Well the final 3 days of the conference went by very quickly. Overall I thought the conference was very good. There level of presenters was great. Especially the Microsoft MVPs who presented. Most had a very engaging style of presenting, while there was still a lot of powerpoint, the speakers did their best to make it interesting. The presentation from McKesson, ‘How SharePoint can make you a RockStar’ was very amusing. They’ve even created a site to help others become rockstars!. A lot of the MVPs who wrote ‘Real World SharePoint 2007‘ presented at the conference.
One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation on the Community Kit for SharePoint (CKS). Here communities of developers across the world have given away their time to make some valuable improvements to some of the base webparts of SharePoint. Specifically, the Enhanced Blog Edition (EBE) and Enhanced Wiki Edition (EWE). The EBE turns the basic blog part in MOSS 2007 into one that looks like a blog as opposed to a sharepoint site, see this example. The EWE also takes the basic wiki webpart in MOSS 2007 and it comes much closer to a real wiki solution. The EWE folks are working on a production ready version. While most of the MS software is not open standard, it is refreshing to see that community developed content is possible in MOSS 2007. Making it more attractive to some of our KM objectives.
One of MS customers Skanska USA gave a presentation on how they’ve leveraged MOSS 2007 for collaboration across their company and with their many partners, contractors and customers. The presentation featured Allen Emerick, Director of IT and his developer Steve Lineberry. It was interesting to see an IT led effort to help the business improve its overall collabortion and KM goals. In digging into how sharepoint becomes successful, there is always a ‘vision’ guy/gal and a ‘nuts and bolts’ guy/gal. Both McKesson and Skanska demonstrated this trait. Even our own HDS HR sharepoint team functions this way. I’m really looking forward to see some of the cool stuff they’re planning to do in MOSS 2007.
While I went to the conference a little jaded on SharePoint, after the short comings of 2003. I perhaps have drunk too much of the cool-aid at the conference and now think, there’s nothing you can’t do in MOSS 2007! Which of course is not true. While you can do many things in MOSS 2007, it still needs customization to truly make it fit in at HDS. Reality will soon set in I’m sure.