ShareFEST – Michael Gannotti Shares ‘Mikey’s Top 5’ SharePoint 2010 Features

While introducing Michael Gannotti this morning, Ken Lownie of NextDocs shared an exchange that he’d had last night during the live webcast Q&A that Michael and Dux Raymond Sy hosted. Speaking with a conference staffer, a non-technical person with no knowledge of SharePoint whatsoever, Ken asked what she thought of the Q&A, and her response was, “I have no idea what they’re talking about, but I’m really excited!” That remark captures pretty well the enthusiasm that Michael brings to his SharePoint evangelism.

One more indicator of the level of Michael’s enthusiasm for SharePoint was revealed in another exchange that Ken shared with the crowd this morning. In preparing for his introduction, it seems that while Ken was confirming Michael’s title (SharePoint Technology Specialist) with the man himself, Michael’s response was, “yeah, but don’t use that, I’m really just the SharePoint-crazy person.” Supporting that contention was the fact that Michael took the stage moments later, running through the room and up the steps to the stage as “Welcome to the Jungle” played over the sound system. Not only does he know his SharePoint, but the man knows how to energize an early morning crowd (and make an entrance), folks.

Michael Gannotti presents at ShareFESTThough the official title of Michael’s session was “Beyond Compliance: What SharePoint 2010 Brings to Life Sciences,” in keeping with the same casual feelings that he has towards his title, Michael proposed a more casual title for his presentation: “Mikey’s Top 5 (Outside of Compliance) Things About SharePoint 2010 for Life Sciences.”

In his best Casey Kasem impersonation, Michael kicked off with the words, “let’s begin our countdown… coming in at number five is audio and video.” Explaining that, “with the Rich Media Library [in 2010], SharePoint is a true media server,” Michael said that, “we’re gonna give you YouTube for the enterprise … no code.” Video content can be streamed from your SharePoint rich media library, and the embedded SharePoint media player, “can handle anything that Silverlight can play,” including HTML5, MP3s, WMVs, and more. In order to help you create content, Michael mentioned that Microsoft provides two free tools for recording screencasts, Expression Encoder 3 (Michael explained that even though you’ll be asked to download a trial version, “the trial is not a trial, it just won’t let you record in HD,” which is to say that it’s essentially a free product), and Community Clips.

While demonstrating the ease of uploading and working with video in a SharePoint video library, Michael mentioned that there will be templates available in the production release of SharePoint 2010 next month that weren’t in the beta version.  One such template will be a Media Blog template, the intended use of which is for the creation and management of video blogs.

Coming in at number four on Mikey’s top 5 countdown was social media, of which Michael said, “it’s huge…it’s everywhere [in SharePoint 2010].” To demonstrate the importance of social media in the world today, Michael showed a viral video on “socialnomics,” which asks (and answers rather definitively) the question, “Is social media a fad?”:


As Michael said after the video had played, “if you look at what’s happening, the way people communicate is fundamentally changing.” And SharePoint is embracing that change with open arms in the 2010 release.  Michael explained that “MySites have become Facebook for the enterprise … people search is at a whole new level [in 2010] … wikis make it very easy to collaboratively work together … [and] for one-to-many conversation, blogs are great for starting a conversation.” In demonstrating some of the social media functionality of SharePoint 2010, Michael showed the Microsoft Web (MSW) site, a site for Microsoft employees and contractors which has been running 2010 since October. Using the people search feature, Michael demonstrated the ease of locating someone based on expertise as featured on their Profile page and provided a tour of the multi-faceted Profile features.

Number three of the top 5 was Office Web Apps.  With Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, “Microsoft is addressing the need [for] full, high-fidelity viewing of your content, and editing capabilities on any first-class browser.” Michael went on to demonstrate both the full editing capabilities of Excel within a browser environment and the offlining functionality that the OneNote Web App brings to the table.

The number two item on Michael’s countdown was Access Services.  In response to the announcement that “in 2010, lists are relational,” Michael received a round of applause, and there was more applause to come in the demonstration of Access Services which followed. In the demo, Michael showed that when “Access sees SharePoint, it thinks it’s Access, it understands SharePoint.” Michael also demonstrated the ease of creating new campaigns, showing that once in SharePoint, they’re lists, which are editable just like any list in SharePoint.

And coming in at the top of Mikey’s top 5 countdown was PowerPivot. Michael said that, “we can now handle hundreds of millions of rows of data in Excel,” and that, “once you create the spreadsheet, you publish it to SharePoint, but it’s not a spreadsheet anymore … PowerPivot creates a cube.” Michael went on to demonstrate a PowerPivot library, complete with thumbnails, mouseovers, and carousel views of data. Michael explained that “when published, there it is [in SharePoint], same as if it was on the database.” Mike’s final comment on the matter, and the wrap-up of his presentation, was that “if you have people who are number crunchers, they are gonna go ‘goo-goo ga-ga’ over this.”

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