I’m sitting at Boston’s Logan airport on my way to London and reflecting on the last three days of SPTechCon 2012. I’ve been around the world a few times, but this is my first trip to this historic city. And what a beautiful city it is! I love the colonial-style architecture, and there are some amazing buildings within walking distance of the Westin Copley, the hotel where I was staying and where the conference was held. I was hoping to walk the Freedom Trail, but these events keep us so busy so I didn’t get a chance. I did accomplish my goal of eating some New England Clam Chowder (or is it Chowdah?) and Boston Cream Pie, though, both of which were delightful!
At the conference, it’s so nice to meet up with the regulars who speak at events like this. They are my second family, and it makes the time away from my first family much more manageable. Plus, the attendees were so welcoming and friendly – no doubt there is a vibrant community here! Activity wise, we had several things planned. On Tuesday, I did a fun Q&A with Andrew Connell of Critical Path Training, moderated by AvePoint’s Vice President of Product Marketing Mary Leigh Mackie. We discussed the new Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Preview, what we learned at the conference, and our most memorable SharePoint moment. (Mine is very special, but you’ll have to ask me if you want to know J) In case you didn’t hear, we announced a new partnership with our Critical Path Training friends. You can read more about that here.
We did a book signing for my latest title, and as usual we ran out of books before we ran out of people. But, I always enjoy the short conversations I have with attendees during these sessions, and I genuinely acknowledge and appreciate the patience for those who had to wait in the long line.
My speaking session was on Wednesday morning, bright and early at 8:30am. I was giving one of my most popular sessions: Sizing Content Databases, Understanding the Limits. As I expected, the questions conversations generated a lot of fun conversation and the warm feedback from the attendees is always welcomed. For those that want the slides from this, you can access them here: http://slidesha.re/tZoLY0.
Aside from that, here are some of the key takeaways I had from the event.
1- Bouncers in Boston are quite serious. Several people were not allowed into the bar for SharePint on Monday night. For anyone out of state, you need to have a secondary ID. And, if you’re a foreigner without a US-issued ID (such as AvePoint Chief Evangelist and SharePoint MVP Jeremy Thake), they don’t let you in at all. Yikes! We retreated to the hotel bar to finish off the night.
2- When Steve Fox asked the crowd during Monday’s keynote how many people expect to upgrade to SharePoint at its RTM release, only a few hands went up. While I didn’t expect a large number, I did expect more than a handful.
3- I asked many others at the event what they think about the new App model in SharePoint. Consensus is that developers like it in principle, but it will be a major learning curve and the integration points with SharePoint could present some challenges that are easy today.
4- While we have lots of great competitors that keep us on our toes, we are on top of our game. There was a lot of AvePoint buzz, in particular with Jeremy’s demo during Monday’s keynote and his and Mary Leigh’s keynote on Wednesday. Over and over again, I kept hearing how we are the most mature of all infrastructure management and governance vendors. The community is seeing our vision, love where our Governance Automation product is going, and we are so grateful for its validation and support!
Did you attend SPTechCon Boston this year? Do you have any feedback or thoughts to share about the event? Be sure to write your comments below.