Catching up: Notes from CSPUG meeting at SPFest Chicago 2014

Oh my! A whole month has gone by since SharePoint Fest Chicago 2014 (12/8 to 12/10, 2014).  Before time gets away from me entirely, there are just a couple of points that I wanted to share from the Chicago SharePoint Users Group meeting that I helped organize the first night of SharePoint Fest (12/8/2014).

We had a great panel discussion which was lead by MVP Dan Holme, and featured the following panelists:

  • Tamara Bredemus
  • Brian Culver (MCM: SharePoint)
  • John Head (PSC)
  • Sarah Haase
  • Wes Preston
  • Mike Fitzmaurice (Nintex)

Dan and the audience asked them a variety of questions, and I thought some key take-aways were:

  • Microsoft is investing heavily in Office 365.  From my notes, I have the order of magnitude thrown around as “hundreds of millions of dollars”.
  • The roadmap for O365 changes is published at
  • The panel (I forget which panelist) foresees a new IT role that is responsible for following the service change announcements from Microsoft (for example, those in the O365 Roadmap) and figuring out how those impact the business and what to do about it.
  • The IT Pro Network on Yammer was recommended.  It’s a good place to discuss everything O365.
  • The App Model is ready.  I believe the question about the readiness of the App Model for use was asked at the CSPUG meetings at SharePoint Fest 2012 and 2013, and the consensus from those panelists was that it wasn’t.  Ignoring the difference in the panelist, it would appear that the App Model has hit a milestone.
    • Another indicator of this is that MVP Andrew Connell, who used to teach SharePoint full trust code development, now considers full trust code to be “legacy”.  Listen to Episode 62 of the Microsoft Cloud Show.
    • However, the counterpoint to be aware of is that the app model APIs that are available in an On-Premise SP 2013 installation are not as current as the app model APIs that are part of O365.
  • Semi-weekly releases of service upgrades break stuff.  However, this is a problem with all cloud vendors, not just Microsoft.
  • How does the user community get its voice heard?  Let the MVPs know what issues and frustrations you have, and they will aggregate them and communicate them back to the product teams.  Of course, the IT Pro Network on Yammer is another forum, as is the O365 Forum on UserVoice.