What do you call a great weekend with presenting, learning new things, great conversations and Eurovision? I call it CollabDays Poland 2023. 😁
The first ever CollabDays Poland was held on the 13.05.23 at Microsoft Poland offices. It was a day filled with people wanting to share knowledge and around 130 people willing to spend their Saturday listening to the speakers share their passion within areas like: SharePoint, MS Teams, Power Platform, Dynamics 365, Viva and AI.
The event was formerly known as SharePoint Saturday (SPS) Warsaw and has since 2016 brought together a lot of people passionate about Microsoft technologies. But as with many events, Corona put an pause in the plans and that gave the possibility for the team to rebrand the event and start off stronger than ever.
And that they really did. The organizers were always visible, always smiling and making sure people had it good. Although, putting together an event like this is very stressful, it was impossible to see from the organizing team. Their energy also made the attendees and speakers take the most out of the event and it was really fun. (And I am not saying that just because of the awesome speaker gift that filled 50% of my luggage on the way home 😁. Although, that definitely requires a huge thanks and recognition on its own.)
Huge applause and thank you to the organizing team:
You put together and amazing event and I am very happy to have got the possibility to be a part of it!
As I usually attend events that focus on Power Platform and Dynamics 365, then it was very interesting for me to attend sessions about other topics and areas of the Microsoft suite. So here is the recap 😉
Welcome by the org. Team
The day was kicked off by the organizing team introducing the event and what will happen during the day. Some of the practicalities and what the plan was and what to look forward to. Like winning a Nintendo Switch 😲 Definitely something a lot of the attendees and speakers were looking forward to!
SharePoint is a full-blooded document management system – and I can prove it!- Sari Soinoja
My first session was by Sari Soinoja, giving us proof that SharePoint really is a full-blooded document management system. Very interesting insights into the different solutions and possibilities within SharePoint Online, M365 Search and also Microsoft Syntex.
There were a lot of questions and discussions based on the attendees questions. I was suprised how many questions and topics that got raised by the questions, there were. But Sari managed to bring the topic back to what she was presenting and also showed a demo on how to get your documents in with the right metadata and also the possibility to prioritize your lists, using color coding.
I do not have a lot of SharePoint knowledge other than what I have done with document handling within Dynamics 365, but I found this session very interesting, even though I was the only one sceptical about using SharePoint as an all in document management system. But everything that is now available, it might be time to test out the limitations I have usually run into 😁
Teams vs. Chat vs. Standard, Private and Shared Channels – The Ultimate Guide – Robert Mulsow
I work with MS Teams every day, but have not had the time to look deeper into the differences and possibilities of the different types of access / ways for teams to share knowledge with each other.
This was exactly what Robert took us through in his session. Very visually, he showed us the differences and possibilities of using Teams, Chat, Private and Shared channels within MS Teams.
With his visual illustrations about different access, on the example of Microsoft internal users vs external users, made it possible for me to very easily follow the content and topics discussed.
Once again, very active audience and questions lead to very good discussions on General channel, cross tenant access and when it makes sense to use what.
Lunch was served at the social area of the venue. Everyone got a lunch bag that had sandwiches, dessert, smoothie. A very tasty and filling lunch! At the same time, lunch gave a very good possibility for networking / socializing with the other attendees / speakers. We were not allowed to have any food / drinks in the session or speaker rooms, meaning that people ate together and made new connections. I had some very good conversations with Piotr Rusak and Nico Fehrenbach about everything Dynamics and Power Platform.
AI discussion panel – Robert Mulsow, Marijn Somers, Michael Roth, Adis Jugo, Mike Guzowski, Antje Lamartine, Marcin Wojciechowski
There were multiple great sessions and this point, but as AI is on everyone’s minds currently, then I was very interested to hear what the different experts had to say about the topic.
It was a panel session and moderated by Robert, and it became very quickly clear that this is a topic all the panelists are very passionate about.
They discussed different possibilities with it, whether they think AI will take over and quickly also agreed that there is a reason why Microsoft has called it copilot instead of just pilot. It is an awesome tool, but it does not give you anything new. It uses data that exists to create suggestions / analysis, but it won’t create never seen recipes or code.
I also enjoyed the fact that they weren’t always all on the same page. That is also where the discussions got more lively and passionate. It was great content on how and what the panelists think of the topic and using AI in work or everyday life. Even learned some personal details about some panelists 😁
Power Platform Governance: The bare minimum – Michael Roth
Governance, a topic that is very important, but has not received the love it deserves. Michaels session focused on the bare minimum functionality that you have to look at for each tenant / environment.
There was a lot of new information and there has also recently come a lot of new functionality to the Power Platform admin center, making it easier to set up governance.
One area that Michael was a bit concerned about was Managed Environments. And the fact that, making some functionality only available for Managed Environments makes it push a lot of organizations to use them, even when it might not make sense.
I enjoyed that it wasn’t a walk through of the CoE Starter Kit, but actual functionality present in the admin center, that every admin has access to. Although some finctionality like self service licenses take a bit more to be able to govern. So we also saw some Powershell 😊
But not to disappoint people, he did also suggest to look into the starter kit, but the point was that you can also do a lot of things directly from the admin portal, to make sure your governance is in place.
Power Platform – Tips for Scale: Based on a True Story – Mike Guzowski
Session based on real life projects and learnings from them. Mike showed us 2 different approaches to Power Platform projects. Some tips and tricks like not to reinvent the wheel and use integrated tools like MS Project, MS Teams, Azure DevOps and Jira.
Also looked at the differences, combining and when to use low code, pro code, no code solutions.
Very insightful session about two specific projects and approaches 😊
Closing and raffle – Org team
Great way to end the day of learning is to hand out prizes 😁
There was a raffle for awesome Lego sets and tickets to conferences like ESPC23 and European Collaboration Summit and the main prize Nintendo Switch.
Raffle was done with taking advantage of the latest technologies and solutions. We all added our lanyards into a bowl and then after very skillful shaking, the winners were drawn and presented 🙂
All in all a very successful event. Thank you to everyone that attended my session, for the great conversations and great insights into new topics for me. I’ve learned a lot about topics like MS Teams, SharePoint, governance, etc. Let’s see what I can master out with all the knowledge now! 😉
See you at CollabDays Poland 2024!