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SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 Best Practices, Analysis

Microsoft: Get 'Em While They're Young

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What's the best way to make a lifelong customer? Microsoft apparently believes in getting them while they are young. In its latest assault on the productivity suite market, it is offering Office 365 to students for free.

Yes, yes. They were getting it free already through the Student Advantage program, but that wasn’t quick enough.

Microsoft wants all students signed up lickety-split and that means enabling them to sign-up themselves, for free and without all the rough stuff around licenses and school-based IT departments.

Can Akumina Make SharePoint a Web CMS Contender?

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In the age of digital experience, not all companies are rushing into relationships with superpower providers like Adobe, Sitecore and Oracle.

Most, however, already have SharePoint, and many of those are trying to figure out how to extend its use to public-facing websites.

Enter Akumina, a three-year-old company whose founders have extensive experience in building and deploying such websites. It's led by CEO Ed Rogers and COO Steve Sherkanowski, who worked for years managing technical, operations and marketing activities at Ektron.

The Nashua, N.H.-based company recently introduced InterChange, a suite of role-based authoring and site management tools designed to give marketing teams control over SharePoint sites.

SharePoint Users Stick with Older Versions, Eye Hybrid Cloud #SPTechCon

When we caught up in Boston a year ago with SharePoint Technology Conference Chair David Rubinstein, SharePoint 2013, Office 365 capabilities and mobile were all the rage.  

Same conference, next year at the Boston Park Plaza hotel? The cloud. SharePoint Online. When's the big move coming?

The truth is, for most organizations -- at least those among the 1,000 at the conference this week -- they're still flying in 2010 and even 2007 air space when it comes to SharePoint technology.

"The majority of our attendees still sit on 2010 and 2007 versions of SharePoint," said Rubinstein, whose Melville, NY-based media organization, BZ Media, has put on 12 SPTechCons over the last six years. "There's where we're going to be until things change."

Microsoft Puts Pieces Together with Office 365 Home Page

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Google has been making a lot of ground in recent months with the addition of lots of new functionality to Google Apps, now called Google Apps for Work.

And Microsoft hasn’t been slouching either. However, Microsoft upgrades have been a little more subtle — and it’s often hard to track what has been added or even what tools you have at your disposable.

But now we have something concrete: Microsoft just announced that it has upgraded the portal page for Office 365, which is being rolled out to current SharePoint and Exchange customers as of today.

Why You Must Identify Risks in SharePoint Technology #SPTechCon

information management, Why You Must Identify Risks in SharePoint Technology #SPTechCon

SharePoint stakeholders can't know their risks without knowing their requirements.

And they can't know their risks without knowing the potentially adverse effects of those risks.

Bill English, 11-consecutive SharePoint MVP winner, champions these thoughts. Knowing your risks and potential outcomes can lead to strong governance and compliance.

And as English told an audience here today at the SharePoint Technology Conference at the Boston Park Plaza hotel, "Governance is the enforcement of compliance." 

An Alternative Migration Strategy: Travel Light

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When I was a kid, some of the best travels were vacations with my family. My parents would plan a vacation for weeks. They ordered custom maps from Texaco, marking the preferred scenic route and gas station exits of every Interstate on the map. (Dad worked for Texaco.) Hotel reservations were made in advance. ATMs were nonexistent, so Dad exchanged cash for traveler’s checks. Toys, food and drink were all carefully packed away so that we were prepared for any contingency.

Yammer: SharePoint's Social Collaboration Savior? #SPTechCon

BOSTON -- Microsoft believes Yammer is good for its SharePoint health. Yammer chats are now synced with OneDrive and SharePoint files.

Just how good? So good, it envisions it being basically part of its fabric versus just an enterprise collaboration software platform.

Yammer seems to be all the rage -- or at least a very good part of it -- at the SharePoint Technology Conference at the Boston Park Plaza hotel here this week.

"Yammer is going to be transformed," Jill Hannemann of Rockville, MD-based Portal Solutions predicted in her morning session on social and SharePoint Wednesday. "It may not even be called Yammer" and may just be the connectivity tool that will be the thread throughout all of the different products in Office 365.

Is Microsoft Even Pushing SharePoint Users into the Cloud? #SPTechCon

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BOSTON -- The cloud. SharePoint.

Wait, what? Not me. Not us. Not anytime soon, if ever.

That captures some of the sentiment we heard here among the nearly 1,000 people at the SharePoint Technology Conference at the Boston Park Plaza hotel.

David Maldonado, an analyst programmer at the University of New Mexico's health division (pictured with co-worker Erin Youtzy), came up with a few words to answer the cloud proposition in SharePoint: "HIPAA. Personal information. Health records."

Why History (and the Enterprise) Will Be Kind to Steve Ballmer

2014-16-September-Ballmer.jpgWe hear a lot about Microsoft’s new direction, and we hear a lot about SharePoint. We haven’t heard a lot about how the one impacts the other, but if you’re buying into collaboration (and odds are that you are) then you ought to be thinking about it. And if you think about it just a little, you’ll realize that Steve Ballmer mapped all of this out years ago. We just weren’t listening.

The Future of SharePoint is the Cloud #gartnerpcc

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It's not exactly ground-breaking, but Jim Murphy, a research director in Gartner's web and cloud group, thinks Microsoft is trying to lure its SharePoint users into the cloud, despite the number of enterprises that are still using it on-premises.

Speaking at this morning’s session on the future of SharePoint at Gartner’s Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit in London, Murphy reassured attendees that there is still plenty of time before time runs out on the on-premises version.

Drive Social Adoption with SharePoint and Yammer Analytics

With the advent of SharePoint 2013 and Yammer integration, companies have struggled to monitor and manage the integration, adoption and usage of the collaboration platforms deployed across the enterprise. SharePoint Administrators are having a difficult time gathering meaningful metrics on SharePoint and Yammer usage and adoption. Community managers, IT managers and business leaders need metrics that show who is using the platform, how it’s being used, and how far the reach of social collaboration has extended into the enterprise. These measurements are key to ensuring that collaboration is being integrated into business processes.

Was Gartner's Social Software Smackdown a Lovefest?

Gartner hosted a “Social Software Smackdown” panel at its Catalyst Conference last month. After talking with its host, analyst Larry Cannell, it’s clear that the participants from Microsoft/Yammer, Salesforce/Chatter and Box don’t feel that they’re in a turf war, at least just yet.

That's true in spite of the fact that Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace noted there’s little difference in the products these companies provide.

 “We are in the early stages of this market with a tremendous upside for enterprises and workers,” Cannell wrote in his takeaway notes.

Building a Hybrid Bridge to the Microsoft Cloud

2014-29-August-Rope-Bridge.jpgWhen Satya Nadella announced Microsoft’s new Mobile-First, Cloud-First strategy, he drew a line in the sand with Microsoft employees and set the company on a new course. When Microsoft COO, Kevin Turner reiterated the message at the World Wide Partner Conference in July, he sent partners scrambling to get cloud certified, saying “Selling on-premises software was good for you and us for a long time but the future lies in the cloud and mobility, and Microsoft plans to go in that direction with our partner community intact.”

Customers have felt the shift as well as they ponder what solutions can be cloud based and how to integrate them without significant effort and cost. Some organizations look at Office 365 and feel insecure about moving to a multi-tenant environment. Many organizations have significant investments in on-premises applications and infrastructure so moving to the cloud will not be an easy process.

These critical business systems have kept the wheels of commerce running for some time and have been built up with many layers of complexity and integration. Strict compliance regulations prevent many companies from exposing data in a cloud environment. With these constraints and issues in mind Microsoft has created a number of hybrid options that allow companies to selectively migrate enterprise solutions or build new applications that use cloud services while maintaining an on-prem infrastructure.

Let’s look at the options.

Microsoft Secures SharePoint Online Data

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Microsoft has taken another step to secure data in SharePoint Online with the introduction of Data Loss Prevention (DLP). The only thing surprising is that it has taken this long to do it, given that Microsoft already provides DLP for Exchange, Outlook and Outlook Web App (OWA).

However, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to introduce DLP to SharePoint Online without also applying it to OneDrive.

So Microsoft has gone ahead and done that, too.  With it, users will be able to to search for sensitive content in the enterprise eDiscovery Center, but keep the content where it was originally located.

DAM Confusion in the Marketplace

2014-21-August-Maze.jpg(UPDATED 8/27) With the announcement of Microsoft’s partnership with the DAM vendor ADAM last month, it would be easy to say that Microsoft has de facto conceded defeat for SharePoint, a MS tool often promoted as a DAM. This would be a mistake; SharePoint and ADAM were never really competitors. Despite the claims of some enthusiastic sales people, SharePoint has never really been functional as a true DAM system. This new partnership solidifies SharePoint’s role in an overall DAM strategy as a file sharing and workflow tool that can be integrated with true DAM system – and especially so with ADAM, as they share the .NET code base.

One question still lingers: will Microsoft continue to promote SharePoint as a DAM tool while using ADAM both internally and as the DAM solution in their cloud offerings? Both the question and its answer open up the complex world of DAM marketing and branding for those in the industry.

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