This is the blog post I’ve been dreading, the one immediately following the SharePoint Conference. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend SPC09. I could still blog about SharePoint 2010 though, my friends, real and virtual, kept me informed during the conference to the point that I feel like I was there. Still, blogging about SP2010 should be their privilege.
Fortunately, the New York Times, aided by Apple and Google, threw this blog a life preserver. They published an article in which they drone on about how Microsoft missed the boat, fell behind the curve and is moving too slow. My SharePoint side wants to yell “tell that to the 7,000 plus folks in Vegas”. My cynical side wants to point out that this is the NY Times criticizing Microsoft for being too slow to respond to emerging technology. I’ll give you a few minutes to lookup synonyms for “irony” and then I’m going to ask you to think about the real world around you; perhaps you will agree that, if anything, Microsoft is moving too fast. OK, not too fast, but you can agree that most people haven’t begun to fully use what Microsoft, and particularly SharePoint has to offer today.
If Microsoft were really being left in the dust by technology craving consumers, why do they have to “announce” that SharePoint 2010 won’t work with IE6? Why do they have to caution people about trying to use Office 2003 with SharePoint 2010? Why am I barraged with email and cold calls from vendors wanting to help me “prepare for Exchange 2007”? Seriously, look around your home and your office and ask “how fast is this marketplace really moving?” Yes, I know Macs are cool and my daughter’s iPhone makes my WinMo-based Smartphone look pathetic and millions of people are using the on-going beta of Google Apps. But, others are upgrading their Fax machines, plugging along on XP and I drive past hundreds people in New England toll plazas who still don’t have an EZ-Pass! The real world is trying to get some work done and however much it pains those of us in IT, most of them are happy with yesterday’s technology.
Some of my colleagues will return from Vegas and begin blogging, authoring and preparing for the demand for expertise in SP 2010 – those would be the consultants. Most of my peers will be drafting a business case for SP 2010 in their free time while still trying to get their users to actually adopt the features in MOSS 2007. Oh, and to my consultant connections, you might want to practice the phrase “this would work better if you upgraded”; I think it’s in your future.
We make excellent use of SharePoint in our company but I could continue expanding SP’s presence without upgrading well into the future. We will upgrade early to SharePoint 2010. We’re small, the product is covered by Software Assurance and we have an awesome network admin who can’t wait to move us forward. My challenge during that process will be to first assure people that “nothing is really changing” with respect to our daily business. Then, I will point out individual new features to those people who are struggling with weaknesses in the current version. Then we will rebuild a few sites and build a few new ones to highlight the true benefit – I’m going to focus on the expanded services because, let’s face it, Excel still rules the office.