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Jaime López
Jaime López

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Discover the SharePoint Insights and Proficiency of Ami Diamond

Hi all there,

This is the next part in a series where we talk to influential people in the Microsoft 365 world. Our guest today is Ami Diamond, who's active in the community. He shares info and guides about SharePoint and Microsoft Teams on LinkedIn and his YouTube channel. Also, he runs WhatsApp groups to help with questions and comments.

Interviewing Ami Diamond

To keep track of what Ami Diamond is up to, you might want to follow him on LinkedIn. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel, SharePoint Wizard.

The questions are split into three parts. First, explore technical questions about SharePoint Online to give you useful insights. Then, there are personal questions to help you understand Ami better. Lastly, get valuable insights into Ami's future vision for SharePoint, providing a unique viewpoint and potential inspiration.

Let's embark on this enjoyable experience. Feel free to share your comments at the conclusion of this article, and let's keep the discussion alive.

For beginners in SharePoint Online, what's its main purpose and how is it different from other collaboration tools?

SharePoint is an intranet platform and a document management system. It allows companies to create their intranets and portals. Additionally, SharePoint allows to store documents in a way that users can collaborate. The main features in SharePoint are document libraries, lists, and site pages.
SharePoint is part of the Microsoft 365 platform. It means that integrates the standard office apps(Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), plus Planner and Microsoft Lists.
Power Automate can help with the automation of processes like approvals. It is completely integrated into SharePoint lists and libraries.

I don’t really know other tools but it is definitely better than working on file servers.

How has SharePoint Online changed recently, and what important updates or features do you think have affected the way you use it in projects?

SharePoint is changing all the time. Some examples are:

  • It has moved from Classic experience to Modern experience,
  • New view layouts in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists like board, calendar, and gallery and ways to customize list views via JSON,
  • It is possible to create lists and libraries based on other existing lists and libraries,
  • You also can import from Excel and CSV to a List with additional functionality.,
  • The "request file" feature available now in document libraries was only in OneDrive. It provides a way for internal and external users to upload files granting specific permissions.

If professionals want to learn more about SharePoint Online, what areas or features do you suggest focusing on, and why are they important now?

I recommend starting from the basics and, then, slowly going to advanced features:

  • Understand the available types of SharePoint sites: Team Site and Communication Site. For example:
    • Team Site fits collaboration scenarios, and
    • Communication Site is more for company portals, intranets, etc.
  • What are the existing components in SharePoint: sites, pages, libraries, lists, etc. You need to know what you are working with.
  • How to manage permission using Microsoft 365 groups and SharePoint Groups. It is very important because you control who can have access and to what area of SharePoint
  • The integration with other apps like Microsoft Teams and Power Automate.

Reflecting on your professional journey, what was your most challenging project, and how did it contribute to your growth as a SharePoint professional?

One of the most challenging projects for me was to migrate from SP2013 to SharePoint Online. Many things between both versions were different and not everything could have been migrated one to one. Most things needed to be rebuilt or replaced with other elements like webparts or pages. It was also a big change for the user to move to a new version that looks different.

In addition, I needed to plan and analyze, from the technical aspect, legacy vs new platform items. Contacting many site owners to help in the adoption was part of my tasks.

Another Project was user adoption. I trained more than 1000 users to use SharePoint Online. I needed to prepare many training and learning slides plus useful videos. I explained the benefits to end-users of working on the new system. Being confident was key to standing in front of a group of users and teaching them about SharePoint.

Professional networks are crucial. How do you contribute to and make the most of your connections in the Microsoft 365 community, and how has it improved your professional journey?

I am very active in the Microsoft Community network. It started being part of a local Israeli WhatsApp group for SharePoint Q&A.
I try to attend face-to-face events also. I got to know several experts in SharePoint and I can feel free to ask questions or consult with them about topics.

I post almost daily on LinkedIn and Twitter. I write about SharePoint and Microsoft Teams tips and tricks. I write about new Microsoft 365 features too.

I have started a new YouTube channel named “SharePoint Wizard”. I show SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Lists features. It has more than 340 videos and almost 600,000 views. We are now 3200 subscribers.

I have been awarded Microsoft MVP. This should help me hopefully in my professional journey in the future.

If someone wants to improve their skills in SharePoint and Microsoft 365, what advice would you give, and how has learning new things helped you perform well in your job?

I would recommend reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube videos. There are tons of resources available made by community MVP and other experts.

In addition, I would use the Microsoft Roadmap and Message Center to know what Microsoft is announcing.

Finally, there are some courses that Microsoft provides that are free where you can learn about new things.

Balancing work and life can be challenging. How do you manage your time, and do you have any tricks to maintain a good balance between work and personal life?

I think it depends on your company and the type of work it requires: office, remote, hybrid.

For personal things, I recommend working on your own laptop. In my case, I record videos for my YouTube channel on my computer.

I also enjoy doing my hobbies like mountain bike riding and playing the trumpet in an orchestra.

As we think about the future, how do you see the role of SharePoint changing, especially with new technologies like AI and machine learning in the Microsoft 365 system?

SharePoint will remain always as a foundation infrastructure for many apps in M365. For instance, SharePoint is the backend of Microsoft Teams.

AI is at the beginning of its life. The integration of AI in SharePoint will enable site owners to save time and increase the speed of doing specific tasks. It's worth mentioning that automation will result in better productivity.

In the end, creating sites, and managing documents or tasks will be easier. It won't require you to be an expert or a developer or a technician either.

Are there any new things coming to SharePoint Online or Microsoft 365 that you're really looking forward to, and how do you think they'll affect businesses, besides AI?

There are so many features that it is hard to follow all the announcements and releases. For example, Microsoft offers SharePoint Online Archiving and Backup Services. Applying wisely, companies will reduce the cost of SharePoint Online.

Microsoft Lists will soon have the possibility to integrate Microsoft Forms within the lists. You will have the possibility to provide different experiences for internal and external users.

I want to thank Ami for willingly answering these questions and sharing his valuable perspective and experiences with us.

To keep up with what Ami Diamond is doing, you can follow him on both LinkedIn and YouTube. Don't forget to subscribe to SharePoint Wizard, Ami's YouTube channel.

Stay connected for an upcoming post in 7 days. Look forward to a new interview at the end of the next month.

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