SUGUK Yammer Deep Dive presentation

On Thursday April 30th SUGUK held a London session where I presented a session on Yammer deep dive.

 

Yammer deep dive

Many organisations are considering leveraging Yammer as their Enterprise Social Network (ESN). Office 365 has already taken some steps to integrate the Yammer capabilities by replacing the SharePoint newsfeed and introducing the document conversations. The reality is that these integrations are only the tip of the iceberg with regards the integrations you can achieve with Yammer.
This demo centric session covers in detail the integration options and the steps that a developer or architect can take to bring Yammer into use for a scenario.
We’ll walkthrough:

  • Learn how the Yammer Embed can bring conversations into SharePoint article pages.
  • How to post information into your Yammer network from other systems using OpenGraph.
  • Learn how to use the REST API to discover groups, messages, topics, users and perform advanced searches against the network.
  • Take a look at the cutting edge Azure Logic App and Yammer connector

 

SharePoint Evolutions 2015 presentations

April 20th – 22nd 2015 saw London play host to SharePoint Evolutions conference. It was a great event organised with so many quality speakers and companies in attendance. It was a privilege to be invited to speak again. This year I had two sessions as you can see below.

 

Introducing App Launcher

Delivered by: Wes Hackett

Audience: Office 365, Information Worker, Developer
A new feature of Office 365 is the ‘app launcher’ and ‘my apps’ features. These new features provide a new style of navigation experience where all your apps are available from the Office 365 suite bar and the ability for a user to pin their preferred apps. This session introduces the features and the extensibility approaches to have your own apps interact with it.

 

Yammer development deep dive

Delivered by: Wes Hackett

Audience: Office 365, Developer
Many organisations are considering leveraging Yammer as their Enterprise Social Network (ESN). Office 365 has already taken some steps to integrate the Yammer capabilities by replacing the SharePoint newsfeed and introducing the document conversations. The reality is that these integrations are only the tip of the iceberg with regards the integrations you can achieve with Yammer.
This demo centric session covers in detail the integration options and the steps that a developer or architect can take to bring Yammer into use for a scenario.
We’ll walkthrough:

  • Learn how the Yammer Embed can bring conversations into SharePoint article pages.
  • How to post information into your Yammer network from other systems using OpenGraph.
  • Learn how to use the REST API to discover groups, messages, topics, users and perform advanced searches against the network.
  • Take a look at the cutting edge Azure Logic App and Yammer connector

 

If you were an attendee you can also watch the DVD of the sessions.

SharePoint Evolution Conference 2013

SPEvo13

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For five years running Combined Knowledge have hosted the conference and this years looks to be the best yet.

So why should you attend this conference?

For me the key reasons would be:

  • It will provide you with access to the best SharePoint experts from around the globe
  • You can learn about the latest version of SharePoint 2013 and its key features and applications across the different tracks
  • Meeting up with friends from across the SharePoint community
  • Listen to real-life implementations from the community track speakers
  • You get all the sessions on the DVD
  • The party is always amazing Smile

So if you haven’t already done so make sure you register soon to be in with a shout at one of the many prizes up for grabs. Register here

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I’m lucky enough to be speaking at this years SharePoint Evolution Conference 2013 in London between the 15th and 17th of April 2013.

Bringing SharePoint information into Office through Office Apps

Audience: Developers

Office 2013 introduces new Apps for Office which allows developers to create apps which interact with Word, Excel and Outlook. Using an App for Office we can bring information from within the enterprises SharePoint platform and help users create documents and bring increased value form their SharePoint data. The session will explore some scenarios to bring SharePoint into the Office clients.

My Session is on from 9:45am – 10:45am on the Monday in the Pick and Mix track.

Hopefully I’ll see you there Smile

SUGUK 1st March 2012

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So last night saw the return of the London SUGUK.

Matt Taylor has stepped down as co-coordinator for London and I want to thank Matt for all his efforts and establishing such a great user group.

So Steve Smith started proceedings with some ITPro and End User snippets. Starting with a small 3 slide long PowerPoint he dived straight into some demos.

The demos began with some SMTP love, must admit most of this talk of AD etc went a little over my head so frantic note taking was the order of the day. There were some neat tips about delegating administration via a customised MMC console and how to get around some production system challenges regarding SharePoint self-managing AD stuff.

Next demo came down to SQL Server databases and the fact that SP doesn’t always do the best defaults. I learnt some nice things about pre-creating a SQL database then using Central Admin to ensure that defaults were better suited to a production scale. Also the points about database growth were very interesting and I could see how these could be quickly leveraged to improve performance.

Finally was a quick run through of some Office functionality connecting search into the Office application and how to configure ‘save as’ links from the MySite UPA.

Then a short break in proceedings gave me just enough time to connect up my laptop and hope it played nice with the projector…. something about this W520 hates projectors….

Breathing a sigh of relief I launched into a Dev centric topic of Extending the Activity Feed within SP2010. The demo source code can be downloaded from code download and the slides can be seen below.

Thanks again for Steve for inviting me to present as it’s always a pleasure dusting off Visual Studio and sharing something cool with the SUGUK. Open-mouthed smile

Speaking at the London SharePoint User Group

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The London SharePoint user group kicks off 2012 with Steve Smith and I presenting.

Session 1

 

SharePoint Administration – I always wondered what that was for.

By Steve Smith – Combined Knowledge

In this session Steve is going to help everyone understand some of the quirks and options that we see in SharePoint and what they do/break and how we then go about building the Infrastructure for it. An ideal session for SharePoint Admins and Developers alike. Plus he will throw in some Power user stuff to give everyone something to take away.

Session 2

 

Extending the SharePoint 2010 activity system

By Wes Hackett – Content and Code

Amongst the most anticipated new features of SharePoint 2010 were the social activity feed features which bring colleague activity as a feed to an individual. Natively the activity feed displays user profile changes, tagging and notes activity. Microsoft provides an API to extend the activity feed system with your own content. With this extensibility API it is possible to extend this to include custom activities. In this session we’ll explore the native system and the elements needed to extend it.

When and where?

March 1st

Start Time: 6PM
Finish: 9PM

After the event in a local watering hole.

Unfortunately there may not be food or beverage available for the meeting so please bring any drinks with you just in case.

Location:
Cavendish Conference Centre
22 Duchess Mews
London W1G 9DT

http://www.cavendishconferencevenues.co.uk/west-end-conference-venues/location/

Sign up… http://suguk.org/forums/thread/28133.aspx

See you there….Open-mouthed smile

SharePoint Saturday 2011

SPSUK

Saturday 12th November saw the 2011 SharePoint Saturday at Nottingham’s Conference Centre. Another great event organised with so many quality speakers and companies in attendance.

I presented a session on Social Intranet and the slides can be seen below. I hope everyone found the session useful Smile I certainly enjoyed presenting to such an interactive audience.

Just goes to thank everyone involved in the organisation and planning for the event, it was awesome again SmileSmile

Speaking at SharePoint Saturday UK

SharePointSaturdayBanner.jpg

SharePointSaturdayBanner

I’m pleased to announce my SPS2011 session called ‘Putting you at the centre of the social intranet’.

With users experiencing contextual information like never before with use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn how can we utilise these concepts for our intranet. The session will introduce the social intranet, provide some examples in SharePoint 2010 and then cover the challenges and benefits.

My session is part of the ‘Social’ track, see the full agenda for all the other top sessions planned.

If you haven’t yet signed up to attend the SharePoint Saturday 2011 visit the registration site – SharePoint Saturday 2011

Look forward to seeing you there Smile

Speaking at the SharePoint Best Practices 2011

BPCUK

I’m lucky enough to be speaking at this years SharePoint Best Practices 2011 conference in London between 11th and 13th of April. Catch my session on Monday 11th April between 10 and 11 in the ‘Wesley’ room.

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My session is part of the popular community track, see the full agenda for all the other top sessions planned.

My session is called ‘Putting you at the centre of Tesco’ and will be covering the SP2010 implementation for Tesco. This system is a new collaboration platform covering 16 countries, up to 50,000 end users by 2011. The design of this intranet is quite different from traditional business unit focussed implementations that represent the business hierarchy. For Tesco we have used the MySite as the default landing page for every user so that they get a fully personalised view of their Tesco role. Centred around the SP2010 activity feed system the home page displays activity from not only the OOB social and profile information but also extensions for ECM data. The activity feed has been extended to display activity within the team collaboration spaces giving the user a real flow of activity from their teams into one place.

If you haven’t yet signed up to attend the Best Practices Conference I’d go and read more on the conference site – European SharePoint Best Practices Conference 2011

SharePoint Governance and Information Architecture Master Class

SPIAUK

The SharePoint project jigsaw

 

I’ve been working with SharePoint since early 2007 in mainly technically focused roles. Throughout this adventure I’ve delivered public websites, built an accessibility framework over MOSS, implemented Commerce Server for an internet shop. One thing that has always been the most challenging aspect is translating the user requirements and overlaying them onto the technical capability of the SharePoint platform.

To be honest as vast and deeply complicated as SharePoint can be, from a coding aspect it’s actually not that complex. I guess what I mean by that is that learning the API calls required to build a web part, provision a feature or enable something is well catered for by MSDN and the welcoming nature of the SharePoint community. Building projects on SharePoint becomes part muscle reflex, part learning curve and thus remains complicated but not really complex.

In late October 2009 I moved into a new role as a Solutions Architect. At Content and Code this role is more clearly focused on the solution big picture and the business side of project delivery. As such they provide some personal development training to help individuals identify and improve their own personal performance levels. This is extremely helpful but still leaves a hole in the big jigsaw of SharePoint projects.

The missing piece

 

I had the pleasure of working on a large programme of work for RNIB with Andrew Jolly. Andrew introduced me to Paul Culmsee’s blog and some of the techniques such as dialogue mapping. Witnessing first-hand the application of the techniques described on Paul’s comprehensive set of articles enticed me to learn more about this missing ‘solution governance’ jigsaw piece.

So when 21Apps announced the SharePoint 2010 Governance and Information Architecture Master Class featuring Paul I couldn’t get signed up fast enough! The course content was exactly what I’d been hunting for, something that tackles the human factor of SharePoint project success.

My current project is a a very complex multi-country collaboration deployment with a large amount of custom development. I had high hopes that the course would arm me with the techniques to make the project even more successful. Expectations set……

The course

 

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You can see the full details about the course content from the event page. After all the attendees has settled  we went around the room and introduced ourselves and explained what we thought were the hardest parts of any SharePoint project. It was great to here so many non-developer roles in the room had some consistent challenges with SharePoint projects.

In general most people felt that navigating expectations, end user adoption and on-going use were by far the most complex elements of the projects they had been involved in. A big sigh of relief, I wasn’t alone Smile

Module 1: SharePoint Governance f-Laws

The first module covered the SharePoint f-Laws. An f-Law explains the less visible SharePoint governance factors. Each f-Law was actually quite amusing, if I’d been playing f-Law bingo I’d have been shouting full house. Rather than bring despair I actually found a great weight lifting as the realisation that the techniques about to be learnt were aimed at solving these problems.

Key take away for me were:

  • Governance is just a means to get from where you are to where you aspire to be.
  • Opportunity driven problem solving, people need to try a solution to understand a problem.
  • Platitude, those statements usually reserved for marketing types which don’t really say anything tangible. Collaboration being a great example of something that needs expanding to validate.
  • Shared understanding is key to success.
  • Current understanding of governance is mainly about service delivery and quality assurance.

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Module 2: The Shared Understanding Toolkit part one

The second module introduced the tools you can employ to combat the f-Laws. This module focused us on the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the solution. It introduced the IBIS dialogue mapping technique as an aid to eliciting requirements. I really enjoyed this particular module as it was interesting to hear how Paul had leveraged them on a wide variety of projects many not even IT related.

Module 3: The Shared Understanding Toolkit part two

Module three moved onto the ‘who’ and ‘how’ areas. We learnt how to apply the tools to the ‘who’ and ‘how’ factors, a key point was the Beer KPI. Can you test your explanation in a beer drinking time. Yes is good, no is bad. I’ve already tried this test, and it works a treat.

Module 4: Information Architecture trends, lessons learned and key SharePoint challenges

The fourth module discussed some of the problems propagating directly from the Microsoft governance information. The key point to this was the fact the MS material was almost exclusively aimed at the technical implementation and quality assurance aspects of SharePoint.

Module 5: Information organisation and facets of collaboration

The fifth module covered some of the Information Architecture. The module was a useful discussion about the common mistakes and identifying the warning signs that lead to failure.

Module 6: Information Seeking, Search and metadata

Module six was more directly related to SharePoint, refreshing that it was nearly 3/4 of the course before we had actually discussed any kind of SharePoint specific technicals. SP2010’s search was explored and the different competing views on its use highlighted.

Module 7: Shared understanding and visual representation – documenting your Information Architecture

The seventh and final module was about using the tools and techniques to visualise the information for the stakeholders. Another new Wireframe tool was introduced and we attempted to replicate the wireframe of the standard SP2010 team site.

I’m not sure I felt quite at ease using an electronic tool to wireframe. My personal preference would still be paper, going in prepared with some outline SP2010 pages which the content can be added to has in my experience been quicker. Then share those afterwards. But I guess I’ll still give it a go in the new year Smile

Final thoughts

 

I really enjoyed the course, Paul is a very engaging and enthusiastic presenter and brought some really humorous examples into the slides. The death star IBIS map being my particular favourite.

Did it meet my expectations? Well I’d have to say that it far exceeded them. There had obviously been a large amount of effort in preparing the courseware and modules. They covered the important missing links currently absent from the Microsoft and traditional training courses.

The tools presented give any solution designer a real advantage in getting requirements and being able to translate them into something meaningful. I’ve already been ‘dipping my toes in the pool’ on my current project and it has already shown benefits. In one session it became apparent that one technical solution had already been chosen without discussion of further options. With the dialog map in front of the group it was easy to highlight the need to open further discussion and unpack the problem more.

With so much material to absorb and apply I think it’ll take a few more months to fully utilise everything that was taught but I feel like the course left me in a really strong place. Being able to focus my enthusiasm and drive for project success and bring my client team along the journey is going to be fun.

So it just goes to say congratulations and many thanks again to Paul and Andrew, and to look forward to the next instalment.

This course has been the most insightful two days of my SharePoint career.

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