Yesterday marked our second trip to the InfoMart in Dallas, TX to participate in the annual SharePoint TechFest conference. As promised, TekFocus and RBA Consulting delivered on their promise that this year's event would be even bigger and better than last year's. The day kicked off with a keynote from Molly McCarthy, Office Business Value Senior Product Manager at Microsoft, and Justin Chandoo, Product Manager at Microsoft. Molly spends most of her time meeting with customers, striving to understand their business needs, and working with them to use Microsoft Information Worker solutions to drive their business. Justin's area of focus is in Information Worker (IW) Enterprise Solutions centered on SharePoint and Office. Molly and Justin led the discussion around getting ready for SharePoint 2010. The TechFest audience got a taste of what's to come with this exciting release with a product demonstration. Following the keynote, participants had the ability to choose sessions based on six available tracks: ECM, Collaboration, Composites, Search, BI, or Development. The one-day event started bright and early at 8am and ended at 6pm with a Conference Happy Hour.
I spent the day in the Exhibit Hall, and was joined by a few of the usual SharePoint ISV suspects: AvePoint, StoragePoint, RepliWeb – but found a new addition to the ranks in CLEAR. CLEAR provides super fast Internet for mobile, home and voice using their 4G WiMAX technology. At CLEAR, I also found an old friend that I haven't seen in a while who had recently joined their team: Anne Lacey Holmes. Send Anne an email to find out more about CLEAR.
There were also a handful of local Microsoft System Integrators in the Exhibit Hall, our favorite being Bamboo Partner RBA Consulting. They also led a session on Business Intelligence for Everybody and another on Complex Workflow Development with Microsoft Office and SharePoint 2010. Since Bamboo had just announced the product launch of Workflow Conductor, unfortunately we didn't have enough time to incorporate that technology into a session. If you're interested in Bamboo's approach to business process automation, be sure to check out this morning's press release.
Bamboo did present a session at TechFest, however, with our own Nando Carbonel presenting on Project Management in SharePoint, reviewing the out-of-the-box project management functionality, as well as the enhancements available through Bamboo Web Parts and PM Central. Unfortunately, the Internet connectivity wasn't up to snuff in the room, so Nando had to rely on screenshots in his presentation. For more detailed information and a live demonstration of PM Central, please sign up to attend one of our free PM Central webinars, offered several times each week.
As always, it's great to get out out in the field and visit with our existing customers and Partners. And it's exciting to meet our future customers; the ones that have downloaded one or more of our products, the ones that said they go to our website on a daily basis for information, and the ones that just needed a little more information from us to lead them to the next step in their SharePoint journey. Until next time….