This is definitely a season of change. Many of my peers have been announcing their transitions lately. I couldn’t let Mark Rackley, Jeremy Thake, and Chris Johnson get all the spotlight. 🙂 Microsoft has had a couple of really incredible additions to their team including AvePoint’s former VP of Global Product Innovation, Jeremy Thake! I’m excited to see what influence he will be bringing to the table with his expertise and passion in making SharePoint work for the end user. Even though my journey isn’t taking me to Microsoft, I’m very excited to announce my transition from Acuvate Software and my return to my former employer, Softmart, in a very new and adventurous role!
Back in May of 2013, I left my Softmart North Central territory role and joined Acuvate Software, a global Microsoft Partner (SI) that provided services around SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, SQL & Yammer. It was a great experience working with some very talented folks like Abhishek Shanbhag. I was down in the trenches helping customers with complex business solutions. I wore many hats including VP of Business Solutions, Business Analyst, Solution Architect, Enterprise Social Practice Head and Evangelist. I was able to achieve some tough goals there and my experiences have already been injected into my new role at Softmart.
So, who is Softmart? Softmart’s slogan is Everything IT. Softmart has 30 years experience in the industry. Softmart’s Team of IT Solution Advisors Ensures that Every IT Dollar Spent is a Dollar Well Invested. IT is an investment. Hardware and software are critical components of business efficiency. Softmart is an authorized reseller of all major hardware manufacturers and software publishers; the consultative sales team solution experts can answer your questions on configuration or engage our staff specialists to assist in planning.
So what am I doing in my new role at Softmart, you ask? Other than trying not to turn into a Philly Cheesesteak; Everything I love! I’m Softmart’s new Tech Evangelist. I will be assisting our Sales Force with Technical Pre-Sales consulting on the Microsoft Business Productivity Stack and the Microsoft Cloud OS. I will utilizing my Microsoft PTSP status and delivering more amazing one to many (or few) webinars & sessions at the Malvern Microsoft MTC & Envisioning Center, and other Microsoft MTC’s across the country. I will still be speaking at SharePoint Saturdays and Conferences and planning territory specific events with the Softmart National Sales teams. I will be providing valuable solution architecture to our client base and working with our partner network to execute the projects at hand. I’m unbelievably stoked. Let’s not forget blogging for Softmart.
I can’t express how happy I am to be in this new role. Stay tuned!
Microsoft has gone social in a big way with SharePoint 2013. Over time, Microsoft has been evolving their social layer with each new release of SharePoint. Traditionally, the SharePoint product team would work on the next version release 3 or so years in advance which would reflect that time period onto the features of each new version. The 2007 SharePoint version focused its social collaboration offerings on the My Site, availability of wikis, and blogs. Then came the SharePoint 2010 release. SharePoint 2010 was actually developed in 2006; a time before Facebook, Twitter, or iPhone’s existed. However, SharePoint 2010 did take a leap with social by offering social tagging, the NoteBoard and microblogs. Finally the latest version; SharePoint 2013 was released. SharePoint 2013 is relative to today’s world. SharePoint 2013 focuses on social collaboration, employee engagement, and breaking down the silos of geographically dispersed teams. SharePoint 2013 has several social features that today’s workforce is used to. Hashtagging, Liking, Following and even @mentioning are all available in OOTB SharePoint 2013.
There is a new Community Site template that brings gamification into the environment. Gamification has its own layer of social collaboration that encourages users to interact with the portal; to start discussions, comment on previous discussions, earn points and even earn badges. The new Community Site template really provides a great place for forums of knowledge sharing to transpire.
The new SharePoint Newsfeed app shows items from other users in reverse chronological order and can be added to any page in any site. SharePoint’s search feature has also been improved to take advantage of the new social capabilities by allowing users to search within Newsfeed conversations or by searching for a certain hashtag or @mentioned people across conversations.
SharePoint 2013 has all the right tools to get your organization started with an Enterprise Social journey. SharePoint 2013 is made for today’s world of workers that are used to toting multiple devices and communicating, collaborating and connecting over a vast array of social media platforms.
Microsoft has also gone social in a big way with the acquisition of Yammer back in 2012. Yammer is Microsoft’s microblogging and collaboration platform for enterprise social networking. When you look up the word, Yammer, in the dictionary, it is described as informal dialect. In my opinion, the informal dialect that we have in our respective organizations is where the innovations and ideas transpire. Now that Yammer Enterprise is a part of the Office 365 Enterprise offerings, it is just that much easier to take advantage of this amazing platform. True collaboration is born in Yammer environments allowing users to connect to geographically dispersed teams, share and collaborate on documents, utilize Yammer’s robust search engine to dig up hashtags, and quickly find expertise in the organization within the contacts in Yammer. Yammer does offer a freemium version to any organization out there with a company domain. But, the Enterprise version definitely gives us more control for governance and eDiscovery scenarios. Yammer’s open API’s also open the door to integrating Yammer with your own applications or some other common applications like Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, and SharePoint.