That was the year that was…2023

As 2023 draws to a close we take a look back at all the highlights from our year including launching three new SharePoint apps, our dedicated MVP Program Cloud9, attending several in-person events, appearing as a guest on Microsoft’s The Intrazone Podcast, as well as welcoming a new colleague. Let’s dive into the details.

Three new SharePoint apps launched in the SharePoint Store

We’re massive SharePoint fans. Having spent the last 21 years working in this space, we like to think that we’ve grown up with the platform. Yet, for all that we celebrate about SharePoint, it does have its gaps.

Which is where our new apps Staff Directory, Team Members, and most recently, Viva Announcements, come in. Originally built as solutions for our customers, all three apps fill several of the most common pain points of SharePoint.

Staff Directory solves the challenge of SharePoint not providing a native directory for staff to find people, which is consistently a top requested feature by our customers.

Team Members solves the problem of adding and displaying users from Microsoft 365 groups, SharePoint groups, Teams, and Azure Active Directory (by department, role, project team, security group, or rank) in one place. 

Viva Announcements enables you to see your Viva Connections Announcements anywhere in SharePoint sites, which is not currently possible in the native Viva Connections experience.

These apps sit alongside and are compatible with our popular Calendar Overlay app, which is now being used by 100s of organizations globally.

Find out more about how Calendar Overlay is boosting efficiency for one UK special school in our case study.

The Cloudbell took center stage at in-person events

EduCon 365 Cloudbell Swag

It was a welcome relief to be hitting the conference circuit in person again this year. Free from the shackles of COVID, our team attended four major events.

While we were popular, our Cloudbell swag caused the biggest stir. At one event an attendee gave it a shout-out on the dedicated social app, calling it the “best giveaway” there!

We use ours to celebrate wins (and call our kids for dinner). For a chance to win one, tell us how you’d use yours?

At EduCon DC we enjoyed MVP Susan Hanley’s presentation on Information Architecture for Microsoft 365 Intranets. Our favorite take-away was about the importance of knowing your users first before structuring information. A sentiment that was reiterated by MVP Emily Mancini in her session about intranet design.

In the Emerald city, home to home of Microsoft legends Bill Gates and Paul Allen, we caught up with Mark Kashman and Pat’s former work buddy and Microsoft Syntex maestro, Tom Resing at EduCon Seattle. It was great to discuss how you can now use Syntex on a pay-as-you-go model, opening up possibilities for more to dive into processing documents, invoices, and content galore in SharePoint libraries.

CollabDays NE was packed full of SharePoint and Teams insights. It was good to find out that Microsoft Teams has a new ‘Search’ experience coming soon, which will be music to most Teams users’ ears! We attended a great session on how to harness the various open-source PnP gadgets that are available. Hugo Bernier and Beau Cameron talked through how these tools and gadgets – SPFx web parts and extension accelerators, list formatting definitions with interactive, animated interfaces and the Microsoft 365 Command Line Interface, can be used.

Power of the web part – The Intrazone Podcast

In October, our very own CEO and co-founder Pat McGown was honored to be invited on to the Intrazone podcast hosted by none other than Senior Product Manager at Microsoft for SharePoint Mark Kashman to talk all things SharePoint and web parts.

Pat and Mark reflected on how far SharePoint has come since its inception. Pat is especially happy with the new SharePoint framework which integrates with native Fluent UI and has introduced advanced web part development enabling us to really deliver a cohesive user experience to the end users in SharePoint and Teams. We’re all happy that customers are no longer asking us to make their tenant “not look like SharePoint” anymore.

Cloud9 Program

At the beginning of fall, we launched a brand-new partner program, Cloud9, exclusively for Microsoft MVPs. Our Cloud9 partners get a first look at our newest SharePoint apps and features and are a part of our development journey. Members help test and provide feedback on beta releases, shaping our solutions for the better for all our customers.

New Teammate

At the beginning of the year, we welcomed the talented Mike Ostrander to our team. A SharePoint ninja, with over 15 years of experience developing customizations and solutions for organizations from The Walt Disney Company to the U.S. Forest Service, he came on board as a Senior SharePoint Developer and has already added so much value. Mike joined us at EduCon Seattle, where he attended industry expert sessions and discussed with customers how we can leverage the various technologies to enhance their modern workplace experiences.


At Cloudwell, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we make it our business to provide innovative enterprise solutions for your business.  

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