Saturday, May 07, 2016

The Future of SharePoint is All About You

The Future of SharePoint is All About You

The Future of SharePoint is All About You

This is not your grandfather’s SharePoint! SharePoint is alive and well, in the cloud and on prem, and it's all about you!

This morning (May 4, 2016), I had the pleasure of being in San Francisco for Microsoft’s “Future of SharePoint” event, which coincided with the general availability date for SharePoint 2016. This is the second time I’ve been in San Francisco for a major SharePoint event. The last time was in 2003, for the launch of SharePoint 2003. It’s amazing how far things have come in the past 13 years! The future of SharePoint is now – and the future is all about you and me – and making it easier to connect and collaborate and get work done in a way that brings the information we need to make key decisions to the places we need it, in the format we need it in, and on the device we are currently using. The future of SharePoint is all about people – and there should be no doubt that Microsoft is continuing to invest in providing great people experiences with SharePoint. While I am super focused on user experiences in SharePoint, and Microsoft has shown users a whole lotta love in the announcements today, developers are going to be pretty happy too – along with the folks focused on security and compliance. In fact, no matter who you are, if you have ever said, “I wish it were easier to [fill in the blank] with SharePoint,” you are probably going to get your wish fulfilled very soon.
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There was a lot announced today. Too much to cover in one blog post – which is why Microsoft has a whole bunch for you to review! Here are links to the Microsoft blog posts released this morning. The posts also include links to videos that provide even more detail – so you’ll have plenty to keep you excited and engaged.
  • The Future of SharePoint – Jeff Teper’s post providing an overview of the future for SharePoint.
  • SharePoint Server 2016—your foundation for the future – A must read for on premises users. SharePoint on premises got a lot of love today and Microsoft made it very clear that they are very committed to on prem in addition to the cloud.
  • SharePoint – the mobile and intelligent intranet – One thing is for sure, this is not your grandfather’s SharePoint! A key theme of the announcements today was “your intranet in your pocket.” It’s really exciting that the new SharePoint mobile app will provide great user experiences for your pocket device – but your browser is going to be very happy too! Please take a look at this post in detail – because some of my very favorite aspects of today’s announcements are reviewed in this blog.
  • The SharePoint Framework – an open and connected platform – This is the post for developers. Microsoft is going to make it much easier for customers and professional developers to innovate on the great capabilities and features in SharePoint - and drive them to the next level. SharePoint is evolving to embrace current trends in development. The SharePoint Framework is a Page and Part model that enables fully supported client-side development, easy integration with the Microsoft Graph, and support for open source tooling.
In this post, I’d like to focus on a few of my favorite “people-related” capabilities featured among the announcements today.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

10 Essential SharePoint Search Hints

Helpful syntax for SharePoint search – comparing SharePoint 2010 Foundation, SharePoint 2010 Enterprise, and SharePoint 2013.


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About | 

Susan Hanley is an independent consultant and Office 365 MVP. She specializes in helping organizations build effective portal and collaboration solutions using SharePoint as the primary platform. She is the co-author of Essential SharePoint 2013. You can find Sue’s speaking schedule, white papers, and conference presentations at

I'm on a mission - I want to make sure that all SharePoint guidance (or the other G-word, governance) plans include training about a key information literacy skill: the ability to execute an effective online search. Improving "findability" is a key outcome goal for most SharePoint deployments. We often talk about metadata as the key to improving findability. But, to paraphrase a common expression, it's not just about having all your fish tagged so that they can be found, it's still about teaching people how to fish. And, in the context of information literacy, teaching people how to fish means teaching people how to search.

Last week, I was at the SPTech Con conference in Boston. During one of the sessions, a presenter advised the audience to never use an underscore "_" character in file names because, if you do, SharePoint search won't be able to distinguish the individual words - so you won't be able to find your content. That comment made me very nervous because in this blog and in pretty much every governance plan I've written, I've recommended that you use the underscore in file names to avoid the %20 issue in hyperlinks. I recommend underscores over dashes "-" or hyphens because dashes often cause wrapping issues when a long hyperlink is sent in an email message. I spent the better part of two days asking every SharePoint MVP and expert I could find at the conference whether or not the underscore was a valid word breaker. About half the people I asked told me definitively that it was not a valid word breaker, and half said that they were pretty sure that it was. Searching on the internet gave very mixed messages as well. So, I ran some controlled tests to find out. The answer is that everyone is right - at least some of the time!
  • If you are using SharePoint Foundation, underscores are NOT a valid word breaker. If your file is named Sundance_Film_Festival.docx and you search for the word Film, you will not find your document. 
  • If you are using all other versions of SharePoint, underscores ARE a valid word breaker. If your file is named Sundance_Film_Festival.docx, you can search for any of the words Sundance, Film or Festival and you will get your document.
In the course of my research, I discovered a few unexpected things and some that were just plain confusing that I still haven't quite figured out. To supplement this blog post, I've created a white paper called Essential SharePoint Search Hints for 2010 and Beyond. The white paper takes the tips in this blog post and supplements them with screen shots comparing search results from the three different versions of SharePoint - SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Enterprise and SharePoint 2013 Preview. They are different in some clear and some surprising ways. As you read (and hopefully, share) the hints, remember that these are only just some of the ways you can improve your ability to find the content you are looking for. I chose these tips because they are easy to remember and also because they translate outside of SharePoint. In other words, you can use them on Google or Bing or whichever is your favorite search engine.

One thing you'll notice in the white paper is that the most "user friendly" search results are absolutely in SharePoint 2013. Providing a better end-user search experience could be significant in your justification for migration. To help in the meantime, here are 10 search hints that will help your users get better search results now. (Note that the white paper has all of the content in this blog post plus more - and it's a little easier to read.)

The first three hints are about helping make search work in the first place. They are directed to content publishers and site owners. The remaining hints will help content finders once they've got a good foundation.

  • Use metadata to help search find content. Search engines in general use weighting algorithms to know whether the terms you are searching for match the items to be searched. If your term matches the terms in the File Name, Title, or other metadata, the item will usually be weighted higher than if the term is in the document text. That's one of many reasons to use metadata to organize your content.
  • Use meaningful file names and titles. File names and titles are very important metadata attributes. By default, SharePoint search results prominently feature the Title of a document. If Title is blank, results feature the file name.
    • If you are using SharePoint Foundation, please take a look at the file name recommendations in this post and ignore what I say about recommending underscores as word separators. Use dashes . (Spaces will also work, but they make for messy hyperlinks.)
    • For all other versions of SharePoint, use underscores "_" or dashes "-" to separate words in filenames. I prefer underscores for the reasons in the blog post referenced above, but either will work. Use spaces between words in Titles.
    • Do not "smush" words together without a separator in file names or titles for documents. If you do, the search engine won't recognize the separate words.
Use best bets. A great way to ensure that people can easily find the common things that you know they need in your organization is to create a directed best bet for them. Even if you are not monitoring search logs to identify candidate best bets (which you should be doing, by the way), I can promise you that you know something about what people need to find on your intranet. For example, if you have a library of contract templates, create a best bet that points directly to it. That way, when someone searches for contract templates, they will get to the right place first - without even having to know how to craft a better search or look through multiple results. At a consulting firm where I used to work, we knew that most of the time someone searched for the words "intranet strategy," they were looking for one or more of the following: a person who knew about creating an intranet strategy, an example of an intranet strategy deliverable, or an example of a proposal to create an intranet strategy for a client. In this example, we need a best bet that points to all three types of results - a link to the intranet strategy community of practice site (so all the experts can be found), a link to examples of really good intranet strategy deliverables, and a link to examples of successful intranet strategy proposals.

  • Use OR to expand your search to include more terms. One of the reasons that you may not get the results you are looking for in search is that you are not giving the search engine enough of a clue to find what you want. It's a good idea to use more than one word to search. If you don't get the results you want, try adding more terms to your search. To be certain that the search engine knows how you want to connect the terms, you must separate the words with an operator. For more results, the operator is probably "OR" - and you need to make sure that you capitalize OR. (By the way, this is true for Google as well, though Google will attempt to interpret whether you mean AND or OR, it doesn't always get it right.) It is always safest to capitalize your search operators.
  • Use AND to narrow your search results. Most search engines, including SharePoint, assume that two words together with no operator separating them implies AND as the operator. In other words, a search for apples pears is the same as apples AND pears. Get in the habit of including the operator - in capital letters or it will be ignored.
  • Use double quotes to find exact phrases. If you want to learn about "social media" and don't want a bunch of results that include documents that include the word social and media - but are not about "social media," put the term in double quotes - "social media." This tells the search engine to find the exact phrase inside the quotes.
  • Capitalization usually doesn't matter in search - except for Boolean operators.Searching for Dogs is the same as searching for dogs. But, searching for Dogs OR Cats is not the same as searching for Dogs or Cats. In the first case, you will find items referring either Dogs or Cats. In the second, you will most likely find content with both Dogs AND Cats in the content because "or" will be ignored and the default operator is AND.
  • Use property searches if you know for sure that a particular word is in the title or name of a document. You can use filename:value to search for words in the file name or Title:value to search for a term in the Title. Note: if Title is blank, the Title:value syntax will also look for the value of the file name. If Title is not blank, this query will only look at content in the TItle. This syntax is helpful to know because sometimes, you know for sure that a word is in the name of a document but you can't remember the entire document name. Using this syntax works in SharePoint Foundation as well as "higher" versions of SharePoint. If you search for filename:festival, you will find any document with the term festival or festivals in the file name. Search appears to be interpreting this phrase as "filename contains the letters in festival." If you search for filename:festivals, you will only get documents where the exact term "festivals" is in the filename. In other words, "filename contains all of the letters in festivals." However, just to make things confusing, in SharePoint 2013, searching for filename:festival does NOT return documents where the plural term "festivals" is in the title. You can read more about this in the white paper because this is where things got really confusing and I'm hoping to get some more experts to explain why.
  • Use a wildcard "*" if you want to be sure to get variations of the term you are looking for or if you are not sure about spelling. Out of the box with SharePoint 2010 search, stemming, the process of comparing the root forms of search terms to the content being searched is available but not turned on for most languages, including English. You can turn it on in the search results web part. I don't really know why it is disabled by default. Enabling stemming would allow a search for the word run to return values such as runs, ran, and running. Or, more importantly, a search for holiday to return company holidays. If stemming has not or can't be enabled in your environment, you can get similar - but not the exact same - results using a wildcard (the asterisk *). For example, you could type run* to get results that include runs and running. Or, type in holiday* to be sure you find company holidays. I would certainly work hard to get stemming turned on for search results - it is far more productive to return intuitive results than to make people remember my hints! But, if you can't make that happen, the wildcard search will help get better results. However, remember that there is a difference with wildcard versus stemming in search results. The run* search will not find results with the term "ran." I think Microsoft must have seen the light for this feature because in SharePoint 2013, stemming appears to be turned on by default.
  • Try again. There are two search scenarios that I see over and over again when I'm watching people use their intranets. The first is that they search for something and get no results. "See," they tell me, "I told you search doesn't work. I search and I never get any results." The second is that they get too many results. "See," they tell me, "I told you search doesn't work. I search and I get too many results." While it is totally possible that search is having challenges because of a failure to observe hints 1, 2, and 3, it is also possible that your search needs to be re-written using different terms or a different approach. That's where hints 4 -10 come in. I know that it would be great if search just knew what we wanted without having to write better queries. I think that the time for this is not too far way. But, for now, it's often helpful to take another pass at writing the query differently using one of the approaches recommended in this post.
As I said earlier, these are just a few of the hints that can help make you a better searcher. I picked these specifically because they are pretty easy to remember. In a future post, I'll share some more advanced query techniques. Or, if you want more hints now, you can always search for them!


Wednesday, July 08, 2015

How to Balance User Adoption With Security in Your Collaboration Project

How to Balance User Adoption With Security in Your Collaboration Project

Imagine that you’ve been asked to help plan the new children’s science center in your city. You are thrilled to be part of it because of how this new facility will enable your kids to collaborate, interact and learn. However, because of government regulation and concerns for the children’s welfare, when the facility opens there is heavy security around the place; everyone gets searched before they can enter.
Big lineups appear, there are restrictions on who can experience which exhibits, and hours of operation are very limited. After an initial high response, participation in the science center dwindles and fails. 
Enterprise Collaboration Faces the Same Dilemma 
This is a nightmare scenario, yet this happens in enterprise content management and collaboration projects. The initial intention is good: move unstructured content off file shares, out of inboxes and off hard drives into a centrally managed service, integrate it with enterprise systems and provide a rich environment for sharing content. However, because of concerns around risk, compliance and governance, the user experience gets eroded to the point that no one wants to use it. All too often, the whole thing gets scrapped.
There’s no doubt about the benefits of enterprise collaboration – if it works well. An October 2013 Aberdeen study of 126 organizations (“Enterprise Social Collaboration: The Collaborators Advantage”) found that respondents who identified social business collaboration as their top business goal saw significant improvement, as compared to those organizations that did not prioritize it. 
Collaborative Organizations Succeed
The study showed that collaborative organizations enjoy improvements in customer retention, employee productivity, employee satisfaction, sales cycle reduction and operational efficiency. This was reflected in year-over-year performance changes such as 55% greater increase in annual company revenue. This goes to show, there are compelling reasons for companies to provide their employees with effective collaboration tools, and often these are integrated into enterprise collaboration (ECM) platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365.
Successful collaboration and content management projects require high user adoption because the content that is being captured and shared is generated and consumed by the employees themselves. Successful collaboration and content management projects, therefore, must get a high degree of user buy-in. Easy access to content whether the user is in the office, offline or on a mobile device is the top priority.
SharePoint User Adoption Still a Major Stumbling Block
Poor adoption by end users is still a huge concern in implementing ECM projects. A recent 2015 AIIM Industry Watch Report sponsored by Colligo entitled “Connecting and Optimizing SharePoint – Important Strategy Choices” highlighted that only 11% agreed with the statement “We have achieved all we planned and it is a success.” In fact, according to the study, 63% of SharePoint deployments are stalled or struggling to meet expectations.
When asked why their SharePoint projects were stalled or failed, respondents to the AIIM study cited several reasons and among the top was: “Users never really liked it or found it hard to use." Only 25% agreed with the statement “We have a good level of adoption and users like it.”
What Goes Wrong?
What’s getting in the way of user adoption? Often it is the degraded user experience as organizations need to apply necessary controls and restrictions for governance and security requirements. Some examples are:
  • Management of legal risk, which includes controls around data leakage but also management of stranded information that can become a problem in an e-discovery situation.  Some form of control must be exercised over the content being shared, particularly regarding what is sent to mobile devices, which are notoriously unsecure if not managed carefully. This makes it hard for users to move content between each other and between systems.
  • Encryption and authentication technologies generally need to be employed to reduce the threat of data loss and hacking. This can be confusing to the user, particularly if they have to remember multiple passwords and periodically re-authenticate.
  • In some industries governance and/or compliance are critical. This can include regulatory compliance such as HIPAA and SOX and rules surrounding the archival of all messages. Records management systems often require users to apply metadata to content that is being stored and that places an unacceptable burden on the end user. 
Business Users Expect a Simple and Intuitive Experience 
Users expect their business tools to make them more effective. When they use a new tool they ask “What’s in it for me?” If the user experience is poor, they quickly lose interest and find another way to do their work.
In fact, this has been the reason that file sharing tools, like Dropbox, are making their way into large organizations – whether IT likes it or not. These tools are designed specifically to make it easy for users to share information without the annoyance of enterprise controls.
And there’s the dichotomy: on the one hand, organizations need to gain high user adoption to achieve the benefits of improved collaboration and on the other hand, they need to secure and manage information in an era of growing threats. 
How to Solve the User Adoption Challenge 
Fortunately tools and techniques are emerging to help with this. Below are five things to think about when developing an enterprise collaboration solution that adheres to the security and governance requirements of your organization:

  • Clearly lay out the goals (KPIs) for performance improvements the business expects to achieve with the new collaboration system. Success will require that users adopt it; so setting an up-front goal for the level of user adoption is critical. This will also help to guide design tradeoffs later.
  • Get buy-in from senior management, and ensure they are vocal about it. Collaboration projects are about changing the way people work. Change management is hard and users won’t do it unless they have strong leadership.
  • Design mobility in from the beginning, not as an afterthought. With careful planning, mobile tools can provide the expected productivity gains while being secure.
  • Design information governance policies into the solution up-front. Consider using tools that can help users adhere to governance policies. If records management is a requirement, for example, choose a solution that makes the application of metadata easy. Users will do the right thing if it’s easy to do.
  • Choose a platform that helps IT to effectively target and monitor usage of content, on mobile devices and desktops alike. This will provide much needed user adoption data, enabling you to balance the user experience with security. 
Modern enterprise collaboration and ECM tools are capable of delivering high impact to an organization, but the user experience needs to be carefully managed to gain the benefits. To succeed, user experience (UX) needs to be top of the list of any planned ECM implementation, or the initial excitement around, and high response to, the new system will dwindle quickly and it’ll fail.
Fortunately there are strategies that can be employed to simultaneously deliver high impact with low risk, ensuring that your collaboration project is a resounding success. 
Barry Jinks is CEO of Colligo, a leading provider of data synchronization solutions for Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365 and OneDrive for Business.

Microsoft Taking a 'Cloud First' Approach with SharePoint 2016

Microsoft Taking a 'Cloud First' Approach with SharePoint 2016

SharePoint Server 2016 will be a very cloud/inspired product when commercially released next year.

That idea seemed to be the main theme of a recent SPBiz Conference keynote talk by Mark Kashman, a senior product manager at Microsoft on the SharePoint team. Kashman's June 17 talk, "SharePoint Vision and Roadmap," offered a high-level view of SharePoint Server 2016, explaining its Office 365 origins. Microsoft is planning a beta release of the new server at the end of this year, with product release planned for Q2 2016.

Microsoft's cloud services have been looming in the background of prior SharePoint Server releases. Kashman illustrated this concept with the following slide:

[Click on image for larger view.]Cloud support for Microsoft's SharePoint Server products. Source: 2015 SPBiz keynote.

Office 365 cloud services have played a role since SharePoint Server 2013, and they will do so going forward with SharePoint Server 2016. "Everything we're doing in Office 365 inspires the [SharePoint Server] product going forward, and you'll see this cadence continuing," Kashman explained.

Office 365 is Microsoft's fastest growing product yet, and SharePoint Online is a "huge" part of that, Kashman said. Some of the four workloads in SharePoint Online have been growing at a rate that's been beyond Microsoft's expectations. They've grown since last year at a "400 percent monthly active user rate," Kashman said. And across sites with OneDrive for Business, Microsoft is seeing a "300 percent year-over-year growth."

SharePoint Server 2016 will have a more unified end user experience across components, Kashman promised.

"As we brought in some of our acquisitions, as we brought in other elements, part of our focus was to make sure it felt like a unified experience across all of the workloads: social, enterprise content management, sites and portals, personal files and whatnot."
Instead of managing five to six servers, IT pros now manage one unified server experience with the new SharePoint Server, Kashman added.

SharePoint Behind the Scenes
Microsoft has been moving its various technologies into the cloud, with new services such as Delve, Clutter and Groups, which are becoming part of "a common experience layer," rather than hanging out in separate application silos. This concept also applies to Office add-ins. It all will be part of a common framework for Office 365 experiences. Microsoft is taking these technologies, along with scalability improvements, and pushing them into SharePoint Server 2016, Kashman said.  
Kashman also answered his own question, "What is SharePoint?"
"It can be all or one thing. You can have a great search experience across file servers and third-party repositories. Or you can stand it up for your company intranet, or for your core collaboration sites and tons and tons more with BI and all of the active development. But the core essence of where we are taking, and how we think about SharePoint, is we are continuing the standards of releasing on-premises versions every two or three years and innovating in the cloud, sometimes every day with fixes and security updates, but certainly on the cadence of every week, every month, every quarter, we're releasing updates, new features and sometimes new experiences."
Some Office 365 technologies aren't being labeled as SharePoint, but they basically use SharePoint, Kashman explained. He pointed to Office Delve, which surfaces organizational information using Microsoft's FAST enterprise search technology as well as Office Graph technology. Delve works with Clutter, an Exchange feature that's used to prioritize e-mail messages in Outlook. Microsoft also has an Office 365 Video service that takes info from Office Graph.
"So SharePoint, in essence, could be Delve, or it could your company portal on premises," Kashman said.
Portals, Search and Files
Kashman said that Microsoft will be adding technologies to SharePoint, not replacing them. He highlighted three improvements coming in SharePoint Server 2016, namely Next-Generation Portals, Search and Files.
Next-Generation Portals will have a simplified administration approach and it will be more personalized for end users. For instance, Next-Gen Portals will be connected to Yammer and will be mobile enabled. Microsoft will permit extensibility to these Next-Gen Portals for its partners to build upon, Kashman explained. He also later said that Microsoft will be building its "boards" feature into the Next-Gen Portals for knowledge management. The boards feature, based on Office Delve technology, lets end users organize content, such as documents related to a particular project.
Search improvements in SharePoint Server 2016 were equated with Delve, based on Office Graph technology. Delve will enable more personal discovery experiences for end users and will have governance controls for IT departments. There will be coming support for hybrid scenarios, too, namely organizations that combine the use of Office 365 services with SharePoint Server on premises. It's essentially SharePoint behind the scenes that powers Office Graph, Kashman explained.
Files in SharePoint 2016 will get improvements, which Kashman identified with OneDrive for Business. Previously, it was My Documents. The user experience is getting improved with OneDrive for Business. Mobile device management and data loss prevention capabilities are being added.
Converging Products
Microsoft has been converging its online and on-premises SharePoint products and now has "a more consistent code base," Kashman said. The new code base is helping to close the parity gap between the on-premises and online products.
Microsoft also has been taking learnings from its Office 365 massive-scale cloud operations and bringing it down to its on-premises product, he added. Microsoft has become more agile, with a goal of no downtime when patching its SharePoint Online service, and that concept is filtering down to the server product.
"What we do now in the cloud is when we patch or manage the system we take no downtime," Kashman said. "With [SharePoint Server] 2016 we introduced this concept of zero downtime and we're super excited about bringing that to you on premises."
Kashman's talk is available on demand at this page (sign-up required). Signing up also provides access to about 73 other SPBiz talks for a limited period of time.
About the Author
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

CMSWire's Top 20 Hits of 2013: SharePoint

Top 20
SharePoint was one of the topics that attracted a lot of interest in the past year — and just as much controversy. It seems everyone has a view on it and how it should be used.
However, there were three big subjects that dominated, and make up the lion’s share of our Top 20 this year: 1) SharePoint Online 2) SharePoint and Yammer and 3) SharePoint in Office 365. There were other issues too, like records management, search and how search is being used in the enterprise.

CMSWire's Top 20 Hits of 2013: SharePoint

CMS Report's Top Ten Content Management Stories of 2013

Submitted By Bryan Ruby

December 30, 2013

 A constant worry of mine as CMS Report's editor is that we won't have enough articles to publish and give you reason to visit this little site of ours. Luckily, authors and contributors with interest in content management systems constantly prove that such my worries are unnecessary. This year almost 900 articles were submitted to CMS Report. I can't tell you how grateful I am for every article that was submitted to our site. Of those 900 submissions, we deemed only 300 of those articles worthy to publish based on quality of the writing and whether we felt the story was of interest to our readers. So do you want to know which CMS stories were the best of the best? Below are the top ten stories of 2013 that we posted here at The stories in this list are ranked based on the rate they were viewed since the article first appeared online.

Top Ten Content Management Stories of 2013
1.Off Topic: Google Nexus 5 APN Settings for Consumer Cellular
2.End User Perspective: Drupal 8 Begins Making Headlines
3.Liferay Portal 6.2 Improves Mobility and WEM
4.Joomla! allows you to go your own way with Joomla Framework 1.0
5.The Best Drupal and Joomla Comparison of 2013
6.Top 10 Features Your Enterprise Intranet Can’t Do Without
7.OpenCms 9 Improves In-Place Editing and Device Support
8.CEO Corner: Open Source vs. Proprietary CMS
9.The CMS-Connected Review of Liferay Video
10.CEO Corner: Analyzing the CMS Analysts: Which one is right for you? I make no predictions for 2014.

I only wish for 2014 to be full of good surprises and a reflection of the hard work the content management community does on behalf of their employers, their clients, and their users. In the end, it's not the software or the articles that matter but the people involved to make this all happen. So as 2013 comes to a close, I wish a Happy New Year to everyone I know as well to everyone I will meet on the road ahead.

 Now, it is time to say "hello" to 2014!

Zia Consulting and Alfresco to Host ECM Renovation Roadshow

December 30, 2013 -- Zia Consulting and Alfresco to Host ECM Renovation Roadshow Boulder, Colorado (PRWEB) December 30, 2013 Zia Consulting, Inc., the leading provider of business solutions for the Content Connected Enterprise, announced today their plans to set out on an ECM Renovation Roadshow in partnership with Alfresco. These lunch and learn style events taking place in major cities across the country will include case study-based presentations on Zias newly packaged Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Renovation Solutions, developed across their dozens of successful deployments. Zia believes organizations across virtually every industry and level of government have costly and complex legacy ECM technologies that simply arent being used. The goal of their ECM Renovation Solutions is to provide organizations with the unique ability to match the wants of users--such as easy to use, collaborative, and mobile--with the needs of the enterprise--such as affordable, secure, and compliant. The concept focuses on three components of modernizing an ECM system: migration, automation, and integration. Zia and Alfresco are teaming up to present the ECM Renovation Roadshow where they will travel to numerous cities to introduce their ECM Renovation Solutions and present case studies about existing customers who are taking advantage of these solutions. During these lunchtime presentations, Zia will expand on the benefits of these modernization solutions, focusing specifically on the business value provided--from costs savings for a rapid ROI, to improving time to revenue through automation, to enhanced visibility into business critical analytics with reporting and BI capabilities.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Voordelen SharePoint

Als een organisatie een collaboration tool zoekt wat zijn dan de redenen om te kiezen vóór SharePoint:
1) Windows-gemak; organisaties kiezen massaal voor SharePoint omdat het naadloos aansluit bij de Windows-spullenboel die toch al in huis is op serverniveau. De Windows Office-applicatie is bij nagenoeg alle eindgebruikers geïnstalleerd. In veel gevallen kan op lokaal niveau met een gratis versie worden uitgetest hoe Sharepoint werkt, zonder veel extra inspanning. Tweederde van alle grote bedrijven heeft Sharepoint draaien, wat kleinere bedrijven het vertrouwen geeft dat zij met een dergelijk geaccepteerd product dan ook wel mee kunnen werken. In de marketing staat dit bekend onder het ‘me too'-effect.

2) Eenvoudig te implementeren; systeembeheer is nagenoeg niet nodig als er geen maatwerkoplossingen in gebruik zijn. Het is relatief eenvoudig om Sharepoint te laten draaien op een server en vrij te geven voor gebruik aan een groep gebruikers. Sharepoint is web based, wat betekent dat er voor de standaardfunctionaliteit geen installatie op de pc nodig is om de tool te kunnen gebruiken. In veel gevallen wordt de inrichting overgelaten aan de plaatselijke of afdelingspecifieke functioneel beheerder. Die kan zijn gang gaan om de voorkeuren van de groep gebruikers in de Sharepoint-site te verwerken en dat betekent meestal afscherming voor derden, geen directe koppeling met de Active Directory of LDAP van de organisatie en decentraal beheer van de informatie.

3) Snelle adoptie van de technologie; als gebruikers kennis hebben gemaakt met de eenvoudige manier van kennis en informatie delen in een groepspecifieke site, wordt dit vaak gezien als een verademing ten opzichte van ingewikkelde ecm-systemen. Om gebruik te kunnen maken van Sharepoint is het niet noodzakelijk om de gebruiker te vragen naar metadata, bewaartermijnen en degrelijke. De organisatie kan metadatavelden wel beschikbaar of verplicht stellen via de instellingen van Sharepoint. Het werkt gewoon snel en eenvoudig.

4) Voldoet aan de basisvoorwaarden voor het vastleggen van documenten: versiebeheer, workflow en toegangsrechten. Een groot probleem in organisaties was het vinden van de laatste en meest recente versie van een document. Tevens was de zorg om de toegang tot de informatie uitsluitend voor daartoe gerechtigden een punt. In Sharepoint kan de functioneel beheerder of zelfs de eigenaar van de lijst/site dit soort ongemakken op lokaal niveau snel oplossen.

5) Sharepoint faciliteert het samenwerken aan documenten in een team op een goede manier. Je kunt weliswaar niet standaard tegelijkertijd aan een document werken, maar om de beurt en kunnen zien wie wat heeft gedaan om te komen tot een gezamenlijk eindproduct is uiteindelijk het succes van dit product. Via een koppeling met Office Web Apps kan je wel synchroon werken, indien gewenst.

6) Standaard metadata uit Windows Office-documenten (auteur, titel, datum aanmaak, ...). Als gebruikers ergens een hekel aan hebben is het aan het extra kenmerken moeten meegeven aan documenten om het document later terug te kunnen vinden. De computer weet immers wie je bent en wanneer je iets aanmaakt. 'Waarom zou je deze gegevens dan zelf nog moeten ingeven?' is een veelgehoorde zucht van menig gebruiker. Sharepoint maakt daar handig gebruik van door de informatie te verwerken op de achtergrond in het document en dat inzichtelijk te maken bij het document. Hierdoor ontstaat een overzicht van wie wat heeft gedaan op welk moment met een document, een zogenaamde audit trail. Zo'n trail is een basisvoorwaarde om een begin te kunnen maken met informatiemanagement.

7) Sharepoint werkt. Dit klinkt misschien als een dooddoener, maar heel veel andere applicaties uit ecm-suites zijn zo complex dat de eindgebruiker op cursus moet, regelmatig fouten kan maken en die dus ook maakt, die vervolgens door een helpdesk opgelost moeten worden. De eindgebruiker die kennis en informatie deelt in één of enkele Sharepoint-sites zal snel zijn weg vinden, kan vanaf dag één aan de slag en vindt eigen documenten en dat van anderen snel binnen de sites terug.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Uitdaging voor de gevestigde (waan)orde.

Uitdaging voor de gevestigde (waan)orde.
Expert van Computable voor het topic Cloud Computing
Meer Hoewel hier ook wanorde had kunnen staan, denk ik dat het beter past bij de situatie van vandaag de dag. De gevestigde orde van managers, kenniswerkers en anderen moet vanuit de management directieven natuurlijk gevestigd zijn op een aantal zaken zoals output, sales, productiviteit en efficiency.

Er is dan ook niemand die de huidige, onder hoge druk staande, overgebleven werknemer zal lastig vallen met de vraag of deze vindt dat hij of zij wel efficiënt werkt/kan werken aan de in het intro genoemde doelstellingen. Zelfs mensen , wiens beroep het is om wanorde te voorkomen en risico’s te managen, zoals controllers, risk managers en overige financials zijn niet bezig met het gereedschap waarmee zij orde in de chaos moeten scheppen. Dat terwijl de gehele organisatie vindt dat dit de personen bij uitstek zijn die ervoor moeten zorgen dat ceo en cfo 'in control' kunnen zijn.

Van deze mensen verwacht je, onuitgesproken, dat ze hun boeltje op orde hebben. Dat blijkt in de praktijk een waanidee te zijn, omdat volgens de normen van enkele jaren de boel op orde zou zijn, maar dit met de nieuwe ict-mogelijkheden niet meer aan de orde is. Wanorde zou dan kunnen worden gezegd, maar dat is weer een ander uiterste. De organisatie leeft dan in de waan dat alles op orde is. Er is dan sprake van de zogenaamde waanorde.

Tijd voor tools
Tijd om de echte tools, die orde scheppen in de steeds groter wordende hoeveelheid informatie(infobesitas) eens voor het voetlicht te brengen. Wist u dat iemand die vijf jaar bij dezelfde werkgever werkt gemiddeld zes tot acht muisklikken nodig heeft om een document uit het verleden te zoeken? En dat de kans om het dan te vinden niet eens 100 procent is! Dan hebben we het nog niet eens over het kostenaspect van het niet kunnen vinden van documenten.
Na mijn eerste 365 uren werkzaam te zijn geweest met Office 365 moet ik, van huis uit Financial met ict-kennis, bekennen dat ik ben gaan inzien dat Microsoft hier iets moois heeft neergezet. Sinds april 2011 werken wij met Office 365 en er is nog steeds sprake van Sharendipity, het gevoel dat je ieder dag iets nieuws kunt ontdekken in Office 365. Was het zo dat je met eerdere Sharepoint-versies al de beschikking had over de integratie met office-producten, de online-versie gaat nog een stap verder. Je hebt dan in de enterprise-versie de beschikking over Sharepoint-online, Exchange-online, Lync, Exel , Word, Powerpoint. Je hebt al je bestanden bij de hand en wie zal je missen als je vanuit huis je bestanden bijwerkt en upload?

De eerste maanden van de beta leverde nog al wat performance problemen op, maar gaandeweg richting de officiële launch verbeterde dit door de bijschakeling van resources. We werken nu dagelijks ruim tien uur online en de tijden dat de explorer herstart lijken bijna tot het verleden te horen. Wij merken dat ook de helpdesk van Office 365 op toeren komt en inmiddels veel ervaring heeft opgedaan.

De Sharepoint-online functionaliteit is op grote lijnen dezelfde als in de oude versie, hoewel je van tevoren even moet testen of je Sharepoint-template (wsp) direct op SP 2010 werkt. Niet alle site collection features die in enterprise Sharepoint aanwezig zijn zitten in bijvoorbeeld SharePoint 2010 foundation. Lync is ook prettig om mee te werken, al is het alleen al om de functionaliteit dat je in Outlook een bericht krijgt als je een Lync gesprek hebt gemist.

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