Hello! It’s a real pleasure to be able to talk to you today about Microsoft’s SharePoint. Everybody’s heard before from Microsoft about its new, innovative technologies before, but SharePoint really is something interesting, new and different.SharePoint helps to address and overcome key challenges facing businesses and organizations in today’s turbulent marketplace. In fact, SharePoint can help to make individual contributors more productive, help coworkers and colleagues communicate more effectively, and help project and team members collaborate successfully.To a large extent, this presentation is designed to answer the inevitable next question—namely, “How can SharePoint boost productivity, improve communications, and make collaboration succeed?” In fact, by the time this presentation is concluded, you should have a good idea how SharePoint helps to speed projects to completion, provides a better return on networking investments, boosts teams’ and individual contributors’ abilities to do their jobs, and a whole lot more.
Today’s agenda begins with a description and discussion of the ways in which SharePoint addresses and helps overcome key business challenges and issues. We’ll discuss the various forms in which SharePoint is available and how it can help your employees and teams work more efficiently and effectively. We’ll also talk about the people in your organization who will be responsible for deploying and administering SharePoint, and what training resources are available to maximize your technology investment. All along the way, I’ll continually return to and stress the business benefits that SharePoint delivers when you put it to work. This should take about fifty minutes, after which you’ll have fifteen to twenty minutes for questions and answers.
By its very design and implementation, SharePoint addresses numerous business issues that can otherwise impede effective, timely completion of projects. It also helps make business processes—such as content development, review, approval, release, and update/maintenance—easier to build, use and follow.From a team building perspective, SharePoint includes many mechanisms to help facilitate the formation, interaction, and management of groups of individual contributors. It’s a project focused platform, in that SharePoint is designed to make tasks, news, information, documents, and project information easy to delegate to team members.In addition, SharePoint provides all kinds of powerful checks and balances to keep projects moving forward and under control. For one thing, SharePoint documents and Web sites are only accessible to authorized team members with valid account and logins—plus the permissions necessary to create, read, alter, or comment on documents and other project objects and information. For another thing, SharePoint requires documents and other deliverables to be checked out for use, and can always report on status, ownership, and pending action items instantly.SharePoint also helps organizations implement and use sound, well-documented processes. Simply put, SharePoint makes it easy to assign responsibility and delegate tasks, and then to track progress, status, and deliverables. Because it provides strong support for team interaction and communication, built-in mechanisms for dealing with document feedback, revisions, and approvals help speed work flow. Because SharePoint Web pages and documents are available through the Internet, widely distributed users can exchange information and get things done quickly. This eliminates delays typical for more conventional projects, and can boost productivity measurably. Faster project completion goes directly to the bottom line, but improvements in team and individual morale and attitude also pays dividends as well.
SharePoint’s capabilities are designed to expose project content, data, status, and progress. They’re also designed to make team communications fast, simple, and easy. This adds up to some potentially valuable business benefits for those who put SharePoint to work:● Because it makes resources and information readily accessible, and permits team members to find and communicate, SharePoint helps organizations make better, more effective use of networks.● Improved communication and collaboration among team members pays all kinds of dividends, from improved team attitudes and morale because work flows more smoothly and moves more quickly, to measurable increases in team productivity because of increased pace of feedback, reviews, and approval cycles.● Because team members can see (and even contribute) to tasks and issues, they find out about new or enhanced opportunities for personal and professional development.But, as you’ll see on the next slide, there are even more reasons to appreciate SharePoint, once it’s put to work in your organization.
In addition to the many benefits that team members and individuals get from SharePoint, there are other gains that can benefit entire organizations at work as well. These include the following:● Because project and organizational managers can easily see and measure progress, respond quickly to issues or problems, provide needed resources more quickly, and in general respond to project demands more quickly, project management works better and produces more consistent, reliable results.● Reduction or removal of typical causes for delay—waiting for deliverables, feedback, reviews, approvals, and planning next steps—projects get finished more quickly (and more often on time and under budget).● Easy visibility of project status, content, and information helps boost customer satisfaction, but also allows key stakeholders constant access to current, correct project information.Overall, the result is a better return on project investments of time, people, and money. And as a nice side effect, built-in security controls stymie attempts to snoop into or steal sensitive project data, while back-up and rollback capabilities help keep it safe from loss or harm.
SharePoint is a Microsoft technology that emerged from its construction of powerful, team-oriented software development environments and all kinds of Web services the company developed that were designed to help people communicate and interact more effectively with each other. Once it saw all the technology components it had built, Microsoft understood that teams of all kinds could benefit from their networked use—and SharePoint was born. Basically, SharePoint supports teams of individuals scattered around the country or the globe, and makes it as easy for them to work together across a network as if they worked in the same location.To call SharePoint a Microsoft Collaboration Technology is accurate, but doesn’t completely capture its capabilities and intuitive interface. For those who use Microsoft Office 2003, SharePoint functions as a plug-in at the file system level, available through Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, FrontPage and so forth, with just an extra mouse click or two from inside these applications. It also works inside any modern Web browse, including current versions of Internet Explorer, Netscape, FireFox, Opera, and so forth.Behind the scenes users access a variety of Web-based services that include mailing lists, instant messaging, message boards, online discussion groups, interactive meetings, news and announcements, and more, to conduct business with each other. Documents of all kinds have an important place in information exchange, so SharePoint handles access controls, check-in and check-out, tracks status on individual items, and helps implement review and approvals processes that model the way most organizations do business. All of this works through one or more Windows Server 2003 machines with the right software, configuration, team setup, and information controls.
Ultimately, use of technology has to provide bottom line benefits. Because SharePoint boosts team and individual productivity, organizations can count on their workers to get more done in a shorter period of time. More work completed quicker should ultimately boost revenues and profitability.The shared view of product data, documents, schedules, and tasks that SharePoint provides helps eliminate typical causes of project delay. Improved communications, document and version management, and ready access to status information also helps reduce confusion.Automated functions in PowerPoint make routing documents to contributors during the content development process quick and routine. The same is true when documents go out for review and approval. News items or alerts provide advance notice, and individual tasks and schedule entries provide further notice and reminders (these can repeat themselves as needed to provide desired responses, deliveries, or replies).Also, once project content is approved and ready to publish for wider consumption, SharePoint provides rapid publication and delivery mechanisms that require no more than the push of a few buttons to get the latest word out to information consumers.
At this point you’ve heard a lot about SharePoint capabilities that include creation of Web sites, document libraries and controls, work spaces, discussion boards and surveys, news and alerts, and templates. But what SharePoint does to deliver such access is also important to understand.First and foremost SharePoint creates Web-based work spaces. Through the use of special URLs and logins, team members gain access to the Web sites, documents, and content under SharePoint’s control. Teams are easy to define and manage, because SharePoint offers simple easy ways to define user accounts, associate specific types of access, and manage team membership and access rights over time.Likewise, SharePoint makes it easy to create consistent, coherent data collections and views for team members to use and share. From document libraries, to common calendar and task information in Outlook, team news and announcements, shared workspaces for documents and materials, SharePoint creates simple, easy ways for individuals to exchange information and get things done.In addition to document libraries and tracking tools, SharePoint also offers many other forms of communication to team members. Members can post alerts or announcements that others will see as soon as they log onto the SharePoint site. It’s also easy to define mailing lists, to publish user contact information, post surveys and collect responses, and create meeting spaces or instant messaging connections that permit members to interact in real time.
SharePoint provides a single, clear, and consistent view of project contents, versions, and status. Because there’s no need to search out files on people’s hard drives or to dig into multiple document repositories, team members can grab work materials easily and quickly. It helps eliminate common causes of confusion and potential delay. Because review, comments, approvals, and updates are never more than a quick database update away progress can advance as quickly as work gets done, eliminating additional time lags.SharePoint keeps track of document versions, and helps make keep the focus of ongoing effort on current versions. This means no more time wasted reading or working on outdated materials. Should newer versions need to be abandoned, SharePoint can roll back to previous ones. This helps avoid confusion about which version is the right one, and keeps team members focused on the right content. Once captured inside SharePoint, information remains available, even as team members come and go, so there’s far less cost likely to result from turnover or staff changes.Individual documents may only be created or changed if checked-out of a SharePoint document library, so ownership and responsibility is easy to discover. Shared tasks and schedules also provide ready access to what’s due when, and from whom. Likewise, access controls enable only those allowed to create, alter, comment on, or review documents to see them, while keeping unauthorized users in the dark. This keeps private information under wraps, and prevents loss, theft, or unwanted disclosures.
SharePoint also includes features designed to help individual contributors fill their roles, and get their jobs done.Team members gain great ways to interact, as well as great ways to distribute news and information. SharePoint makes it easy for team members (also called “site members” in SharePoint terminology) to identify key team members, and provides ready access to contact information (e-mail address, IM handles, phone numbers, location data, and so forth) to help reach out to others as needed.Because site content is indexed and organized, it’s easy to use a search engine to query its content and find references to topic areas, individual topics, and even occurrences of specific terms and phrases. And because messages, discussions, meeting notes and document contents are all indexed and organized, there’s a lot of material that individuals can access using these tools.Individuals can also flag specific documents, tasks, and other information items so that they’ll be sent an automatic alert message as soon as the flagged item is updated, changed, or deleted. This lets individuals jump on new or changed materials as soon as they become available, without having to discover what’s new through other means.Individual team members can also customize their views of SharePoint sites so that they can concentrate on those components and information items that are most important to them, while bypassing other items that may not relate to their tasks and responsibilities. This helps filter out non-essential items, and allows them to attend closely to what’s most relevant, interesting, or necessary to getting their jobs done.SharePoint also includes a set of components called “Web Parts.” These define data structures that let team members create or access announcements, shared documents, tasks, team member information, and links to all kinds of Web-based tools and resources. They’re designed to make it quick and easy to build Web pages that contain valuable or important data; team members can filter and customize these items, too.
By deliberate design, and using all kinds of interesting and useful team supports, SharePoint supports cohesive, efficient teams.By offerings all kinds of ways to improve communication, SharePoint helps speed content development and delivery at all steps in that process. It does so by providing many ways to share ideas, documents, and other kinds of information. SharePoint facilitates ongoing team dialog and discussion, including in-document comments, message boards, instant messaging, and mailing lists, to facilitate quick feedback and review. The primary thrust is to make information exchange among team mates quick and painless. This helps speed things along, while also documenting each step along the way, and not only improves team productivity for the tasks at hand, it also provides models that future projects can follow.Likewise, SharePoint establishes a single, clear and coherent view of the projects it supports. Through shared schedules, calendars, and tasks, SharePoint coordinates what must be done, by when, and by whom, with minimum muss and fuss. This enables team members able to function cohesively even when they’re in different time zones, or on different continents. As long as they share Internet access, SharePoint helps them do the rest. And by providing ongoing, accurate information about status and activity, SharePoint makes projects easier to follow and understand.A single coherent view of project tasks, milestones, deliverables and responsibilities also makes project easer to manage. Team leaders or managers can grab status information any time they like and asses progress. It’s easy to see exactly what’s going on, and where problems or bottlenecks may need to be addressed. Improved management efficiency pays double dividends since it translates into lower project overhead, and less busy work required for routine status and progress reports.
By this point, you’re probably asking “How can SharePoint do all these things?” In the next set of slides that follow, you’ll learn some of the key underpinnings that make them possible.Because SharePoint is designed to support project work, its natural focus on the the teams that create and develop content and information—namely, knowledge workers. It helps the process of content development, by making it easy to capture and share information (which then no longer resides only in key individuals’ heads). It also helps with team communication and interaction, by offering lots of ways to collect, represent, and exchange information, and by creating permanent records that can then be organized, searched, and referenced later on. SharePoint makes projects more self-documenting and better organized than they might be otherwise.SharePoint’s best feature is easy, general access. Any modern Web browser can visit and use a SharePoint site; users with MS Office 2003 and the SharePoint plug-in can treat SharePoint sites as just another data or document source or store. Location doesn’t matter: users work as effectively on the road as in the office. Login and authentication keeps intruders at bay, but let authorized users into whatever they need, whenever and wherever they need it. This helps project teams make the most of far-flung employees, contractors, and consultants.To help keep projects rolling, SharePoint’s check-in/check-out mechanisms are easy to use (and basically add one additional dialog when requesting or saving documents). Version labeling is involuntary and automatic, and rollback mechanisms that permit orderly return to previous versions are available to SharePoint administrators.
Users with MS Office 2003 can leverage the SharePoint plug-in (which can be installed from the original media or files after the fact, if not along with the rest of suite up front) to access shared workspaces and data that Web Parts deliver. All major Office applications—including Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, Access, and FrontPage—can access SharePoint site content. It’s even possible to provide access to Web-based photo libraries so users can incorporate or edit library images in documents of all kinds.Outlook integration with SharePoint allows team members to view personal tasks, schedules, and calendars side-by-side with views of team data from a SharePoint site. This makes it easy to incorporate team tasks and deadlines into personal task lists and calendars, and to keep them synchronized. It also permits users to manage tasks, calendars, and schedules in Outlook (providing that they may create such items for other team members). And of course, management, project leaders, and other responsible parties can check team calendars, tasks, and schedules whenever they like to learn status information.
When it comes to setting up and using SharePoint, the Site Manager fills the administrative role for each site or portal. This means installing and setting up SharePoint services (a Windows Server 2003 “feature pack” that’s bundled with the operating system release media) or SharePoint Portal (a special Windows Server 2003 based product).SharePoint Site Managers establish site content, by creating and populating a site with initial content, and by establishing page layouts and templates to be used, and working through site configuration issues. They also create and manage access controls over site content, Web parts, and documents through establishing team members, granting access rights, and then managing team membership and access rights over time.SharePoint site managers can monitor site activity as needed, and manage site content, access controls, and layouts. SharePoint site managers can also define site templates (which govern the way that specific site pages look and behave and the kinds of information and access they deliver). They can also use group policy controls to set up management, access, and security policies for their sites.
When it comes to managing and delivering SharePoint based sites and solutions to end users, site managers can draw on lots of existing Microsoft technology to make them interactive and data driven. Given support for XML- and other standard Web services mechanisms in this environment, administrators can draw on powerful messaging, security, data representation, and distributed services tools within a SharePoint site.On a SharePoint site, you can use FrontPage 2003 to create data-driven site content. This lets user experiences vary, depending on how they interact with and what information they supply to site pages, forms, surveys, and so forth.The SharePoint environment is designed to be readily extensible using MS programming languages and other tools. This explains why customization is often part of large-scale SharePoint deployments, and why so many add-ons, templates, and other extensions to SharePoint are widely available from third parties.But even without extension or customization, organizations can still get a lot from SharePoint (though they may not be able to integrate as well with their own vertical systems or proprietary applications).
If you are curious about the costs and requirements for implementing SharePoint, you’ll be keen to learn about staffing requirements and their level of involvement in SharePoint projects. There are three primary categories of staff that will be involved in a typical SharePoint implementation:● Project managers and architects: these individuals take responsibility for putting a SharePoint site together and for designing and implementing its look and feel. Some ongoing involvement from project managers may be required as sites evolve and expand, but architects should seldom be called back in after initial designs are complete (unless evolution leads to major changes and enhancements). Strong Web design and site implementation skills are needed, plus a working knowledge of SharePoint design and basic site implementation techniques.● Network/system administrators: these individuals take technical responsibility for installing, configuring, and setting up SharePoint sites or portals. They’ll implement sites, create members, handle access rights, establish job roles, apply security and other policies, and so forth. A good working knowledge of Windows Server, IIS and Web-based services, and of SharePoint set-up, configuration, and management is a must for such folks.● End users or site members are those individuals who actually use SharePoint to complete tasks, exchange information, create and update documents, conduct discussions, and do all the other individual and collaborative activities that SharePoint supports. Because end-users will largely be working with tools and facilities that are easy to learn, if not already familiar, a basic introduction to and overview of SharePoint is usually all that’s needed for such people.● When custom capabilities, extensions to Web parts, or integration with other databases, services, or resources is required, software developers will generally help to create the necessary scaffolding, data structures, and Web parts necessary to meet such needs. Strong knowledge of .NET platforms and languages is a must, especially ASP.NET, as are strong general Microsoft programming and project management skills.
Those responsible for designing and specifying SharePoint sites or portals must understand what SharePoint can do, and what kinds of tools and components work best to deliver needed functionality. Of course, such professionals must also understand the types of content, needs for access, and kinds of communications that will help team members get their jobs done, and how best to meet their organization’s needs in that process. Project managers will need good design skills to map project requirements into SharePoint features, to come up with the right page designs, access control guidelines, and functions to help support project activities and content development work.If customization is being considered, it’s also important to understand the costs involved in doing the necessary additional work and to weight them carefully against the benefits such work delivers. In many cases, time spent looking for pre-fab Web parts, plug-ins, or enhancements that work with SharePoint may save time, money, and effort.These individuals need a broad understanding of SharePoint, so the SharePoint Services basics and internals classes are highly recommended. Some basic understanding of .NET and SharePoint tools and programming interfaces is worthwhile, but reading on these topics may suffice (formal developer training for such people is normally overkill).
System or network administrators will normally be tapped to install, configure, set up, and manage SharePoint services or portal sites. As such, they must understand SharePoint configuration settings and tradeoffs well, and must also understand the mechanics of installation and deployment. A good understanding of site member job roles, activities, content types, and access needs is essential to creating the right kinds of access controls to make sure that site members can see and touch documents and data relevant to their jobs, but neither be hampered by too little access or endangered by too much.Though SharePoint offers a wealth of capabilities, IT professionals should be careful to choose the kind of SharePoint implementation that matches team needs best, and that provides the right kind of functionality for such groups. For smaller projects and teams, SharePoint Services will often be enough; for larger projects and teams, projects requiring extensive customization, or where far-flung, widely distributed site members and servers must be integrated, SharePoint Portal will usually be required.Because a properly configured installation is so important to successful deployment of a SharePoint project, admins must be thoroughly prepared to handle site configuration and set-up to begin with. They must also be ready, willing, and able to deal with site upkeep and maintenance issues, which usually fall under two major headings—namely, server upkeep and occasional troubleshooting or repair, and site maintenance for groups, site members, content items, and so forth.At a minimum the SharePoint Services basics class is a must for such personnel. Those planning to use (or thinking about using) SharePoint Portal should also take the Designing, Planning, and Implementing SharePoint Portal Server class as well.
End users must understand the capabilities of the SharePoint sites on which they work, to make the most of what they can do with them. This means they’ll benefit from descriptions of the Shared Workspace tool where applicable, and demonstrations and discussions of the various items, lists, and capabilities that SharePoint makes available to them. Examples are often crucial to developing understanding, so a show-me, tell-me approach excites interest in learning the details necessary to use SharePoint to its fullest. Normally this will require less than 1 day (a half-day is typical) of training, with an emphasis on demonstration and takeaways to let attendees practice what they’ve seen when they return to their desks. Some provision for extra help desk or technical support resources after such training is also a good idea, if feasible.For exceptional site members interested in learning more and digging into the details, an online 2-day SharePoint services class is available. Though not mandatory, at least one site member with strong interests and good technical skills should probably be encouraged to attend, to develop some local expertise and enthusiasm.
Developer training for SharePoint has to build on a strong working knowledge of Microsoft .NET developer tools, environments, and languages. Attendees should be familiar with the .NET framework, have at least one year’s experience with Visual Studio .NET, and know one or more Visual Programming .NET languages, such as Visual Basic .NET or Visual C# (pronounced “C-sharp”) .NET. Developer certifications like the Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) or the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) are highly recommended. Given recurring needs for SQL Server database expertise, some developers may also benefit from earning the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) credential as well.Developers should also take two SharePoint classes to get them ready to work effectively in this environment:● Customizing Microsoft SharePoint Portal 2003 (2 days)● Designing Collaborative Applications with SharePoint Server 2003 (2 days)Given the nearly unlimited range of possible extensions and enhancements to SharePoint, developers are well-advised to understand an organization’s proprietary or custom applications, and to consider integrating them into SharePoint sites as appropriate.
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Easy check-in, check-out, & version labeling/rollback mechanisms</li></li></ul><li>The MS Office Connection<br /><ul><li>All site content accessible using</li></ul>MS Word 2007 MS Excel 2007MS PowerPoint 2007 MS Access 2007MS Outlook 2007 MS Sharepoint Designer 2007<br /><ul><li>Supports picture editing of Web photo libraries
Outlook supports side-by-side views of individual & team tasks, calendars, and schedules</li></li></ul><li>Central Management & Control<br />SharePoint Site Managers<br /><ul><li>Establish site content, layout & configuration
Create & manage access controls</li></li></ul><li>Administration & Deployment<br /><ul><li>Support for industry-standard Web services
Enables unlimited opportunities for customizations, extensions
Data-driven site content using SharepointDesingner 2007
Many 3rd-party Add-ons, Templates, Extensions, Customizations available</li></li></ul><li>Who Makes SharePoint Happen?<br />CORE STAFF MEMBERS:<br />Project managers/architects<br /> Network/System Administrators<br /> End Users<br />And when customization needed:<br />Software developers<br />TRAINING IS A MUST FOR SUCCESS!!!<br />
Customizing Microsoft SharePoint Portal 2003 (2 days)
Designing Collaborative Applications with SharePoint Server 2003 (2 days)
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