Our Blog

where we write about the things we love



Highlights from SharePoint Conference 2012: keynote address and IT Pro stream

After a long and anticipation-filled journey, this year's SharePoint Conference surpassed my expectations.

Well, the trip to the SharePoint Conference 2012 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, started with great anticipation… checking in and leaving Wellington airport, meeting my college Bryce Saunders from our Christchurch office in the Auckland airport, then off to San Francisco, with a connecting flight to Las Vegas. For those who have been to the USA from New Zealand you’ll relate; and for those who haven’t it was a long trip for this leg of the journey (11 hours) and due to the high level of anticipation there was no sleep – taking a total of 24 hour, door to door. On arriving in Las Vegas the anticipation built even more, both of us very tired, but keen to get to the hotel and then hit the Las Vegas strip for a look around. Las Vegas could only be summed up as completely crazy! We were two small town chaps in the big city, eyes wide open, and keen to experience what Las Vegas has on offer.

One chap from the Virgin America flight crew put a slant on the usual saying, with: “What goes on in Vegas goes on Facebook.” Although I think we are pretty safe from what we got up to! We had an absolute blast – I don’t think we got home before 1am every night and were up early every day to make the most of the conference.

The SharePoint Conference 2012 kicked off with the usual opening keynote address from several big names (Jared Spataro – Senior Director and Product Marketing SharePoint, Jeff Teper, Scott Guthrie, Richard Riley, Michal Gideoni, and David Sacks and Adam Pisoni from Yammer). There was a lot of momentum around the incorporation of Yammer into SharePoint 2013 online.

The opening keynote address room (well if you can call it a room  – the saying everything is big in the USA doesn’t really explain it until you have experienced the sheer size) was more like a massive aircraft hangar packed with over 10,000 attendees, not including all the supporting representatives. Quite an eye-opener, we sat in the middle of the room and, standing up, all you could see was a sea of people in every direction. To get around the venue involved a lot of walking.



You can view the keynote here  or on You Tube here.

The main points addressed in the keynote were:

  • SharePoint 2013 online – a lot of emphasising that SharePoint 2013 is very ready, including the incorporation with Yammer for social aspects
  • The Microsoft cloud
  • Office 365, Business Solutions, Productivity Services, Microsoft Dynamics, Cloud OS, Windows Azure
  • Sharing and social
  • Search
  • Business Intelligence
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Innovation
  • Task management
  • And web publishing


I mainly attended the ITPro stream sessions. The key setup of SharePoint 2013 is similar to SharePoint 2010 deployments, however there are many new improvements around performance and service applications. Things to look out for include:

  • With Microsoft now recommending one web application, one zone for SharePoint 2013 implementations, including all content sites, mysites etc. and we are now to use Host Named site collections to make the most of system resources – RAM/CPU
  • Support of mobile devices also has significant improvements
  • Optimisations for Wide Area Networks
  • Optimisations for Farm Scaling
  • Optimisations for page response times
  • Service applications have been enhanced to support high availability scenarios
  • And not forgetting the claims model is now the default for new web applications


One big win from a customer perspective is the change to the licensing model where SharePoint 2013 is now based on the server, and Windows user CALs licenses:

  • Specifically now a SharePoint 2013 Internet facing site farm does not need the Internet connector licence
  • And external users (users that are not either your or your affiliates’ employees, or your or your affiliates’ onsite contractors or onsite agents) don’t need to be licensed; internal users need CALs


To sum things up, the conference was extremely well organised – with the number of attendees, sessions, events, hands on labs and supporting representatives alone it was a massive feat. The sessions and presenters were high quality and the exhibit hall had representation from a huge range of vendors – I especially got a lot out of meeting and talking to many, many people.

I definitely recommend attending at least one of these international events if you get the opportunity in your career, to experience the size and being able to network with all the international attendees/specialists from around the globe making up the SharePoint community.

And I need to make a special thanks to Intergen for making the opportunity possible.

Goodbye, Las Vegas. May everything that happened in Vegas…

Posted by: Fulton Hargreaves, Technical Consultant | 19 November 2012

Tags: SharePoint Conference 2012

Top Rated Posts

Blog archive

Stay up to date with all insights from the Intergen blog