Category Archives: SharePoint ISV Partners

SharePint at WPC12

One of my favorite weeks of the year is coming up – the Microsoft WorldWide Partner Conference.  One of the best meet-ups of the week has always been the SharePint event.  This year should be no exception.


This year, the Microsoft SharePoint Marketing Group has worked with Pingar and 3 other software companies, Axceler, Rackspace, and Idera, to host a meet-up for partners that work within the SharePoint ecosystem during the week of WPC12.

You know what they say…  SharePoint by Day, SharePINT by Night!

This year SharePint will be on Tuesday, July 10, from 6-8PM at the Madison Avenue Pub, in Toronto.

WPC is a huge event, and while there are some important sessions for SharePoint partners, the real significant effort at WPC should be about meeting with other partners and working to grow your company’s network and connections.  I think this is why the WPC Connect portion of WPC has grown to be (at certain times of the week) the busiest part of the conference.  While it can be hard to find open time to meet with specific partners, at least SharePoint partners understand where they can meet their SharePoint peers and enjoy some good conversation.

If you haven’t already registered for WPC12, please do so at

I’ll be meeting with partners at WPC Connect, attending a couple of the sessions, and hoping to meet everyone at SharePint!  If I haven’t already reached out to meet you, please reach out to me and let’s meet at WPC12!

I’m certainly looking forward to an amazing week in Toronto.


Lars Kolberg – Team Portal at NetConnect ASA

While at WPC 2011, I had some time to sit down with Lars Kolberg (VP Sales), and Pal Storehaug (CEO), of NetConnect ASA (Norway).

NetConnect sells a product called Team Portal, which is a hosted version of SharePoint that is dedicated per customer. One element that I really liked about Team Portal is that NetConnect has integrated an application marketplace within the SharePoint instances that they provide to customers.  From this application marketplace, customers can rapidly install project management apps, workflow apps, crm apps, etc.  Team Portal also has an iPhone client and a desktop client to make accessing and browsing SharePoint sites even more convenient in specific scenarios.

I am not a customer yet, but I will probably need to give this a try.  It’s exciting to see that they are including solutions on top of SharePoint in this way.

And, the partner list that they already have is impressive.  Brightwork, NewsGator, Nintex, 21apps, Equilibrium, Office Talk, and ELearningForce.  Good stuff.

I know that they are looking for additional solutions to add to their marketplace, and so if you are a software company (ISV) that is interested, please reach out to Lars.

Erica Toelle – New Evangelist at

While at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 (WPC 2011) this past week, I ran into Erica Toelle (@ericatoelle) and she shared that she had just that day changed roles at, and has become a SharePoint evangelist for’s great hosting services and offerings.  We recorded a brief video about her role and about what she was expecting from WPC 2011, and here it is. Congratulations, Erica, on your new role, and Good Luck!

SharePint at WPC 2011

It’s the best time of the year again. (If it seems to you that each year has about 5 or 6 ‘best’ times of the year, then, congratulations! – you must be a regular to the blog.)

This time, is the MSFT Wordwide Partner Conference 2011 (WPC). ( | #WPC11)

It’s the time of the year when Microsoft partners of every stripe get together to celebrate the end of twelve months since the previous WPC, and to start anew.  They meet together to make all sorts of business deals, to recruit the best people from each other’s organization, and to get an eye and an ear on what their competition is doing to make the big bucks.

Microsoft sets the direction by sharing the marketing direction that they will take for the next twelve months, and this helps the partners understand where Microsoft will be laying down the marketing air cover for the partners.

I expcet that in the SharePoint world, we’ll hear a lot about Office 365, and then some strength around enterprise success stories in large on-premise SharePoint installations.

I hope that there is some new discussion about the strength of the solutions that are being built around SharePoint and that are carrying SharePoint into new green fields around and within and in-between enterprise customers. I’m a firm believer that SharePoint still has a lot of growth remaining in it.

Back to the topic of the blog post, though.  One of the best off-the-floor activities of the week is the partner SharePint!  A SharePint is a meetup that is arranged at a recreational establishment, and a date and time are published.  There usually isn’t a main title sponsor, but from time to time different partners will stand up and supply a prixe or a t-shirt and buy a round of drinks.

Together with the SharePoint product marketing team, I’ve helped arrange the last two WPC SharePint events, and we got our heads together to make it three.

I tweeted an early location last week, but we’ve had to change the location. The SharePint will NOT be held at the YardHouse, but instead will beheld at the Weiland Brewery Underground.

Here are the details:

Weiland Brewery Underground

At the corner of S Flower and 5th Street
underground of the City National Bank Building
Tuesday, July 12 — 5:00-8:00PM

Please stop by and join us.  Some partners will have prizes to raffle off, and this is the best place to meet your SharePoint peeps and friends and other contacts in a casual way.

I look forward to seeing you there!

CloudShare for Demo Environments

I’d like to tell you a story.  One of the software development companies that I’m working with, Ooyala, is building an integration with SharePoint.  In April (2011), we were planning to have the public unveiling of the product at the NABSHOW in Las Vegas.  It is a huge convention, and we had secured a demo kiosk and were planning to get enough of the product developed so that we could illustrate how the final product would work. 

One of our development teams was in Argentina, another development team was in Redmond, WA, and Ooyala has headquarters in Mountain View, CA.  We needed a development and testing environment that would enable all three groups to work together and to share an environment in preparation for the show.

For a couple of months, we had been using a development environment that was provided by  And everything had been working well.  We would bring up the CloudShare environment when we needed to, and share access to it from city to city.

One of the useful features that CloudShare provides is the ability to recreate a SharePoint environment from one a list of starting environments that they provide.  When one of our development teams release a new build, we can recreate a new environment on CloudShare and test the installation and configuration, etc.  It was working very well.

If you haven’t tried out CloudShare yet, you can find them at  Look for the “SharePoint in the Cloud” selection right on the front page.  That page will describe the SharePoint environments that they offer and how you can utilize them.

As we got closer to the NABSHOW, however, something wasn’t quite right.  I was worried about little things, like the URL used for the demo.  We also wanted to share the demonstration version with other potential partners and customers, so we wanted to create a demo URL (i.e. NABDEMO.OOYALA.COM) and have the dev/test environment support that.  I couldn’t find the right way to make that happen for the CloudShare environment that wasn’t located within our data center, but a quick call to CloudShare answered the question.  (They have since cleaned up how the features are displayed so that this particular feature is easier to find.)

The problem that I was running into is one of the features of CloudShare that allows their service to be affordable.  When a CloudShare environment times out due to a period of inactivity, the environment is automatically suspended, and the assigned IP addresses and physical hardware can be re-utilized for other users and to meet additional demand.  Sound very cloud-centric, right?  Well, yes, actually.  However, when the environment would be re-activated the next time someone needed it, the server machines in the environment might be assigned a different collection of IP addresses.  This meant that I might have to keep updating the DNS entries for the URL that I wanted to use for the demo.  Difficult and inconvenient.

But then I learned about a great little feature called “Always-On”.  This costs more per month, but enables your environment to stay up all the time, maintaining the same assigned IP addresses.  A quick call to CloudShare operations, and we had the solution, we had a constant IP
address for the DNS settings, and we were starting to demo using an easy to communicate and an easy to use URL.  I’ve learned, over the years, to never underestimate the importance of having an easy to communicate URL when working with salespeople…

So, long story short, we unveiled the product at the NABSHOW in April – the demo environment was flawless, and we are still using CloudShare as our development environment as we enter into a full Beta stage with the product here in June.What's your video strategy?

If you’d like to learn more about CloudShare, please learn more at

If you’d like to learn how to bring the video capabilities of Ooyala into your SharePoint environment, please send email to

If you’d like to take me to a Seattle Mariners game this summer (Yes, I’m back on the bandwagon!), please send me email –

SharePoint Firestarter Event – Tomorrow

Fire StarterI know that I’ve been terrible about updating the blog, so it is probably only my family that is still listening, but I still want to tell the world about the SharePoint Firestarter event that is online Tomorrow.  This is really short notice, but …

Every software company that is thinking of SharePoint as a target platform should have developers and architects attend this online event (or in person if you are based in the Seattle area).

This is a great way to get a new developer or development team up to speed.

Even if you are only THINKING about targeting SharePoint, this collection of classes will give you an idea as to how to orient yourself in your thinking about SharePoint.

SharePoint FireStarter

See you online!

What is Your SharePoint Direction?