Australia SharePoint Conference on schedule for return in 2011

The Australia SharePoint Conference & Exhibition will be back in early 2011, after a successful inaugural event at the Sydney Hilton from June 16-17 2010 was attended by more than 600 business and technical professionals from across the country.

(Click HERE for Event Image Gallery)

Conference Convenor Debbie Ireland (pictured at left with fellow organiser Mark Orange) said the dates looked likely to be March 9/10 2011 at the same venue, after overwhelming support from conference attendees and exhibitors for the new industry event. Almost 20% of the attendees came from the government sector.

With almost 200 new registrations taken in the14 days immediately preceding the event, the inaugural Australian Community SharePoint Conference was strongly attended. Microsoft’s Arpan Shah, Director of the SharePoint Technical Product Management team, flew in from Redmond to open the event before a packed house.

Shah provided a detailed walkthrough of the new capabilities of SharePoint 2010, including the enhanced records management capabilities, and its new focus on providing out of the box functionality for public-facing Internet sites as well as collaborative intranet workspaces.

Said Shah, “Microsoft’s strategy is to offer near end-user feature parity for SharePoint 2010 whether as a hosted or on-premise deployment.”

Shah also demonstrated the enhanced ability to connect to line of business (LOB) applications via for instance a two way connection to an SQL database.

According to Ireland, one major drawcard for attendees was the Voice of the Customer sessions that provided presentations of customer implementations.

Said Ireland, “The fact that so many people are registering to hear how other organisations are using SharePoint to deliver major technology and business benefits tells us that SharePoint, be it 2007 or 2010, is about the hottest tech topic around today.”

Conference attendees were split 50/50 between those attending business and technology sessions. Ireland is also proud of the strong female presence, as over 25% of the attendees were women, not typical of a technically focussed event.

Meghan Kemp, conference attendee and Sydney-based Document Controller/SharePoint Administrator at White Energy company, attended the event to assist with determining company requirements in relation to document record keeping, enterprise content management and an intranet portal.

One of the highlights for Kemp was were the sessions presented by Milan Gross, one of the founding partners of Synergy Corporate Technologies, a consulting and training company specialising in SharePoint technologies. “After listening to Milan’s presentations I am totally convinced that SP 2010 plus Office 2010 is the way to go for our company to leverage the out of the box (OOTB) functionality.”

“It was one of the best IT conferences and most useful and applicable seminar I have ever been to since I have been working in IT , document automation and legal firms’ in business systems management. It was inspiring, the presenters were well informed and passionate about their subjects and the general level of the conference was professional and the different “tracks” were all applicable,“ said Kemp.

Stuart Spencer, Sales and Marketing Director at Unique World, said “The conference was a great success for Unique World, as one of the principal sponsors we were lucky enough to have a large stand – this led to a huge amount of interaction with an amazing array of guests. The market has matured a huge amount since the 2007 upgrade cycle, in 2010 the guests were interested in understanding how our Information Management strategy service would help them - before ploughing ahead with the SP2010 technology upgrade. This is different to the 2007 upgrade cycle and illustrates a new level of understanding and maturity in the market around Information Management and its value to their businesses,” he said. 

Hennie Laubscher, Managing Director at K2 ANZ, coommented  “As a Gold Sponsor, we found the event to be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with SharePoint eco-system members whether it be existing K2 Customers, K2 Channel Partners or Prospective Customers. The event also allowed us to learn more about everyone’s ambitions, challenges and realities w.r.t SharePoint 2010-Centric workflow and process automation and at the same time, have valuable discussions on how we can help organisations to achieve more sooner.”