Five Things I Learned from SharePoint Saturday Honolulu

I attended my first SharePoint Saturday event, and only in Honolulu, Hawaii can a Saturday event be held on a Friday. What did I learn from this event? Five things.

1. Dux Raymond Sy Is an Asian Original

Who is Dux Raymond Sy? That name hits you first – Dux? I had seen that name at Barnes & Nobles on the book SharePoint 2010 for Project Management. At first glance, I thought he was Chinese, but then Dux says he’s from the deep south, Manila. Hmmm, but then he references the Korean pop star PSY. In any case, he’s all Asian.

Then @meetdux starts playing his list of songs – electronic, techno, and dance remixes. Once the music pumps the audience and himself up, Dux goes to work, ripping into his keynote “How to Inspire, Transform, and Drive Purposeful Collaboration.” #ShiftHappens he yells but alas, he didn’t break into a rap. Wait, this keynote and event was about Microsoft SharePoint? It didn’t matter to Dux as he started the revolution for purposeful collaboration and enterprise social. You feeling the love, y’all?

Lead the revolution!
Lead the revolution!

2. SharePoint Doesn’t Suck. You Suck.

sharepoint-sucksLater in the day, Dux gets to the point SharePoint users secretly think – SharePoint sucks. But then he fires back, “No, you suck!” It’s all a matter of perspectives. In the context of expectations and requirements for SharePoint, we really do suck. We expect this platform to do everything well and alleviate all our business pain points yet we (meaning organizations) never spend the time to figure out our requirements.

3. What Is Enterprise Social?

Getting social into the enterprise doesn’t mean bringing in Twitter, Facebook, or Yammer. It’s all about the business and using social in the enterprise to address the business needs. That last part is all the difference.

What is enterprise social?
What is enterprise social?

On the topic of social (not enterprise social), there wasn’t much social traffic on #SPSHNL, the Twitter hashtag for the event.

Granted, attendees were recommended to join the Yammer channel for this event so maybe that’s where the social happened?

4. Maximize SharePoint Out of the Box

In more than one breakout session, I heard the tenet of maximizing the out-of-the-box features of SharePoint first and foremost. If you can’t make it work with SharePoint’s built-in features, look for third party solutions then lastly custom develop a solution. The main reason for this rationale is cost and sustainability of SharePoint. Custom solutions cost more upfront and to maintain over the long haul. So the push is to learn SharePoint and its feature set and frame your solutions knowing SharePoint’s full potential (SharePoint Designer included).

5. You Are Not Alone and Winning Makes Everything Okay

Okay, I won’t say SharePoint sucks, but it’s kinda funny (bordering on tragically funny) sitting among other SharePoint users, managers, and admins who share similar stories and experiences about how SharePoint sucks isn’t ideal. I don’t know how to explain it, but it felt like I was in a SharePoint support group airing out issues, trying to cope, and not feeling isolated.

So maybe SharePoint is just okay, not delighting or enchanting, with some esoteric features, but you’re not alone if you think so. And there are prizes. Winning makes everything okay.

Prize list from SPSHNL

Thanks Hawaii SharePoint User Group for hosting this event and please bring back Dux for more events.

Bonus. Here’s a sixth thing I learned from SharePoint Saturday Honolulu. I learned how to describe this shape in words without using the terms square, triangle, or diamond.

How would you describe this shape?
How would you describe this shape?