SPC12 SharePoint 2013 Social Sessions Reviews

Recently I have started catching up SPC12 videos while driving to nearly 3 hours commute every day at client site. Instead of worrying about long commute, I had decided to listen to SPC12 videos while driving. Last two weeks, I have been focusing on SharePoint 2013 Social and Search track and as I was listening, I thought it would be nice to share my views regarding quality of sessions.

In past, I didn’t enjoyed Microsoft breakout sessions from Microsoft speakers due to their speaking inexperience but I must say SharePoint 2013 Social track was very well delivered by Microsoft employees. In general, I loved the verity of different topics in Social investment and verity of dedicated deep dives on new features like news feed, sky drive, community, and my sites architecture.

Unlike Chris Givens who rated most of the SPC12 sessions based on PPT decks, I have tried to review Social Sessions (may be Search and WCM sessions in future) by reviewing both PPT decks and listening/Watching/Glancing session Video/Audio materials.

Overall, I have learned lot and along with TechNet and MSDN materials, I believe these sessions would provide great resources to learn new SharePoint 2013 Social experience and under-the-layer architecture details for IT Pros. Although there are sessions covering new CSOM, JSOM, and REST social APIs, unfortunately there isn’t much for On-Premises SharePoint developers and not even single session focusing on server side social APIs.

SPC016 – Deep Dive of the Social Architecture in SharePoint 2013 by Anup Parameswaren

  • 5 stars, Great Session, One of the best in Social track
  • Audience – IT Pros and SharePoint Architects
  • Awesome speaker, This is definitely one of the best session regarding My Sites architecture and how it’s been redesigned in 2013, Great session for IT pro to deep dive into My Sites architecture and how content databases and my sites personal site collections architecture differs from SharePoint 2010. I did attended this session live in Vegas and it was equally good while listening.

SPC069 – Deep Dive on making Your Search Social with SharePoint

  • 3-1/2 stars, Interesting Session with some great ideas but mixed results
  • Audience – IT Pros and SharePoint Architects
  • Interesting session discussing scenarios for personalized experience using XRANK operator, Stream Insight technologies, and Social & Search APIs to target search results based on user profile properties or my site news feed or following content, Very high level and got lost couple of times, “My Experience” or “Personalized Experience” is one of the most commonly requested feature in Social Intranet space and ideas discussed in this session may allow Architects to build personalized social experience using SharePoint 2013 Social and Search features.

SPC082 – Deploying Social in the Enterprise by Chris Gideon

  • 5 stars, Really Good Session, Second half is awesome
  • Audience – IT Pros and SharePoint Architects
  • Awesome speaker, Although first half of the session provides great overview of the Social features, real values lies in second half of the session with planning recommendations for Social deployments in on-premises environment for IT Pro folks, It was nice to see couple of slides dedicated to Distributed Cache and how it plays role in the new Social architecture & Social deployment considerations.

SPC084 – Designing and Building Your Yammer Community

  • 4 stars, Very informative
  • Audience – Business Users
  • This is customer case studies session from Molson-Coors, Manhattan Associates, and Yammer, It was how we adopted Yammer in our organizations and enterprise social best practices session from both internal & customer point of view. Very educative session for business users and social champions.

SPC090 – Building Yammer Solutions in SharePoint and Yammer

  • 4 stars, Very Good Session, Must see for SharePoint and Yammer integration
  • Audience – IT Pros and SharePoint Architects
  • Great speakers, Very good session for the developers to get the overview of different options available to consume Yammer feed from non-Yammer applications and posting to yammer feed from non-Yammer application, great tips for Yammer and SharePoint integration especially if you are planning to adopt cloud based Yammer.com solution and SharePoint 2013 Social on on-premises.

SPC169 – Building Vibrant Communities in SharePoint 2013

  • 5 stars, Great Session, One of the best in Social track
  • Audience – Business Users, Power Users and SharePoint Architects
  • Great demo and great speakers, one of the best sessions I have attended and provides everything what you want to know regarding SharePoint communities, a complete overview of why, where, and how you would use communities, love the format of the session as well to demonstrate features by visitors, owners, and moderators perspective, Great session to demo communities features to business folks, Great reference deck with lots of slides and pictures, Great session to learn how to manage communities and best practices in this space.

SPC184 – Overview of SkyDrive Pro

  • 3-1/2 stars, Informative but could have been better
  • Audience – Business Users, Power Users and SharePoint Architects
  • Great speaker, very long session providing simple yet important technology focusing on how/why My Site personal document library replaced by Sky Drive Pro, Sync architecture for offline document availability, and how it would integrate with Web, Office/BackOffice, and Mobility/Devices/Apps interface, Could have been integrated with My Sites session, Might be a good session to demo Sky drive features to business folks and key reasons why Microsoft invested in Sky Drive Pro for personal document libraries

SPC175 – Overview of Enterprise Social

  • 5 stars, Masterpiece Session
  • Audience – Business Users, Power Users and SharePoint Architects
  • Absolutely most valuable session of the SPC12 social track. If you can’t watch any other sessions, plan to watch at least this session to get the Microsoft ESN offerings overview, Great talk discussing why organizations needs Social, demo of key Yammer and SharePoint 2013 social features, and future roadmap of how Yammer and SharePoint 2013 will be integrated in future.

SPC178 – Overview of Organizing team tasks with SharePoint 2013

  • 5 stars, Masterpiece Session, One of the best sessions
  • Audience – Business Users, Power Users and SharePoint Architects
  • Great speakers and absolutely invaluable and unique session. Although technically Tasks are not social session, SharePoint 2013 wonderfully blurs line between Task Management, Social, and Project Management interfacing through My Sites user interface. Wonderfully organized session in four phases taking us through the theme of organize (tasks and timeline on team site), collaborate (aggregation of all tasks in your my site from SharePoint tasks or workflow list, projects, and exchange via exchange sync using work management system), liberate (tasks across devices and systems), and innovate (integration with outlook & project, new upcoming free “Tasks Board” SharePoint App from market place to display tasks in digital board for agile projects), Great session for business users, power users, and SharePoint architects

SPC183 – Overview of Sharing in SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online

  • 5 stars, Masterpiece Session, One of the best sessions
  • Audience – Business Users, Power Users and SharePoint Architects
  • Great speakers and absolutely invaluable and unique session, Really enjoyed learning about new Sharing feature. Although technically Sharing is not social session, it is one of the key investments affecting all areas of the SharePoint 2013. First half was all about demo and demonstration of key sharing features like site sharing, document sharing, and sky drive pro sharing experience in both SharePoint Online and On-Premises along with external & guest sharing features in SharePoint Online, second half of the session by Gaurav was gem with lots of architectural details and flow charts to explain sharing infrastructure, must listen to Q/A as well, lots of great in-depth feature discussions in both session and Q/A

SPC187 – An Overview of the Personalized SharePoint 2013 Social Experience

  • 3-1/2 stars, Heavy Demo Driven My Sites Overview
  • Audience – Business Users, Power Users and SharePoint Architects
  • Great speakers, it was business focused, demo driven, scenario based session to highlight my sites features – following, everyone newsfeed, mentions, document following, people search and following, sky drive pro features, user profile privacy settings etc., Great session to demo my sites features to business folks, I agree with Chris Givens here and it could have been combined with other My Sites or News Feed sessions, I don’t think it warranted dedicated session, Nothing new except User Profile Privacy settings.

SPC189 – How Yammer and SharePoint are Approaching Social

  • 4 stars, Informative yet interesting session
  • Audience – Business Users, Power Users and SharePoint Architects
  • It was very interesting session – felt like it was partly marketing event, partly very informative, and party little glance at future vision, it was co-presentation from yammer and SharePoint and their vision of how both products will come together, Yammer discussed their open by default social philosophy and breaking down organization, team, apps silos barrier, Yammer showed some of new investments like group suggestions, targeting to groups, people, or even documents, micro blog language translation using SharePoint machine translation service, new page app model, SharePoint showed new SP2013 social investments and also discussed future immediate plans for integrating yammer documents with sky drive pro or Yammer instance messaging replaced by LYNC etc.
  • One of the best takeaway from this session was – Stick with SharePoint 2013 social for On-Premises, go with Yammer if you are using Office 365, regardless of which path you will take – both will bridge down the road.
  • Another key takeaway is – unlike FAST (integrated with SharePoint as Search) or Pro-clarity (integrated with SharePoint as PerformancePoint) products acquired by Microsoft in past, Yammer will continue their investment as SAAS solution and stay as Stand-Alone product like Office Web Apps and provide ESN platform for all Microsoft products like SharePoint, CRM, Exchange etc.

SPC226 – How to Develop Social Applications for SharePoint by Matt McDermott

  • 3 stars, Informative but redundant to SPC227, Disappointed
  • Audience – Developers and SharePoint Architects
  • Great speaker but content are almost similar to SPC227, disappointed because Matt is MVP and had a high expectations from his session being great voice in User Profile customizations space since MOSS 2007, It should be called Develop Social Applications remotely for SharePoint, Didn’t cover anything for On-Premises and Server Side API, mostly focused on JSOM and REST API on how to access news feed, post new notes or replies on news feed, and how to work with user profiles remotely, It wasn’t complete session on how to develop social applications for SharePoint 2013, Watch this session for JSOM and REST APIs for Social.

SPC227 – How to Extend Social in SharePoint 2013 by Andrew Harris

  • 4 stars, Good Session but could have been masterpiece
  • Audience – Developers and SharePoint Architects
  • Much better than Matt McDermott’s SPC226 session, It was really nicely structured and in-depth overview of extending social APIs for User Profiles, Following, and News Feed with major focus on Social CSOM APIs. It’s really unfortunate that Microsoft didn’t have any sessions focusing on server side object model of Social APIs since there has been great investment in new Social SSOM APIs, this session should have been renamed as How to Extend Social in SharePoint 2013 Online. Watch this session for CSOM APIs for Social.

SPC229 – Breaking down the SharePoint 2013 Newsfeed

  • 5 stars, Very Good Session, One of the best in Social track
  • Audience –SharePoint Architects
  • Awesome speakers, interesting interactive session and approach by mixing demo of news feed feature and what’s behind the screen in slides, great reference deck to review what goes behind the screen for user posts, user replies, user likes and where & why data gets stored in different architectural components, Must see session for Architects to deep dive into News Feed architecture

SPC245 – User Profile Synchronization Best Practices in SharePoint Server 2013 by Spencer Harbar

  • 5 Stars, Excellent session, Must see
  • Audience – IT Pros and SharePoint Architects
  • Spence is without doubt great voice and expert in User Profile Sync in SharePoint space. Great overview & along with his blog, this session provides complete overview of new AD Import feature and User Profile Sync approaches for profile import. I have attended this session live at SPC12 and listening again, found it very important resource as future reference

SPC267 – Working with User Profiles in SharePoint Server 2013

  • 3 stars, Informative but redundant to SPC245
  • Audience – IT Pros and SharePoint Architects
  • First half focused on UPS improvement and new AD import method to import user profiles in SharePoint. Second half focused on new product called SharePoint Connector to import user profiles from FIM directly in SharePoint, speaker seems knowledgeable but lost and lacking public speaking experience, got lost many times throughout the session, highly technical session to demonstrate options available to import profiles in SharePoint

SPC269 – Yammer’s Secret Sauce

  • 4 stars, Informative
  • Although it’s not one of the social breakout sessions, it does provide great insight on how Yammer as a organization function internally. Great session from Adam Pisoni providing overview of how Yammer internally works and their philosophy as consumer software organization – cloud only product, non-customizable standard user interface, open by default software, rapid incremental releases, decentralized cross-functional team structure, and flexible decentralized architecture. It’ simply awesome to listen Adam’s passion and how yammer has adapted 21st century corporate life style

Have fun watching and listening them. 🙂

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2 Responses to SPC12 SharePoint 2013 Social Sessions Reviews

  1. Pingback: What’s New in SharePoint 2013 Social – Major Features, Characteristics, and Limitations « Nik Patel's SharePoint World

  2. Pingback: Making decisions on current Microsoft ESN Offerings – SharePoint 2013 Social vs. Yammer, What do we choose right now? « Nik Patel's SharePoint World

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