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Coming Soon: Best Practices Conference - California and London

Written By: Virgil Carroll
Posted: 2/21/2011

Best Practices Conferences seem to have grown into somewhat of a pillar in the SharePoint community. And with some of the best and brightest in the industry speaking at Best Practices Conferences, its emergence seems at least somewhat merited. At each conference SharePoint users from across the nation bring the latest and greatest discoveries in SharePoint as a result of the blood, sweat and tears they shed in their personal journeys. What did we learn? How did we learn it?  And how can we help others avoid going through the same agony we did? Three days of discussing our greatest triumphs and biggest obstacles, comparing these to our colleagues' and coming to the conclusion that there is no real conclusion. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there isn't any value in having these conversations, but the answer is never absolute (which is why consultants exist!). Let's just say SharePoint has a lot of grey areas. I begin all of my talks at Best Practice Conferences with a simple disclosure; "Best Practices are always situational." Or to put it in even fewer words, "it depends." What works for Company A might not work for Company B, but a little of what Company A does mixed with a little of what Company B does might be exactly what Company C is looking for. This idea is nothing revolutionary, but it is worth repeating, and it is why SharePoint Best Practices Conferences exist.

I look forward to Best Practices Conferences because it not only gives me a chance to share what I've discovered as of late, but it also gives me a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues and hear what they have encountered and learned through their own journeys. It fosters the very idea that SharePoint represents; collaboration. This year I will be venturing to both the Best Practices Conference in LaJolla, California in March and the European Best Practices Conference in London in April. As these events are getting closer, I wanted to give a little preview into what I'll be sharing at my talks. I will be giving four different talks between the two conferences; "New Considerations in SharePoint Security," "Making your Metadata work for you with SharePoint 2010," "Business Intelligence for the Common People" and "Governing your Users with the new SharePoint 2010 UI."

While never a fun topic to talk about, security is one of those things that can rarely, if ever be overlooked. Even though it is such an important consideration, it tends to be one of those topics that everyone passes off to someone else, leaving it as an afterthought until something goes wrong. I have heard some pretty interesting stories about security gone wrong. I will show you how your organization can avoid those pitfalls and create a security plan that neither hinders efficiency nor creates risk. I will be giving this talk at both of the Best Practices Conferences.

While security is often an afterthought, metadata or put in laymens terms, being able to find information is usually the first thing on people's minds when discussing SharePoint. One of the most common things I hear from clients is that they implemented or are implementing SharePoint so their information is more accessible. Then, when we start talking specifics everybody wants their search to work like Google. To which my response tends to be, give me a few billion dollars and 12 years and I'll have that up and running for you. That's not to say that making information 'findable' has to cost this much or take this long. SharePoint 2010 has made vast improvements around managing metadata and search technology, which can in turn make information more findable. Now you can do things like tag documents, "like" documents, rate documents and even create and construct your company's own metadata structure. While these are great improvements, it doesn't mean you plug it in and it works. There is a right way and a wrong way to managing your metadata. I will explore the best practices around managing metadata and we will also take a look at some of the new metadata features of 2010. I will be only giving this talk in California, but if you will be in London and want to talk about metadata, come find me!

Also while I'm in London I will be giving a talk about a word that I don't particularly like; governance. I also like to refer to this talk as taking the government out of governance, but the official title is "Governing your users with the new SharePoint 2010 UI." In this talk we will explore best practices in governing users in SharePoint.

In addition to security, metadata and governance; I will be giving a talk on Business Intelligence Tools. Another great capability of SharePoint is its ability to integrate with different BI tools. We will look at SharePoint's capabilities on its own (SharePoint 2010 Insights) along with third party tools that can be used on top of SharePoint; from the "Chevy to the Cadillac." And don't be fooled into thinking that this talk is only for high level management. It's not, and I will tell you why. This talk I will only be giving in California.

That's about it for now! I will post my slide decks on here after each conference, so check back for those. I have provided links to both of these conferences in case you want to find out more and/or look into attending. I hope to see you there.


Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 2/21/2011 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments