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Are you Wondering? Or Are you Wandering?

July 20, 2011 Leave a comment

I had an interesting conversation the other day with a colleague, – a colleague who is from a Central European country. I’m not sure which one, exactly, but we were speaking about some new business ideas for SharePoint Directions, and she asked me if I was still wondering what to do.  The thing is, though, that due to her accent, I wasn’t sure if she used the word “Wondering”, or the word “Wandering”.  Even to hear her say the two words separately a few minutes later, my untrained and Western USA-educated ears had a difficult time trying to tell the difference  What a difference one letter makes.

It started me thinking, though, about my journey with SharePoint Directions.  – or in a bigger sense, with our journey in life.

Wondering

To wonder is to envision, to question your direction, to question your efforts, your capabilities and your talents. To wonder is also to read, to study, to pray, to ask, to listen, to watch, to reason, to make plans. We must wonder before we can grow. Are we too busy to find time to wonder? Do we make the time to wonder regularly? Do you wonder how good you can be? Wonder regularly and wonder often. It’s good for you.

Wandering

Wandering is the activity component to Wondering. Where To Wonder is to work from your chair, To Wander is management by walking around. Wandering is experimentation. Wandering is experiential. To wander is to try out your ideas, to practice that speech, to give that interview, to spend that extra hour with the client. To wander is to move into different circles and to expand into unknown areas that might be new and strange – until one wanders into them.
To wander is to act on your ideas, and to put your plan into practice.

I started asking myself if the time that I was spending on different tasks was time spent wondering or time spent wandering. It became easier and easier to make that judgment about what I was spending my time on.  I did find, interestingly enough, that I was spending too much time wondering, and not enough time wandering.  I don’t really know why it surprised me, or why I was a little saddened to realize that I hadn’t been wandering as much as I could have been.

I was struck by the simplicity of the concept between wondering and wandering.  I was struck by how much time one could spend wondering, without reaching conclusions.  It is only when wondering is followed by wandering that great achievements are made. And it is only when wandering is preceeded by wondering that people achieve at close to their capacity.

So, I will be trying to wander a bit more often. I will still be wondering – there is too much to learn.  I wonder if this bit of inspiration is only for me, or if it also applies to others.  I think that it might apply to others, but in this case, it only applies to me.

All because of one little letter.  Are you Wondering? Or Are you Wandering?

I think that you are seeing right now why my blog is still being published under the http://owen-allen.com domain, and not under www.SharePointDirections.com.  One of these days I’ll get around to putting the SharePoint Directions blog on-line, and that will be a work-only blog.  But for now, you get work mixed in with personal reflections…

Categories: Uncategorized

SharePoint in the Cloud roundtable

July 18, 2011 1 comment

Link to the Roundtable event page

I’m participating in a SharePoint in the Cloud roundtable event (#FocusRT21) later this week (Thursday, July 21, 11AM PT), that should be very informative.  There are some great experts on the roundtable, which will be available for the public to call into.  I do hope that you can join us.

SharePoint is having an impact in every direction where it stretches its legs.  Moving into the cloud is no different.  SharePoint has supported external applications for a few years now, with extensive Web service support.  With SharePoint 2010, SharePoint exposed native object models for .Net, JavaScript, and Silverlight, all designed to encourage more sophisticated remote clients for SharePoint – so that information and process stored in SharePoint could be leveraged in a distributed architecture.

SharePoint 2010 also introduced a service application infrastructure that enabled service applications to be subscribed to by different SharePoint farms, enabling different farms to stay in synch by accessing centralized resources.  This can be useful in a cloud environment – think of SharePoint farms at different plant facilities that are all leveraging a centralized product catalog, or business services.  SharePoint can be a client, in this way, as well as a server.  All that we have to do is to think about designing SharePoint applications from a broader perspective.

Office 365 is another example of SharePoint in the Cloud.  In this regard, Microsoft is offering SharePoint as a Service.  This is a little bit different than we have traditionally thought of SharePoint farms.  Office 365 will bring the collaboration and information sharing attributes of SharePoint to the world, but it won’t bring the application platform characteristics to the environment.  This will force SharePoint application developers to move to alternative ways of delivering their functionality.  It will be interesting to see if Microsoft decides that they do want to offer platform capabilities on Office 365 or if they will be satisfied simply adding functionality to their “SharePoint as a Service” offering.

Richard Harbridge (@rharbridge) has collected a good group of experts for the roundtable. I hope that you can join us on Thursday!

Link to the Roundtable event page

Categories: Uncategorized

Video – Martin Fifield – Nomadic Software

July 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I was exploring a little bit with my video camera while at MSFT Wordwide Partner Conference 2011 (#WPC11), and I ran into Martin Fifield of Nomadic Software.  Kind of ironic that he was in a booth with his companies name on it, as if he had planned on being there, but perhaps his family isn’t constantly nomadic, but only periodically.

Nomadic Software provides middleware to being information and data to mobile devices.  The also create mobile applications, but they’re real magic is in the connections to line of business systems.

We spoke for just a few minutes, and it seems to me that he is approaching the confusion and the dynamic nature of the mobile device market from a good position.

Categories: Event, Mobility

Lars Kolberg – Team Portal at NetConnect ASA

July 16, 2011 Leave a comment

While at WPC 2011, I had some time to sit down with Lars Kolberg (VP Sales), and Pal Storehaug (CEO), of NetConnect ASA (Norway).

NetConnect sells a product called Team Portal, which is a hosted version of SharePoint that is dedicated per customer. One element that I really liked about Team Portal is that NetConnect has integrated an application marketplace within the SharePoint instances that they provide to customers.  From this application marketplace, customers can rapidly install project management apps, workflow apps, crm apps, etc.  Team Portal also has an iPhone client and a desktop client to make accessing and browsing SharePoint sites even more convenient in specific scenarios.

I am not a customer yet, but I will probably need to give this a try.  It’s exciting to see that they are including solutions on top of SharePoint in this way.

And, the partner list that they already have is impressive.  Brightwork, NewsGator, Nintex, 21apps, Equilibrium, Office Talk, and ELearningForce.  Good stuff.

I know that they are looking for additional solutions to add to their marketplace, and so if you are a software company (ISV) that is interested, please reach out to Lars.

Erica Toelle – New Evangelist at Fpweb.net

July 15, 2011 2 comments

While at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 (WPC 2011) this past week, I ran into Erica Toelle (@ericatoelle) and she shared that she had just that day changed roles at Fpweb.net, and has become a SharePoint evangelist for Fpweb.net’s great hosting services and offerings.  We recorded a brief video about her role and about what she was expecting from WPC 2011, and here it is. Congratulations, Erica, on your new role, and Good Luck!

SharePint at WPC 2011

July 3, 2011 4 comments

It’s the best time of the year again. (If it seems to you that each year has about 5 or 6 ‘best’ times of the year, then, congratulations! – you must be a regular to the blog.)

This time, is the MSFT Wordwide Partner Conference 2011 (WPC). (www.digitalwpc.com | #WPC11)

It’s the time of the year when Microsoft partners of every stripe get together to celebrate the end of twelve months since the previous WPC, and to start anew.  They meet together to make all sorts of business deals, to recruit the best people from each other’s organization, and to get an eye and an ear on what their competition is doing to make the big bucks.

Microsoft sets the direction by sharing the marketing direction that they will take for the next twelve months, and this helps the partners understand where Microsoft will be laying down the marketing air cover for the partners.

I expcet that in the SharePoint world, we’ll hear a lot about Office 365, and then some strength around enterprise success stories in large on-premise SharePoint installations.

I hope that there is some new discussion about the strength of the solutions that are being built around SharePoint and that are carrying SharePoint into new green fields around and within and in-between enterprise customers. I’m a firm believer that SharePoint still has a lot of growth remaining in it.

Back to the topic of the blog post, though.  One of the best off-the-floor activities of the week is the partner SharePint!  A SharePint is a meetup that is arranged at a recreational establishment, and a date and time are published.  There usually isn’t a main title sponsor, but from time to time different partners will stand up and supply a prixe or a t-shirt and buy a round of drinks.

Together with the SharePoint product marketing team, I’ve helped arrange the last two WPC SharePint events, and we got our heads together to make it three.

I tweeted an early location last week, but we’ve had to change the location. The SharePint will NOT be held at the YardHouse, but instead will beheld at the Weiland Brewery Underground.

Here are the details:

Weiland Brewery Underground

At the corner of S Flower and 5th Street
underground of the City National Bank Building
Tuesday, July 12 — 5:00-8:00PM

Please stop by and join us.  Some partners will have prizes to raffle off, and this is the best place to meet your SharePoint peeps and friends and other contacts in a casual way.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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