Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Mihai Corbuleac, Pat Romanski, David Bermingham

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Drawing a Bead on SharePoint

Top 25 SharePoint influencers: Social influence nicely collides with collaboration clouds

Educating technology markets and communities is now, more than ever, a function of influence, social media, digital word of mouth -- and of cultivating an ecosystem of trusted collaboration. The role of social media and the power of personal connections have really become dominant forces in how people learn how to find and use technology.

This is such a major departure from the past — marketing has changed more in the last 5 years than the previous 50 — that any instruction on what actually works best these days is highly prized.

Therefore, I’ve been keenly interested in how the hottest new wave of marketing — digital social influence -- intersects with one the hottest areas of cloud computing — software-as-a-service (SaaS) collaboration and documents/objects sharing.

Can Microsoft, which itself is undergoing wrenching transitions, be as good at the new marketing ways as in the past?

Do these new waves double-up, cancel out, create an interference pattern, or harmonize in new and valuable ways? I really want to know.

So I helped guide the creation of a list of the top 25 U.S. SharePoint influencers, recently unveiled at the recent SharePoint 2014 Conference in Las Vegas. The effort was sponsored by harmon.ie, the provider of a collaboration app for a single-screen, seamless user experience anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Here’s the full list.

I’ll be doing a BriefingsDirect podcast soon with a panel of these newly identified influencers on SharePoint challenges and opportunities to help find out what matters most in the SharePoint ecosystem.

I’ve been an avid observer of Microsoft for more than 20 years. At one time, there was no better company in all of IT at marketing and evangelizing into multiple user bases: developers, channel, independent software vendors (ISVs), end users, and enterprises.

But what about now, given that the evangelizing game has changed so much? Can Microsoft, which itself is undergoing wrenching transitions, be as good at the new marketing ways as in the past? Again, I really want to know.

Tip of the arrow

Industry influencers are the tip on the arrow of how social media can be a positive force for sharing knowledge — whether it’s on Twitter or blogs or at events. With influencers, I benefit from them and they benefit from me. This is the same for anyone engaged in social media. So it’s really a powerful way to learn and to then add something to that learning process to then make it almost a hive-mentality or ecosystem-mentality affair.

It’s no surprise that of the top 25 SharePoint influencers that we identified, 48 percent are SharePoint specialists or consultants. The other two major categories are senior executives and SharePoint architects/engineers/developers. And gender equality had a good year, as the growth in women SharePoint influencers over the previous year -- up to 4 spots and 16 percent of the list -- marks a significant rise over only 1 female influencer on the 2013 list.

It’s the people in the know, in the trenches, that see both the forest and trees that influence the way markets learn.

It’s the people in the know, in the technology trenches, that see both the forest and trees that can then effectively influence the way markets learn.

So I am very bullish on the role of influencers as a spark or catalyst for larger social interactions and for new wave knowledge transfer. Those social interactions in a discrete community like the SharePoint ecosystem are a big part of what drives innovation, and can help users as well as supplier companies understand the best course for products and services.

Of course, the role of SharePoint, Yammer, and Office 365 is rapidly shifting into more of a cloud-collaboration, hive offering itself. So how apropos for it to use social influence to evangelize tools that consequently promote social influence and knowledge sharing?

You have to remember that SharePoint, once likened to a corporate intranet, is extending into a cloud platform with SharePoint 2013. It’s far more integratable. And, there are rich features for security and versioning of file data. Exchange is also becoming predominately cloud-oriented in its new function drive.

Boundaries blurring

The boundaries then between all these Microsoft communications “products” are blurring because they are increasingly bundles of cloud data services.

Marketing products is so 1990s. Letting the social-hive support a fast-evolving hive of cloud-based collaboration services is so now. That’s why Microsoft must become adept at social and must properly influence the influencers. There’s no better way to scale down its cloud services — SharePoint and Office 365 chief among them. Single office/home office (SOHO) and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are where these services should grow like crazy, especially for those used to working with Exchange, Outlook, and Office. They will be guided by their chosen social milieu and peers, not by Microsoft’s spec sheets and sales force.

So check out the list of top SharePoint influencers, and also consider how the role of influencers is not so much outsized as right-sized. As companies and workers seek better collaboration and coordination among themselves, they will look to among themselves for the best means. SharePoint needs to be this chosen common controlled hive for employees, especially through the mobile tier.

The voice of the community, whether it’s around a product or service or an industry or a vertical market, should be really important to vendors like Microsoft.

And look for our BriefingsDirect podcast soon with a panel of these latest influencers. Many are returning because this is the third consecutive annual list of SharePoint influencers.

It seems to me that the voice of the community, whether it’s around a product or service or an industry or a vertical market, should be really important to vendors like Microsoft. They should be, I think, pretty sensitive to learning from the community, and I hope the community takes the opportunity to voice its opinion and make its requirements known as these companies produce new products and adjusts their strategies.

But this is a time where change is ripe, and Microsoft is in a position to react in a way that only benefits the users. The influencers can certainly show them how.

You may also be interested in:

More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit y...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) will feature the upcoming 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in a New York news documentary about the "New IT for the Future." The documentary will cover how big companies are transmitting or adopting the new IT for the future and will be filmed on the expo floor between June 7-June 9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. KBS has long been a leader in the development of the broadcasting culture of Korea. As the key public service broadcaster of Korea...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will discuss the vast to...