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Hello from Sympraxis Consulting. Things don't stand still here for very long and we wanted to share some of our news once again.

Symp-le News

Mike Gilronan Joins Sympraxis

by Marc D Anderson

We've grown again, welcoming our friend Mike Gilronan into the Sympraxis family as of the beginning of 2020. Most of us at Sympraxis have known Mike for years and had the chance to work with him on multiple projects. We know Mike's capabilities well and we're excited to have him aboard as part of the team.

Mike likes to call himself a "recovering CPA", but he's really a great consultant who happens to have a background in accounting. He brings deep project and program management skills to Sympraxis. Mike is also  a skilled citizen developer and information architect.

Mike is well-known in the Boston area and beyond for his work and jovial spirit. He's a black belt word nerd, so ask him your thorny grammar questions. Please join us in welcoming him.

Website Revamp

When we looked at our website and tried to figure out where to add Mike's photo and bio, we realized we'd outgrown the design we put together back in 2015. We have a brand new website with even more details about what we do, how we do it, and why we love doing it. We just launched it on Feb 4, so if you head over there soon, the new software smell ought not to have faded yet.

As we've grown, so have our capabilities. We have a new, expanded Services page explaining in more detail how we can help our clients. We're proud of what we're able to accomplish and in this section you can read about our core offerings:

We've also expanded our Community section. We Sympraxians are fervent about community, so we want to highlight the community opportunities in the geographies where we live and work, as well as how we try to contribute and where we will be speaking.

Let us know what you think!

What Version?

by Marc D Anderson

People ask us all the time what version of SharePoint we see most people out there using. While our client base certainly does not make a statistically significant sample, we've seen a shift in the last year or so. Almost all of our clients are now using Microsoft 365 or we're helping them to get there. We have a few clients who are still on premises, but it is rarer and rarer for us to talk to a new client who wants to stay there.

We see several reasons for the shift:

  • All of Microsoft's investment is in the cloud. People want to be able to take advantage of the phenomenal new capabilities offered in Microsoft 365 and realize that many of those capabilities may never come to the on premises products.
  • The way people are viewing and managing the pace of change in the cloud has also changed. Rather than fearing near-constant updates, it's become clear to most people that those updates also bring new capabilities - as well as fixes. If something rolls out and there's an issue, it's generally fixed within hours or days. On premises, it might take months or more.
  • Running servers is complex and expensive. We see organizations realizing that their admins have more to offer them than just adding memory or taking backups. By removing the mundane admin tasks, those folks are able to have higher impact in their work.

The cloud may not be for everyone, but increasingly we're seeing that the discussion is less about whether the cloud makes sense, and more about what parts of the topology should stay on premises and for what reasons - if any.

All that said, we're not version snobs at Sympraxis. If you're using an earlier on premises version, we're happy to work with you. We want to help you understand the value of the cloud, but we won't be the ones to force you there.

Community Highlights

Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways – General Availability

In this video, Julie demonstrates setting up Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways in a tenant. The release to General Availability (GA) of Learning Pathways was announced at Ignite. It's a free curated product training platform from Microsoft with content updated quarterly. Admins can elect to augment and expose that content (via Web Parts) in their SharePoint sites today. Microsoft and non-Microsoft (for example, your own custom training) content can be pulled from multiple sources and viewed on a single SharePoint page. 

We're proud of Julie's work on Learning Pathways for Microsoft!

This PnP community demo is taken from the bi-weekly SharePoint Developer Community - General Development Special Interest Group (SIG) call recorded on December 12, 2019.

SharePoint Usage Docs

Marc is still working on a new PnP repository (repo) on usage and feature patterns for site owners and citizen developers, originally called sp-usage-docs. The goal is to build an open source set of content to help people like Information Architects, Business Analysts, Site Owners, and "Makers" (aka Citizen Developers) use the platform better. There are now over twenty articles, which have been contributed by more than twelve people. The repo recently moved to a new home in the Microsoft Docs organization, but all the links you may have visited previously still work. We're still working out the details, but this repo will become part of sometime very soon.

If you have content ideas, write up an issue with those ideas. If you'd like to contribute content, it's a great way to get your name in front of a LOT of Microsoft 365 users and people at Microsoft.

Regional User Groups

These New England area user groups are an excellent place to build your relationship with and stature in the Best Community in Tech™. We believe if you aren’t utilizing the community, you’re doing it wrong.

Boston SharePoint (BASPUG) / Office 365 User Group (BOS365)

Yes, they have merged!
Organizers: Dimitri Ayrapetov, Mike Dixon, David Lozzi
Twitter: @Bos365


Rhode Island SharePoint User Group (RISPUG)
Organizers: D’arce Hess & Catherine Thenault
Twitter: #RISPUG

Granite State SharePoint User Group (NHSPUG)
Organizers: Jim Wilcox & and our own Derek Cash-Peterson
Twitter: @NHSharePointUG


Hartford Office 365 User Group
Organizer: Jared Matfess

Teams Thursday New England

We're working on the first ever Teams Thursday New England on April 2 and would love to see you there. If you've been to a SharePoint Saturday New England, you know the basic idea. But this is all about Teams. And it's on a Thursday. But same bat-location: Microsoft offices at 5 Wayside Road, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803. We're in the midst of speaker and session selection, and registration should be open within the next few business days.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

We've added a new section on our brand spanking new website covering where and when we will be speaking. Take a look at our Community Events and/or Speaking Engagements pages. With our number up to six, there will always be something coming up soon.
That said, we often have discount codes we can offer you for the conferences where we will be doing sessions.
SPTechCon in San Francisco is coming up fast, Feb 17-21. Derek, Emily, and Marc will be speaking, and you can use any one of our codes to save $200 on registration: DerekCP20, EmilyM20, or MarcA20.

Three of us - Todd, Julie, and Marc - will be speaking at the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas in May. If you use our code SYMPRAXIS or visit the registration page with the link, you can save $50 on registration.

Sympraxis Consulting
Sympraxis Consulting
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