Archive

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

What goes around, comes around.

January 4, 2017 2 comments

the-road2016 was a fun and interesting and painful and excruciating and difficult and rewarding and peaceful and disruptful year. It had a little bit of everything, …which turns out to be often how I feel about every previous year on every Jan 4th.
Lots of goals for the year to come, lots of ideas about where things could have gone better, and lots of sketches of projects that are still midflight.
I’m typing this on my new standing desk, I went to the gym yesterday, I’m on my ketogenic diet again today, and the family seems to be mostly happy and healthy, so it looks like 2017 is off to a good start.
I’m also writing a blog post. – one of those things that did not happen during the entirety of 2016. Strange, isn’t it. I started blogging in 2003 (https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oallen/2003/), and I don’t think I missed an entire year since then, although my blog has gotten a little spindly from time to time as I’ve experimented with different platforms. Until 2016. My platforms of choice for 2016 were Facebook and Twitter, it seems.
I’m going to give the blog another go in 2017, though. Facebook, LinkedIn, the owen-allen.com blog, and a Office 365 Technology site that I’m working on and hope to unwrap soon.
During the day, I continue to be helping Satya and Jeff spread the word about the productivity benefits of SharePoint and Office365 in my little corner of the world.
Always happy to talk or chat. Contact me anytime.

Categories: Blogging

Live Writer is back

December 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Just a quick note to test out he new version of Live Writer.  It’s a little tool to post to blogs. An excuse for my not posting for six months? No., but perhaps it will help me get back into the mode of posting to this blog. 

Download here: http://openlivewriter.org/ image

Categories: Blogging

Mid-Year 2015

July 11, 2015 Leave a comment

It seems kind of silly that I’m opening two blog entries in a row with the comment that I haven’t blogged much about my recent job change… but that is the way it is.

I consider myself very fortunate to have been hired back with Microsoft as a Technology Specialist (Sales Engineer) in the Pacific Northwest. I am assigned to about 50 of Microsoft’s strategic customers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and charged with helping them understand and apply Microsoft technologies to their business operations. This means working closely with their IT Departments to plan for the adoption of new technologies as well as working with business units to understand how new technology capabilities can be applied to new and emerging market opportunities.

With the increased rate of feature development and release with Office 365, this means frequent and regular conversations and strategy meetings with our customers. And lots of training. So, I’ve been busy.

I will be maintaining two blogs – this one (owen-allen.com) will be my personal thoughts and observations, and a new blog (O365talk.com) will include my curated list of interviews, product updates, and thoughts about technologies found within and related to Office 365. I expect that O365Talk.com will have multiple authors. – If you would like to participate, please let me know!

I’ve been back at Microsoft since September 2014, and have now reached 9 years of employment with Microsoft. In between these two stints, I spent 4 years working with a great set of customers and clients, as an advisor, a consultant, a contract employee, and as a full-time employee. Each one has been a good memory and has enriched my experience. Thank you to all who I have crossed paths with.

WPC 2015 is kicking off this weekend, and this is the first year I am not attending after having attended the past six years. Microsoft Partners are a tremendous group, and I will admit there is a twinge of loss at not attending WPC this year. However, with my focus being on helping my (I consider them to be mine Smile) customers leverage the technologies that Microsoft is placing into the cloud, partners still have an important and significant role.  It is a pleasure to work with Software companies, Consulting companies, and bright individuals of all skillsets and experience, as we work together to help Microsoft customers deploy amazing applications and employee and customer services of their own.

See you online!

Categories: Blogging, Personal

Thoughts on SharePoint Conference 2014

March 10, 2014 13 comments

My thoughts on the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2014.  The event was a great success, held Mar 3-6, 2014, at The Venetian, in Las Vegas.  Compared to previous SharePoint Conferences, SPC14 was held at a bigger venue, it was easier to get around in, the exhibition hall was more wide open, the keynote speaker was about as big a deal as could have been had (Would Hillary have been a bigger coup?) and The.WIFI.Worked.  A tremendously successful conference.  The SharePoint and Office 365 teams at Microsoft deserve to take the next 36 hours off, perhaps attend the Las Vegas NASCAR race, and then bask in the success of their conference.

The new product announcements show some good new direction. I’m particularly excited about

  • the New Office 365 APIs that bring Office 365 closer to parity with SharePoint Server 2013 as a platform for business applications (http://bit.ly/PkMEO2),
  • the new content enablement that is provided for PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook applications (http://bit.ly/PkMEO2)
  • Improvements to Power BI across the board and the release of Power Map. (Even though this was announced a month ago, I’m adding it here (http://bit.ly/PkOvmd)
  • The concept of Working Like a Network (http://bit.ly/PkO23e). It will take a while for this to roll out, but the application ideas are already starting to roll around this one.
  • And the biggest one, for me and my new company, BluLink Solutions, will be the patterns for migrating Trusted Code solutions to the App Model (http://bit.ly/PkOXkj).

SPC14 was the 5 year reunion for those attendees of the tremendous and inimitable SPC09 conference, and it was the 10 year anniversary of the launch of SharePoint 2003, which started the enterprise-wide push and where “SharePoint” started to find its legs, as it grew into MOSS 2007 and SharePoint Server 2010.

SPC14.InfoPathFuneralOne of the things that makes for a great reunion is a strong community.  I consider myself lucky to have been able to observe the growth of the community and the depth and breadth that it contains now is fantastic.  No longer can anyone single group, or collection of groups, control, manage or “provide direction” to the community.  There are many groups within the community, and the overall group is large enough to support new groups as needed.   I attended the meetings of the MSFT Technical Communities and the SharePoint Saturday leaders and the SharePoint User Group leaders and some very useful coalitions are building helpful tools to support different locales and groups of different sizes. I heard that the Women in Technology (secondhand, as I wasn’t on the list) group overflowed its planned meeting space and that is tremendous. Impromptu activities such as the funeral procession for InfoPath, small groups such as SP FitBitters and SPRunners, or around evening events or side trips to local attractions, and countless others, are great examples of where the community is diverse enough to take care of its own.  This is so encouraging.

On the other hand, it does mark the maturation of the SharePoint community and marks the time when messages will be more and more difficult to ensure are delivered and received accurately.  The good old days of one person being able to understand all of SharePoint is gone. One person can now understand most of SharePoint, and can track most of what is goingon through diligent following of multiple blogs, RSS, and twitter feeds, but that can be difficult to maintain when we also have to work…

The early three social kings of SharePoint have changed, as well.  Mark Miller (@EUSP), it seems, has moved to greener pastures, Joel Oleson (@Joeloleson) will always continue to drive a large group of followers as illustrated by his leading a procession in a Monk’s robe through the conference, and Jeremy Thake (@jthake) has now moved to join Microsoft in leading developers to new depths. No longer are the three of them driving the community audiences (Devs, IT Pros, End Users) in a coordinated broad direction.  True, the trio has been divided for a little while now, but I think SPC14 marks the official passing of the torch back to the community as an entity.  Even at SPC12, the community booth efforts were spearheaded by a group with these three providing much of the guidance.

Moving forward, though, I think that SharePoint as a whole is too large for a single group of friends and workers and associates to be considered the leaders.  Each of us has our own path to carve out of the world of business solutions. The relay baton has been passed. SharePoint has grown up.

Where will you, as an attendee of SPC14, shine your light?  Whatever you are working on, share it. When you come up with a best practice, or a new approach to using OOB features combined in a unique manner to provide new functionality, let others know.  As you see your companies using SharePoint as a platform for new vertical applications and to support solid business processes that have been rebuilt to mash up data in a new way and expose it to new business groups who couldn’t access it before, share what you see! Talk about the impacts, and help other groups realize the potential locked within their SP OOB mentality.

SharePoint Friends Don’t Let SharePoint Friends Work Only with OOB Functionality.

I had a great time at SPC14 and I hope that all of you did, as well.  If you didn’t, let MSFT know. If you did, let the community know!    I can’t wait to see everyone again next time.

Switching the Feedbag

September 11, 2010 Leave a comment

I just updated my FeedBurner account to utilize the new blog posts feed.

Feed Address:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/OwenAllen

New blog address: http://owen-allen.com

Old blog address:  http://blogs.msdn.com/oallen

My blog is going to be a great place to hang out.  Especially of all of you on SharePoint Saturdays!

Categories: Blogging
%d bloggers like this: