2014 Activities Wrap up

It is the last day of 2014; it has been an exciting year for me. It was full of community activities, meeting new people and travelling to different countries.

I participated in many SharePoint events as a speaker:

    1. SP 24, 17 April
    2. SharePoint Saturday Gulf (Arabic), 12 April
    3. European SharePoint Conference at Barcelona, 5-8 May
    4. London Yammer User Group, 16 October
    5. Office 365 Saturday Europe, 15 November
    6. SharePoint Saturday UK, 29 November

I participated as a panel member in various #CollabTalk TweetJam throughout the year (see the impressions of the last TweetJam)

I was honoured to be in the Top 25 European SharePoint Influencer award. The award was announced in European SharePoint Conference at Barcelona.

In 2015, I have some speaking engagements planned

    1. SharePoint Europe Webinar: SharePoint Information Architecture for End Users, 20 January
    2. SharePoint Saturday Stockholm 2015, 14 February
    3. Power BI – SPChat – SharePoint Community, 30 April
    4. SPBiz | The SharePoint Business Virtual Conference, 17 June

In addition to the speaking engagements, I am planning to put more time and effort into my YouTube channel SharePoint4MEA to create more Arabic content.

Happy New Year

Presenting at January SharePoint Europe Webinar

I am really excited to participate again in the SharePoint Europe webinars. I will be presenting on 20 January 2015 – 10 AM GMT.

This time it is a business focused topic.

SharePoint Information Architecture for End Users

This session will help business users to understand how SharePoint structure its content and how to store the content in a way to enable them to find it easily and quickly. We will explain SharePoint containment hierarchy, taxonomy and  the information architecture that is very crucial for enterprise content management solutions.

Register here now

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Is SharePoint not a public website platform anymore?

Update 19 December: Microsoft confirmed it is dropping the Public Website feature from SharePoint Online on January 2015.
Information about upcoming changes to SharePoint Online Public Website 
Microsoft confirms it is dropping Public Website feature from SharePoint Online | ZDNet

SharePoint has been evolving over the years to a multi-pillar platform. It acts like a Swiss knife with loads of features that address business problems.

One of the core pillars in SharePoint is Web Content Management. Since SharePoint 2007, Microsoft is promoting SharePoint as a platform for building public facing websites. Although it was not delivering a lot of web content management features that are available in other incumbent products like WordPress, Sitecore, and Joomla…etc.

However, SharePoint managed to find its way into large enterprises websites. Microsoft was highlighting, if the organisation is using SharePoint internally and externally, a) it is easy to integrate the intranet and the website, and b) less training is required for content authors and IT because they can use the same skill set for the website and the intranet.

Microsoft invested a lot in web content management features in SharePoint 2010, then add more enhancements in SharePoint 2013 to support SEO, friendly URLs, videos, managed navigation and HTML 5.

Currently, Microsoft is focusing on the new strategy “Cloud first, Mobile first”, and after SharePoint 2013 Microsoft is putting all its efforts in SharePoint inside Office 365.

Microsoft is offering public website in Office 365 but it is very basic and targeting small and midsize business.

I am following the Microsoft marketing materials, speaking to the product teams, and watching all the investment in Office 365 through different sources one of them is the Office 365 Yammer network. It is evident that Microsoft doesn’t invest in the web content management features in SharePoint, and all the focus is on the collaboration features, Enterprise Social and the Office 365 platform.

Microsoft is not investing a penny in public websites features in SharePoint. In addition, the article published by Mary Jo Foley is stressing the same conclusion.

My opinion that Microsoft is promoting hosting public websites on Microsoft Azure regardless what is the technology. If you explore the websites are available in Microsoft Azure, you can find DNN, WordPress, Drupal, Orchard and much more.

Also if you are looking for an advanced website platform that offers marketing tools, A/B testing and campaigns management in addition to the content publishing features, Microsoft is promoting Sitecore. Sitecore is Microsoft ISV partner of the year 2014; its platform can be hosted on-premise and in Microsoft Azure. It is based on Microsoft technology stack; ASP.Net and SQL Server.

Watch out this space and let’s see how Microsoft is going to address this issue and its response to the customers’ feedback.