365 EduCon, a Microsoft 365 Conference, Seattle 2023: The Roundup

Experience the latest advancements from 365 EduCon in Seattle, where we dived deep into SharePoint, Microsoft Syntex, and more. Discover how our solutions like the Staff Directory app are innovating the SharePoint space. Get a sip of the best coffee places in town and learn why our Cloudwell cowbell is the talk of the event. Dive into insights from SharePoint giants like Mark Kashman, get M365 tips from Nate Chamberlain, and see what's brewing in the Microsoft Loop app.

Catch up on all the buzz from 365 EduCon Seattle with our recap blog.

We’ve just wrapped up an amazing week at 365 EduCon + PWR EduCon in Seattle, home of Microsoft legends Bill Gates and Paul Allen and a top tech hub in the US.

Despite Seattle’s rep for rain, the Emerald City was all sun during the 365 EduCon event, where we proudly served as a Gold sponsor.

In the city that birthed Starbucks, we sat down for coffee with valued customers, old colleagues, friends, and with the greats of the SharePoint community. From insights to espresso, we’re brewing up all the details for you here – thanks a latte Mark Kashman (pun intended).

Dive in to see the latest in the M365 and Power Platform landscape and get the scoop on how to secure our sought-after Cloudwell Cowbell for your next escapade.

View dynamic groups in SharePoint with our Team Members app

Mark Kashman and Pat McGown at 365 EduCon Seattle 2023
Cloudwell's CEO Pat McGown talked all things SharePoint with Mark Kashman at 365 EduCon, Seattle 2023

It was quite the nostalgic trip when our CEO, Pat, and Senior Product Manager for SharePoint, Mark Kashman, rendezvoused. Both began their SharePoint adventures in the early 2000s, and with a combined 44 years of expertise under their belts, their conversation was nothing short of enlightening.

As they shared stories and insights from their extensive journeys, Mark highlighted a recent challenge. Ahead of large events like 365 EduCon, the task of collaborating with dynamic groups in SharePoint can be… well, a bit cumbersome.

Collaborating with a broad group of folks, some of whom are Microsoft team members, others Microsoft partners outside of the organization, Mark doesn’t want the hassle of manually adding and removing people to the communication site via the people web part and keeping track of who’s coming and going. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have one web part that looks at an Azure AD dynamic groups and people just come and go?

Luckily, we have a solution to his problem with our Team Members app. Check out our demo video to see how we solve this challenge:

Microsoft 365 Tips and Tricks from MVP Nate Chamberlain and CEO Pat McGown

We’re big fans of Nate Chamberlain, and his session on M365 tips and tricks was nothing short of a revelation. When we finally had the chance to sit down and chat with him in person, we couldn’t resist asking, “What’s your top M365 hack?”

Here’s what he had to say…

“One of the things I love telling customers is to always use the formatting styles when working with Office tools like Word and PowerPoint. It’s a game-changer, especially when you’re trying to transform a Word document into a Sway webpage. Believe me, it’ll save you loads of time.”

Inspired by Nate’s wisdom, we shared a little nugget of our own. We highlighted the magic of the text extractor feature in Microsoft PowerToys. If you’ve ever wished to copy text straight to your clipboard from an image or any screen element, this is your go-to tool. Imagine the ease when creating presentations or proof of concepts, streamlining data entry processes like never before. A true game-changer in the M365 universe!

Spotlight on Our Staff Directory app: Susan Hanley Approved!

We were pleased to catch up with renowned Information Architect, Intranet and Knowledge Management Consultant, Susan Hanley once again.

For some time now, the SharePoint community has voiced recurring feature requests, longing for specific solutions. We’ve been tuning in, innovating, and tailoring our apps to meet those needs. So, imagine our excitement when we got to showcase our latest innovation to Sue!

Happily, she watched a demo of our Staff Directory app, and loved it. She even put us in touch with a potential new customer!

So, thanks Susan for your time and support. We owe you one!

Watch our demo and see for yourself how our Staff Directory app connects into the Azure Active Directory and helpfully displays the users and guests within your organization and Microsoft 365 tenant.

The Latest Advancements for Microsoft Syntex

You know it’s a good day when you cross paths with an old pal, and for Pat, it was reuniting with his former work buddy and Microsoft Syntex maestro, Tom Resing.

The conversation quickly turned to Syntex. Remember when its licensing felt like a splurge for many due to its per-user licensing model? Well, that’s old news!

Starting July 1, organizations can dive into processing documents, invoices, and content galore in SharePoint libraries with Syntex now on a pay-as-you-go model. More cost-effective, more power-packed. Syntex is now set to be everyone’s favorite tool in the shed!

Exciting New Features Coming to Loop

Guess who we ran into? None other than Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager for Loop, Derek Liddell! He gave us a sneak peek into what’s brewing next for Loop.

With security and compliance top of mind, an all-new admin feature is gearing up for launch soon. And wait for it… guest access is joining the party after that!

Our love for Loop? It’s loop-de-loop level. Bring on the updates! 🔄🎉

Seattle Had a Fever, and the Only Prescription Was More Cloudbell

Cloudwell’s Cloudbell swag stole the show at EduCon 365 Seattle. Can you guess the inspiration behind it?

Once again our Cloudwell Cloudbell was a hot topic and much sought after swag. The buzz at 365 EduCon was all about it, and spoiler alert: we didn’t bring any back.

Sure, we love using ours to cheer on our team’s victories. And yes, in the comfort of our homes, it’s the modern-day dinner bell for summoning the kids.

Interested in getting your hands on one?

For a chance to own your very own Cloudbell, let us know how you would use yours 👇. One EduCon attendee was planning on taking hers for a night out on the town!

Craving a Stellar Cup of Joe? We've Got the Buzz. 🐝☕

So, here’s the tea… or rather, coffee:
You’d think, being in Seattle, we’d follow the crowd and flock to the OG Starbucks at Pike Place Market. But nope, not this time!

Thanks to a hot tip from Seattle native, Mark Kashman, we took a detour to Monorail Espresso. And boy, did it hit the spot! One sip, and we were all aboard the flavor train. It’s hands down, the best brew we’ve tasted.

Guess we’ve found another reason (as if we needed one!) to make a pitstop in Seattle for 365 EduCon + PWR EduCon next year. See you in 2024?

Cheers to Mark Kashman for leading us to Monorail Espresso! Pictured here, a perfect blend of their brew and our swag.