Category Archives: Business

SharePoint 2013: What’s in Access Services for Me?


You may also be interested in: SharePoint Conference.ORG 2013


 

Editor’s note: Contributor Erik Abderhalden is a consultant with Rightpoint. Follow him @erikboderek

2013-05-13-SharePointWhatsInAccess-01.pngWhen we talk about collaboration in the workspace the discourse tends to focus around SharePoint, Word and Excel, Lync and social components. What’s absent from that conversation is Microsoft Access. I’m not sure why this is. Access has been around for a long time and is still part of the Microsoft product suite. For some organizations, Access holds business critical data; for others, it’s an easy, tried and true way to capture, store, and report on data.

There’s many problems with how we treat Access currently. First, most Access applications reside on network drives. This thwarts collaboration in too many ways to count in this blog post. The main collaboration inhibitor is that the database is isolated from other resources - be it people or data. Second, Access databases tend to be built on average about a decade ago, ported over to a new release of Access and the knowledge and inner-workings of the application are held like state secrets by one person.

This leads to what I call Access fiefdoms. Organizations who utilize Access applications tend to be composed of several fiefdoms. I’m not talking about Game of Thrones power struggles here; instead organizations end up with a bunch of siloed solutions that ultimately will depend on a single resource to maintain them. Once that resource leaves the department or the company, the app tends to wilt and ultimately die.

SharePoint 2013 can curtail these Access fiefdoms via Access Services. At a high-level, Access Services is functionality provided by SharePoint, with a little help from SQL, that renders Access web applications on SharePoint. In 2013, Microsoft has changed the relationship on how Access and SharePoint integrate and I believe there’s something in Access Services for everyone. So without further ado, let’s break it down by role.

End User

  • Single Point of Collaboration
    • If you’re already storing files in a team site and use Access, it coalesces elements of daily duties to a single spot.
    • Don’t need to worry about file-level locks. Multiple users can be working simultaneously.
  • Access Apps can pull in lots of data sources
    • Databases published via Access Services can consume data from SharePoint, other Access DBs, SQL, and ODBC. This is more than enough data sources for most users.
  • Nice Looking Forms
    • Access utilizes HTML 5 and has some nice looking forms that take their cues from the Windows 8 interface. Developers can build in custom actions at the top of each form to execute macros and improve the end user experience with UI and data macros. Discrete custom actions buck the trend to place too many buttons on forms and lead to a confusing user experience, which can be found in many Access DBs.
  • Reporting
    • The days of manually massaging SharePoint data after exporting from Excel are over. While reporting in Access Services is done via the fat client app you can leverage data sources from all sorts of SharePoint sites and mold them into meaningful reports.

Power User/Developer

  • Codeless
    • I feel SharePoint developers lose people when they start talking about content types and site columns and that may intimidate people from starting to develop SharePoint solutions. Access Services doesn’t require knowledge of C#, .NET, or core SharePoint concepts. All you need to know is Access and have a SharePoint site to publish to.
  • Easy to publish/App Store
    • It’s super easy to save and publish Access apps to SharePoint. The Access fat-client has changed so users can only develop with what will publish to SharePoint. This means there is no compatibility checker, because the compatibility of working with SharePoint is guaranteed!
    • Additionally, developers can save their app and redistribute it through their organization. This frees up developers’ time significantly. If a developer built an app form Team A and Team B wants to utilize a lot of the same functionality, Team B can download the App from the SharePoint App Store and make it their own, leaving the developer more time to focus on higher priority work. By sharing the app, we prevent the knowledge of the app from residing with a single resource.
  • Views
    • AKA The Functionality Formerly Known as Forms. Views are built using HTML5. They’re responsive and easier to develop than previous versions of Access. Built in the Access client via a WYSIWYG editor, they’re easy to build and customize.
  • Macros
    • While the end user reaps the rewards of the macros, the Access client has handsome macro builders that allows easy drag and drop functionality to create powerful operations in no time.

Administrators

  • App Store
    • With the App model in SharePoint, administrators ultimately have jurisdiction about what can and cannot be available in their environment.
  • Look Ma, no SharePoint Designer!
    • Access Services allows users to build composite applications without the need for SharePoint Designer. In environments where SPD use is prohibited or in the hands of a few, Access Services can empower end users to build their own apps and publish them to SharePoint, which in turn can drive collaboration and adoption of the platform.
  • SQL
    • The biggest change to Access Services in SharePoint 13 is that all of the data in Access resides in SQL. Every app belongs in its own contained database. This means that you’re no longer stuck with the limitations of SharePoint when running your Access app, you’re only limited by SQL. SharePoint only renders the app’s HTML and CSS. Meaning all of the processing is done by SQL in what Microsoft calls "Access Run Time." This should assuage any fears of an Access App taking down a WFE.

Access may be 20 years old, but that doesn’t mean we should be working like its 1993. Access Services on SharePoint 13 takes the best parts of Access and SharePoint and provides 21st century solutions for users across the organization.

SharePoint: The 80-120 rule for IT Projects


You may also be interested in: Documentation Toolkit for SharePoint


 

Editor’s note: Contributor Ellen van Aken is an experienced intranet adoption manager. Follow her @EllenvanAken

I have helped many colleagues with setting up SharePoint Team Sites. These could be simple project sites, mainly used for sharing documents, but also sites where important processes were facilitated.

My clients were very diverse. Each initial interview was therefore exciting. What kind of person would be in front of me?

  • The Hesitator, who is actually quite satisfied with sending large documents by email, who does not mind sending around an Excel form every month to collect data from his colleagues, and to cut and paste the results manually into a report, and who can not imagine that a meeting’s agenda and meeting minutes can be done online and not in a document. Yet there is the realization that things could be done more effectively, but how?

  • Taking them by the hand, staying close to the existing process, and creating a comprehensive manual and training is the motto here.

  • The System-Lover, who knows a lot of different IT systems, has attended SharePoint Connections meetings, and who now suddenly needs everything he or she has seen there. The moment you ask for a description of the current process and the issues to be resolved, things go wrong because this person thinks in technical solutions rather than in business processes. Instead of thinking “how could we make this process simpler and better and reduce the issues”, they say “this step needs Nintex workflow”.
  • When working with the System-Lover, you need to stay focused on the process, and avoid the automatic deployment of new shiny functionality. Focus on using your existing toolset. You have to have that “business sense” I wrote about earlier.

  • The Ideal Partner who is able to discuss her / his problem process clearly and with openness, who is not afraid to commit to a business case (“this task requires 2 hours work per person per week”) and who knows things can be done more effectively, and leaves me to come up with the best solution. Who learns quickly, tests immediately and is a good sparring partner. This is a wonderful person to work with, because they always come back whenever they embark upon a new project or encounter a new inefficient process.

But there is also a client that is not so pleasant to work with, and that is the Resister. They have often been asked by their manager to improve a process, but they are not interested in or even afraid of technology, and say that “SharePoint is not intuitive,” or do not believe that anything that you have done for 25 years, should be changed. Once you have finally defined the process, and have configured the site, suddenly new requirements appear, causing extensive rework. They never have time to test, and each time there is another reason that the new process can not yet be implemented.

In short, these projects take a long time and are rarely finished or implemented.

By asking for some flexibility from the client, some clever thinking and being creative with the available functionality of SharePoint we have always been able to approach the ideal situation pretty well. We therefore felt confident to promise at least 80% of the desired functionality, and generally to the full satisfaction of the client. But that does not apply when you are dealing with the Resister.

And that finally brings me to my 80-120 rule:
For someone who really wants something, or who really has a problem, 80% of the desired functionality will be sufficient. But for someone who does not want to change, 120% is not enough.

Do you know better words for the different clients? Please let me know…I am not a native English speaker/writer.

GR8 Technology Conferences Coming Your Way! First Stop…Philly!


You may also be interested in: Social Sites 2010 by NewsGator


 

Editor’s note: Contributor Bonnie J. Surma is a SharePoint community evangelist, sponsor manager for NothingButSharePoint.com, advertising and services for SharePointJoel.com, SharePoint end user support consultant for TCSC, Midlothian, Virginia. Follow her @sharepointmom.

Only days away are the GR8 Technology Conference in Philadelphia featuring SharePoint 2010. On Thursday, April 5, partners join to offer SharePoint to all of Pennsylvania and the D.C.-to-New York communities, targeting and reaching technology professionals and corporate executives.

Advice—get there early! Don’t miss the keynote. Michael Gannotti, Microsoft Business Productivity Technical Architect, who recently relocated to the Philadelphia Microsoft office and brings his vast Microsoft experience and community passion to kick start the day. A “Philadelphia blogger, podcaster, social media, digital media, SharePoint samurai, productivity adventurer, Microsoft Tech Architect, wannabe world traveler,” Michael does not miss an opportunity to connect with people.

The GR8 Technology Conference begins its six-city conference schedule highlighting SharePoint. Passionate. Knowledgeable. Experienced. The three words that came to mind when talking with Dave Johnston, President, GR8 Technology Conferences. A former Microsoft employee, Dave is an experience conference planner and devotes his time with Microsoft partners to bring quality presentations and services to the SharePoint community. Join him and his team for the first event on Thursday.

“GR8 Technology Conferences (Pronounced G R 8) hosts informative and fun one-day multi-track Microsoft IT technology conferences in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, New York, Philadelphia and Reston, Va. Conferences include; SharePoint Conference 2012, Exchange / Lync Conference 2012, Cloud Solutions Conference 2012, Windows 8 / System Center Conference 2012.”

Bring your entire staff for this one-day event. It’s not too late to register! Join the GR8 team at the Philadelphia Marriott West, 111 Crawford Avenue, West Conshohocken, Pa., on Thursday, April 5, 9:00-4:15 PM.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.gr8technologyconferences.com/Pages/philadelphia-20120405.aspx or contact Dave Johnston at Dave@GR8TechnologyConferences.com.

SHARE: The SharePoint Conference for Business Users Comes to Atlanta, April 23-26!


You may also be interested in: SharePoint training by SharePoint911


 

Editor’s note: Contributor Bonnie J. Surma is a SharePoint community evangelist, sponsor manager for NothingButSharePoint.com, advertising and services for SharePointJoel.com, SharePoint end user support consultant for TCSC, Midlothian, Virginia. Follow her @sharepointmom.

This is the first in a series of articles Bonnie will be writing, detailing major SharePoint industry conferences.

SharePoint business users have spent valuable time and resources over the past few years attending conferences, only to come away still hungering for more information. SHARE, after much research into the needs of the business, has grown globally to address these cries. Why in the world do we need one more SharePoint conference, you ask? Whether you are a trainer, a site owner, a site administrator, a business analyst, a CIO, etc., etc., this conference is for you! And, if you’re a techie, you will also be welcomed with opened arms to learn about… the business!

Since many in the SharePoint community are on Twitter, following conference #hashtags and tweets is commonplace. It’s even an added bonus to follow other folks who may not be part of your realm of usual tweets. During SHARE Australia in November, I locked in to one attendee who continued to post. Ali Mountifield’s posts caught my eye, not only for content of her posts but because of her Twitter name-@alitripletmom. It’s wasn’t long before I was following her. We had a lot in common-she was a mom of multiples and so am I, and we both love SharePoint.

Ali works for the Australian federal government and was fortunate to attend the very first SHARE Conference in Australia in 2010. That first year she wanted “to get an insight into SharePoint 2010 as they were migrating 150 sites the next year.” With sites deployed, Ali did not hesitate to return the next year to see what others were doing and how to get people “to come back to a site again and again.”

Traveling to Australia for SHARE as well as evangelizing the SHARE Conference efforts in South Africa, Veronique Palmer, SharePoint Most Valuable Professional (MVP), has helped the communities in South Africa grow in their understanding of SharePoint through training, user adoption strategies, and working with them to understand and create their governance or guidelines around the solutions. Veronique brightens any room she enters and shares and understands stories from the SharePoint trenches! She started her own company called Lets Collaborate that bridges this gap in the SharePoint world.

“The great thing about SHARE is it is all about the customer stories. You get to see how people just like you are overcoming SharePoint challenges in creative ways. It gives you dozens of new things to try in your world. The networking opportunities are invaluable!”

Veronique continues to encourage participation at SHARE because “clients can learn new things and make new friends, job hunters and seekers have plenty of opportunities, techies can become rock stars by attending and understanding business challenges, and vendors can strut their stuff. It’s a win-win situation.” For the site collection administrator and site owner managing large structures and those rolling out SharePoint to the organizations, Veronique encourages that “SHARE is absolutely for you.”

Veronique points out that “business users are not early adopters, but they are the ones who get stuck leveraging the technology long term and have to figure out how to address those using it.”

Business users have not been purposefully left out of conferences, but the main thrust of many SharePoint conferences leans heavily on the technical side. Business users want solutions to their challenges. They want to see what others are doing with SharePoint and ideas on how to get their sites more appealing with increased traffic and usability. Business users want to do their jobs better and be empowered to build solutions at their fingertips

“SharePoint Saturdays and other conferences focus on all types of audience participants. This means they all include content specific to technical developers, technical IT pros, and technical architects. Navigating this can be a challenge, so can participating in conversations and discussions with other attendees. However this event is focused on the business and the end users instead of the technical side,” states Richard Harbridge, community leader and evangelist for the business users.

There’s still time to be part of this first gathering of business professionals in the United States who build and manage solutions using Microsoft SharePoint. No need to wait for another team member or someone at your company. If you are the one who is carrying the torch in your company for your team site or your entire SharePoint implementation, gathering with this group of professionals is essential. The SharePoint community is the most supportive technology community around today. Connecting with them face to face will give you a clear understanding of their commitment to you and what you are doing in your company.

SHARE Atlanta brings SharePoint professionals focusing on the business to one place to meet one purpose—YOU! Plan to attend this four-day conference and ignite your passion for SharePoint. An additional bonus is a FREE workshop to be held on Monday afternoon, April 23, called “Delivering Enterprise SharePoint Success at Share.” In addition, attendees can register for a deep dive in “How to Effectively Plan, Manage, and Control SharePoint,” a full-day workshop led by Dux Sy and provides six PDUs. Join Michael Sampson for “Strategies for User Adoption” and Ant Clay, chief strategy officer, 21 apps, gathers the crowds for “SharePoint Innovations Games Workshop for Requirements.” The workshops cost an additional fee, but the information gathered will be well worth the cost.

SHARE is produced by The Eventful Group and brings the best to the SharePoint business community. Ali Mountifield found it helpful that The Eventful Group staff connected her with other SharePoint professionals who were experiencing the same situations. She was amazed that they knew their attendees that well and could make those connections. Veronique and Richard also witnessed firsthand how much The Eventful Group cares about what they do and about you as a SharePoint professional. Connecting you to other professionals is their priority.

Come hungry and be fed. Plan now to attend SHARE Atlanta. Registration is open. Bring the team or come alone where networking with others will happen naturally. Don’t miss this event. It will change your professional life and provide resources for your company beyond what you can imagine.

For more information on SHARE and to register, visit http://www.shareconference.com/us.

Sentri buys KMA SharePoint Practice

​It’s fun to watch the ebb and flow of companies within the community as they divide, merge or partner together. This morning, I received word that Sentri has purchased the SharePoint practice of KMA. Sentri is located in Massachusetts, so no doubt Mike Gilronan and his team at KMA (Knowledge Management Associates) already had a relationship with Sentri because of proximity.

KMA has been a very visible company within the SharePoint community. According to the press announcement, they will continue to build on that visibility while integrating the SharePoint team into the Sentri organization. Mike is moving into the position of General Manager for Sentri’s Strategic Consulting group, I’ve reached out to him for a comment and will update when received.

Resources for this article:

SharePoint’s Sweet Spot as a Web Delivery Platform

 

2011-12-19-SweetSpot-01.jpgEach Web Content Management (WCM) platform has a sweet spot, and making the right technology decision really depends on what is at the heart of your online business model. Understanding the business model for your website is fundamental in understanding whether Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is the right WCM platform for you.

Should the website provide brand awareness? Should the website connect people with people, products or services? Should the website drive revenue directly through online commerce? These are just some of the questions that should be asked, but are so often overlooked, before deciding on which WCM platform suits your requirements.

SharePoint 2010’s sweet spot

The last 18 months have seen mixed reviews around SharePoint 2010 and its WCM feature set. There are however, a number of circumstances where SharePoint is hard to beat for WCM. An often over-looked fact is that very large organisations built their public facing websites on a SharePoint platform before Microsoft took SharePoint seriously as a WCM platform. We should give credit to both Microsoft and SharePoint for this and try to understand why, for these organisations SharePoint made sense.

The questions that need answering are; where is SharePoint at its best as web delivery platform, and when should SharePoint be deployed and used as a fully-fledged WCM platform? Here are the business scenarios where SharePoint 2010 WCM really does make sense:

SharePoint 2010 as a public facing application delivery platform

As websites become more focused around providing end users with tools, software, services and interactivity, SharePoint’s vast array of out of the box features prove more and more sense. Many organisations are looking to expand their ‘brochure-ware presence’ and provide site visitors with more value through interactive services that deepen the user experience, resulting in an action being taken. SharePoint’s ability to deliver social features; including user profiles, blogs, wikis and discussions boards, is a good example of how organisation can quickly build their own online community and provide end users with a richness of information that strengthens both customer relationships and their brand.

Search driven web experiences

Everyone is talking about search driven experiences that enables easier discovery of content and makes content personal and relevant to the end user. The business case is quite simple. The quicker people can find what they are looking for on a website the more likely they are to engage and take an interest one step further. Using the search technology that is baked into SharePoint, as well as FAST search (which can be implemented on top of SharePoint), it is possible to provide end users with powerful search based experiences.

Microsoft centric organisations

If an organisation is already embedded with Microsoft through the use of both server and client products, like Microsoft Office 2010, then SharePoint as a WCM platform obtains an even stronger argument, with compelling benefits. In these instances, the IT department has a single platform to support and maintain, and end users only have one set of authoring tools to get to grips with. The familiar design and development tools aid a quicker time to market. This, together with an overall lower cost of ownership can have a huge economic impact on an organisations digital initiatives.

Development heavy business requirements

Our online experiences are becoming much more complex and personal. As a society, our online expectations and demands are increasing and a direct result of this is more reliance on custom development features and functionality. Whilst anyone entering a website or software delivery programme should keep the ‘KISS’ principle (keep it simple stupid) in the forefront of their minds, development is usually inevitable. It’s therefore important to carry out development in a structured environment using best practice methodology to minimise risk. SharePoint by nature is a very open and malleable platform; it provides one of the most open API’s around. The added value of its solution and feature framework means that development can be carried out in a very structured and organised way, minimising project risk and on-going maintenance, and virtually eradicating downtime for upgrades.

In conclusion, SharePoint is not always the right technology for WCM and there are certain cases where it makes no sense at all (well, not until the next release of SharePoint anyway). It is however, a true web delivery platform that can be sized and shaped into pretty much anything that an organisation needs. Whilst there are many WCM point solutions, SharePoint is a ‘one size fits all’ solution for the enterprise.

SharePoint for your Internet Site - why it really does make sense!

 

Let’s be honest, there has been some negativity around Microsoft SharePoint’s ability to deliver complex enterprise websites, with the main issues cited as depth of feature set around Web Content Management (WCM). Specific criticisms have been raised within the following areas:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and digital marketing features
  • Accessibility and compliance
  • Webpart framework

There is no doubt that if you are looking for a pure-play point solution for your new website there are better, deeper products on the market. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to many people. SharePoint is a large complex platform that provides so many features that deliver real business value…it’s hardly surprising that when you dig deeper into specific feature sets, it needs some customisation to make it really sing and dance.

It’s also worth mentioning that SharePoint didn’t come from a WCM ancestry, but instead from internal portals based platforms. In addition, Microsoft didn’t really pay much attention to the WCM future set until the 2010 release.

So the real question is why would you choose it to run your public facing website on SharePoint, when there are better tools sets in the market place that - on face value - cost less and do more? Here are the top three reasons why SharePoint for Internet Sites might not be such a bad choice after all:

SharePoint as a strategic platform:

If you use SharePoint today for document management, intranet and portals or are considering implementing SharePoint for your organisation in the future then you are already embarking on a strategic IT journey. Increasingly we are looking at converging technologies and how to reduce the number of applications we need to support our business. As well as thinking about how we can use technologies like SharePoint as service delivery platforms that allow us to plug solutions in for business users to consume. If that all makes good business sense, SharePoint is already part of (or planned) your IT infrastructure, and we know that SharePoint can run a public facing website then why would we consider introducing another platform or product for IT to run and maintain?

Consolidating experiences:

With the introduction of SharePoint 2010 (and especially through the ribbon interface), Microsoft is consolidating its user experience across its Office and Web based products. This can only be good for end users; it means users only have to learn and use one set of tools (both on the desktop and on the web) and don’t have to dive in and out of different services and applications, ultimately increasing the time they spend doing the important things at work and delivering maximum benefit.

However much you think you will be able to deliver requirements out of the box, the reality is most business need a development capability as they get increasingly depended on IT and technology to streamline and shape the future. Again, using one set of development tools and experiences with a clear methodology and software development Cycle (SDLC) means you can bring solutions to market quicker and more efficiently, build a .NET and SharePoint development capability and not mix development tools and coding languages – all of which provide clear business benefit.

Reducing integration points

The chances are that not all of the features, functionality and content is going to reside on your WCM platform and you are going to want to integrate your website with other systems and applications. Because of SharePoint’s fluid and malleable nature, integration is easier and less costly than with point WCM solutions. The chances are that if you are already using SharePoint, some of the content or functionality you want to surface on your public facing website will already be in SharePoint – therefore removing the integration point completely.

In summary:

If you’re looking at a new WCM solution in isolation then SharePoint is probably not the right platform for you. But, if you consider the wider, more holistic, picture and take into account the points below, SharePoint makes much more sense for WCM:

  • Future IT strategy
  • Overarching communication strategy and approach
  • Business collaboration and knowledge management

With these considerations in mind, the ‘Totally Cost Ownership’ and ROI back to the business around SharePoint for WCM can be significant and compelling. In reality most WCM platforms have weak spots and most web projects require a significant piece of customisation regardless of the technology used.

Mark Miller: Moving On

For the past year, I have been working with Global 360 as their SharePoint Evangelist and Chief Community Officer. It has been a very productive year. We have been able to spread the word about Global 360 and BPM to the SharePoint Community, as well as receive two Partner of the Year awards from Microsoft at the World Partner Conference in Anaheim.

With that preface, it’s time for me to move on.

Rob LaMear, from Fpweb, and I were part of the Sharing the Point team that traveled through Asia earlier this year. We are planning a second journey down to South America and Antarctica in January. As we discussed our plans, it became apparent to both of us that we worked well together and have the same desires in our community efforts. ​Rob has asked me to join the Fpweb team as the "Senior Storyteller" and I am excited to say I have accepted his offer.

"Once upon a time there was a big, bad business problem…"

"What is a Senior Storyteller?",  asked Agnes Molnar as soon as she heard the news. I love telling stories. It’s one of the reasons I participate in the community at so many events. The motto when I started EndUserSharePoint.com was, "No GeekSpeak", meaning I’m not going to talk code or deployment or server setup. That doesn’t interest me. What I get excited about is seeing how people are using the technology, giving the community ideas on how to solve problems. My recent presentations include, "The Future of Productivity", "Fairy Tales in SharePoint", and "Invent the Future, NOW!".

A "Senior Storyteller" brings all of that into play. I can now use my natural storytelling abilities to spread the word on Office365, Third Party Hosting Solutions, and On-Premises SharePoint installations. Rob and I are going to hit the road and bring our storybook with us. I hope you’ll join us in the next couple months as we visit Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK. We’ll be at numerous SharePoint Saturdays in North America, the Sharing the Point tour in South America/Antarctica, and the SharePoint Conference in Anaheim. If you’re nice to us, we’ll even record a couple stories so you can play them back for you kids at bedtime.

Enough about me… what about… ME?

So where does that leave NothingButSharePoint.com and EndUserSharePoint? Exactly where it is now! My work with Fpweb will not affect the work being done.  I will continue to oversee the day to day aspects of the site, as I have been doing over the past year while at Global 360. (You didn’t even realize I was gone for the past year, did you? That’s how good Natasha is.)

NothingButSharePoint.com continues to grow with the support of a huge community of authors and support from you. That’s not going away anytime soon, if I have something to say about it.

A parting note

For some reason, I flashed on my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Webb, from many decades ago. She had me memorize a passage from Julius Ceasar, which seems very appropriate as a starting point for my new story.

"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;     
And we must take the current when it serves,     
Or lose our ventures." - Brutus

With much hope for the future,
Mark Miller - Senior Storyteller, Fpweb

 

Business Model for SharePoint: Do you have one?

I had breakfast with Ben McMann in Dallas a couple months ago. Since that time he’s written a few articles and really impressed me with the clarity of his thinking. Recently, he put up a deck on slideshare, What’s your SharePoint Business Model?,  that shows how to create a business model framework for SharePoint.
 
I flipped through the deck and really liked what I saw, especially the little scenarios near the end where he shows how you can utilize the model to help make business decisions. The model generator is free if you’d like to take a crack at it yourself, but is only available as an app on iPad. I think this is a HUGE limitation, but at least you can get an idea of how to create your own framework, even if you don’t have an iPad.
 
Nice work, Ben.
 
Recent Articles by Ben McMann

Enterprise Enablement Conference - Live Online

​Michael Gannotti is trying something new tomorrow as he opens the doors to a free, online conference for Enterprise Enablement - Virtual Conference. This is a live online conference where people are talking about SharePoint projects, solutions and technical skills they have been working on.

There will be multiple tracks running all day. You can move in and out of tracks at will, but the ones I’m most interested in are:

  • Sadie van Buren - SharePoint Maturity and Business Process Management – why they’re inseparable
  • Natalie Carullo - Visio 2010 means business
  • Derek Weeks - How Companies are Using SharePoint
  • Brent Whichel - Excel, PowerPivot, and SharePoint - Business Intelligence made easy!
  • Ruven Gotz - Understanding Metadata: Working with stakeholders to build the taxonomy  
  • Austin Winters - How Microsoft built its internal Social Video Platform
  • Use Visio 2010 to Reduce Costs by 22%
  • Jeff Shuey  - How SharePoint and Paper Work Together

In addition to tracking those, I’ll be presenting two sessions: Build a Community in SharePoint, and Invent the Future by Reinventing Productivity.

The day is going to be full, so start planning your schedule now to mark off the sessions you want to attend. The full agenda of 36 sessions can be found here. You’ll need to register in order to get the login instructions for the sessions. I’m looking forward to it! I hope you are too.