Heavily regulated businesses need the support of the kind of enterprise content management solution achievable with Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint, like any other computing platform, offers stakeholders lots of capabilities. But successfully capitalizing on what, otherwise, may be hidden features often requires some work. Enterprise content management (ECM) is an example of one feature set achievable on either an on-premises SharePoint implementation, or even on Office 365. ECM may be a “nice to have” capability for most businesses, and a “mission-critical” foundation plank for any heavily regulated business looking to capitalize on office automation. ECM maintains the position it does with heavily regulated businesses because it is much easier for these businesses to collect, categorize, and report on their…
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It helps migration planning to understand SharePoint is a computing platform

Technical personnel usually understand the substantially different set of factors included in a computing platform migration from those associated with individual software solutions. But business stakeholders in the plan should also gain an understanding if plans are to be correctly architected, meaning built in a manner promising success. SharePoint is a computing platform upon which other applications operate. When SharePoint is looked at from this angle, it is directly comparable with other computing platforms built to support successful efforts at enterprise content management (ECM), enterprise document management (EDM), and even plain Intranet computing. The list of other solutions in this…
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One more article on the importance of governance to a healthy SharePoint implementation worth a review

Any enterprise content management (ECM) system (including solutions built on Microsoft’s SharePoint Server, on-premises, and/or SharePoint Online, Office 365) should include governance, if it is to be successful. Joe Shepley provides a succinct presentation of the importance of governance in an article titled The SharePoint Information Problem, which was published on the CMSWire website in April of 2014. What I found most helpful about this article is how Shepley connects dysfunctional information management systems built with SharePoint, to what he calls a typical, broader enterprise malaise: “But when you start to dig deeper and ask why organizations have lacked the…
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Why a governance plan for SharePoint should be implemented for software dependent on the platform

SharePoint 2013, on-premises, and SharePoint Online (a component of Microsoft’s Office 365 application suite) present stakeholders with a set of challenges. Perhaps this is nothing new, and normal for any decision to implement a computer technology solution for a specific organization, and its unique set of characteristics. But for any organization with a long-standing commitment to SharePoint, planning a migration to either platform from a predecessor can be especially daunting if a set of custom applications already exists. In this case the question becomes one of how best to migrate this already amortized investment in custom software over to a…
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Be sure to include an ongoing adoption effort in your SharePoint, or SharePoint Online plan

A couple of recently published articles by prominent individuals in the SharePoint community – Chris Riley and Christian Buckley – remind me of an important feature of SharePoint plans more likely to succeed. These plans treat the challenge of user adoption as a chronic condition requiring continuous effort. Riley’s article is Why I Left ECM. The article by Christian Buckley is titled As SharePoint Moves Toward the Cloud, Governance Remains a Priority. While I am at this task, I might as well include a third article, which was published on December 29, 2014, titled ECM isn’t delivering. The common thread…
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Microsoft recommends branding SharePoint Online, Office 365 with themes, alternate CSS and other CSOM methods rather than creating custom master pages

In a video tutorial available to the public on MSDN’s Channel 9, Microsoft presents an argument for branding SharePoint Online, Office 365 sites with themes and other CSOM methods. The title of this video tutorial is Transform SharePoint Customizations to SharePoint App Model: (02) Controlling Branding in SharePoint Using App Model. The tutorial is included in the Microsoft Virtual Academy Jump Start collection and is led by Steve Walker and Vesa Juvonen, who are both Senior Program Managers with Microsoft. One recommendation is repeated over and over again throughout this tutorial, which comprises about one hour of video: don’t create…
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Microsoft announces the end of the SharePoint Online Public Websites feature of Office 365

On December 22, 2014, a number of online commentators on Microsoft’s Office 365 product published content about Microsoft’s announced decision to remove the Public Websites feature of SharePoint Online. Readers interested in learning more about this announcement are encouraged to read a post to Microsoft’s Support blog, titled Information about upcoming changes to the SharePoint Online Public Website. The decision to remove this feature appears to be entirely consistent, to this writer, when it is considered along with Microsoft’s highly publicized decision, back in October, 2012, to remove Design View (a WYSIWYG editor) from SharePoint Designer 2013. Back then, the…
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Define roles for users based on your rationale for implementing hybrid SharePoint computing

In a third video tutorial from our new set of training content on hybrid SharePoint computing, Fabian Williams juxtaposes a set of rationales for hybrid SharePoint computing alongside the roles users will play in on-premises, and cloud SharePoint computing scenarios. The title of the video is Preparing for SharePoint Hybrid – Part 1. The very close connection between objectives and user roles, which Fabian presents in detail across the approximate 25 minute length of the tutorial, is illustrative of the emphasis on security, which permeates the first 3 tutorials in the set. It, therefore, makes sense to expand on the…
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Hybrid SharePoint computing is built on trusted communications

Approximately 2.5 minutes into the 2nd of 13 video tutorials included in a set on hybrid SharePoint computing, Fabian Williams, a SharePoint Server MVP introduces a definition of hybrid SharePoint computing. The title of the video tutorial is Defining SharePoint 2013 Hybrid. This definition emphasizes the importance of full trusted communications as a mission-critical essential prerequisite to any attempt to implement a hybrid computing architecture for SharePoint server, on-premises, and SharePoint Online, Office 365: “A SharePoint Server 2013 hybrid environment enables identity management and trusted communications between SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server 2013. Fabian points out how this full trusted…
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Like any other project, an effort to implement hybrid SharePoint computing must start with an inventory of components already in place to ensure success

It’s not possible to successfully implement a hybrid SharePoint computing solution without a plan. This plan should include a clear understanding of what a hybrid computing architecture for SharePoint can, realistically deliver. As well, a series of steps must be taken to prepare a group of users, as well as the computing services already in place, and, finally, the procedures users have defined to successfully complete tasks for the new architecture. Our course on the topic of hybrid SharePoint computing, via a combination of on-premises and online components meets this requirement. Nearly 1.5 hrs of the 3.5 hrs included in…
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