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SharePoint Future, Search and More: 5 Questions with Matthew McDermott

If you’ve been to Live! 360/Office & SharePoint Live!, you’ve no doubt crossed paths with Matthew McDermott.

As SharePoint has risen in stature, Matthew has fully immersed himself in Microsoft’s collaboration platform. Matthew has been a Microsoft SharePoint Server MVP eight times. He a founder and director at Aptillon, Inc., a veteran presenter and conference co-chair at SharePoint Live!, and a part-time trainer for Critical Path Training.

When he’s not working his magic with SharePoint, he helps out the FBI, and the Austin and San Antonio, Texas Police Departments as a canine handler for K9 Search. He also likes spending time in the kitchen and tending bar.

To get a better sense on the future of SharePoint, we recently asked Matthew for his expert take on a few key areas relating to this platform.

1. "What first got you into SharePoint?"

I started out back in 2000 with Microsoft and “Project Central.” I was a Delphi developer and getting into Project Management. I liked where Microsoft was going with its dashboards and portals. When Microsoft released Project Server, I jumped right in. Although it turns out the part I was fascinated with was the “Issues, Risks and Documents.” Those were all being handled by Windows SharePoint Services, the baby brother of SharePoint Portal Server. I shifted my focus from Project Server to SharePoint and never looked back.

2. "What is it about SharePoint that keeps you challenged and engaged?"

It has to be the people involved with SharePoint. I love talking to folks about how they’re using (or trying to use) SharePoint and Office 365. There are so many interesting and innovative ideas out there. This is a product that's always in motion, so it really keeps me on my toes.

3. "What are some of the biggest changes or advancements you see coming in the next few years?"

I'm a die-hard search advocate. I'm optimistic that as our systems become smarter, they'll get better at helping us find more than what we're looking for—they'll help us find what we need. Metadata and tagging are challenges that we face now. I would love to see “smarter” methods for classifying our content that result in better search experiences.

4. "What would be your top priorities if you were the lead product manager for SharePoint?"

I would be focused on answering the metadata question. Why do we spend time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tagging content, and then kick and scream about it on SharePoint? That’s because it’s a drag in SharePoint. Tagging on social platforms is easy and fun, and getting smarter every day. If you can recognize my face, why can’t you recognize an invoice?

5. "What are some things that most people miss or don’t get the most out of when using, deploying or configuring SharePoint?"

Honestly, for SharePoint they miss training. They think it should be easy so why do we need training? The problem is that there's general knowledge training, like how to upload a document. Then there's application-specific training, as in, “How does our organization use SharePoint?” Most companies fail to provide either. Then, they complain about lack of user acceptance and poor governance.

Join Matthew and so many other SharePoint experts this year at Office & SharePoint Live!, a part of Live! 360, December 5 – 9, 2016 in Orlando, FL.

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/09/2016 at 1:30 PM


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