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How Your SharePoint Admin or Dev Role Changed Overnight at MSIgnite

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You may not have been watching when with one simple event Microsoft pulled the rug from under you.  Your role as a SharePoint Admin or Dev will never be the same.   

For Admins

First, there was the move from file shares to SharePoint. Then from Windows SharePoint Services to SharePoint Server and with it a focus on enterprise search, Intranets, and a centralized look at enterprise data and a centralized communication platform. 

Teams has changed the vision.  Let me break it down for you.  Teams is the people-centric, one place, a unified tool for modern collaboration, your applications, your interactivity with AI, and real time collaboration with your team and with the enterprise in Yammer without leaving Teams.  Why leave the interface to go do anything else?  Your job is to help wire up and integrate the organizations throughout the company.  Sure, you’ll be doing some migrations and consolidations as tools improve this is a never ending task for IT it seems, but there’s a clear vision to focus on to provide a seamless modern Teamwork experience where your data lives.  Your role more than ever now relies on getting closer to the business to help them with their SharePoint data as it is more easily brought into the contextual experiences of Teams.  These rich work spaces are designed around making it easier to collaborate.  You should NOT feel bad that your SharePoint job now exists inside of a Teams interface.  There may a lot of people who don’t see it, but over time you’ll come to realize the Teams interface is a better SharePoint interface. 

For Devs

You should never again create a SharePoint webpart or App that is SharePoint only.  Never again. 

You should absolutely be looking at the SharePoint Framework in it’s ability to produce content in both Teams and SharePoint.  EVEN IF your company is not using teams you should NEVER again create customizations of SharePoint without Teams in mind.  There is a very important integration that should not be ignored.  SharePoint in your organization may be consumed alone, but at some point in the future, the organization will pick up teams and start looking at the app or webpart or solution you’ve built and wonder… will this work in Teams? 

Working on a Flow? 

Where should that approval go? SharePoint UX? No. Email? Hmmm. What about a channel where everyone can not only see status but go through review the data and the entire team manage the approvals? Email for notifications? Sure.  But with a little bit of evaluation, you’ll quickly realize it is much better consumed in Teams.  You may not see it today, but it’s true…especially in the long run. 

Working on a Power App? 

See it both from the context not only of SharePoint, but through the lens of Teams UX.  Publishing your app in Teams means better discoverability and reuse.  You’ll thank me later for that.  Teams has a much better store for apps.  As a dev you’re going to want to build your solutions with the intention of them living in Teams.  Don’t get stuck in the past.  You may still use SharePoint components for what you build, but definitely do not forget that Teams is the future and Microsoft’s biggest investment and fastest growing product in history.  Lists, storage, user experience…all of these things should be seen from a structure of how will this work, look, display in SharePoint AND Teams. 

The Most Important Microsoft Application Platform: Teams

It’s not just a tool it is an application platform, and the most important Microsoft application platform.  Not SharePoint.  There are armies with hundreds of developers building connectors, cards, bot integration, automation, and more.  There are already over a million apps in Teams, and you didn’t even realize it was a platform.  Whoa!  Mind blown!  

The focus on Teams and SharePoint is a wake up call to devs and admins that these two tools no longer should be seen as separate.  What tool got the most attention of any product at Ignite? Teams.  What tool got the most attention at Inspire? Teams.  With recent reorgs in the field what product has more emphasis and nearly all the emphasis of CSMs? Clearly it is Teams.  The call to action for SharePoint Admins and Developers is to understand how this should impact them…it absolutely does.  From a friend to a friend, please listen to this call to pay attention to what I’m saying. 

Thinking about how Teams can Change your organization?

Check out our Build Your Modern Workplace Hub with Microsoft Teams Webinar taking place December 5th, here’s a link to register today. We’ll also be hosting Teams and Adoption Change Management Summits in Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Silicon Valley beginning in January 2020. Details coming soon!

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Joel Oleson, Director Microsoft National Practice

Joel Oleson is recognized as one of the world’s most connected Microsoft Community leaders. He is well traveled speaking and visiting communities in over 100 countries. He has been awarded Microsoft's highest recognition as Office Apps & Services MVP, Microsoft Regional Director awards, and multiple "Ship It" awards for Office and SharePoint from his time at Microsoft. Joel was the first dedicated SharePoint Admin and Architect for SharePoint Online. Joel is Director at Perficient in the Microsoft National Practice. Visit his technical blog at and travel blog at

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