I’ve been in Washington DC to speak at AvePoint’s ShiftHappens conference. AvePoint is a major ISV in the Office 365 space, specializing in SharePoint and governance. I spoke about how organizations can manage the change that occurs inside Office 365 (a PDF of the deck is below).

ShiftHappens 2019 was the first conference run by AvePoint and they did a good job. The nice thing about a small conference like ShiftHappens is that it’s much easier to interact with attendees.. I spent time chatting about data governance, Office 365 auditing, how to control the sprawl of Groups and Teams, whether Office 365 E5 is good value, the impact of Enterprise Mobility and Security, Teams, and more.

It was striking that some organizations have real problems thinking about the deployment of Teams because of perceived problems with governance and security. I say perceived because it’s always hard to understand the full details of the challenges people have with a technology in a quick conversation. What’s clear though is that major companies have embraced cloud services in a way that they never thought possible just a few years ago.

Petri.com at ShiftHappens

Many of my Petri.com colleagues were also at ShiftHappens, so I had the chance to connect with folks like Paul Thurrott, Mary-Jo Foley, and Brad Sams. It’s always good to learn from people who have definite and distinct views about how the industry is changing, especially in the Microsoft space.

Petri took the chance to video conversations with a number of those attending the conference. I spoke with Mary-Jo Foley about Office 365 growth (from the current base of 180 million monthly active users) and then with Paul Thurrott about “Is Teams the new Outlook” (Figure 1) and other recent developments in the service. Despite the presence of two notable grumpies in the latter conversation, no swear words were harmed in the taping, much to the delight of the Petri camera crew. And I didn’t pay Paul Thurrott to call Office 365 for IT Pros a “tremendous resource”.

Chatting with Paul Thurrott about Teams, OneDrive, and other Office 365 technology
Figure 1: Chatting with Paul Thurrott about Teams, OneDrive, and other Office 365 technology

Jeff Teper, Microsoft Corporate VP of Office 365 also spoke at the event and made the point that many of the people now active in the workforce are more comfortable with short-form videos when they acquire information. After looking at the videos (using the links above), I’m not so sure. But we can but try.

Here’s a copy of the deck I used at ShiftHappens. For more information about keeping control of Office 365 (insofar as that’s possible with a cloud service), the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook has lots of what we think is good advice.


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