Recently, we caught up with Mark Kashman, Senior Product Manager at Microsoft about SharePoint, moving to the cloud, SharePint and more.
KL: With all of the enhancements to SharePoint, with more to come, how do you see the Partner Community playing a role in the $10B ecosystem?
MK: Microsoft scales through partners, period. Not a secret I hope. The combination of SharePoint and OneDrive affords partner opportunities for file sharing and collaboration, the mobile and intelligent intranet, cloud migration and hybrid and business applications. From there, the breadth and depth of partner innovation on top of SharePoint and OneDrive, helping to shape the now and the next. It then all revolves around solid planning and implementation. Some of the broader use cases and workloads require good partners who can look at a customer’s ‘now’ and help guide to where Wayne Gretzky is going to skate to next – into a functional, modern intranet — before the puck arrives – one that users love and is balanced and blessed by IT. And finally, partners will help drive use and adoption like never before. Customer evaluation of SharePoint is now more constant now. “What has SharePoint done for me lately?” evolves into, “What can I do next with SharePoint?” More customers are moving to and leveraging the cloud. The opportunity is there to help onboard new capabilities and spread them throughout the enterprise to consistently improve ROI.
KL: For companies using SharePoint, yet flirting with the idea of moving to SharePoint Online, what advice do you have?
MK: Get started today. It is possible to move many core productivity workloads to the cloud, and to do it in a smart way – and know that usability and performance are just as important as data security and privacy. Customers of all sizes are betting on SharePoint Online (SPO); 40% of all seats sold are in SharePoint Online, with 60% of new seats being in Office 365. Consider moving the Files workload (MyDocuments within on-premises MySites into OneDrive for Business); we have a FastTrack offering for this and great partners to help. Migrate all active team sites to SPO, and establish all new team sites be created in SPO. Begin moving portals and sub-portals to the cloud. And as you hit migration blockers, establish hybrid so that you can move to the cloud at your own pace – in a connected pattern that evolves with you. SharePoint Online has fewer gaps in comparison than ever before, and it is deeply connected to the overall Office 365 service in ways that deliver new innovation and experiences beyond what standalone SharePoint Server on-premises offers.
KL: You’ve been with SharePoint for a while now. Looking back, what are the lessons you’ve learned?
MK: Never underestimate SharePoint. Not only is the team behind it dedicated to the long haul, the community that stands behind it is strong and growing. The saying still holds true, “No one ever lost their job betting on Microsoft.” SharePoint has been around for 15 years supporting and promoting the intranet, through upgrades and expansion of use. SharePoint, the product and service, keeps getting better. I, too, have learned that SharePoint is not the only tool, and it shouldn’t be. It’s an important one to put in place to have options – some that function right out of the box, and others that build upon the services others provide.
KL: You love to read. What are you currently reading? Any business/self-improvement/philosophy books you recommend?
MK: My current read, for fun, is “Mind’s Eye” — a technothriller by Nick Hall; I wouldn’t mind be able to surf the web in my head – oh yeah, and read minds. And “for work,” I’m slowly making my way through Thomas Friedman’s “Thank You for Being Late;” my hope is that it lends clarity to the three forces he describes: technology, globalization and climate change; they’re all connected, and seems good to gain perspective and Mr. Friedman — always proves a good thinker to learn from.
KL: I read in an interview you like to write. Are you working on anything? Tell me more about that.
MK: I constantly write as a part of my ‘product manager’ day job – primarily for blogs.office.com, the Microsoft Tech Community and whitepapers/video scripts/and the like; next up, workwise, is for the wave of innovation we are working on throughout calendar year 2017. And on the life side of things, I dabble in writing children’s books. My first one, “Quiet Art,” is out on Amazon, with my second one, “Our Monster” publishing in a few months (finger’s crossed), a third one on its heels titled, “CaterSlug.”
KL: Any lessons learned as a dad that you’ve been able to apply to your work? Or vice versa?
MK: I got to meet Bill Clinton when he spoke at the SharePoint Conference a few years back. I got about 45 seconds with him to ask him one thing. And since I have a daughter, I asked, “How have you and Hillary helped Chelsea grow into the grounded, well-rounded woman?” I’d always admired that even among their crazy schedules, Chelsea seemed pretty intact. To which he paused a moment (eating up about 5 seconds of my allotted 45 seconds), and then said, “You simply let them know you are there, no matter what. Be present, even when it gets hectic.” He then cited a study with empirical data that backed him up. And so, I’ve taken that one for sure in all I do as a dad, to both my daughter and my son. And it translates pretty good to the core of how I approach work – show up. Be present. Represent. Get involved. Try, and try again. Work, and rework, the issues. Oh yeah, and get used to eye rolls when you crack a dad’pun or two!
KL: And last but not least – Do you attend the SharePint sessions? Got a beer of choice for that?
MK: Long live SharePint! I try not to miss ‘em, big or small. And I love it when you are talking about SharePint and someone points out you forgot the “o.” To which I say, “o” no I didn’t! Productivity runs on SharePint! And SharePoint helps, too. If you’ve never tried it, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout is mighty tasty
Follow Mark Kashman on Twitter @mkashman.