Earlier this month, Dell Software was a proud sponsor, again, for the SharePoint Evolutions conference at the QE2 Conference Center at Parliament Square in London. Despite being across the street from Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, “Big Ben” (Elizabeth Tower) and the Margaret Thatcher funeral procession (below), there was a lot of fascinating news coming out of the conference. And clouds, clouds, clouds.

Procession, © 2013 Christopher F. McNulty on Flickr

Two strong trends emerged throughout the week at sessions and at our booth. First, there’s a groundswell of interest in SharePoint 2013 and Office 365. To sum up, there’s good awareness that Dell Software’s been leading the way with migrations to SharePoint Online and Office 365 using Migration Suite for SharePoint. Similarly, we released one of the earliest management reporting tools for Office 365 over a year ago as part of Site Administrator. Finally, our Dell Social Hub has been a pioneer in apps for Office 365 on the Microsoft Store, helping pave the way for more online customization soon, drawing on our experience with Quick Apps for Sharepoint.

There was a LOT of interest in moving to SharePoint 2013 this year. And in general, I’d say customers are preparing themselves to move to Office 365 during the next two years, and are working to align their project roadmap with Microsoft and ISVs like Dell. It’s a much more pro-cloud vision than I’ve heard at prior events.

There is also a lot more interest in custom apps on the SharePoint platform – with in the box capabilities, with custom code, and increasingly with tools like Quick Apps.

Finally, although web-based file storage has been one of SharePoint’s strong points since 2001, that’s not unique anymore. What distinguishes SharePoint is pairing its strong content management with at least one other workload – apps, social, search, workflow, forms, or business intelligence are frequently mentioned.

Many thanks to the entire Dell team, especially Jo Radomska for all out event support throughout the week. Special thanks also to Steve Smith and the Combined Knowledge team for another strong event. Our presentation “SharePoint 2013 – Why Migrate, How to Get There, How to Stay There” is also available at http://communities.quest.com/docs/DOC-14932