Conference Program

Join us at Office 365 Symposium 2018 for fast-paced, informative, and practical sessions led by industry experts and experienced customers. Come away with valuable lessons on key topics like optimizing information architecture, improving user experience, strategic change management, KM in the cloud, social-collaboration, and more. Check out the full program below.

View the Office 365 Symposium 2018 Final Program PDF

Wednesday Morning Keynotes


Keynote - Think Creatively & Make Better Decisions

Wednesday, November 7: 8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

While it may not occur to us on a daily basis, there is a widespread cultural tendency toward quick decisions and quick action. This pattern has resulted in many of society’s greatest successes, but even more of its failures. We have begun to reward speed over quality, and the negative effects suffered in both our personal and professional lives are potentially catastrophic. Pontefract proposes a return to balance between the three components of productive thought—dreaming, deciding, and doing—combining creative, critical, and applied thinking. “Open thinking” is a cyclical process in which creativity is encouraged; critiquing leads to better decisions; and thoughtful action delivers positive, sustainable results. Get tips and techniques to use in your organization!


, Founder & CEO, Pontefract Group and Author, Work Life Bloom, Flat Army & others


Keynote - Accelerating Digital Business Clarity

Wednesday, November 7: 9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Hayes surfaces ideas on how the world’s biggest and most innovative companies transform customer and employee experiences. Learn how the best and brightest organizations take a human-first approach to finally meet the transformational promise of Big Data by delivering moments of clarity to employees and customers alike through engaging digital experiences.


, CEO, Lucidworks


Keynote - Becoming an Information-Driven Organization

Wednesday, November 7: 9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Becoming information-driven enables key stakeholders within an organization to leverage all available enterprise data and content to gain the best possible understanding of the meaning and insights it carries. Connecting enterprise data along topical lines across all available sources provides people with the collective knowledge and expertise of the organization in context. Parker discusses the challenges preventing data-intensive organizations from becoming “information-driven” and the current state and future possibilities of insight engines.


, Director of Product Marketing, Sinequa

Wednesday Sessions


Office 365 and the Future of Your Digital Workplace

Wednesday, November 7: 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Join Real Story Group founder Tony Byrne for a strategic tour of the new, employee-centric digital workplace. Where does Office 365 fit in this new paradigm? How should you plan your investments for 2020 and beyond? Come and gain a fast-paced and provocative assessment.


, Founder, Real Story Group


Build a Modern Intranet: Real-World Planning, Information Architecture, Governance, and Adoption

Wednesday, November 7: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Learn how we are leveraging Office 365 to deliver an award-winning modern digital workplace. The approach is unique in that was “governance-first”—with a cross-functional team gathered to align on vision and business objectives that provided a framework for the design and deployment of the intranet and team collaboration services. We describe how we did it, show you where we are with several demos, and share the templates and web parts we are using to adapt for your solution.


, President, Susan Hanley LLC and Intranet Consultant, Microsoft MVP

, Associate Director Collaboration, Shire


Options for Optimizing IA and UX in Office 365

Wednesday, November 7: 1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Office 365 is designed to provide an “out-of-the-box” experience for your colleagues, but what if the default settings and approaches aren’t the right fit? Join a noted Office 365 guru to understand your options for optimizing information architectures and user experiences across the platform.


, Executive Advisor, Avanade


Boosting Collaboration Inside and Outside the Organization With Office 365

Wednesday, November 7: 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

The need to collaborate and communicate effectively with colleagues, customers, and partners has never been more paramount than now. In fact, the ability to adapt and evolve has become a competitive advantage. The high rate of innovation coming from Microsoft has many heads spinning as to how to enable end users to leverage these tools to their fullest potential. In this session, we discuss common collaboration and communication scenarios inside and outside the organization, and how Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, One Drive for Business, and Outlook Groups all fit together. Key takeaways include discussing the pros and cons for each workload in Office 365; understanding options around security and sharing content inside and outside the organization; and gaining a better understanding of how to support user groups to leverage these tools.


, Workplace Experience Advisory, Avanade


PANEL: Stump the O365 Consultant!

Wednesday, November 7: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

For those of you unfamiliar with this format, the concept is simple: Bring your toughest, thorniest, most intractable O365 conundrum or challenge and a team of experienced O365 gurus will compete to offer you the best advice in 2 minutes or less. But there’s a twist … we use noise-canceling headphones to make sure the gurus can’t hear the answers that the other panelists give. Come and get insightful, likely controversial, and sometimes entertaining answers to your most pressing questions. The person deemed to have stumped the consultants the most will go home with his or her own noise-canceling headphones!


, Workplace Experience Advisory, Avanade

, Executive Advisor, Avanade

, Managing Partner, C5 Insight


, Managing Director & Analyst, Real Story Group

Thursday Morning Keynotes


Keynote - Intra-Preneurship & Learning: Tips & Tools

Thursday, November 8: 8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Organizations can use game design techniques to fully engage customers, partners, and employees. Gamification can transform a work culture by cultivating deep emotional connections, high levels of active participation, and longterm relationships. Enterprises can utilize strategy games, simulation games, and role-playing games as a means to teach, drive operational efficiencies, and innovate. Find out how organizations have embraced social collaboration using playful design to reap tremendous value.


, Principal Consultant Trustworthy AI, IBM


Keynote - Semantic AI

Thursday, November 8: 9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Semantic enhanced artificial intelligence is based on the fusion of semantic technologies and machine learning. Our leader in the field discusses six core aspects of semantic- enhanced AI, and why semantics should be a fundamental element of any AI strategy. Semantic AI is the next-generation artificial intelligence. Understand how machine learning can help to extend knowledge graphs, and in return, how knowledge graphs can help to improve ML algorithms.


, Founder & CEO, Semantic Web Company Inc.


Keynote - Intelligent Answers: NLP & Machine Learning for Customer & Employee Satisfaction

Thursday, November 8: 9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Answers are the key exchange between customer and provider in support, service, and sales, yet that intersection is wrought with friction when information isn’t readily available, context is unknown, and time is of the essence. AI-driven technologies such as natural language processing, machine learning, and text analytics can help reduce the friction and create more satisfying experiences for both customer and vendor, across any touchpoint, ensuring the most precise answer is delivered every time.


, Director of Customer Engagement, Attivio

Thursday Morning Sessions


O365 Healthcheck

Thursday, November 8: 10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Join us for a fast-paced, hands-on session where you assess your existing O365 environment in a series of structured Q&A exercises. Then, find out how your situation stacks up against your peers’.


, Founder, Real Story Group

, Managing Director & Analyst, Real Story Group


Taking a business first approach to deploying O365

Thursday, November 8: 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Many organisations are currently moving to O365, the challenge is to ensure that the Office 365 rollout leads to meaningful adoption, and concrete business benefits. Too often, businesses take a technology-first approach to Office 365, which can fail to fully engage with staff needs and strategic priorities.

This session will walk you through our business-first approach to Office 365, working out the ‘why’ and ‘how’ before getting stuck into the ‘what’. Highlighting examples of how to being the whole organisation on the journey, from the C-Suite down to frontline staff.


, Principal Consultant & Forum Community Manager, Step Two

Thursday Lunch Keynote


Luncheon & Keynote - AI & the Future of Knowledge

Thursday, November 8: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

AI is on the highest rung of the IT agenda. But how does it support professionals’ needs for insights in decision-making? Mayer looks at text analytics, the particular strand of AI that deals with language, the essential vehicle for professional knowledge. Through examples of its impact in insurance, media and and the sciences, he illustrates “the art of the possible” and how you can make AI part of your knowledge practice’s roadmap.


, CMO, Expert System Enterprise

Thursday Afternoon Sessions


Spotlight on Solutions

Thursday, November 8: 1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

O365 solution providers and their customers share successful deployments built on what is arguably the industry’s most versatile platform. Our first speakers share how one bank is creating a ‘paperless office’ using new tools.  FireOak Strategies speakers discuss approaches, techniques, and tools that can be used to provide state-of-the-art information security while at the same time promoting the use, uptake, and remix of organizational knowledge. They share ways to incorporate security into all aspects of KM strategy -- people, processes, technology, and organizational culture and how good KM principles enhance information security programs and build sustainable working relationships between the KM and information security teams.


, SVP and Manager, Enterprise business Transforation Group, City National Bank

, President, CogniVision / ImageScan, CogniVision

, Founder & Consultant, FireOak Strategies, LLC

, Chief Technologist & Information Security Officer, FireOak Strategies, LLC


, Publisher, Information Today, Inc.


Wrap Your Brain Around O365: When to Use What

Thursday, November 8: 2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

We get it, it’s a lot to take in … Sway? Is that a new dance? Yammer? Why should I be excited about loud and repetitive noise? Stream? Delve? Help! And why is it called O365? Is it “everything turned around by 360 degrees … and then some …?” Fear not, help is on the way! In this session, Aileen Marshall gives you practical examples of when to use what tool and helps you figure out how to use O365 in your organization to enhance productivity and collaboration.


, Application Development & Adoption Strategist, ICF


Driving Business Transformation With Microsoft 365

Thursday, November 8: 3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

This session explores the ever-changing landscape of applications and services in the Microsoft 365 suite and how those apps and services can drive business success and digital transformation. This session outlines the major things to consider, includes a discussion on what is next, and focuses on several case studies of successful business transformations.


, Vice President of Microsoft Technology, Hitachi Consulting


Demystifying Office 365 Governance

Thursday, November 8: 4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Deliver a governance strategy that drives adoption, and leads to innovation, engagement and better customer experiences. Learn how to convince your leadership team to understand the value of governance and their role in the process. Attend this session for three key business benefits: Leave with a free Digital Workplace Governance workbook full of ideas to implement; know where to get started on your governance plan and how it will evolve with your digital workplace project; and have insights on getting your leadership on board with a plan that drives adoption and innovation.


, Managing Partner, C5 Insight

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