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Find this Podcast “Takeaways from the 2016 Atlanta Ignite Conference” on the ThreeWill Soundcloud, Stitcher, and iTunes.


Transcript

Danny Ryan:Hello and welcome to the ThreeWill Podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan and I’m here with my co-host Tommy. Tommy how is it going?

 

Tommy Ryan:It’s going well.

 

Danny Ryan:All right. It’s Tommy Ryan, my brother, excellent. Do you want me to check your socks? I have to look across the room here.

 

Tommy Ryan:All right, let’s see. It’s …

 

Danny Ryan:What is that on them?

 

Tommy Ryan:It’s a bunch of dots.

 

Danny Ryan:A bunch of dots, okay. I forgot to wear my crazy socks today. I’ll wear them next time. It is Thursday, we’re back to our normal recording time.

 

Tommy Ryan:It looks like it.

 

Danny Ryan:Excellent. Last week we were at the Ignite conference, which I would like to take a little bit of time here, maybe decompress and talk through some of the thoughts from the week. There was a day where you and I would go to the sessions but that’s no longer the case, is it?

 

Tommy Ryan:It isn’t. Those were days long, long ago.

 

Danny Ryan:Now we get to play the booth babe.

 

Tommy Ryan:We had some pretty good booth babes this year.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah. We had four of us, if you dropped by the booth thank you so much. You picked up your ThreeWill proper pint glass, which we had, gave out.

 

Tommy Ryan:It’s been a big hit.

 

Danny Ryan:It was about four hundred of those guys went out to people.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, you did an awesome job Danny.

 

Danny Ryan:Thank you.

 

Tommy Ryan:One of the better conferences I think in terms of how our booth was setup and the people that we had in the booth and the amount of people that came by to see us and some great conversations. Long exhausting week but I think very productive.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, I appreciate that. It was here in Atlanta for folks who didn’t attend. We had to make the strategic decision around, because this week is Dreamforce, we made the decision to go all in on Microsoft this year. With it being here in Atlanta and the circumstances of the focus now, where we’re really hearing SharePoint all the time and really Microsoft renewed energy towards SharePoint, it made it not a real big decision for us to jump on this and become a sponsor and have our own booth.

 

Tommy Ryan:Dreamforce did have U2, so that made it a little bit painful.

 

Danny Ryan:That did. You went to the party on the last night. I was hoping maybe U2 would show up and do a little cameo.

 

Tommy Ryan:No, just some local bands. It was good, decent bands but no name brand bands for sure.

 

Danny Ryan:What were, and we’ll talk a little bit more about some of the parties, but from talking with people did you get any sort of general sense of what people are dealing with right now? I know we asked a couple of questions, had a daily question each day. What were some of the conversations that you had with folks about what’s going on right now?

 

Tommy Ryan:One of the things that we noticed being part of Ignite is that we had to hone in on who is ThreeWill, what do we do, because it’s not a SharePoint conference. It’s a conference that really is all the products of Microsoft for the enterprise. Sometimes you had people coming in, especially for the beer that we had, but when the conversation went down the path and we talked about our different practices and migrations portals app dev and solution sustainment, found a lot of people interested in what we’re doing with migrations. Everyone typically has SharePoint. Rarely you’d have someone say, “It’s nice that you do SharePoint but we don’t have SharePoint.” Most people had it. You get the sense of they’re not sure what to do with it. Some people would be concerned about it in terms of where it’s gone and then some people would say, “Yeah, we’ve got it but I’m not sure what we’re doing with it.”

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah, it was interesting seeing the typical person walk up to the booth. Of course we had, if you weren’t able to see it we had a couple of white boards and with us being a consulting organization we love a good white board, don’t we?

 

Tommy Ryan:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Danny Ryan:We had a good time with … We had the free beer and then the mugs, which pulled people into it, and then finally people saying, “What is it you guys do?” It seemed like the short answer was, “We’re a SharePoint consultancy.” Then we either got one of two reactions. One is, “Great I need to talk to you guys about something,” or, “I don’t need to talk to you. I’m an Exchange admin,” or something, that sort of response. It was nice. If we were at a SharePoint conference in the past, that wouldn’t be our first answer, we would say, “We’re a SharePoint consultancy,” because they’d be all around us. There would be a bunch of other companies that do the same thing. This one who had to have that as our first message and then from there it would branch off into other questions.

 

Tommy Ryan:Right.

 

Danny Ryan:Any surprises from the week at all? Anything that came up from conversations that you were having with folks that surprised you?

 

Tommy Ryan:I don’t know if there were any big surprises. I think there was a conversation about Yammer being dead but I think that a misguided conversation.

 

Danny Ryan:That’s just Yammer Enterprise, right?

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah Yammer Enterprise. I think it’s the standalone Yammer but the integrated experience at Yammer is definitely here to stay and heavily integrated into the Microsoft 365 strategy or for groups. Yeah it’s not dead. I think there’s some definitely struggles of, “I wish Yammer was more like a Slack or we’d see improvements to it,” because it seems to be the same thing that it was before it was acquired, but it’s one of those things that we’d talked about it before. The purchase of Yammer was more than just a product, it was the approach of a cloud SaaS offering and the engineering needed to do that well. I think they’re doing a good job with that. I think overall we’re seeing Microsoft 365, the availability is pretty good, the keeping things fresh and bringing things new to the table keeps people excited about the platform. I think they ended up getting a good purchase, it’s just it’s frustrating at times to see the lack of innovation within the Yammer product.

 

Danny Ryan:Boy, with the experience of the Wunderlist outage a couple weeks ago, it gives you this feeling like you really are dependent on these services, aren’t you?

 

Tommy Ryan:It is. You have to think about contingency plans. If you’re a big organization and something like that goes it can bring you to a crawl. We all know with email, we can’t live without email, it’s like air, you can’t breathe.

 

Danny Ryan:We were talking a little bit about Yammer and I guess Skype, they’re having some sort of thing for Skype for groups or something that is sort of like a Slack equivalency. I guess another place to collaborate.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, it’s interesting. Skype, I know years back Chris Edwards would use a Link session, it’s like what you would use … A slack conversation with a group where he would open up a Skype group conversation, leave it open for the day so he had ways of collaborating. That need has been there and people have used Skype or the predecessor to Skype, Link as a way to communicate in a group. It would be nice to have that as more longstanding, that you can set that channel up with that group and revisit day after day versus having to recreate it every day.

 

Danny Ryan:Side note, I saw our buddy Daniel Chang from Salesforce. He actually was leading up the partnership with Slack. It was interesting to see.

 

Tommy Ryan:Really?

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah.

 

Tommy Ryan:He was at Ignite?

 

Danny Ryan:He was not at Ignite, he was at Dreamfor- I was seeing pictures of him from Dreamforce.

 

Tommy Ryan:Okay, pictures at Dreamforce, I see.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah it was good to see Daniel, see him, starting up a new relationship with him and seeing some pictures of him.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, cool.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah it was good stuff. Party-wise, the Metafest I thought was a success. It was fun having, we had a little setup with our … People like Jenga.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, the giant Jenga. I think that was the hit of the night. I think a lot of people were doing that, that table kept busy the whole night, a lot of people surrounding it. I’ve never seen a giant Jenga but it looks like fun.

 

Danny Ryan:We’re going to have get one for the office.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah.

 

Danny Ryan:I think that could be the official game of ThreeWill. How about that?

 

Tommy Ryan:Make it so.

 

Danny Ryan:Every once in a while you hear it crashing in the office and people say, “What is that? What was that noise?” “It’s just the giant Jenga of ThreeWill.” Yeah, yeah. That’d be fun to have that maybe out in the kitchen, to put it over in the kitchen.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, I think one of those puzzles look like a homemade giant jingle, Jenga.

 

Danny Ryan:Jingle.

 

Tommy Ryan:Jingle Jenga.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah they were different sizes, that added another dimension to the whole. It seemed like one of the Jengas had larger ones and smaller ones. That definitely made things interesting. That was a fun party, they had some great bands out there. You were able to hear, what was it, Sam Feldt?

 

Tommy Ryan:I stayed for Sam Feldt, yeah. He rocked it.

 

Danny Ryan:I was feeling like every conference, toward the ends of the week I start getting sick and I was getting sick. You hung it out there.

 

Tommy Ryan:I powered through it.

 

Danny Ryan:You powered through it. You enjoyed it?

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah. Yeah, I did.

 

Danny Ryan:Awesome.

 

Tommy Ryan:I did. It’s the kind of music that, I was there for maybe forty five minutes and it becomes kind of the same beat, but seeing it live and seeing Sam Feldt and the way he DJs was neat.

 

Danny Ryan:Awesome, and you had-

 

Tommy Ryan:Pretty neat.

 

Danny Ryan:You had a buddy in town too.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah. Jorg, Jorg Allmendinger from Germany, Salik, Germany. He’s the one that I met through my years at Siemens. I actually visited his house when taking a business trip out there to do some stuff at Siemens and started a relationship. He’s been just a super nice guy, super smart and really geeky. I like those kind of people. He was telling me he was coming to Ignite. I ended up giving him a place to crash and he was my carpool buddy every morning.

 

Danny Ryan:That’s awesome. He picked up a Hololens.

 

Tommy Ryan:He did.

 

Danny Ryan:Were you able to play with that at all?

 

Tommy Ryan:No. Actually I had dinner with him and another guy named Bob Meads that I worked with at Siemens.

 

Danny Ryan:Nice.

 

Tommy Ryan:They were brainstorming on manufacturing a Hololens proof of concept. I witnessed it in person, the creation of a new company someday in the future.

 

Danny Ryan:That’s where new companies come from.

 

Tommy Ryan:That’s right.

 

Danny Ryan:Probably a little bit of beer or wine involved.

 

Tommy Ryan:There was a little bit of that.

 

Danny Ryan:I’m certain of it. Cool. Anything else from the week, takeaways from the week? I know we’re doing a production of Kirk and Pete’s now, which they had a couple takeaways from. Any big takeaways that you have from the week?

 

Tommy Ryan:I think one of the things that it gets reinforced is that it’s a I’m going to say unified systems. There’s a lot of micro services that come together for solutions and creates for us, it challenges us to look beyond SharePoint as we look for solutions for our customers. The app dev practice helped us with that. I think the portals practice is broader than what we traditionally have done, where we have conversations around OneDrive and Skype, and giving a fuller picture of what is collaboration for our customers and not narrow it down to just SharePoint. At the end of the day that need is still there. I think people can get stuck with SharePoint and get so far. Companies that embrace it, we’re seeing it today, they get so much value out of what you can do out of the box, and then put the special sauce on top.

 

Danny Ryan:Nice. It was my takeaway, I enjoyed the time we had to spend with the Metalogix folks to see contently, to see what’s coming. I think we’re all pretty excited about what we saw there. It was great having Kirk win the innovation award.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, that’s very cool.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah I was pretty excited about what we’re seeing coming from Metalogix. Did you go over to the Nintex booth at all?

 

Tommy Ryan:No. Actually I wish I do. I know some of the folks from Nintex came over to say hi, and I was busy with a customer or a prospect at the booth. Kind of bummed that I didn’t have that time. I think in retrospect I wish I spent more time going around and looking at the booths. Typically we’ve done that year after year, and really didn’t get a good view of what was there in terms of other booths. I’ll make a point to do that next year.

 

Danny Ryan:Next year it is in Orlando.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, which is not too far away.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah, not too far. We’ve driven down there. I don’t know if the situation with … I’m surprised they’re able to do it down there with it being such a large conference but we’ll see. We’ll see how that goes. I know I’ve driven down there. Our original … The tree, the booth tree we bring to all the difference conferences, that’s originally from a conference that we did, I bought it down in Orlando. We’ll have to bring that thing back home. It will be fun to do that again next year and see how that goes.

 

Tommy thank you for taking the time to do this. Thank you everybody for taking the time to listen. Austin have a great time editing this thing. Have a wonderful day. Thank you so much. Bye bye.

 

Tommy Ryan:Bye bye.

 

 

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