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User Adoption at the SharePoint Conference

Posted by Joan Muschamp on Thu, Oct 22, 2009 @ 15:10 PM
At AKG we talk about user adoption of SharePoint constantly—SharePoint is not a magic bullet. Following a traditional deployment model with SharePoint doesn’t work. It takes careful planning and developing an overarching, continuous strategy.
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Topics: SharePoint, User Adoption, Conference

Tell the SharePoint Story

Posted by Joan Muschamp on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 @ 16:10 PM
One session today reframed a concept that we fundamentally embrace, but we sometimes lose in the business of the day.  Reaching our clients and getting them to understand the value of SharePoint is about showing them how to use it, not about the platform.  In the session, the Art of the SharePoint Story, Microsoft VP Robert McDowell emphasized the concept of telling compelling stories that will motivate the business decision makers to act.
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Topics: SharePoint, User Adoption, implementation

The Unveiling of PowerPivot for SharePoint 2010

Posted by Rance Hitt on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 @ 15:10 PM
To considerable praise, PowerPivot (formerly code named Gemini PowerPivot for Excel 2010) was demonstrated during the SharePoint 2009 Conference keynote address and breakout sessions.  PowerPivot provides users with the ability to manipulate vast data sets directly in Excel and share that data via SharePoint 2010.  The demo, using a data set that was in excess of 100 million rows, performed very quickly whether filtering, updating or sorting.  All of the work takes place in PowerPivot’s in-memory engine; which provides a very fast response.  By having both SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server on a 64 bit platform, and by removing the 4GB limitation for addressable RAM , considerable analytical and data manipulation capability can be delivered to users in the application they prefer and are used to.
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Topics: SharePoint 2010, Microsoft, 64 Bit Architecture, PowerPivot

"SharePoint in the Cloud" could offer some unintended benefits

Posted by Rance Hitt on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 @ 16:10 PM
During Steve Ballmer’s first ever SharePoint keynote address he placed considerable emphasis on the future and unlimited potential of SharePoint Online.  Microsoft is committed to increasing SharePoint Online capabilities via cloud-based APIs and adding support for REST, ATOM and the concept of a sandbox environment to support development efforts.  As Microsoft continues to sign up customers to hosted SharePoint environments and builds out the necessary infrastructure, I anticipate they will run into the same issues encountered by customers and delivery partners only on a much larger scale.  Microsoft has resolved a number of issues reported by partners and users of MOSS 2007 but how Microsoft resolves issues with Governance and Scalability, and makes those methods available to customers and partners, will be huge.  Service Applications and throttling was pointed out at the keynote to address improvements in the underlying architecture and provide the ability to confine and control runaway applications.  These types of features and capabilities will allow Microsoft to provide better support and scalability to SharePoint Online customers,  but will benefit all SharePoint users and partners as well.
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Topics: MOSS 2007, SharePoint in the Cloud, SharePoint Online, Steve Ballmer

SharePoint Conference 2009- Day One

Posted by Joan Muschamp on Mon, Oct 19, 2009 @ 16:10 PM
It does appear that Microsoft has been listening to their SharePoint customers and partners, and has put significant thought and effort into making improvements for the upcoming release of SharePoint 2010.  From the keynotes to the breakout sessions, the “reveal” has gotten much applause from the audiences.
Our group is covering as many sessions as we can, and I found that all three breakouts I attended showed valuable changes that both ourselves and our customers will find very helpful. There is a hugely expanded ability to handle large volumes of documents, and vastly improved records management capabilities.  The records management extends even into blog posts, which can be tagged and retained as records.
MySites will have a wall posting feature, and tagging capabilities so people can follow topics of interest across their organizations.  In addition, there will be the ability to run feeds of the tagged information, so you can have constant updates.
In one session, I started an IM conversation with a developer back in our office, who was excited to hear that Visual Studio 2010 beta 2 was released today.  And some of the updates to workflow in SharePoint 2010 also got her attention, especially the ability to take a workflow built in SharePoint Designer (included as part of SharePoint since April ’09) and bring it into Visual Studio and build from there, and also the ability to use the Designer workflows in multiple places in SharePoint.
What I know now is that there is so much more in SharePoint 2010; I am very excited for its release, (public beta of SharePoint and Office 2010 will be released in November)
and am very much looking forward to the expanded functionality.
I will continue to Tweet updates throughout the remaining days of the conference, http://www.twitter.com/jmuschamp and you can follow all conference Tweets by following #spc09.
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Topics: Microsoft, SharePoint Conference 2009

SharePoint Conference 2009 Begins

Posted by Joan Muschamp on Sun, Oct 18, 2009 @ 15:10 PM

This year’s Microsoft SharePoint Conference is underway in Las Vegas.  I wasn’t totally thrilled to be in Las Vegas again—I’ve been there a number of times already, and it’s not my favorite place.  However, after the past wet and cold week in the DC area, I must say the hot weather is a welcome respite. More importantly, though, is that I realized how much the energy of the city matches the energy of the crowd attending the conference.

Over 7,000 people are here at this event, and the excitement and energy is incredible. With the advent of SharePoint 2010, everyone is interested in having the improved features and functionality revealed.  We’ve all been hearing snippets but the big moment is now here.  The exhibitors are busy showcasing their SharePoint solutions for both the current and new version.

I find myself excited, energized and I am looking forward to learning more.

Follow my Twitter updates throughout the conference:  http://www.twitter.com/jmuschamp

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Topics: Microsoft, SharePoint Conference 2009

The Importance of Power Users

Posted by Andy Campbell on Mon, Oct 5, 2009 @ 14:10 PM

As your SharePoint program expands (and it will if it is done right) you need to think about how to support a growing and evolving work environment without busting the bank. An answer to the problem – discovered independently by some of the biggest SharePoint programs – is to establish a network of "power users" who are people in work groups with an interest in SharePoint. In our FAA program, we have several hundred people "facilitators" – who are first tier support to the Knowledge Services Network – the FAA SharePoint program. These facilitators provide user support, network among themselves to solve problems and spread innovation, and reach back to tier two support – provided in this case by Applied Knowledge Group staffers. At the risk of stating the obvious, this approach does two big things important to managers: it keeps the SharePoint program from going off the rails, and it keeps the support costs down.

It is important to say that these power users – or facilitators – perform their function as an additional duty. They work with line colleagues to do the work of their team or organization, so they know how best to apply SharePoint. They are also immensely important to ongoing governance. It is through them that basic governance is tracked and reinforced. With over 1,000 work groups in the FAA, there is no way shy of breaking the budget that AKG could provide that service. The resource benefit is dramatic – the total AKG help presence in the FAA (42,000 users) is less than 10 people, and they cover the entire range from IT architecture to training.

The secret sauce in this instance is training and community. AKG has created a tested training program to prepare facilitators. It is backed up by a supported community of practice – which creates ways for facilitators to communicate.

Next time: User Involvement

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Topics: sharepoint best practices, office collaboration, moss sharepoint, sharepoint moss, moss, sharepoint blog, user adoption strategy, sharepoint adoption, end user adoption, user adoption methodology, User Involvement, Sharepoint Power users

SharePoint Governance – What does it really mean and why is it important?

Posted by Andy Campbell on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 @ 14:10 PM

Whether you implement it well or badly, SharePoint is designed to reshape the way your team or organization works. Unlike older systems where some stand-alone database could be segregated from what people do on a daily basis, SharePoint is intended to directly affect and support everyday work. As a manager you need to be involved in the decisions about how SharePoint is introduced and managed in your organization. If you do it well, you'll see growing adoption and a positive, accelerating impact on your productivity. If done badly, the early enthusiasm for SharePoint will get mired in things like mushy content, lousy navigation, and an over-controlled environment. Governance is one of those broad terms that covers a lot. Let's take a look at it from the manager's perspective.

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Topics: sharepoint best practices, office collaboration, moss sharepoint, sharepoint moss, moss, sharepoint blog, user adoption strategy, sharepoint adoption, end user adoption, user adoption methodology, SharePoint Governance