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SharePoint 2013 Analysis & Reviews

One Consultant's Approach to a Small SharePoint Cleanup

A pilot SharePoint cleanup project is straightforward. A consultant facilitating a small project to clean up a company’s SharePoint intranet can reach the lessons learned phase with a few basic tools.

Recall the mantra: simple is elegant.

The Problem With Yammer? People Don't Use It

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Yammer is being promoted as the new social layer of SharePoint. But Microsoft is also tying it tightly into Office 365. In the past two weeks, this has resulted in the packaging of Yammer with Office 365 small business plans, while the price of Office 365 is also about to be slashed.

There are problems with Yammer. But the problem lies not the product itself.

According to David Lavenda, vice president of product strategy at Harmon.ie, the real problem is that many people who have access to it just won’t use it — or any other social network for that matter.

Oslo and Office Graph: Welcome to the Enterprise of Things

2014-09-July-Spiderwebs.jpgIf Microsoft has its way, big data is coming to your Office 365 environment very soon.

In March of this year Jared Spataro, general manager of Enterprise Social at Microsoft, introduced Office Graph and challenged us to “work like a network.” Office Graph -- which derived from Yammer’s Enterprise Graph concept -- analyzes user metadata from the Office 365 environment (Yammer, SharePoint Online, Lync and Office Online) to identify signals, trends, relationships, social connections and content that relate to each other to form patterns that can be used to deliver a more relevant and rich contextual end user experience.

This rich set of metadata is meant to provide a more comprehensive picture of who you are connected to, who you interact with and how you interact within the enterprise. This is a new frontier for Microsoft and this technology will significantly change how you collaborate, work, connect and engage within the online enterprise going forward.

Test Before Making a Full Scale SharePoint Leap

2014-08-July-Swimming-Hole.jpgYou've built your solution architecture. You've got a vision in mind. You eagerly take the full scale implementation plunge. But the energy erodes after things start to fall apart during the implementation phases. Ad-hoc requirements pop up and all you get is boatload of custom code requirements or a bad rap from disgruntled users -- now you're really in trouble.

Don't let this happen to your SharePoint implementation.

5 Steps for Building a SharePoint Migration Plan

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From all outward appearances, we seem to have turned a corner with SharePoint 2013 migrations. Compared to previous versions, SharePoint 2013 has experienced a relatively slow adoption cycle as organizations paused to understand the impacts of the new release -- and to understand, in many cases, their cloud strategies.

Migrations to the latest version seem to now be increasing speed. Since the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas earlier this year, my own observation is that more companies are approving budgets and updating plans, and with that movement and more firm cloud strategies in place, we are also seeing an increased interest in SharePoint Online and Office 365.

What Microsoft Will Do to Keep Your Business

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Dropbox wants Enterprises to store their content in Dropbox. Box wants it in Box. Egnyte, Accellion, Syncplicity … you get the picture. They all want to be your provider as well.

And Microsoft has something to lose if it lets that happen. And it’s not the dollars (you pay for services on the aforementioned vendors’ clouds as units of storage) that these other companies could potentially earn.

The world’s largest software company needs you to keep living and working in its products, like Office and SharePoint, which you wouldn’t have to do if you stored your stuff on these other clouds.

4 Ways to Kick Start Your SharePoint Implementation

2014-17-June-Motocross.jpgWe've discussed the importance of proper planning, change management strategies and providing end user training in order to ensure a successful SharePoint implementation. While it is definitely good to have a plan or strategy in place for any software project, with the fast pace of change you shouldn't wait until you have the entire project complete before rolling out anything. If you wait too long to deliver something, users will get impatient and the project will lose momentum.

Microsoft and CXM: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

2014-12-June-Swings.jpgThere’s nothing quite so surprising in life as the about-face. You know how it is: someone or something spends years building up a certain set of expectations, and then -- seemingly out of the blue -- pivots almost completely away from those expectations to behave in a totally different manner. It’s the Beatles releasing Sergeant Pepper, Vince Vaughn playing a role other than “Vince Vaughn” or the English national team lining up in something other than a 4-4-2 (yes, that’s my timely World Cup reference for this column).

When it comes to a Customer Experience and digital marketing platform for internet sites, that’s exactly what Microsoft has done over the course of the last year. 

Stop SharePoint Information Bleed Before It Starts

Eighty-three percent of SharePoint enterprises report actual security losses from user error.

Imagine for a second that you’ve left the world of technology. Suppose you decided to launch a new venture -- a retail store, or a nightclub.

You spend a lot of time working on the floor plans, construction, architecture -- even the menu. Your sign out on the highway has lots of flashing lights to attract visitors. On opening night you have thousands of people show up. There's a line around the block behind a red velvet rope. Everything feels like a smashing success.

Except you notice people aren’t staying as long as they can, and leave fairly early. Soon there's no one waiting to get in and you have plenty of empty space, not a lot of people. You're worried about all of those early exits -- why did they leave? To prevent a similar situation, you try a new policy -- no cover charge, but once in, you have to stay until 2 a.m. and cannot go anywhere else.

Organizing Your Content Means Cleaning Out the Junk

2014-02-June-Yard-Sale.jpgYour information is the lifeblood of your organization. It’s content you create, it’s content you obtain from customers, suppliers, partners. And there’s usually a lot of it. That’s where solutions like SharePoint and Office 365 come in -- to help you manage it all.

But before you start storing every last piece of information you have, ask yourself if it’s really something you need. Just because you can save and store almost limitless amounts of content, doesn’t mean you should. 

Integrating Yammer with SharePoint 2013: Navigating the Options

2014-22-May-Directions.jpgIn 2012, Microsoft Office General Manager Jared Spataro told the audience at the SharePoint Conference that “Microsoft is all in on Yammer and SharePoint.” Spataro made it clear -- Yammer would be the social collaboration tool of choice for SharePoint going forward.

Office 365 would be the first major beneficiary of Yammer integration, but SharePoint on-premises would see integration in future service pack releases. Microsoft would support SharePoint 2013’s out of the box social features for a period of time, but they would not be enhanced or developed further. This sent shock waves of confusion and concern throughout the SharePoint Community and has spurred heated discussion since.

Microsoft's OneDrive for Business is No Slam Dunk

There’s no place like Microsoft, and there’s no need to leave.

That’s what the world’s largest software company hopes you’ll believe when you get a look at OneDrive for Business, its Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) service.

While there’s nothing wrong with the idea — being everything to everyone isn’t a bad business strategy, if the community appreciates it and you can pull it off. And Microsoft thinks it’s off to good start. It owns the desktop, after all. Most of us have grown up using and are now raising kids who also use Word, Excel, PowerPoint …

So, earlier this week, when John Case, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office Division, announced the company would be increasing the default storage on its EFSS offering from 25GB to 1 TB, it seemed like a sweet deal. In fact, it still does. Ditto for granting the same allotment to Office 365 ProPlus subscribers.

But is giving away extra storage the winning ticket in the EFSS space?

Probably not.

6 Ways Metadata Can Help Businesses

Here are six ways businesses can deal with the SharePoint metadata issue. They range from developing information governance strategies to implementing text analytics and improving SharePoint's native search functions of the SharePoint edition they work with.

The projects were identified in recent research by semantic search vendor Concept Searching (CS), which called them key objectives for companies that want to get the best out of their SharePoint deployments. 

4 Things to Know About SharePoint Metadata

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Nearly 30 percent of organizations are still using SharePoint 2007, only 34 percent of organizations have turned to Office 365 and very few organizations have information governance strategies in place around their SharePoint environments. Those are just some of the research findings from semantic search provider Concept Searching.

The focus of the report was on the use or lack of use of metadata in SharePoint data management. But it also highlighted some interesting future projects for SharePoint-centric enterprises, including migration to newer editions of SharePoint and even the deployment of text analytics with SharePoint environments of the future.

SharePoint Users Routinely Breach Security Policies

Research by Cryptzone shows at least 36 percent of SharePoint users are breaching security policies — and another 9 percent admit they have no idea how to prevent sensitive information from being uploaded.

The study, conducted among attendees at Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas in March, is a warning to organizations that it is essential to develop adequate information security policies. It further underscores how lack of such policies are putting business critical information at risk. 

Earlier this month, Cryptzone, a provider of encryption solutions and identity and access management (IAM), was acquired by Medina Capital, an equity investment firm focused on the IT infrastructure sector.

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