Introducing Sue Hanley— Microsoft Ignite Community Reporter
I’m Sue Hanley, an Office Servers and Services MVP specializing in the “people and business value” side of intranet and collaboration solutions.
Susan Hanley - MVP and Microsoft Ignite Community Reporter
I’m an information architect and business analyst by training and I’ve been a consultant for my entire career – focused on information design, organizational change, user adoption, business value, and governance. Just prior to starting my own practice in 2005, I led the portals and collaboration practice for Dell Professional Services. Immediately prior to that, I was the director of knowledge management at American Management Systems, a global consultancy. KM is my real passion area and that is probably why my career has aligned around SharePoint and now Office 365! When I’m not on the road, I live in the Washington, DC metro area.
Sue: Without a doubt, what makes being a consultant both challenging and amazingly crazy fun is that I’m starting a new job pretty much every couple of months – meeting new people, having to quickly acclimate to a new culture and understand the key players, and trying to get a handle on the “big rocks” for a new organization. I’ve had clients I’ve worked with for many years – and quite a few clients who have changed jobs and brought me along with them – but it really keeps me on my toes and it’s never, ever boring!
When were you first introduced to SharePoint? When did you realize how powerful the tool could be?
S: I first met SharePoint before it had a name – when it was code named Tahoe in the late 1990’s. I think it really hit me how powerful SharePoint could be when we started building solutions for our clients and saw some of the outcomes they were able to achieve. Looking back, though, compared to what we have today, SharePoint 2001 was a dinosaur! It’s been great to be part of the journey. I look forward to Microsoft Ignite 2017 where we will learn more about what’s yet to come!
What advice would you give a first-time Microsoft Ignite attendee?
S: My advice to first time attendees is to sit up front and talk to the people around you. Ask what was your favorite session so far? What sessions are you most looking forward to? What have you learned that surprised you? I like to sit up front because I feel like that’s where the people who are most interested in the session seem to sit. I’ve had some really engaging conversations with people from all over the world from my seats in the first couple of rows! And then when I see them again at other sessions, right in the front in our “regular” seats, it’s like a reunion of old/new friends!
What are you packing forMicrosoft Ignite?
S: The one thing I know for sure that will be in my suitcase will be several pairs of comfortable shoes. I think my daily record for the two Microsoft Ignite conferences so far was more than 20,000 steps. That’s a lot of walking! It really helps to wear shoes that aren’t going to kill your feet at the end of a long day. I’m also going to pack an extra foldable tote so that I have room to bring back some great SWAG!
What was your biggest take-away from last year’s Microsoft Ignite?
S: What sticks in my mind from last year was how incredibly open to both questions and feedback the Microsoft presenters were. The level of transparency was genuinely impressive. I felt like there was as much listening as talking. For the most part, attendees expressed concerns with respect and got respectful, honest, and incredibly thoughtful answers in return. Microsoft Ignite provides an opportunity for the entire Microsoft community – partners, customers, and Microsoft – to have an exchange of learning and ideas that can transform the way we all make things happen in our respective organizations.