SAN FRANCISCO – Office 365. Windows Azure. Yammer. Mobile.

This year’s SPTechCon SF, going on even as you read this at the Hilton San Francisco hotel, has more going on than ever before.

No longer are we just talking about SharePoint Server and what can be done with documents, forms and workflows. Today, the conversation involves how we want to work, and what we want to achieve from ALL of our IT investments.

As Microsoft vice president Jeff Teper recently declared, SharePoint Server is not going away. It can’t. It’s at the heart of Microsoft’s vision of how people will work, and now embraces cloud, mobile deployment, social workforce and more.

It’s been especially interesting pulling this year’s program together, laying the foundation of the very popular, SharePoint-centric developer and IT pro sessions our audience has come to know and love, and adding on top the new ideas and technologies coming out of Microsoft.

SPTechCon has always aimed to give attendees real techniques and solutions they can bring back to their job and implement right away. So, along with the nuts-and-bolts sessions on creating apps on SharePoint, understanding taxonomy and content types, implementing governance and security, we’re adding new sessions on O365, cloud, social and more. (Oh, and did I mention there are 24 SharePoint and Office 365 MVPs on our faculty here, presenting some 64 classes? You won’t find better training anywhere!)

I hope you’ve been able to carve out the time to join us here in San Francisco. You can get a two-day pass for Thursday and Friday sessions at a discounted rate. But if you are unable to make it, we’ll be on the East Coast—in Boston, to be specific—from Sept. 16-19.

Meantime, if you’re in the Union Square neighborhood, come down tomorrow and register for a free exhibits-only pass, where you can check out the bustling exhibit hall and even enjoy some snacks and adult beverages while you see all the plug-ins and add-ons that can turbo-charge your SharePoint installation.

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A new community is launching at SPTechCon SF today. It’s called IT Unity, and the founders are well-known to SPTechCon attendees and in the greater SharePoint world – Andrew Connell, Scott Hillier and Dan Holme. I spoke with Dan about this recently, and he told me the goal is to create a community that’s a professional effort, not something done “on the side.”

“We want to put ourselves in the middle of the conversation about how people solve business problems with technology, starting with SharePoint,” Holme said. “To do that, we need to support technology that goes beyond SharePoint.”

The group has created a website for content and news, and as a place to connect people from around the world who face issues and stumbling blocks similar to their own, and who have even found solutions to those problems.

We’re proud to be the venue chosen for this important launch. We hope you find it as valuable as we believe it to be.