Dan Holme: “SharePoint is an entirely different product today than it was few years ago”

February 19, 2018

Dan, 2017 was a big year for SharePoint. You shipped more features than ever before. How do you feel about everything you have done; how do you feel about SharePoint?

Yes it’s been an incredible two years. It’s hard to believe it’s been just two years since “The Future of SharePoint” where we unveiled the journey that has brought us to today. We’ve transformed SharePoint—it’s an entirely different product today than it was two years ago. And SharePoint is now transforming content collaboration. People are collaborating in ways they never could before, on new devices, and in entirely new experiences.  I’m really proud of our journey, and of the opportunities we are tackling next.

SharePoint is now transforming content collaboration. People are collaborating in ways they never could before, on new devices, and in entirely new experiences. 

Last week, there was a SharePoint Conference North America in Las Vegas, again with the large number of announcements, which you are going to cover in your keynote on Tuesday. Can you tell us what your keynote is going to focus to?

I want to bring to life the transformative value of SharePoint and the rest of Microsoft 365… to help people understand how they can use Microsoft 365 to help teams work better together and to engage employees. Because when people are engaged and aligned, and empowered to share and collaborate, they’re able to achieve more. The data is amazingly clear about that: performance improves across every measure.  Oh, and in my keynote I’ll share all the latest innovations we announced at the SharePoint Conference. Yes, including that announcement.

From my experience, users got a bit of tired of “old” SharePoint. If we are honest, the user interface did not really change since 2007. What we see now, is a rapid adoption of modern SharePoint interface, new team sites, new communication sites, new list and library experience. It looks cool, it works smooth, it is pleasant to work with. What can we expect in this regard from the future?

With our announcements last week, we’ve modernized so much of classic SharePoint. There are still some places that need attention—we haven’t forgotten those—but we’re definitely turning the corner from “renovation” to “revolution”.  We’re now able to innovate so much faster, thanks to “modern”, that we’ve delivered SharePoint news and hub sites, dozens of new web parts, and all the good stuff we announced last week. I think everyone knows, now, that SharePoint is back, baby! We’re bringing intelligent, engaging, and immersive content collaboration to the modern workplace.

We see that Microsoft Teams are becoming the collaboration hub for many companies. We know very well that Teams rely on existing Office 365 services, such as SharePoint, Exchange and Planner. Can you tell us a bit more about SharePoint and Teams integration in the future, can we expect new features in that regard?

The most important thing that any “SharePoint person” should know about Teams is that SharePoint loves Teams, and Teams loves SharePoint. Last week we announced such deep integration, for both users and developers, that our vision is clear: we want to make it easy to work in the intranet, or in the hub for teamwork, with the full power of SharePoint and Teams. And there’s more coming. Similarly, across Office 365, people need to “transform” the way they think about our suite. It’s less a collection of tools and more a fabric of capabilities, that come together to enable scenarios. 

One last thing. How did you come to work with the NBC team on the Olympic games? How was that experience?

 I was so lucky to act as the Microsoft Technologies Consultant for NBC for six Olympic games (Tornio, Beijing, Vancouver, London, Sochi and Rio), on top of the three games I attended as a spectator. My work with NBC was so rewarding—and so unique. It was one of the best jobs in IT.  There are two stories I tell about how I got there.  One—the “career path”—is that I spent 10 years building a career that enabled me to work with some of the biggest companies in the world. One of my contacts at General Electric went to work for NBC when GE bought it.  He brought me along with him.  The more interesting story, also true, is that my brother was an Olympic athlete—a ski jumper in Albertville and Lillehammer.  I made a promise to myself that I would find my own path to the Olympics.  I put it out there in the universe.  I worked hard.  And the universe delivered.  Either way—I’m so very grateful for that opportunity and am happy to share many incredible stories!

Collaboration means two-way communication!

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