Those that have attended IT/Dev Connections in the past know that the 2016 event was our first year where we merged two tracks. For the 2016 conference, we merged SharePoint and Exchange into a single Enterprise Collaboration track. This move was an important one for a couple reasons.

First, we wanted to follow Microsoft’s lead. You may not have noticed, but Microsoft tends to lump everything now under its Office 365 umbrella and will move the needle even further as time goes by. Secondly, Microsoft continues to add new products to its collaborative suite to continue increasing product license value. And, then thirdly, believe it or not, but there are companies out there that use collaborative products other than those from Microsoft. <gasp!>

By creating a single track for all of these we are able to not only cover things like SharePoint, Exchange, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and other collaborative suites, but we can also educate attendees about how to make all these work together to ensure the business is a highly productive environment.

Our Track Chair this year for this combined track is expert and Microsoft MVP, Liam Cleary. With the deadline for submitting for speaking slots ending this Monday, February 20, 2017, Liam is excited to get started building the story for a very popular set of products and technologies.

Liam has shared the following for attendees interesting in the collaborative sessions to get a good understanding of what to expect…

The biggest change within the Enterprise Collaboration space is around the convergence of technologies. Combining common document storage and collaboration platforms directly email and social is changing the way we collaborate. Historically we have lived with “out-of-context” collaboration, leaving us to combine the elements together to truly collaborate, with the convergence now, we are now seeing the “single-view-pane” collaboration truly becoming standard.

Organizations need to think at least short to medium term of moving to cloud services. Many vendors are now focusing their development energy and budget on cloud offerings with often no On-Premises roadmap at all. If organizations don’t plan for this now, in the next year or longer the transition will become harder and harder, than connecting current solutions and platforms to the cloud in a true Hybrid design.

Enterprise Collaboration spans multiple components, many platforms and technologies. As such we will be focusing on how to bring all the services together to create the best collaboration solution. The main technology stack focus will be Office 365 with all its components and services, along with Azure Services for enhancements. The story is simple, Office 365 is a great solution for all collaboration needs, but knowing what to use when and how to implement is often the barrier to this. This year we will tell the story needed to get you to Office 365, and create the best solutions.

Having spoken and attended many conferences around the world, what makes IT/DEV Connections stand out is the quality of the speakers and content. Anyone can attend a conference and learn the basics, but with most organizations having many generalists who can talk about it, knowing the platform or solution is now more important than ever. At IT/Dev Connections you get to know the nuts and bolts and implementation steps along with those “war stories” that we all have and can relate to. You also get to learn from across the entire stack not just one specific product or solution.