Often an audience will respond with references to a sort of Facebook on an Intranet when asked for a snap reaction to the concept of online collaboration. For audiences that use SharePoint 2010, the concept of online collaboration should also invoke even richer images of pooled corporate data, freely liberated from business silos through the use of Business Connectivity Services (BCS). Regrettably it is difficult to stimulate the latter reaction from audiences; however if we remove some of the technical jargon from a presentation and focus, instead on the business drivers for data collaboration of the sort to which we have just now alluded, we may well be in a better position to receive the type of response that we are after.
Let’s face it, Business Intelligence (BI) gathering is an activity that is gaining lots of steam across enterprise businesses. In fact, BI is nothing much new when one considers the fact that businesses have tried with great ardor over the last couple of years, if not longer, to arrive at a set of methods to deliver attractive metrics that can explain the success or failure of projects across an enterprise. These methods include collecting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), balanced scorecards, and custom dashboards, all in the service of Project Portfolio Managment. The results, however, have not been that impressive. The quest is still ongoing to find the right tools to deliver truly meaningful data that can be used for historical analysis as well as for predictive purposes.
Of course, SharePoint offers a very promising platform for fine tuning these methods into a tool that will deliver substantial value for its required application. As we mentioned at the top of this post, the method is to utilize BCS to simply populate SharePoint with business line specific data. In fact, BCS makes it much easier for business users to simply take this global publishing step, which nevertheless, promises to deliver enormous value to BI gathering efforts. The simplicity of this type of publishing via BCS should encourage business silos to globally publish this business line specific data in formats that lend themselves to the core of BI processes. We here at Rehmani Consulting Inc have published a unique set of instructional video tutorials on BCS authored by Raymond Mitchell.
Two videos are available from this set for general public review:
If you catch our drift and would like to seize the opportunity to implement truly scalable collaboration with SharePoint, please let us know. You may reach us at (630) 786-7026, or Contact Us to further a discussion about our video training content.
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