It was my privilege to speak at the SharePoint Best Practices Conference in La Jolla, California last week. While unfortunately a respiratory infection had me at the Spriggs clinic for most of a day, and had the attendees enjoying the Eartha Kitt version of my voice, the conference was, all told, a success. I was excited that the debut of my presentations “Real World Business Considerations of the SharePoint 2007 to 2010 Upgrade” and “SharePoint in the Mid-Sized Government Agency” went well with lively attendees asking great questions.
Wow, you should have seen the lineup of speakers! If not for large doses of cough medicine, I would have been intimidated by association with the likes of Ruven Gotz, Sarah Hasse, Becky Isserman, Lori Gowin, Cathy Dew, Mark Rackley, Jennifer Mason, Michelle Strah, Matt McDermott and Richard Harbridge. And beautiful La Jolla was graced with a fine international presence with Zlantan Dzinic, Alistair Pugin, and Veronique Palmer from South Africa (Ok, Z is in the US now, and has lived in several countries, but I still count him as a Saffie!) and Agnes Molnar & Brett Lonsdale from Hungary and the UK, respectively. Typhoid Joy didn’t manage to cough her way through too many other introductions, but it was fun to see Todd Bleeker, Brian Alderman, Chris Givens, Bill English, and Kay McClure at least in passing.
BPC is the business-persons’ conference. Of course, we all have a stake in making the business successful, but many times, we IT folks focus soley on the technology. Bridging that divide between IT and business management is the goal of BPC. Technology for tech’s sake is not going to win the hearts and minds of our users or the decision-makers who must weigh SharePoint among the many other possible IT investments. Even for those who use the “almost free” Foundation version, investing in the business process changes necessary to leverage SharePoint’s star features represents a significant sea-change for the business, and the handling of that change may mean the difference between SharePoint’s acceptance or rejection. Addressing the business implications of SharePoint deployments, and not just the technical implications, sets BPC sessions apart. For that reason, BPC is my kinda conference.