Each and every morning
after getting up at 5am and bumbling my way through brewing a pot of coffee I
crank up my PC, coffee in hand, and skim the tech news world. I like to keep on
top of what's happening because the clients I work with each day have a right
to expect that I am up to date on industry direction and trends and have a good
sense as to the value SharePoint can bring to an organization. In many cases
these same organizations are also evaluating alternate platforms and comparing
them to SharePoint and the Office System. With Lotusphere taking place there
has been a number of announcements from IBM coming out about how they are
beginning to bring their offerings to the cloud as well as how they are
enriching their offerings through a number of new add-on modules that customers
can set up and integrate to provide rich robust services. Lots of great news
for IBM customers that got me thinking why SharePoint has been so popular and
why the demand is so high for SharePoint 2010. With thoughts of out of the box
integration, robust platform offering, and more rolling round in my head, as
well as some recent customer conversations, I then stumbled across an eWeek article
that just further drove it all home. The article REVIEW: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Beta Brings Already
Solid Server into Modern Day, by Jim
Rapoza, lays out in a four page piece why SharePoint 2010 is
such a strong offering for today's Enterprise space. Covering strengths
familiarity and user interface innovation, Office integration and offline
capability, as well as rich management feature set, the author really helps to
lay out the case as to why SharePoint is such a compelling offering. This alone
would have been great news illustrating why SharePoint is exploding in
popularity but then along comes Arpan Shah and a post by him that focuses on
Microsoft SharePoint and the cloud.
Arpan, in his article, SharePoint Online in the 2010 wave, Focuses on
the availability of SharePoint 2010 as a hosted, cloud based service. Unlike
others just now entering the fray with cloud based alternatives for their
collaboration stack Microsoft has a successful track record of hosting it's
collaborative stack in the cloud for large enterprises (such as Coca Cola) and is building on that
success and taking it to whole new levels. As I look at how our competitors are
trying to keep pace in this space, see the buzz building in reviews like REVIEW: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Beta Brings Already
Solid Server into Modern Day, observe our growth in the cloud
offering market, and talk to customers each day, there are a number points that
seem to coalesce repeatedly. These include steady, real world, customer driven
growth of product offering as well as robust cloud hosting that provides
for the maximum flexibility for customers.
As the author of REVIEW: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Beta Brings Already
Solid Server into Modern Day mentions SharePoint's origins
really began with modest aspirations around simple document centric
collaboration. With each iteration customers have stretched it's capacity,
provided feedback, and the upcoming SharePoint 2010 reflects a product that is
really a reflection of the collective wants and needs of its user base.
SharePoint 2010 delivers out of the box rich collaboration, records management,
web content management, digital asset management, robust site and portal
creation, web 2.0 social computing, enterprise search, business insight and
intelligence capability, business driven composite application delivery, as
well as a rich development platform that leverages the skills of the largest
installed base of programmers. It does all of this out of the box without
requiring substantial integration services or requiring substantial re-training
of a company's user base. Need robust enterprise forms and process management?
Out of the box. Need deep user friendly business intelligence? Out of the box.
Need records management that can deliver the requirements you have for
compliance? You guessed it, out of the box.
As I present SharePoint
2010 to customers who are facing strapped budgets, the products breadth and
depth of workload offerings is a breath of fresh air for many organizations. IT
can move away from lengthy integration projects and instead focus on delivering
value to their internal clients. Features such as PowerPivot and Access
Services enable developers to focus on the deeper development tasks of an
organization and less time on repetitive departmental development tasks.
Organization such as Coca Cola are finding that the
maturity and robustness of Microsoft's cloud offerings around SharePoint can
help them to save real money while providing the flexibility of hosting
configuration they need. It is great to see the power and value of SharePoint
receiving accolades in the press and even more rewarding to see competitors
lining up as they in turn validate what we have been doing for years as they
attempt to replicate much of what we have been doing all along. In the end the
customers are the ones to benefit not only from the added offerings of this
iteration of SharePoint, from our flexibility in hosting models, as well as
from the increase in competition that spurs our product teams to continue to
listen, and grow the product in ways that meet our client demands and exceed
In the article REVIEW: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Beta Brings Already
Solid Server into Modern Day the author states "SharePoint
is arguably the most successful Microsoft product of the last 10 years." I
would take it a step further. When you look at the breadth and depth of what
SharePoint 2010 brings to the table I would go on to say that this upcoming
release is the most significant product release since Windows 95. Windows 95
was a watershed release, a landscape changer. Likewise, SharePoint 2010
provides the integrated capabilities to enable businesses as no other product
has before. The typical response after a SharePoint 2010 briefing with a client
is some variation of "WOW!" There is just so much, from a single product, that
meets so much pent up business Intranet/Extranet/Internet needs that clients
want to get started right away.
If you have not taken a
look yet at SharePoint 2010 to see what it has to offer you should. You can
learn more about it as well as download the beta version of the product below.
If you are struggling with operational costs/challenges check out how Microsoft
can host your environment for you. Then be sure check out some of the buzz out
there on the Internet around SharePoint and what it can do.
SharePoint 2010 Beta Download and Information
Learn about SharePoint 2010 Hosting from Microsoft
Read REVIEW: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Beta Brings Already
Solid Server into Modern Day
Well time for me to get
back work. Have another client presentation to prepare for on SharePoint 2010...
What else ;-)
Michael Gannotti is a Technology Specialist for the
Microsoft Corporation and the author of the blog SocialMedia Talk. You
can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.
As Director of the Microsoft SharePoint Internet business, Tricia Bush oversees the SharePoint For Internet Sites and FAST Search for Internet Sites product management. This group is responsible for the foundation driving Microsoft’s digital marketing strategy. Bush joined Microsoft in March, 2005, and has over fifteen years of experience in technology.
It has been a while since Microsoft announced at the SharePoint Conference, in October 2009, plans to deliver a SharePoint internet solution tailored for small- and mid-sized businesses, and with the imminent SharePoint launch, I thought I would sit down with Tricia and talk about the Microsoft vision for both Web Content Management and Digital Marketing as well as get the details behind the October 2009 announcement.
Jean-Paul Gomes: Hello Tricia and welcome back from the AIIM Expo in Philadelphia.
Tricia Bush: Hello Jean-Paul, thanks for the wishes; it is good to be back home, albeit the SharePoint 2010 Summit we held at the AIIM Expo was a fantastic experience and a tremendous success. The highlight of the AIIM Expo was definitely SharePoint 2010, the momentum was palpable, and the ecosystem fire was burning strong.
Jean-Paul Gomes: Congratulations on the success, Tricia. Now, it’s been a few months since Microsoft announced plans to deliver a SharePoint internet solution tailored for small- and mid-sized businesses, and with the imminent launch, I thought we would share more details with our readers. But, before we get there, I would love it if you could broaden this question and start with Microsoft’s vision for Web Content Management.
Tricia Bush: Well, global, multi-brand customers are telling us that they are seeking opportunities for greater effectiveness of their web strategy marketing spend. Consider that for many of these companies, each brand operates like its own company with its own web site, its own technology and IT dept. to support the site, and unique groups of brand managers that outsource content management, authoring, and microsite creation to design firms.
SharePoint 2010 is an attractive option for such companies. Most use SharePoint today inside the firewall for collaboration, intranets, and enterprise content management. In the last eighteen months, we have seen the number of sites running on SharePoint outside the firewall increase by 450%.
Jean-Paul Gomes: With the economic slowdown, many companies have tried to get their websites to work harder for them. Could you expand on the extent to which SharePoint For Internet Sites supports marketing activities?
Tricia Bush: We find that Chief Marketing Officers and Marketing Business Unit IT are revaluating and deploying SharePoint For Internet Sites 2010 for several reasons:
SharePoint 2010 is more than just WCM. The platform provides best-of-breed enterprise search, social networking, scalable enterprise content management, line of business integration, and business intelligence easy enough for the everyday user.
Microsoft estimates that 30% of its SharePoint for Internet Sites customers are using the product for secure extranets to collaborate with partners and constituents. The biggest demand for SharePoint 2010 for extranet use isn’t coming from collaboration needs, however, but rather application integration and the sharing of business intelligence. Customers intend to use SharePoint 2010’s InfoPath Services, Business Connectivity Services, and PerformancePoint services to share critical business information with their partners and constituents. A manufacturing firm, for example, can share its SAP inventory levels on an extranet with alerts to suppliers when inventory gets low. School districts and governments can create key performance dashboards with indicators, creating greater transparency with their constituents. Our customers are telling us that such transparency attracts new partners, new business, and new revenues.
The IT department responsible for maintaining your SharePoint intranet can easily use their same skills for maintaining the company’s .com. As one customer said, the same resources can work on the SharePoint ECM project and then be redeployed to stand up SharePoint for the company’s externally-facing site. Consolidating disparate technologies from different vendors across brands onto a single platform (scaling across many farms) can represent millions of dollars in cost savings.
Developers can take advantage of SharePoint 2010’s Visual Studio integration, using its familiarity to more easily customize SharePoint. Sandboxed solutions allow developers to test their code in a controlled environment.
We believe that SharePoint’s ease of use for content authors and it’s highly effective, yet low impact approach to compliance and records management will fuel the growth of SharePoint for WCM purposes. We’re seeing this inside the firewall with all up ECM and we believe the same will hold true for WCM. The more people that can participate in the WCM process at a lower price point per person will aid in SharePoint’s adoption.
With the addition of the Ribbon UI, lightweight theming, site templates, AJAX support, and Silverlight web parts in SharePoint 2010, companies can shift greater control of web content to brand managers, allowing their agency dollars to be used for higher-end deliverables such as design work. And for those companies with dynamic content, updates can quickly be made and automated workflows kicked off for approval if required, allowing content to be quickly refreshed on the page.
Because all content in SharePoint 2010 – wikis, blogs, videos, PDFs, TIFs, etc. – can be automatically tagged with the appropriate retention and compliance policies at creation, content owners and even the design agencies will not have to waste time trolling sites taking down old articles and logos or having to manually dig through archives for the inappropriate blog that is now needed for an eDiscovery case.
With the release of SharePoint 2010, Microsoft is introducing a new SKU, SharePoint For Internet Sites, Standard (FIS-S), a WCM product intended for use by mid-market organizations. FIS-S includes all the functionality of the SharePoint Standard CAL, including communities, sites, out-of-box workflows, enterprise content management, and web content management. FIS-S is limited to a single domain use and retails for US $15,000.
FAST Search for SharePoint rights for outside-the-firewall use are available in SharePoint For Internet Sites, Enterprise (customers current on Software Assurance who have SharePoint For Internet Sites 2007 will now be licensed for SharePoint For Internet Sites, Enterprise, and will have rights to FAST Search for SharePoint for use outside the firewall). This is a tremendous value to new and existing SharePoint For Internet Sites customers as they can now use FAST’s search navigators, exact count results, and federated search on their extranets and .com sites.
SharePoint customers of all sizes are looking to the cloud for commoditized digital marketing capabilities including eCommerce product catalogs and shopping carts as well as basic WCM capabilities such as publishing. Microsoft’s hosting partners are scaling their efforts to meet this demand.
Jean-Paul Gomes: Research suggests that dynamic personalization is a growing trend. What Microsoft’s perspective on this topic?
Tricia Bush: We believe that the future holds greater promise for search-driven personalization and dynamic page rendering, as will be seen in our FAST Search for Internet Sites product. Business or brand managers, for example, can create simple triggers to decide which Interaction Management Services flows to use - query classification, keywords, date/time, name value pairs, etc. – to dynamically create topics pages and populate different web parts. Content authors will create smaller “chunks” of content and depending on triggers, A/B testing results, and the user’s search criteria, a customized page will be rendered for the user, pulling in and compiling the different chunks of information.
Jean-Paul Gomes: How do you see the digital market evolving in the near term?
Tricia Bush: We expect to see greater convergence and consolidation in the digital market. More specifically, we see three trends that will accelerate the adoption of SharePoint for Internet Sites and FAST:
Technology system integrators are looking for new opportunities to grow revenues. As SharePoint becomes highly penetrated inside the firewall, many SIs are planning to leverage this expertise for building SharePoint sites outside the firewall. To add the design expertise required, SIs are creating web design competencies in house. Some are doing this via hiring, others via acquisition. Aspect bought Quilogy, Accenture created Accenture Interactive, Infosys is building a large design practice, and Sapient is investing in both sides of the house. All of these SIs have large SharePoint practices.
Web agencies will need to beef up their IT resources, form alliances with SIs, or risk being bought out.
Microsoft believes this is a good trend for customers as this brings more competition to market for WCM services and introduces SharePoint to a whole new set of buyers.
Ads, analytics, and WCM have mutually beneficial relationships. Someone who clicks on the ad, brings great data with them – where they clicked on the ad, the target audience where the ad was placed; this data is captured in the WCM system and pushes personalized content to that visitor dynamically. Meanwhile, a product like Microsoft’s Atlas analytics, is tracking the clicks, pages visited, and the cookies further allowing customization of the site.
Microsoft’s believes there is value in a single vendor that can provide an integrated offering for a company’s web presence: from advertising, to search, to commerce, analytics, and WCM. Microsoft has all these assets today albeit not fully integrated. When we look at the number of vendors and niche players in the digital marketplace, it looks very similar to the marketplace for portals and intranet about seven years ago when we were building SharePoint. Microsoft will use the same strategy we used for SharePoint inside the firewall and apply it outside the firewall to build a Digital Marketing platform.
Jean-Paul Gomes | Senior Product Manager | SharePoint Product Management Group
In this post, I wanted to embrace and extend Microsoft Corporate Vice President Takeshi Numoto’s ”Productivity + social media” blog entry and talk specifically about the SharePoint Communities capability, which encapsulates how Social Media manifests itself in SharePoint 2010.
Before I get there, let me take a step back and look at the social media’s big picture. As mentioned in an earlier post, more content has been created over the past 11 years than that created in the entire history preceding 1999. However, is more content good or bad? Does it provide more insight or counterproductively buries good information under a mountain of unreliable content? Are employees who blog about their company or job improving or tarnishing the brand of their company or even their own? For companies looking to embrace Social Media, the quintessential question could become: how to balance employee empowerment, so that employees can build communities and capture, share, and amplify knowledge, and IT governance, so that brand and regulatory compliance standards be abided by.
Reaching that balance is precisely what the SharePoint 2010 Communities capability is all about. Concretely, this capability has been designed to help organizations innovate, drive business productivity gains, consolidate IT spend, and achieve sustainable competitive advantage through workforce engagement and business agility. Communities in SharePoint 2010 provide a comprehensive, flexible platform that empowers people to work together in ways that are the most effective for them.
Now, before diving into the SharePoint 2010 Communities details, let’s walk down memory lane to appreciate how Visionary Microsoft has been in the Social Media space. A little known fact is that Microsoft has actually been delivering Social Media capabilities for longer than one might think. Few remember that the “My Site” concept dates back to the 2003 release of SharePoint already. And fewer remember that Microsoft actually introduced this concept in the 1990s with its Digital Dashboard---an Outlook add-in WebPart framework. While the Digital Dashboard was shipped only as a starter kit, the technology, running off of the Web Storage System or SQL, was used in production by many customers. This revives old memories when I was helping the world’s fourth largest bank implement it.
For those eager to see what the Digital Dashboard looked like, here’s a demo screenshot:
Now, back to “today’s Digital Dashboard”, the My Site. It remains one's personal portal and has been enhanced in SharePoint 2010 to drive expertise discovery and knowledge sharing.
Speaking of expertise discovery and knowledge sharing, Wikis and blogs help drive those benefits, too. And in SharePoint 2010, we will provide an enhanced Wiki and Blog experience that will meet the demands of most customers and scenarios.
Let me take an hypothetical example to picture this for you. Using the multi-user editing and rich wiki-editing capabilities across SharePoint and Office, this very blog post could be authored by multiple users in Word and published directly as a SharePoint blog entry. This is a very effective way of leveraging people’s knowledge and expertise, amplifying one’s own knowledge, accelerating the publishing cycle, while increasing quality and securing the right level of buy-in and even approval (if one desires to attach a publishing workflow to this post) throughout the content creation and publishing processes. Then readers would come tag this blog entry and SharePoint would surface it in a consumable way---indicating relevance and popularity of terms through tag clouds and influencing search engine results relevance.
Speaking of Search engine, SharePoint 2010’s works synergistically with the Communities capability, as illustrated in the following examples.
In SharePoint 2010, users can define their own profile and areas of expertise in their My Site that will later enhance other users' ability to find the people they need insights and knowledge from or the people they want to connect with based on common interests.
To make that happen, SharePoint 2010’s Search Engine relies notably on metadata, tagging, and users' activity. Not only that, it will also suggest people matches based on their responsibilities, interests, self-descriptions, recently authored content, and more. SharePoint 2010 also comes with an address-book-style name lookup experience with better name matching -- making it easier to find people by name and title.
As we can see, the SharePoint Search and Communities capabilities help further unlock the value of informal knowledge through expertise discovery, people connections, knowledge amplification and sharing.
Capabilities such as these make it easier for companies to retain knowledge that might have otherwise left their workforce. Those capabilities also streamline the process newly hired personnel can use to tap into knowledge pre-existing within the organization, thereby reducing their ramp-up time.
SharePoint 2010 also helps people build their own informal business communities, which can be based notably on common interests and projects. For example, SharePoint 2010 automatically suggests -- based on recent interaction and collaboration colleagues for you to add (or decline) to your communities.
As suggested earlier, the user experience in SharePoint 2010 has been significantly enhanced. One such enhancement is navigation. SharePoint has embraced client-side technologies (AJAX, Silverlight) to deliver a smooth and fluid experience and provide a rich way of discovering and navigating the organization.
To learn more about SharePoint 2010 Communities and SharePoint in general, visit: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/Pages/Default.aspx.
What Are Office Web Apps
The concept of Office Web Apps is essentially your Microsoft Office in the cloud. Enterprise customer can deploy Office Web Apps in a private cloud, while for Windows Live users Microsoft makes Office Web Apps available free in the Internet.The following is a screen capture of editing a presentation with PowerPoint Web App.
Office Web Apps are online companions to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote giving you the freedom to work on Microsoft Office documents with browsers including Internet Explorer 7 or later for Windows, Safari 4 or later for Mac, and Firefox 3.5 or later for Windows, Mac, or Linux.Office Web Apps are entirely Web-based, and there's no additional software to download or install. Office documents can be created and stored in a server supporting Office Web Apps right from the browser session without the need of a locally installed Microsoft Office client.
Using Office Web Apps a user will be able to view Office documents seamlessly in the browser with great fidelity, create new Office documents and do basic editing using the Ribbon. There are however some differences between the features of Office Web Apps and the Office 2010 programs. When making changes requiring functions beyond what are available in an Office Web App, or as preferred, one can easily open and edit the document in Office locally installed on your computer, and later save it back to the server. The ability to open Office documents directly from Office Web Apps into the desktop application is available on computers running a supported browser and with Microsoft Office 2003 or a later version of Office (for Windows PCs). This functionality will also be available on computers running a supported browser along with the forthcoming Office for Mac 2011.
What Is SkyDrive
A free, password-protected online storage available with a Windows Live ID by Microsoft, SkyDrive is. With a Windows Live ID, a user can store up to 25 gigabytes (GB) of files as of July, 2010. The upload operation accepts a file up to 50 megabytes (MB) in size. A user can arrange files with folder and subfolders, and keep private files in the personal folder while placing those to be public in a shared folder. To share a folder or individual file, a user can set permissions accordingly followed by inviting others with email. Shown below is one way to create Office documents in SkyDrive.
Although SkyDrive provides a location for storing files online, it is nevertheless not an FTP site, nor does it function with an FTP client. Further Microsoft may limit the number of files that each user can upload to SkyDrive each month. Individual seeking support on SkyDrive can participate the conversations and look for answers in SkyDrive Forum.
Office Web Apps , SharePoint, and SkyDrive
For enterprise customers with on-premise SharePoint installation, Office Web Apps require SharePoint Foundation 2010 which is free from Microsoft. On the other hand, Office Web Apps does require volume licensing. Office Web Apps can present Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on many devices. Supported mobile viewers for Office Web Apps on SharePoint include Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile 5/6/6.1/6.5; Safari 4 on iPhone 3G and 3GS; BlackBerry 4.x and later; Nokia S60; NetFront 3.4, 3.5, and later; Opera Mobile 8.65 and later; and Openwave 6.2, 7.0 and later. To roll out the services in an enterprise environment, TechNet has documented specifics including planning and deploying Office Web Apps.
For consumers, Office Web Apps are part of the Windows Live offerings. A user with a Windows Live ID can user Office Web Apps to create, upload Office documents which are stored in SkyDrive. Supported mobile viewers for Office Web Apps on Windows Live include Safari 4 on iPhone 3G and 3GS, and Internet Explorer 7 on the upcoming Windows Phone 7. Viewing Excel files via a mobile browser is currently only available with Office Web Apps on SharePoint 2010.
Start Using Office Web Apps with SkyDrive Today
A supported browser and a Windows Live ID are all you need to create, view, edit, and share your Office documents in the cloud. Your teammates can now work with you on projects regardless if they have a locally installed copy of Microsoft Office.
(A cross-posting from http://blogs.technet.com/yungchou/)
folks, Mikey is doing the happy dance today with the much anticipated unveiling
of SharePoint 2010 here at the SharePoint Conference 2009. Anyone who knows me
knows how excited about SharePoint I can get as an Enterprise Enablement platform.
However, as excited as I have been in the past this coming version has me
positively jumping. With each release of SharePoint we have witnessed a steady
growth in the capabilities of the product as it has grown to embrace major
enterprise workloads such as collaboration, portal delivery, search, content
management, business process and forms, as well as business intelligence. As
big as that growth has been though it pales in comparison to the advances in
SharePoint 2010 is absolutely the
biggest most important release of SharePoint to date and in the opinion of this
techie the single most important product release since Windows 95! Think I have
drank a little too much of the Kool-Aid? Well consider how this rev of
SharePoint addresses connecting and empowering people, cutting costs through a
unified infrastructure, as well as providing a platform that facilitates a
rapid response to business needs. Need more convincing after reading this post?
Then be sure to check out "What makes Microsoft SharePoint tick?" by Mary Jo Foley. After
that if you are still wondering what all the fuss is about why not check out these three videos by the SharePoint team that provide an overview of
SharePoint 2010, as well as focuses for the IT Pro and Developer. Once you are
sufficiently salivating then be sure to pre-register for the SharePoint 2010 beta here!!
Connecting and Empowering
For years Microsoft struggled with
how to introduce new features in to its Office products and make them easy to
access. With each release as more features were added they were increasingly
buried within an application menu system that was great for a limited set of
features but which struggled to surface capabilities to users. After years of
intense research and usability testing Microsoft introduced the Ribbon, a
contextual user interface, which surfaces features and functions depending upon
the activity the user is engaged in. With this release of SharePoint the Ribbon
comes to SharePoint as well. "So what Michael, what does that even mean?"
you might ask. Simply put it now means that end users will have a common
experience across all the Office System application whether desktop client or
browser based. It will simplify the access to features that would be beneficial
to users and administrators that might otherwise not be so obvious.
Furthermore, it means that training and the user learning curve will be reduced
across the Office System stack. Learn how to interact with one Office System
product and you will know how to interact with all of them, including
SharePoint. Reduction in the learning curve means broader adoption and a
quicker ramp up to productivity.
With the advent
SharePoint 2007 adoption and use of the product really skyrocketed. People
started using it to collaborate in storing documents in libraries and data in
lists. Once all that information made its way to SharePoint though the
inevitable question arose, "how do I take my data with me offline?"
Enter the latest edition to the Office Pro Plus line-up, SharePoint Workspace.
SharePoint Workspace is the revamped Groove product that enabled rich, secure,
peer to peer collaboration for workers on the go. With it's genesis in the
security realm SharePoint Workspace now allows you to take all your SharePoint
content with you permitting anywhere anytime access to the data you need to get
your job done. Need to proxy out content from your SharePoint Intranet
environment to a client or partner but don't want to extend direct access to
them. No problem. You can provide them with a non-time bombed copy that will
give them perpetual access to your workspace/content you invite them to at no
charge. SharePoint Workspace is the definitive bridge between hosted
applications and disconnected access.
Smart Phone use and
capabilities have exploded since the release of SharePoint 2007. While
SharePoint 2007 offered basic mobile access to its content the new version has
kicked it up a whole notch... and then some. Keeping in mind the new 3 screen
vision at Microsoft for applications (browser based, mobile device, and PC)
this version of SharePoint out of the box will bring a smile to mobile workers
faces. Users will get a rich view of content within SharePoint via their smart
phone browser access. Additionally, they will be able to edit content directly
from those same devices if they have the appropriate permissions. Mobile access
is all the rage now and this version of SharePoint delivers it in spades... out
of the box!
With new features
like personal password management, Office web applications, enhanced Web 2.0
features and more, SharePoint 2010 delivers the richest possible experience in
reaching across the firewall to connect with partners and customers. Now your
internal content creators can set aside concerns about HTML, PHP, and the like.
They can confidently produce documentation in Office, publish it to SharePoint
and know that their intended consumers of that content will be able to open it,
and if they have appropriate permissions, even edit the content, all from a web
browser. Those users on a PC with Internet Explorer? Check! They can
access/interact with the content. Are they running a Mac with Safari? Check...
and ditto! Running a Linux box with Firefox? Check again! :-) SharePoint can
now extend the reach of its content, including Office created documents to
everyone while retaining the high fidelity quality that users expect.
Cut Costs with a Unified
Web 2.0 applications are all the
rage now. Different apps delivering different capabilities aim to tackle
blogging, wikis, discussion boards, document management, and more all try to
deliver great "best of breed" experiences. Trying to implement a
hodge podge of applications in a piecemeal fashion presents a number of
challenges to any Enterprise implementation. Today's corporate IT operations
groups know that the real cost of any software is not in the up front purchase
but in the subsequent maintenance and integration of those applications.
SharePoint 2010 squarely meets the needs of today's Enterprise.
Out of the box
SharePoint 2010 delivers a seamless integrated offering that addresses
corporate needs around collaboration, search, BI, content management, social
computing, and more. By providing a comprehensive integrated platform
SharePoint can dramatically lower operational maintenance costs while
delivering real business value across all those workloads. Backup and recovery,
governance, development, help desk support. All these areas would need to be
addressed on a one off application by application instance if organizations opt
to go with so called "best of breed" applications. By climbing aboard
the SharePoint train organizations can focus on their core vertical areas
(manufacturing, financial services, etc.) while delivering world class
functionality across all the varied workloads covered by SharePoint.
Training has a direct
result against deployment and usage of any system in an Enterprise environment.
By simplifying and unifying the user interface in SharePoint with that of the
Office desktop clients SharePoint 2010 has lowered the learning curve for
adoption. Additionally, Microsoft has enabled many core internal training
scenarios within SharePoint itself. The introduction of streaming media within
SharePoint now natively enables scenarios such as application screencasting.
Value add releases such as Productivity Hub provide a platform and content for
training around SharePoint and Office.
In this economic
climate many IT shops are hard-pressed for hardware costs as well as
operational costs. With SharePoint's latest release Microsoft delivers
the ultimate in flexibility for deployment. With hosted services available in
standard and dedicated configurations organizations can now choose to host all
or part of their SharePoint environment internally or externally on Microsoft
infrastructure. Want to initially stand up a SharePoint instance on Microsoft
infrastructure and then move to an internally hosted model down the road? No
problem. Microsoft can readily accommodate you SharePoint hosting needs.
Rapidly Respond to Business
As the importance of corporate
websites increases, whether internally or externally focused, SharePoint 2010
delivers an enhanced integration experience through through a number of
business ready mechanisms, not just via lengthy development engagements. With
the revamped Excel Services coupled with Gemini Excel is now a world class data
aggregator and visualization tool capable of handling more than a 100,000,000
rows of data! Your organizations Excel jockeys will have the power to deliver
rich dynamic data to the organization via SharePoint 2010. Has your
organization struggled with managing the proliferation of Access database
applications that in many cases have become mission critical? Enter Access
Services in SharePoint 2010 to harness the creative power of Access to create
departmental applications while now doing so in a manner which is centralized,
backed up and managed. Want to visualize dynamic process within your
organization? Enter Visio Services. Now you can link Visio 2010 to dynamic data
and process, publish it to SharePoint 2010, and content consumers can see live,
interactive, visualizations delivered courtesy of Visio Services. Want to link
SharePoint 2010 data columns to real business data? Now you can with Business
Connectivity Services (formerly the Business Data Catalog). SharePoint Business
Connectivity Services can also be bidirectional which means you can write data
to other applications from within SharePoint 2010 lists!
With a full range of
web services and integration capabilities (I haven't even brushed across Visual
Studio 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010, Silverlight, XRM, and more...)
SharePoint can deliver an integrated organizational experience as no other
platform can. By placing extremely powerful, and managed, tools in the hands of
business SharePoint 2010 free up an organizations development resources to
focus on deeper development tasks. By virtue of its deep integration with
Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint 2010 also serves as the pre-eminent platform for
developing integration interfaces in to an organizations multitude of legacy
applications. If the data exists in your organization then SharePoint 2010 can
get to it, integrate it, and present it in a meaningful way, all from one
unified interface. When corporate Intranets first burst on to the scene many
years ago there was a lot of hype about all the ways in which they would
benefit an organization. For years now that dream has been waiting. The wait is
over folks and the dreamed fulfilled is SharePoint 2010!
Now that the cat is
out of the bag and I am free to begin showing off SharePoint 2010 I will be
releasing a number of demonstration video posts here that dive in to the topics
I have covered here and highlight in a concrete way in which this latest
version of SharePoint is going to rock the business world. Be sure to check
back here for more information and demonstrations. Well the SharePoint
Conference is in full swing and it's time for me to head out and take in some
of the goodness. Be sure though to check out my action items to get you started
on your SharePoint 2010 learning today and pre-register for the Beta as well.
Michael's Must Do's:
Are you ready to
check out the new SharePoint 2010 site content including; Register for
SharePoint 2010 Beta Code, 3 Value Pillars of SharePoint 2010, SharePoint
Workloads Deep Dive, 10 New Demonstration Videos, Overview of Related
Technologies (SharePoint Designer, SharePoint Foundation), SharePoint
Communities Content (links to blogs, forums, etc), and more.
What are you waiting for? Get
Michael Gannotti is a
SharePoint Technology Specialist for the Microsoft Corporation and the author
of SocialMedia Talk with Michael Gannotti
On February 13, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 aimed at:
To support this Act, the US Government needed a robust and rich web platform (called “recovery.gov”) designed to provide transparency and deep insight into how stimulus funds provided by the federal government are being allocated and spent on various stimulus-related projects across the USA.
“SharePoint For Internet Sites” ended up being the US Government’s web platform of choice, as they trusted SharePoint’s ability to deliver on their website requirements.
The rarely told story is the speed with which the website was completely revamped from a Drupal platform that the government considered unable to support the future vision and needs. In as little as ten weeks from RFP award to live on the internet, the creative team of SynterActive and Smartronix put together a team of creative architects that would allow the solution to support up to 10 million users an hour.
Not only was this SharePoint deployment’s scale impressive, but it also showed the tremendous Time-To-Market value proposition that the unified and integrated SharePoint platform provides to an agency or company looking to deploy a next generation web platform and solution.
Under the hood
In addition to using “SharePoint For Internet Sites”, www.recovery.gov uses Bing Search for Job Search, SQL to convert from non-Microsoft data sources into a unified data warehouse, and FAST Search to customize, tune, and extend the search experience to address the exact needs of the public---whether the public is searching data and reports, or just documents.
The road ahead
Soon, Recovery.gov will embrace SharePoint 2010, especially for its REST services and ability to create data composites. The SharePoint 2010 platform provides richer and more engaging web experiences, thanks notably to its Rich Media, Social Media, Search engine, and Connectivity Services.
Head on over to Recovery.gov and check it out!
.:Jean-Paul Gomes and Dean Halstead.
This is the fifth article of a series to review the following five BI vehicles in SharePoint 2010
was a separate product. Now included in SharePoint 2010, PerformancePoint becomes a set of services configured as a service application, and surfaces itself in a web part page with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Scorecards, Analytic Charts and Grids, Reports, Filters and Dashboards, etc. Each of these components interacts with a server component handling data connectivity and security. This integration with SharePoint 2010 brings opportunities to better analyze data at various levels, while SharePoint security and repository framework provides consistency, scalability, collaboration, backup and recovery, and disaster recovery capabilities. One very interesting analytics tool in PerformancePoint is the Decomposition Tree which enables a user to navigate through mass amount of data in a visual and initiative way to decompose, surface, and rank data based on selected criteria. The user experience is shown below.
PerformancePoint is installed by default in SharePoint 2010. It can be easily configured as a service application in Central Admin and deployed in a SharePoint farm as shown below. Overall, this integration makes Business Intelligence much more approachable in system integration and administration. PerformancePoint planning, administration, developers and IT pros centers, and MSDN blog are good resources to find out more information.
Whenever there is a large multi-day event of national or international importance the logistical challenges faced in aggregating and disseminating information, press releases and such can be a monumental undertaking. This years Winter Olympics is no exception. With multiple simultaneous events taking place in a variety of geographic locations and physical settings, with so much data being output and news and media organizations worldwide looking to have have instant access to all the event happenings how can an organization like the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) cope? Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 with a side helping of Microsoft Silverlight that's how. Microsoft and the USOC have teamed up to bring the Winter Games content and information to reporters through a redesigned press portal powered by SharePoint 2010. The news portal is called Press Box (www.usocpressbox.org).
"But wait a second," you might be saying to yourself right about now "isn't SharePoint 2010 just beta right now?" That is correct. SharePoint 2010 is in beta but already folks like the USOC are seeing the incredible flexibility and power of SharePoint 2010 as an Internet web platform. Toss in out of the box support for mobile devices, Ajax, Silverlight, and more and you have a knockout, integrated platform for rich web delivery unlike any other. The USOC site www.usocpressbox.org joins other SharePoint 2010 beta sites such as the Product team's own SharePoint 2010 Internet site. (running since SharePoint 2010 beta 1) It is great to see an organization like the USOC having the foresight to leverage SharePoint 2010 in such an important, information driven role. There are a number of great articles highlighting the work done on the site and the experience of working with SharePoint 2010 to deliver a rich Internet experience.
If you and your organization are using SharePoint 2007 today internally have you started yet looking at SharePoint 2010's capability as an Internet platform? Providing a unified web application infrastructure can result in great cost savings operationally, improve time to market with a common development environment, and ease content contribution training requirements with a single way of interacting with web applications that span the Intranet, Extranet, and Internet. Check out the following articles detailing what it took to make www.usocpressbox.org a reality and then check out the online resources by Microsoft around SharePoint 2010.
Michael Gannotti is a Technology Specialist for the Microsoft Corporation and the author of the blog SocialMedia Talk. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.
This blog post is the first of several that will give you more insight into the enhanced Web Analytics features that we have built into SharePoint 2010. This first post will provide an overview of the new Web Analytics features and we’ll take a deep dive in to specific scenarios in future posts.
In SharePoint 2010, we have improved the set of Web Analytics reports that are available out-of-the-box, which will provide insights into the behavior of users of your SharePoint sites. There are three categories of reports that you will find:
We aggregate these reports aggregated at the following levels:
Out-of-the-box, these reports are visible to Administrators at each level. For example, site-level reports are available to Site Administrators of those sites. We have also added a new permission level, “View Web Analytics Data,” that will allow users to access these reports without having to give them Administrator privileges.
You can access Web Analytics reports by going to Site Actions -> Site Settings. Under the Site Actions heading you will see two links, Site Web Analytics Reports and Site Collection Web Analytics Reports.
When you click on either link, you are taken to an overview page that shows you key metrics for your site. You can then drill down to other reports by clicking on them on the left navigation. You can also change the date range for the reports by clicking on the Analyze tab on the Ribbon.
The out-of-the-box reports are useful to get a general understanding of what is happening on your sites. However, we have made it easy for you to get a deeper level of analysis, or to simply create your own reports. To get started, click on the Customize Report button under the Analyze tab in the Ribbon. Clicking this button will export the data contained in this report to Excel. Excel is a power analytics tools and makes it easy for non technical users to add your own charts, set specific filters, and combine data from multiple reports. In addition, the data within Excel is refreshable, which means that, once you customize the report, it will always be up-to-date with the latest data. To get more details on the great new features in Excel 2010 for building charts, reports and pivot tables, take a look at the Excel Team blog.
Web Analytics Workflows is a powerful new feature set that enables you to get reports sent out either on a schedule or when specific conditions are met. For example, you can set them up to receive an email every time the total number of pages views drop by 80% week over week.
To setup a Web Analytics Workflow, go to the Web Analytics report that you are interested in and click on Schedule Alerts or Reports on the Analyze tab in the Ribbon.
Clicking this button will guide you through a series of steps to create your Workflow.
Best Bets allow Search Administrators to determine what the most relevant search result is for a given keyword. Up until now, Search Administrators had to look at different reports and data to determine which best bets needed to be added. That process is no longer necessary as SharePoint 2010 periodically sends out suggestions for new Best Bets using all the search metrics it has collected. Now, Search Administrators can simply look through each of the Best Bet suggestions and easily accept or reject them.
To access the Best Bet Suggestions, go to Site Actions, click on Site Collection Web Analytics Reports, and the click on Best Bets Suggestions on the left navigation.
We have created a new web part, the Web Analytics Web Part, targeted at Site Managers. This new Web Part is an end-user facing Web Part that can be easily inserted into any page on your site. It can be configured to display the ‘most viewed content’ or the ‘most frequent search queries’ in the site. The data in the Web Part is continuously refreshed as new content or new search queries become more popular.
To use this Web Part, go into the Edit mode of one of your Site Pages and click on any place you can add a Web Part. Then, from the Insert tab on the Ribbon, click on Web Part. Finally, click on the Content Rollup category and select the Web Analytics Web Part.
After you have inserted the Web Analytics Web Part, you can then configure it to display the data you are interested in.
Using the new Web Analytics features in SharePoint 2010, you will be able to get a deeper understanding of what users are doing, what they want from your site and how you can tailor the SharePoint experience to bets meet their needs. Keep an eye out for future posts where we will delve deeper into each of the features mentioned above.
That one of the Big 5 Consulting firms reported that there’s a first mover advantage when it comes to embracing Digital Marketing, it comes as no surprise that the Web Content Management (WCM) software market has kept growing despite the economic meltdown. In fact, analysts have reported that the 2008 Digital Marketing (including advertising) spend amounted to $74B and is expected to reach $160B by 2013. Thus, you are likely one of those who have embraced the Digital Marketing wave by investing in WCM software to attract more prospects and increase customer loyalty by transforming your web presence, to reduce your cost of sale and develop new revenue streams by monetizing your products, services and content through ads or subscriptions, or yet to cut T&E by substituting in-person for virtual collaboration. But how good is that investment really? And what return on marketing investment (ROMI) are you really getting out of it? Those questions can be addressed, in part or in full, through Web Analytics solutions and that’s precisely the goal of the following whitepaper, which explains how to address your web analytics needs with SharePoint. It is based on SharePoint 2007 because many customers are going to be leveraging that version for a bit more time, as they wait for SharePoint 2010’s global availability or depending on their internal IT roadmap. This whitepaper addresses a wide variety of customers' Web Analytics needs---whether they want to use SharePoint's Web Analytics capabilities Out-Of-The-Box, whether they have very specific needs requiring custom development on top of SharePoint (it is a platform, after all), or whether they want to leverage 3rd party Web Analytics solutions that they already possess or subscribed to. Expect to see a SharePoint 2010 equivalent of this whitepaper in the future. If you like the whitepaper, rate this post.
Take Care, Jean-Paul