The SharePoint 2012 Conference kicks off today in Las Vegas, and we’ve been browsing the list of the more than 250 sessions for the most compelling, insightful, and important. Here is an easy list of sessions and topics you simply shouldn’t miss (Check your MySPC for times and locations):

Any session featuring Microsoft and e-commerce: Among other things, Microsoft has been labeled as “sleepy” with their e-commerce strategy. Development efforts for their main e-commerce offering, Commerce Server, were turned over to a third party company. Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 released a technical preview in March 2011 for the next version, but not much else. Meanwhile competitors such as Oracle have moved forward with some major acquisitions and continued to grab market share in this area.

So it’s been interesting watching the strategy around the Dynamics platform and whether this will take over as their e-commerce offering.

This year the conference features two sessions on this and SharePoint 2013. There will obviously be some pretty interesting things possible when you start combining 2013’s search capabilities with a solid e-commerce platform.

Don’t miss:

  • E-commerce solutions with Dynamics for Retail and SharePoint 2013
  • How SharePoint 2013 and Dynamics for Retail Play Together to Deliver Unique Business Value


The Ten Sessions on Yammer: That’s a lot of sessions for a company and product they purchased less than five months ago. There’s been quite a bit of speculation that this was mostly a defensive move by Microsoft as Yammer seemed to be a popular alternative to SharePoint for some companies. This session mentions “a sneak peak” of the product road map, which I hope will allow us to understand if this is something in the next version of SharePoint or maybe when this solution will be available.

Don’t miss:

  • How Yammer and SharePoint are Approaching Social (This session’s title seems pretty ambitious with SharePoint just hitting RTM on October 11th, but according to the description this will cover “Booz Allen’s transition and lessons learned moving from a conglomeration of social tools to SharePoint 2013.”)
  • Customer Showcase: How Booz Allen is using social capabilities of SharePoint and Yammer


Office 365 Gets a Lot of Exposure: There are 83 sessions categorized as Office 365. Not including general SharePoint, this is the most covered topic.

I’ll be looking to learn about Coca-Cola’s move to Office 365. That’s a big move and huge win for Microsoft if they smoothly transitioned Coke’s 100,000+ employees.

Dont’ miss:

  • Customer Showcase: Transitioning Coca-Cola Enterprise to the new Office 365


Deep Dive into Azure’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Model: With Microsoft aggressively targeting the Cloud market share, we’re expecting some impressive demos in the Azure sessions. We’d also expect some pretty clear use cases to be demonstrated to make these new services no-brainers for CIOs.

Don’t miss:

  • Windows Azure IaaS Deep Dive for SharePoint IT Professionals
  • Deploying SharePoint Farms on Windows Azure Virtual Machines


Deep Dive into Windows Workflow: Microsoft has added a lot of firepower to SharePoint’s workflow, which should make this a lot more attractive to larger enterprises. Expect impressive demos and sessions on a host of new features.

Don’t miss:

  • CRM BI and Workflow tracking with Microsoft Visio
  • Building end-to-end apps for SharePoint with Windows Azure and Windows 8

SharePoint 2012 promises to be one of the most eventful SharePoint conferences ever. With enterprise collaboration principles becoming ever more ingrained as a standard business practice rather than relegated to tech-forward companies, and 2013’s release, there are more organizations than ever looking to leverage the power of SharePoint. And with so many sessions on important topics, it’d be easy to skip something that could be vital to your success.

Remember to check back here after the Conference and see what you might have missed. In the meantime, what are you looking forward to?

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