Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Useful phrases for fighting SharePoint-Sucks-Syndrome

Many organizations face the challenge of good SharePoint adoption due to the battle of fighting the SharePoint-Sucks-Syndrome (not to be confused with Paul Culmsee’s SharePoint Fatigue Syndrome). SharePoint-Sucks-Syndrome is a debilitating illness that includes the lingering misconception that current-day SharePoint is no good, simply because of bad experiences with previous versions (read SharePoint 2003). Most of us know that SharePoint has improved with leaps & bounds over the past few years. But if you have to work among, or consult for, those who are still suffering from the destructive symptoms of this disease, : ) here are some great affirmations and other useful phrases to help people feel better about their SharePoint experience:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Why BAD Consultants are so necessary

I’d like to think that I’m a pretty good SharePoint Developer. I can jump back and forth from SharePoint Designer to Visual Studio.  I can talk to you about the pros and cons of sandboxed solutions.  I can even talk your ear off about the advantages of using Silverlight and the Client Object Model in SharePoint 2010.

But, as I reflect over the last 2 years, and the SharePoint projects on which I’ve worked with several clients, I realize that I’ve spent an overwhelming portion of my time being a Business Analyst in addition to a SharePoint Developer.

I also realized that’s exactly what each of my clients really needed - a Business-Analyst-Developer consultant. They needed a BAD consultant.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SharePoint Cincy 2012 Retrospective

Last week I attended the 2nd Annual all-day SharePoint Cincy event in [believe it or not] Cincinnati, Ohio. Once again, Ohio delivers more quality SharePoint content for the community. In addition to seeing a lot of familiar faces, here’s the lowdown on some of the things I got out of the sessions & speakers:

  • The keynote was a panel of speakers from companies like Kroger, the Air Force, Fifth Third Bank, and Microsoft. Each were given a few minutes to share some of their insight on SharePoint, and how they’re using it in their organizations. I liked hearing how much Microsoft is eating their own dogfood thru their heavy internal use of SharePoint for their company portals. The other thing I took away from this is that there are many LARGE companies out there having HUGE success with SharePoint. I point this out because many times you only hear about the challenges of scaling SharePoint in the enterprise. For these folks, the internal adoption and demand for SharePoint among their user base is so successful that they’re having trouble keeping up!
  • I checked out my buddy Tony Maddin and Clint Richardson for their talk on giving your SharePoint site a daily/weekly/monthly “checkup”. Got some good tips regarding what things to look at regularly to make sure your environment is still healthy. It got me thinking about the idea that SharePoint admins can actually help stakeholders with their SharePoint adoption efforts by providing timely stats on over- or under-use of SharePoint – over-use can be spotlighted (“Look at the great things this group is doing!”) and under-use can be questioned (“What is it about your SharePoint site that’s keeping you from using it?”)
  • Stopped by fellow LOTR-lover Peter Serzo’s class and learned that the tabular data model is the new hotness, and is used in Denali (aka SQL Server 2012) – are Cubes on their way out??
  • In Larry Riemann’s session, I got some more ideas about good ways to use Azure with SharePoint. I also like his use of Microsoft’s chart (below) to show the difference between Traditional, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS models:

All this and more! Plus I got a couple of books signed by their authors (thanx Brian and Mike).

Looking forward to next year – maybe then I’ll be able to present and introduce everyone to the Cowbell! : )

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Update: Webcast with Quest Software

Last week’s webcast with Quest Software and Improving Enterprises was very successful – over 100 people attended the online event to hear about SharePoint customization best practices, and get a live demo of some of the features that Quest web parts bring to the SharePoint landscape. The on-demand video recording should be available soon – stay tuned.

Below is a copy of the slides used, or you can find them on Slideshare. Check here to see the whitepaper.

[[UPDATE 3/26/12: Click Here to view the recording.]]

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Webcast on SharePoint Customization Best Practices

On Wednesday March 14th, Improving Enterprises will be teaming up with Quest Software to help deliver a webcast on SharePoint customization best practices. This is a follow-up to the whitepaper I co-authored last year with SharePoint MCM Mario Fulan. Not only will we be able to elaborate on the topics from the whitepaper, but you’ll also get to see a live demo of some of Quest’s web part products.

Click here to register for this free event!