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First Impressions from the Project Conference

By:  Collin Quiring

Three of us from PMP Specialists went to the Microsoft Project Conference 2014 in Anaheim, California.  It was a great time for all of us.  We met and got to know some new folks and we got re-acquainted with some friends in the Project community.  There were around 136 sessions and, as always seems to happen to me, I usually wanted to go to two or three in every time slot.  Thankfully, Microsoft is providing “video” from all the sessions from the event for attendees.  (It isn’t really “video” as much as it is “audio with the slide deck/demos” – which is what we really want to see anyway.)  So, I have my work cut out for me in the next couple of weeks as I make time to go back and view some of the presentations that I missed.

Tim Gryder and I presented on OPM3 (Organizational Project Management Maturity Model) and how Project Online, Project Server, Project Professional was a great tool that tied into OPM3 constructs and actually help to enable more organizational maturity.  We had some great feedback and questions from the attendees and enjoyed our time presenting immensely.

A couple big announcements were made during the keynote session.  The biggest one, from my perspective, was the ability to use SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) with Odata.  Odata is the methodology by which reporting is enabled with Project Online and having the ability to use the power of SSRS is a HUGE step forward.  There have been some struggles with getting Odata to work properly and consistently in the past but I am hopeful that Microsoft continues to improve its reliability.  Another big announcement was the pricing change coming up for Project Online for what they Project Lite users.  That is a big deal for some of our clients and better matches their needs!

As always, the evening event was great and Darin Brazile, from our group, tried his voice at karaoke at the House of Blues (thanks Project Hosts for sponsoring)!  (http://ow.ly/i/4zd5a) He did a great job!

One of the overarching themes from the conference is that everything is moving online and that the future of Project is in Project Online (whether coupled with Office 365 or not).

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