Resetting SharePoint Expectations Event Summary (Part 1)

By Quentin Christensen posted 06-07-2014 14:39


In May I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Resetting SharePoint Expectations, three AIIM seminars in Toronto, New York, and Washington D.C. As a Program Manager working on SharePoint for Microsoft, I helped answer questions and to end the events I also presented a one hour Q&A.

Resetting SharePoint Expectations was a daylong event that was free for attendees. Overall I was impressed, the events were well organized, informative, and a lot of fun.

AIIM President John Mancini opened each seminar with a 30 minute presentation on Turning Information Chaos into Information Opportunity. John explained that he gets two common complaints. Why is AIIM always pimping for SharePoint and why is AIIM so hard on SharePoint? As a nonprofit that helps organizations turn their information chaos into information opportunity, I think this shows AIIM is doing their job by presenting both sides of the SharePoint story.

Here are some interesting quotes from John’s keynote:

1.       “Information is leaking out of the organization at every turn via devices that weren’t even invented when we put our systems in place.”

2.       “The volume of ‘stuff’ we are trying to manage is rapidly spinning out of control.”

3.       “Maximizing our SharePoint investment is proving more difficult than we thought.”


I found three interesting key points:    

1.       Consumerization is transforming what users expect from applications and how we deliver them.

2.       Cloud and mobile are creating an expectation of anywhere, anytime access.

3.       The future is flat and agile, not hierarchical and slow.


I would be remiss if I didn’t also share John’s legacy to information management, Mancini’s Law:

Organizations are systems of information networks. They only operate effectively when there are clear and predictable information flows within and between these networks.

50% annual growth in the volume of digital information means that these networks – and especially the points of connection between them – will become increasingly unstable.

Without intervention, the resulting #infochaos will threaten the viability of the entire system.

You can see the slides from the keynote on SlideShare: Turning Information Chaos into Information Opportunity.

Many organizations have SharePoint and are using it in some capacity. You need to think about how SharePoint fits into your organization so you can create information management opportunities instead of chaos.

After the keynote, companies such as Kodak alaris, HP, KnowledgeLake, EMC, K2 and Fujitsu presented various topics for 15 minutes each. Every hour there was a break where attendees could visit vendors and ask questions. Then there was 15 minutes where attendees would ask presenters questions. 

Here are a few takeaways I had from the 15 minute presentations:

1.       SharePoint is a platform, look to customization and partners to help you complete your end to end solutions. One example is document scanning. Several example companies were showcased that used scanning integration with SharePoint to help them digitize paper, save money, and increase efficiency.

2.       SharePoint has a powerful workflow engine, but simple workflow design tools. Workflow design tools from organizations such as Nintex and K2 can help you unlock the power of workflow.

3.       Optical character recognition is another area where you can leverage apps built on SharePoint. Extract text from scanned images so you can search the data in SharePoint.

4.       Metadata extraction and automatic classification can help you avoid human errors and improve search. This is also an area where there are apps built on SharePoint that you should consider.

There was also a lot of talk about information governance and how you need it before you deploy SharePoint, but SharePoint is lacking in information governance features. SharePoint has several out of box features to help with information governance such as taxonomy, site policy, and information management policies. But you need to plan how you will use these capabilities. You may find opportunities where 3rd party applications built on SharePoint can improve your information governance strategy. My key takeaway for you is learn about SharePoint before you deploy, while you deploy, and after you deploy. SharePoint is huge, you will probably be surprised with all of the capabilities available to you. Learn about the capabilities, identify any requirements that are critical that are not available out of box, and then look for partners that can help you meet those requirements.

Thanks for reading, but wait there’s more! I not only attended, but also did a Q&A to end the events. We asked attendees at the Resetting SharePoint Expectations seminars what movie, show, or book describes SharePoint. The responses may surprise you, watch for my next post where I will share what the audience said and my responses.

A common question I heard at the events was where do I learn more about SharePoint? Well you are in luck. I actually wrote a post about this recently on my blog: Quentin on Compliance, eDiscovery, and ECM.

Here are a few resources to help you get started. - Find tons of demos and presentations from past SharePoint Conferences. - The SharePoint Enterprise Content Management blog has an overview of many ECM features.

AIIM Training: Managing Records & eDiscovery in SharePoint 2013- upcoming training from AIIM

Microsoft SharePoint Certifications - certifications from Microsoft search for end user SharePoint articles– search for IT focused articles – search for developer focused articles


Also get involved in AIIM and your local SharePoint user group. Networking with other people dealing with SharePoint will help you learn more, be more, and do more.

Quentin Christensen, Program Manager, Microsoft

#Collaboration #sharepoint #InformationGovernance #ECM #EnterpriseContentManagement #SharePoint