Belgian meetup at SharePoint conference 2012 #SPC12BE

In a few days a lot of us will fly to Las Vegas and take part in the SharePoint Conference 2012. Last year there was a Belgian meetup in Anaheim. This year, there will also be a Belgian meetup at the SharePoint Conference in Viva Las Vegas.

SPC12 Belgian flag

Informal chats, good company and a nice drink (or a few drinks). The perfect setup to get to know the other Belgian participants (better) and to start or strengthen relationships.

This is a non-sponsored event :-)

We will meet at the RED SQUARE bar after the sessions on Monday. (that’s at 17:00 local time)
If I remember correctly, when you leave the conference area, you will need to pass this bar wherever you want to go.
There is no end time, but possibly some of us will go out for dinner later, or to the Red Party or to play Blackjack for a while. No obligations :-)

PS. If the bar is to small for us or fully occupied, we’ll move this meetup to the Eyecandy Bar. But first check out the Red Square bar :-)


SharePoint Saturday Belgium 2012 was great!

On April 28th 2012 the best ever edition of SharePoint Saturday Belgium was successfully delivered. We had 36 sessions of 50 minutes, an exhibition with well-known and maybe less known SharePoint or SharePoint related companies, a fantastic prize draw and an awesome SharePint.

I would like to thank all the sponsors who participated in SharePoint Saturday and especially the prize draw sponsors. The prize draw itself was fun, because we used a randomizer tool and it was performed real-time. It did had some strange funny side effects though J

But I also need to thank our speakers. Thank you for speaking at SharePoint Saturday Belgium, thank you for travelling to Belgium, thank you for helping us make SharePoint Saturday Belgium the success that it was.

Other kudos goes to my colleagues in the user group. Organizing a SharePoint Saturday is an intensive job, that comes on top of the day job, and we organized it as a team.

And of course a big thanks you for the attendees. Thank you for joining us, on a Saturday in a long weekend! The mix of attendees, sponsors and speakers made this edition a huge success!

Most of the slide decks are uploaded to slideshare. Pictures will be uploaded very soon

I can say no more in this blog post except:

Let’s hope we can organize another SharePoint Saturday in 2013.

Pictures of BIWUG1303 are uploaded

On March 13th BIWUG organized an interesting evening. The speakers were Thomas Vochten about “High Availability and Disaster Recovery” and David Smeets about “How to track your project resources by using SharePoint BI”.

During the event I took a few pictures. And at the #SharePint I took more pictures. There were about 80 enthusiastic SharePoint professionals attending biwug1303.
You can view the picture gallery by clicking the picture hereunder.

SharePoint Saturday Belgium: April 28th with a lot of great speakers and topics!

With pride, BIWUG can announce the second official SharePoint Saturday organized in Belgium. Karine Bosch organized the first one in May 2010.
The second one is organized on April 28th by BIWUG, and since Karine is a board member of BIWUG, she is one of the co-organizers.

I am also co-organizing this great community event and my responsibility is to make sure we have enough funding to organize SPS (via sponsors) and to organize the Power User, Information Worker or Knowledge Worker track. You can call it whatever, my goal was to organize a track without Visual Studio and PowerShell. (Or at least just a little bit of Visual Studio and PowerShell ;-) )

Since I really like Daft Punk a lot, my goal was to make this SharePoint Saturday Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, hence this will be the best SharePoint Saturday EVER organized in Belgium. We will have a good organization, great topics, even better speakers and presenters, and a fast and hard prize draw and a strong SharePint at the end of SharePoint Saturday Belgium. Just as a site note, back in 1997 I was in New York to visit a friend, and we went to a Daft Punk concert and could even get a backstage pass. Therefore, yes, I am one of the persons who actually saw Guy-Manuel and Thomas. If only I knew at that time that these two guys  wore helmets al the time, I would have focused a little more to be able to remember their faces J

Now back to SharePoint Saturday Belgium.

Who should attend?

  • IT Pro
  • Developers
  • Information Architects
  • Business Analysts
  • Project Managers
  • Business CEO
  • Designers/Branding
  • Information Workers
  • Power End Users
  • End Users

Why should you attend?

It is a free event, organized by BIWUG. We will have 3 tracks (and maybe even 4 depending on the occupancy of the facility). There is a developer track, an IT pro/Administrator track and then track where I am responsible for, let us call it the IW track. It will be the first SharePoint Saturday where we will have a bunch of international speakers. We have a shortlist of international speakers, and while we are taking care of the latest practical arrangements, we can’t  disclose their names yet. There is one speaker who confirmed her travel schedule today, and that is Christina Wheeler.

There will be an exposition hall with booths from the SharePoint Saturday Belgium sponsors. Therefore, this is also a very good way to get to know the SharePoint 3rd party vendors and other SharePoint companies. Go and have a chat with them and broaden your SharePoint platform knowledge.
At the end of the day, there will be a prize draw and after that we organized a #SharePint.

Where is this SharePoint coolness?

The scene of SPSBE is in the Business Faculty of Xylos. We are grateful for Xylos in being our facility sponsor! You can find a map on the registration page, but for Murphy’s sake, here is a downloadable route description.

How can you register to attend?

I am really looking forward to meet you there. I might be busy that day, but when you see me, stop me, grab me and greet me. Do not fear my dark force ;-) .
Please feel free to spread the word. You can use #SPSBE as the hash tag in twitter.

Biwug3011: SharePoint 2010 Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Deep dive

BIWUG is hosting an interesting evening on SharePoint 2010 Multilingual User Interface.

I also heard from the president of the BIWUG  that the #SharePint will be organized with actually pints :-)
So no #ShareCola or #ShareMinutemaid but actually real Belgian beer, hence a real #SharePint!

Doing a SharePoint project in a multilingual environment can be tricky. In this BIWUG session we will focus on how the new MUI (Multilingual User Interface) allows for multilingual collaboration scenarios.  We will show you how MUI and the SharePoint variations framework relate to each other.  Next to showing the out of the box features we will do a deep dive for developers explaining how to use the MUI framework in SharePoint custom solutions. The session will wrap up with some best practices and pitfalls as well as a round the table discussion to exchange ideas. 



I heard there are some books that need a new owners. #bookGivaAway with special thanks to WROX.



18:00-18:30 – Welcome and snacks

18:30-19:30 – SharePoint MUI – Part I  (Speakers: Andy Van Steenbergen & Joris Poelmans)
19:30-19:45 – Break
19:45:20:45 – SharePoint MUI – Part II  (Speakers: Andy Van Steenbergen & Joris Poelmans)
20:45 – … SharePint!

I hope to meet and greet you all there.
You can use the link here under to register.

Speaking at BIWUG on October 27th about Governance

On Thursday October 27th BIWUG organizes an evening full with great information. I’ll be a part of that, speaking about SharePoint Governance. Or we can also call it Governance for SharePoint. I’ll also participate in the second part of the evening where we’ll talk about the past, the present and the future of BIWUG. Oh yes, for the record, the third part of that evening will also involve some me, but in the form of attending and trying to get a good conversation and meeting great people at the #SharePint.

During this session I want to give the attendees a different view on Governance. Most probably (and hopefully) a view they didn’t thought at before. Yes, I’m talking about the softer side of a SharePoint deployment.


This is the sessions abstract : Stop thinking about features features features when talking about governance. When designing governance for a SharePoint implementation, a lot (not to say all) energy and words go out to technical stuff, SLA’s and not to the things that define the business value. And the business value is not only a perfect technically tuned and performant SharePoint farm (if that even exists).

This evening will start at 18:00 in the offices of Microsoft (Leonardo Davincilaan 3 , 1935 Zaventem).
If you are interested in this session and haven’t subscribed yet, it can get tough to get in. 74 people already registered for this session and it’s sold out.

I’ll be speaking at Communityday Belgium 2011

14 Microsoft User Groups combine their efforts to organize this unique networking and knowledge sharing event. Microsoft Community Day will take place on Thursday 23th June 2011 in Utopolis, Mechelen, where we will
bring together over 350 IT Pro’s and developers. Of course, some other people will also join the party, like the “functionals” ;-)

My session will cover this topic: “SharePoint Governance: Stop thinking about  features features features when talking about governance. When designing governance for a SharePoint implementation, a lot (not to say all) energy and words go out to technical stuff, SLA’s  and not to the things that define the business value. And the business value is not only a perfect technically tuned and performant SharePoint farm(if that even exists). ”

Feel free to join me at 16:00.

Communityday 2011

Communityday 2011

What I intend to ship in 2011.

A new year, which has already been there for about 3 weeks, now gives me the opportunity to set some goals. While you could also do this on another date, the New Year seems to be the perfect timing for New years resolutions.

I didn’t document my shipping list for 2010 so I can’t do a retrospective, but I’ll not make that mistake twice. So for all my loved ones, all people that know me, and also all readers of my blog I will have a shipping list for 2011. But it will be a SMART Shipping List. SMART stands for

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound



While I know not my whole shipping list will be SMART, I’ll try to create an as SMART as possible list.

Participate more in the SharePoint Community

By creating blog posts, tweeting, present at the BIWUG. This is a continuous process and is easily measurable by the number of blog posts and presentations I delivered. I would like to present the first time at the BIWUG before the summer holiday.

Find and have more peace of mind.

While I understand and realize this is a really difficult objective, I have put it on the SSL. I would really like to have more peace of mind, and need to rebalance my work life with my family life. This will not be easy since I will participate more in the community and insist on participate more in my family life. I’ll know when I have more peace of mind when I’m more relaxed, happy in life and not too stressed. And I would like to reach this by what I will (try to) ship in 2011 Valentine’s Day.

Lose some weight and do more sport.

I would like to weight around 73 to 74 kg again (that’s about 161 lb). My current weight is around 76 kg (167.5 lb) now. To get that result I’ll eat healthier and will start running again. This year will not be a marathon-running year, but I would like to set a good time for 10 km (6.2 Miles) by September. And that good time would be around 50 minutes.

Get certified CMAS 2* diver

There is a relation with the previous objective and this one. Although you don’t need a real good condition, I see that if I look at a lot of other scuba divers, I’m pretty sure that it will help. My target date to have the certification is September, but I must assure myself that I’m a 2* worthy before summer holidays.

Read more books.

This year I would like to read 1 book every 3 weeks. I might read more, at least that’s what I hope, but I set the limit of 1 book per 3 weeks to have a achievable objective. I consider audiobooks also as a book and since commute quite a lot (about 3 times a week for 2,5 hours), this seems like an achievable target.

Do a SharePoint 2010 project.

While I’m working on a very interesting project at this time (preparing the global deployment and starting up SharePoint governance) in the chemical sector, I would like to do a SharePoint 2010 project. The timeline is very clear, it has to be this year, and I mean to start it, not to deliver it.

Get back on the GTD train, be more productive.

While I am convinced that GTD (Getting Things Done®) is a very good system to manage my actions, I fall of the train regularly. This year should be the year that I stay on board and actually become a good GTD practitioner. I’ll do my best to stay on board by rigorously do my weekly review since I discovered this is my weak point. I’ll perform the weekly review every Friday after lunch. A part of this weekly review is cleaning up inboxes, so an extra sub-objective is to achieve on a regular base #inboxzero.

 Use Bing as a default search engine.

While Google rocked for ages, Bing seems to be a good alternative. So starting this week, I am using Bing as my default search engine. I will force myself to use Bing for at least 1 month.

Why I joined BIWUG as an active member last year.

Last year (2010) I joined BIWUG as an ”active member”. BIWUG is the Belgian Luxemburg Information Worker User Group. A lot of people (including myself) had some criticism  on BIWUG. Mainly on their on-line presence, the website (which is a WSS 2.0 website at the moment of writing) but also on the topics and subject that were presented during the BIWUG sessions.

The reason I started talking with the current board members was because I was a little disappointed in the content of the sessions. Just like Microsoft, BIWUG is focused on developer and IT PRO’s. and actually even a little more on developers. The actual members are also mainly developers and IT-PRO’s. And they also work for consulting or outsourcing companies, so this makes it a select group of IT professionals. While SharePoint is so much more then developing and administrating. See also my blog post Why Microsoft is wrong in their SharePoint bring to market approach.

So instead of just complaining, I joined BIWUG together with Peter Cattersel and our mission is to start a third track next to SharePoint development and Administrating tracks. We currently name it Information Worker track, but it might be renamed to Knowledge Worker track or Functional track. We are also going to try to broaden the members of the user group. We would like to have more functional consultants joining BIWUG and also business (super)users.

What is going to change? Peter and I created a list of topics that we think should be presented during on of the BIWUG sessions, and most probably we will deliver some sessions ourselves. We will also try to find channels to reach to the SharePoint customer base in Belgium, and I’m silently hoping Microsoft is willing to help us with this. I know they have a GREAT marketing department in Belgium and I think we might collaborate very well without exchanging customer names and contact details :-). There are also some structural things I would like to change in the BIWUG organization, but I can’t disclose that in a blog post.

In a meanwhile, since this is the first time for me that I engage myself to a user group, it will require some personal organization and if other user groups would like to share experiences, best and worst practices, PLEASE DO SO. You can comment in this blog, direct message me on Twitter or if 140 characters is not enough, you can email me directly at .