Bill Clinton is hardly the person you might expect to be a keynote speaker at one of the biggest, most anticipated techie conventions in the country, but that’s exactly the role he played in this year’s SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas.
As a self-professed neophyte when it comes to the nuts and bolts of SharePoint (or computer technology in general for that matter), the former president seemed to many like an odd choice—something Clinton himself acknowledged in his speech earlier this month:
“My daughter used to make fun of me for being so technologically challenged, and they still do, my family. When I became president, there were only 50 sites on the Internet. More than that have been added since I started talking.”
So why was he chosen to speak to thousands of “SharePointologists” about the future of workplace collaboration?
For starters, he’s Bill Clinton, and a name like that is sure to draw in loads of curious attendees, media coverage, and blog attention (touché, Microsoft). But also, Clinton has had a close relationship with Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founding father, for many years. Together, Clinton and Gates have worked together on their humanitarian aid foundations (www.clintonfoundation.org and www.gatesfoundation.org respectively).
But despite his seemingly unrelated qualifications for being the headline speaker a SharePoint conference, Clinton did touch on a key point during his speech—namely, the possibility of transformation and how technology like SharePoint is helping people all around the globe to better communicate and collaborate in critical times of crisis. Times like the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, Clinton said.
“Technology is liberating people, empowering them. But how they use it, and how you use it, depends in no small measure on identity — and whether in what we have in common is more important than our interesting differences.”
Following Clinton’s inspiring message on the transformational impact of technology, Jared Spataro, general manager of product marketing for Microsoft Office, focused this general theme into four key cornerstones of Microsoft’s vision of SharePoint in the months and years ahead:
- We believe the future of work is all about working as a Network.
- We believe in personal insights that can be heard when you cut through the noise.
- We believe in the power of an open development platform and a robust ecosystem.
- We believe that the future of work is only possible when people can work anywhere on any device where organizations can still manage them securely.
These goals have, and will undoubtedly continue to shape the framework of future releases and upgrades within Office365 and SharePoint Online.
You can watch Bill Clinton’s entire speech at the 2013 SharePoint Conference on YouTube.
To find out how to engage effective collaboration in your workplace, talk to a professional SharePoint consultant at Innovative Architects today.