Use a Hybrid combination of On Premises SharePoint and Office 365 to Bring Enterprise Users to the Cloud

Enterprise business users have many reasons to very slowly approach the cloud computing opportunity. Not the least of these is a preference on the part of Information Technology management to go “on premises” wherever possible. This preference has been cultivated consistently over the years, dating back to the first efforts at equipping enterprise class business with data centers. Market leaders will do well to respect the trepidation of this important class of SharePoint users. Through the publication of a white paper by Paul Robinson, Microsoft Services, United Kingdom, Hybrid SharePoint Environments with Office 365 Microsoft has provided some significant content…
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Successfully Reducing SharePoint TCO with Training Still Eludes Most Users

As noted on a web page for the State of Vermont that lists SharePoint training resources “there is an enormous amount of SharePoint content on You Tube. Content is from users groups, consultants, training providers and other sources”. Further, this web page cites additional free training resources available directly from Microsoft, including SharePoint training and Productivity hub. Finally, the web page suggests that inquirers might simply “Google” a question as past history indicates a high likelihood that “you will get all kinds of hits and potentially useful information”. If we are to believe the information provided by the web page…
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Serious Security Vulnerabilities for External Facing SharePoint Sites — How to Fix?

On December 9, 2011 Imperva, Inc published a press release on the Imperva list of the top 10 security vulnerabilities for computing systems for 2012. This press release has been widely disseminated. A copy of the press release was listed on the US Homeland Security website. The sixth spot on Imperva’s list is taken by “Internal Collaboration Meets its Evil Twin.” The two collaboration platforms mentioned in this release include SharePoint and Jive. Imperva notes that SharePoint is the most popular collaboration platform. The threat, as Imperva sees it, is that external facing SharePoint sites will not be secured properly…
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EPM Live, Your One Stop Shop for Project Management for SharePoint

Imagine building your enterprise project management solution on top of SharePoint. What about all the other work efforts that you’ve got planned for the future? Why not roll them in as well? Don’t forget IT Portfolio Management (you need to gauge the value of your investments in IT, right?), let’s roll that effort in as well. Certainly you can accomplish most of what you want with Microsoft Project Server, but how about getting it done with Microsoft Project Desktop? Sound like wishful thinking? Not so, according to the folks at EPM Live. We recently spoke with Ms. Heather Champoux-Rayner, Marketing…
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Training Users Delivers Valuable Return on Investment in SharePoint for Enterprise Business

I’m generally skeptical when I hear “we’ve not much budget left” or “we might be able to cobble something together” when I’m speaking about training needs with enterprise business users of SharePoint. My skepticism is particularly high when SharePoint users are about to embark on something large like a migration from SP 2007 to SP 2010 and, nevertheless, are still hard-pressed to acknowledge an otherwise obvious need. Rather, when I hear these words I experience a near Pavlovian reaction where “we’ve not much budget left” magically translates into “we’re not getting much value out of this SharePoint implementation; therefore, why…
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Microsoft® Adds Business Connectivity Services (BCS) to Office 365 SharePoint

On November 30, 2011 Microsoft® announced the addition of Business Connectivity Services to Office 365 SharePoint. Using SharePoint Designer, Office 365 users will now be able to configure BCS to include external databases, document repositories, etc within SharePoint Online. We were particularly gratified to see this announcement. In August of 2011 Asif Rehmani wrote an article for MSDN on Customizing SharePoint Online with SharePoint Designer. Much of the content from his article will be useful as users start working with the BCS feature of SharePoint Online. Adding BCS to Office 365 SharePoint makes a lot of sense. Microsoft appears to…
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Implement Business Connectivity Services (BCS) for SharePoint to Help Hasten User Adoption

Microsoft has counseled that “[f]ailure to sufficiently integrate external systems with SharePoint solutions can slow the adoption of SharePoint within an organization.” (quoted from MSDN Chapter 11, Business Connectivity Services, SharePoint 2010. The key to avoiding this failure is to use Business Connectivity Services (BCS), “a set of technologies that brings data from external systems into SharePoint Server 2010 and Office 2010” (ibid) to “integrate external data” into SharePoint. We got the message and built a suite of 11 video classes on this collection of tools. Our classes were each conceived and authored in entirety by Raymond Mitchell a widely…
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FactoryTalk VantagePoint Software from Rockwell Automation Brings Factory Floor Process Control to SharePoint

Industrial Automation (IA) is often referred to as the “dirty side of the house” of computing applications for business. The dirt here is the dirt of the factory floor. This image is emblematic of the reality that two distinctly separate computing silos exist within most businesses that manufacture products, or generate power, or even drill for oil and gas: one silo for Information Technology (IT), and the other for IA. Usually these silos function entirely separately within the business with the end result that gathering useful Business Intelligence (BI) on the IT side of the house about IA has either…
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Neudesic Pulse v2.1 Delivers Enhanced Collaboration to SharePoint

Neudesic Pulse v2.1 delivers a promising set of social features to SharePoint, including: Native integration with UC (Unified Communications) platforms, including Microsoft® Lync Server 2010 and Client Micro Blogging Bridge Connect with Experts Mobility and Native integration with SharePoint My Site But the objectives here are pure business, very far removed from a FaceBook of Google+ skin for SharePoint. Check out Neudesic’s superb Video Presentation of Pulse v2.1 Features. This strong piece of marketing communications stays strictly focused on business, illustrating the utility of each of the features of Pulse within the context of a “team collaboration, system integration and…
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AvePoint DocAve6 Will Make Enterprise Wide Governance for SharePoint Manageable through Automation

AvePoint’s soon to be released DocAve6 purports to address a pressing need of SharePoint enterprise business & public sector users: how do we automate and hasten the application of governance over SharePoint? On the surface, establishing governance for SharePoint may seem like an activity that is, at best, of peripheral importance. Dig deeper. Think long and hard about low levels of user adoption within very large corporate environments (with thousands of users who ought, otherwise, to be using SharePoint). Might some silo or silos within the business be actively retarding the spread of SharePoint? You bet. But why? You need…
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