Following the success of the SharePoint Saturday East Bay event, the San Francisco SharePoint User Group put together a special Ask the Experts session with several of the SPSBAY presenters. The panel included myself, SFSPUG leader Brad Maust, CEO of High Monkey Consulting and popular speaker -- Virgil Carroll, architect at StorSimple and former PM on Microsoft’s SQL/SharePoint Customer Advisory Team -- Burzin Patel, and co-founder of the DC SPUG and architect – Gary Blatt, and of course our moderator and CEO of Kiefer Consulting (who also plays a mean flute) – Greg Kiefer. Missing from the panel was DR/BC expert and one of the architects of the BPOS-D platform, Mike Watson of SeriousLabz, who had to meet with some local customers and could not make the event.
Greg broke up the night by diving the topics into 6 areas of focus, and kept the dialog flowing with the audience. He only lost control a couple dozen times, so overall it went well. At one point, Virgil and I got into a passionate discussion around social computing and metadata, but eventually decided – against our better judgment – that we were in agreement: failure to plan for metadata and taxonomy, more than any other feature or area within SharePoint, will lead to an unsuccessful SharePoint deployment. This is especially true within SharePoint. I love the fact that Virgil regularly tells people in his SharePoint Saturday sessions that unless they start with a metadata strategy in SharePoint 2010, they should turn off the Managed Metadata Service. Leaving it on without a plan and valid governance model is a huge mistake.
Great audience, lots of participation, and a fun panel overall. I hope to do more of these in the near future, because I always learn a lot from them. Ask the Expert sessions are a reminder that no single person knows everything about SharePoint – especially not SharePoint 2010, where even the “experts” are learning in real-time.
Musical Note: I came across the band Keane a couple years back, and am always refreshed by their music. I put them into the same general category as Travis, South, and the more well-known Coldplay. But Keane have a much more lively and energetic sound that simply energizes me without overwhelming me with a wall of sound. Great driving music. Listening to the album ‘Under the Iron Sea’ right now, and the song ‘Is It Any Wonder?’ Love it.