Now it is been almost two months since I visited the European Collaboration Summit in Wiesbaden. Last year the event, also called #collabsummit, took place in Mainz. The Summit is the largest community-driven conference in the world. Like every year, the Summit focuses on Modern Workplace, current technologies as well as digital transformation. The tools only play a minor role, because the most important thing is to integrate them in a meaningful and effective way in everyday working life. The Summit took place from the 27th to 29th May 2019. The first day was dedicated to full-day workshops and the remaining two days are packed with interesting and useful presentations on Microsoft 365, Azure, SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, Flow, PowerApps and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The workshops and lectures are not only for advanced users, but also for every beginner in the digital world. Therefore the audience, which consisted of 1500 participants, is quit mixed.
Unfortunately, it was not easy to decide between the individual lectures, because the selection was really big and the interests very broad. At least the decision for the workshop on Monday was a bit easier. I only had to decide for one out of of eleven (!) other workshops. Since I am currently working intensively with Power BI, it was clear to me that I would choose the workshop “Everything you wanted to know about Power BI (but were afraid to ask)”. It was held by the two MVPs (Most Valuable Professional (in the community) – the highest award from Microsoft) Jason Himmelstein and John White. The two are pretty harmonic together and they made the workshop very entertaining. The workshop was more theory and demo oriented, but questions in between were always answered immediately. The core topics were Power BI & SharePoint Online (which resulted from the Forms survey of the course participants), Power BI models, licenses and the different data sources. In some cases, advanced knowledge was an advantage, but it was still possible for a Power BI beginner to keep up with the topics. For me personally, the day was a good opportunity to see what Power BI really can do and which potentials are still hidden. Nevertheless, an 8-hour workshop is not enough to understand Power BI completely, because this tool is simply way too big. But for everyone who wants to see what this tool is capable of – go for it! You won’t regret it.
Last year we were only at the lectures in Mainz, because we arrived on Monday. But this year I naturally wanted to attend the workshops on Monday, which is why I already travelled to Wiesbaden on Sunday. And I have to say, I was not disappointed. Since the #collabsummit is mostly sponsored by companies, the ticket prices are affordable for everyone. The prices for the three days (one day workshop + two days lectures) are slightly different to the ticket prices for the lectures only. Anyone who has the opportunity to attend the workshops on Monday should do so. There everyone has the chance to ask and answer his personal questions in a smaller group.
The lectures I listened to were mostly about digital transformation and SharePoint. But I also listened to presentations about OneDrive, Teams, Flow and PowerApps. The big advantage of #collabsummit is that it takes place a week after the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, where the latest features and updates are presented. Many of the speakers who speak there travel directly from Las Vegas to the #collabsummit to inform about the latest news. Even though the #collabsummit doesn’t lose the focus of the digital working world, the news about the individual tools are very interesting. Of course it is important to know what is currently possible with which tool. Especially in our project business it is important to know what the tools can do in order to implement the special requirements and wishes of our customers accordingly. The added value of the individual tools, such as Flow and PowerApps, is also becoming increasingly clear at this year’s Summit – with the right know-how, these tools can automate many unnecessarily manual processes and thus create more time for actual work. These tools can do an amazing amount – but as soon as the topic code is added, the active listening stops with me unfortunately. I’m not a developer and don’t want to become one. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see what these tools are capable of with a few additions.
The European Collaboration Summit is a fascinating event that you should have attended at least once in your life. Because it is aimed at a wide variety of target groups, everyone will find something to suit their interests. It’s always clear how important people are in the digital world and how important the digital tools are. The core task is and remains to develop a “Digital Mindset” for the new world of work in the entire company. This is easier said than done, but I recommend this event to all those who are interested in the topic of digital transformation. It has been set up by the community for the community.
One thing is for sure – I will be there again next year! You too?
Some impressions of this year’s #collabsummit: