It makes sense to test SharePoint implementation plans with a cloud-based IaaS offer. A service like CloudShare, or Microsoft® Azure can be used as a development environment at a fraction of the cost of building comparative functionality on premises. An added benefit is the minimal impact this type of testing approach will have on production environments.
Any of the video training content we offer on SharePoint 2007, 2010, or 2013 on SharePoint-Videoscan be reliably used to put together test scenarios with either CloudShare, or Azure. CloudShare’s Team Labs offer is the less expensive option, coming in at an approximate savings of $50.00 per month vs. a comparable offer from Azure.
Since none of the processes will run on premises, there should be zero unintentional negative impact on local production environments if a decision is made to proceed with one of these services. The process of testing a set of implementation scenarios will also proceed faster, and at lower cost. It’s simply substantially less demanding on an organization to rapidly put up, and tear down infrastructure with either of these services than would otherwise be the case if local resources were committed to the task.
These development environments can be kept running once implementation plans are finalized. Organizations shouldn’t take on the risk of systems not working, as planned, after a decision is made to proceed with an implementation, without the assurance represented by a fallback mechanism already in place. Retooling a set of procedures is simpler when the entire set is already running in a separate environment.
Another very good reason to use this approach is to avoid incurring software acquisition costs before testing application performance in a simulated computing environment. There is no reason to purchase licenses for SharePoint Server 2013, for on premises installation, unless and/or until a representative group of users have been exposed to the platform over a testing interval.
If your organization is either considering implementing SharePoint for a first time, or your SharePoint implementation plan is impeded by low rates of user adoption, please contact us to discuss your specific needs.
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