ShareFEST – Matt Walz Provides a ‘Trip Around the Industry: How SharePoint is Being Used Today in Life Sciences’

NextDocs CTO Matt Walz followed Steve Aylward’s ShareFEST keynote with a second keynote presentation, dedicated to showing how SharePoint is being used in the life sciences industry today.  Before Matt took the stage, the “Did You Know” viral video originated by Karl Fisch was played, addressing the exponentially increasing pace of change in the world in a truly thought-provoking fashion:


Following the video presentation, Matt provided background on Karl Fisch and his creation of the PowerPoint presentation that ultimately led to the creation of the “Did You Know?” video. To Matt, the video is, “about game-changing technologies,” and his belief is that, “SharePoint is a game-changing technology.”

Matt Walz delivers his keynote at ShareFEST

Matt then used the typewriter as his preferred analogy of game-changing technologies, saying that his parents’ first typewriter was a manual Royal typewriter and that in time they moved onto a first-generation electric typewriter, which still required a manual carriage return, only didn’t require you to hit the keys quite so hard. From there, the typewriter evolved into the IBM Selectric (no more manual carriage returns, a revolutionary achievement), which in turn paved the way for the word processor, and ultimately the PC. Tying it all together, Matt said, “when I look at what SharePoint is doing for the world of document management, I think of what the PC did for the world of the typewriter.”


Matt went on to discuss a series of different SharePoint scenarios, addressing the complexity and business logic of given scenarios to their relative number of users. Demonstrating how widely SharePoint has been adopted within the life sciences industry beyond the internal applications, Matt showed a series of what appeared to be dozens of slides picturing the sites of companies in the industry whose Internet sites are now powered by SharePoint. Those slides were followed by another voluminous series of slides picturing screenshots that Matt had received in response to his request of Conference attendees showcasing their own innovative applications of SharePoint.

Wrapping up his keynote, Matt said that, “the ‘how’ is why we really decided to do ShareFEST,” and that it was through the series of case studies from within the life sciences industry and the showcases of SharePoint as an enterprise platform over the next two days that the “how” would be answered.

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