Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Virtual SharePoint Conference

Last Wednesday I had a chance to participate in a Virtual Trade Show for several SharePoint vendors. This was a nifty little vehicle to demonstrate our products to people all over the world.

The event was organized and hosted by DynTek, a consulting firm, using Live Meeting. They handled all the marketing and arranged for a representative of each vendor to present for up to 15 minutes on the product's capabilities and the value it adds to SharePoint. At the end of each presentation a live poll allowed the attendees to vote on how much a particular tool had captured their interest and notify us if they wanted a follow up demonstration or evaluation.

I ran the echo for SharePoint presentation. The other three vendors were Nintex (presented by Mike Fitzmaurice), ScriptLogic (presenter: Mike Perrault), and BA-Insight (Mark Aschemeyer). As the DynTek invitation put it:

Enhance Workflow & Reporting
Nintex will discuss how you can build complex workflow processes quickly and easily using a web browser interface and provide unprecedented insight into workplace usage, trends and behaviors.
Enhance Permissions
ScriptLogic will discuss how administrators can now backup and restore permissions as well as control the security of SharePoint environments the exact same, clear, intuitive way they would manage the security file servers - all from the same, intuitive console.
BA-Insight Software will discuss how to extend the search capabilities of SharePoint to deliver the most comprehensive and flexible Information Access Platform available in the marketplace today.

Enhance Management
Echo Technology will discuss how to easily migrate and manage change on your SharePoint platform through its entire lifecycle.
Enhance Search

It was a real challenge sticking to the 15 minutes time spot. It meant showing a few slides and setting the scene for why our products added value to SharePoint, and then (if time allowed) running a little demo.

I had a batch of echo Tasks setup ahead of time, so although the time was tight I was able to present live on how we could:

  • Deploy 3 custom web parts from one site to another;
  • Apply a new Theme and Master Page;
  • Migrate files from a file share, apply content type metadata, and insert into a document library;
  • Migrate files from a SharePoint 2003 portal into the same document library, again applying metadata as I went;
  • Activate a Nintex workflow feature to a site collection; and
  • Deploy a Nintex custom approval workflow to a document library

All of these changes were done from a local Development portal to a remote Production portal to demonstrate how easy echo makes that.

Kudos to DynTek for the cool concept and especially to Linda Ford, Julie Trautwein, and Dave Chennault who fronted the event. Well over 100 companies attended, and feedback has been very positive. Everyone seemed to enjoy the virtual format, which is so convenient. Hopefully DynTek will invite us to the next one!

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