Keynote speeches and app development at an American University
Auburn University serves the citizens of the State through instructional, research and outreach programs and prepares Alabamians to respond successfully to the challenges of the global economy. Auburn University provides access to the institution’s resources and draws heavily upon the new instructional and outreach technologies available in the emerging information age.
Auburn University required a refresh of their Microsoft Capabilities, starting with SharePoint and expanding into Teams, Flow and PowerApps. As the SharePoint team met with users they asked questions and listened to how they wanted to collaborate.
From this feedback they extended their feature set, building on what SharePoint had to oﬀer on-premises and in Office365. This refresh was successful, quickly reaching a point where the IT Department needed to showcase the innovation taking place across the campus to share these ideas with other University departments.
Once planning began it quickly gained traction and many other external organizations became interested in collaboration. It was obvious that the time had come for a more ambitious event to capitalize on this and ramp up collaboration to an even higher level, so it was decided to host two events. The first focused on the power of Microsoft Teams, the second on innovative uses of Flow and PowerApps in education.
As interest in the events grew, external speakers were invited including Pieter Veenstra of Triad Group PLC.
Pieter Veenstra is a Triad Group Plc Consultant whose main focus has been on architecting and developing Office 365 solutions for clients using a combination of out-of-the-box functionality and custom development. He also has considerable experience of document management, content management and workflow.
Pieter has a wealth of consulting experience within the UK and the Netherlands, in different sectors and has developed a highly flexible skillset. His blog, “SharePains” started as a way of expressing his views on technology, but grew into a forum where he is constantly asked for help on issues encompassing all of these areas.
His Microsoft work has recently earned him the accolade of Microsoft MVP, an award given to “technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community.” MVP’s are entitled to receive access to Microsoft products in development, to test them, become familiar with them before general release. Triad are Microsoft Gold Partners, which also provides increased levels of access to development projects and marketing support.
The first key note speech covered the entire breadth of features available through the Microsoft development service, only available to Microsoft Gold Partners.
Features were presented which were not yet available in general release. Pieter also presented a section based on the value of bots created for educational tasks which drew significant attention as Pieter demonstrated how tasks can be automated using a bot.
Pieter’s second speech focused on uses of Power Apps and Flow. Pieter created a “cool” app in PowerApps by including a menu of ice creams.
Presenting from Milton Keynes live, Pieter demonstrated using Microsoft Flow how to deliver the ice creams allowing the recipient of the ice cream to accept or reject the orders.
The events were a huge success. The feedback was unanimously good and the University has received many calls since the events to revamp, or build new solutions and for consultation outside the University including one for a Fortune 500 company.