Announcing #SPSGulf Keynote Speaker: Ulrika Hedlund

We are pleased to announce that SPSGulf Keynote Speaker is Ulrika Hedlund. Ms. Hedlund is the founder and managing director of Business Productivity FZ LLC

Business Productivity’s mission is to help companies increase the return on investment in productivity software through enhanced user adoption. Business Productivity offers unique, scenario-based video tutorials showcasing how to effectively use productivity software in real life to get better results. Business Productivity’s training videos are targeted for today’s “YouTube” savvy workforce that are too bored and too impatient to sit through lengthy, feature-based product trainings. In order to increase employee productivity, Ulrika Hedlund strongly believes that effective use of technology must be combined with a change in behavior and work methods.

Ulrika Hedlund has spent most of her career at Microsoft. She started working for Microsoft Sweden in 1997 and ten years after that she moved to Dubai and joined Microsoft Gulf in 2007. During her years at Microsoft she has worked as a Business Intelligence Technology Specialist, Business Productivity Advisor, Information Worker Solution Specialist and Customer and Partner Experience Lead.

Ulrika Hedlund has a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and an Executive MBA from London Business School.

Ulrika Hedlund is passionate about technology and the positive impact it can have on people’s lives. In her weekly blog, Get Sharp, she covers current technologies and explains what the benefits are of using them and how you can increase productivity in the workplace by better work methods and effective use of technology. ​

Her keynote presentation titled “Transforming the way we work” is not to be missed. You can join it from here.

Keynote :
Arabic Track:
English Track 1 :
English Track 2 :  ​
Password for all tracks: spsgulf



Live Online SharePoint Saturday Gulf (#SPSGulf) – Full Schedule Announced

This is just a quick note to let you know that we’ve just announced the full schedule for SharePoint Saturday Gulf (Online). If you haven’t registered, you can still register from here.


Arabic Track

English Track 1

English Track 2

10:00 – 10:50 am

Transforming the way we work
Ulrika Hedlund

11:00 – 11:50 am (GMT+4)

SharePoint 2013 Enterprise Search
Jamil Haddadin (MVP) & Iman Al Maskari

External Collaboration with SharePoint Online and Yammer
Jasper Oosterveld (MVP)

SharePoint Infrastructure Tips and Tricks for On-Premises and Hybrid Cloud Environments
Michael Noel (MVP)

12:00 – 12:50 pm (GMT+4)

Application Lifecycle Management in SharePoint 2013 & Office 365
Ayman El-Hattab (MVP)

Optimizing the release distribution process of SharePoint 2013 to minimize the impact on farm’s availability
Gokan Ozcifci (MVP)

Kinecting with your class: An interactive learning experience for Office 365 for Education
Stefano Tempesta

1:00 – 1:50 pm (GMT+4)

Exploring SharePoint 2013 Cross-Site Publishing
Marwan Tarek

What’s new in SharePoint 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1)?

Knut Relbe-Moe

Introduction to SharePoint Cloud Business Apps
Usama Khan (MVP)

3:00 – 3:50 pm (GMT+4)

Overview of Office 365 and Yammer
Ahmed Mahmoud (MSFT)

SharePoint Branding 101: Concept to Production
D’arce Hess

The Ultimate User Adoption Cookbook: 6 recipes for success!
Eelco Vink

4:00 – 4:50 pm (GMT+4)

Client Side Rendering in SharePoint 2013
Muawiyah Shannak

Keep SharePoint “Always On”
Liam Cleary (MVP)

Self-Service Site Creation in SP 2013, with SharePoint Designer: A Case Study for a Project Management Office
Jim Bob Howard

5:00– 5:50 pm (GMT+4)

SharePoint Server 2013 as a Digital Asset Management System
Ahmed Said

Getting Started with Office 365 and Power BI
Bjoern Rapp (MVP)

Introduction to Intranet Planning
Haaron Gonzalez (MVP)

6:00 – 6:50 pm (GMT+4)

Workflow Manager Tips & Tricks
Mai Omar Desouki

SharePoint Search – An Indispensable Tool
Saifullah Shafiq (MVP)

Winning Strategies for Successful SharePoint Backup and restore
David Toyne

Join from the links below :

Keynote : 
Arabic Track
English Track 1 :
English Track 2 :  ​
Password for all tracks: spsgulf


Microsoft MVP for the 5th Year in a row – This time for Office 365!

Ayman El-Hattab MVPMy MVP award anniversary this year is special and deserves its own way for celebration. A few minutes ago, I received an email from Microsoft informing me that my MVP status has been renewed for another year but this time for Office 365 rather than SharePoint Server. I’m really glad about the change in my MVP expertise because it reflects a  switch in my area of focus during the past two years. Now that Office 365 has been announced during SharePoint Conference 2014 ( #SPC14 ) to be the fastest growing product in Microsoft’s history (a title that SharePoint held for quite some time), I’m even more excited to be aligned with the direction Microsoft is heading.

If you are not familiar with the Microsoft® MVP Award (I doubt), it is an award given by Microsoft to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. Of more than 100 million users who participate in technology communities, around 4,000 are recognized as Microsoft MVPs.


My SharePoint MVP Journey

I received my first MVP award for SharePoint Server in April 2010 and have been renewed every year since then. It has been an honor to be associated with the fastest growing product in Microsoft history (Till Office 365 eclipsed) for four years and to be part of such a vibrant, knowledgeable and helpful community. My journey with SharePoint started back in 2006 and it took me around two years to publish my first article on Code Project, the article was titled “SharePoint Delegate Controls Unclouded” and the feedback I received from my colleagues was phenomenal and was the main reason for me to start the blog that you reading now. During the past six years, I’ve been very active in the online and offline communities but I’ll give you some examples for some of the best in terms of reach and impact:

Office 365, an exciting Journey ahead …

To be honest, I was not a big fan of Microsoft BPOS offering but when Microsoft officially launched Office 365 back in June 2011, I realized that something big is happening. It took Microsoft a few years though to announce its cloud first strategy. Microsoft was clear that, at some point of time, the new features will be released to the Service (Office 365) first rather than the Server (SharePoint On-prem, Exchange On-prem, etc…).

Fast forward a few years à At Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2014, Microsoft announced the following:

  • 500% increase in Office 365 users in the last year.
  • 60 % of Fortune 500 companies are currently using Office 365.
  • Office 365 has generated $1.5 B of revenue to Microsoft in the last year.
  • 75+ new features have been added to Office 365, some of them will not even be part of the upcoming on-prem releases.
  • Office 365 is now the fastest growing product in Microsoft history.

As mentioned earlier, I dedicated some of my time and focus in 2013 & 2014 to broaden my skill-set to include the different Office 365 workloads. I saw what was coming based on Microsoft’s “Devices + Services” announcements as well as the discussions I had with the Office & SharePoint Product Teams at the global MVP summits in Seattle. I launched a YouTube channel called O365ForAll and I spoke at many events and conferences (including #SPC14) about the Cloud App Model and how to apply Application Lifecycle Management practices to Office 365 Apps. I’ve also tackled other important cloud topics for developers like Visual Studio Online & Microsoft Azure throughout my speaking engagements & blog posts.

From this point onward, you will see more focus from my side on Office 365. This doesn’t mean that I’m moving away from SharePoint. In fact, only in April, I have two important speaking engagements on my schedule:

Last but not least, I would like to thank my family, my SharePoint community friends, the amazing MEA MVP Community,  my blog followers, all those who attended my sessions and all those who helped me progress in my career. Without you guys, I would have never been able to achieve anything.

Follow me on Twitter to keep updated on my upcoming activities
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