Learn How FirstGroup Will Use SharePoint Online to Collaborate & Share Across Five Divisions


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This slideshare focues on real-world experience working with SharePoint Online. Consisting of five main operating divisions that help transport more than 2.5 billion passengers every year, FirstGroup is in the process of deploying a cloud-based collaboration platform to 15,000 users across the UK and North America as a way to foster communication between mobile workers and those in the office.

Girish Balsavar, VP, Center of Excellence, Employee Channel at FirstGroup America, shares the ways in which implementing SharePoint Online will deliver key capabilities that FirstGroup is taking advantage of and the cloud solution's impact to the organization.

Chris Hines, Senior Solutions Architect at Perficient, covers both the benefits and challenges of working with SharePoint Online. Several solutions to common problems are presented along with useful and reusable architectural patterns. He also discusses best practices around development and deployment processes.

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Learn How FirstGroup Will Use SharePoint Online to Collaborate & Share Across Five Divisions

  1. 1. facebook.com/perficient twitter.com/Perficient_MSFTlinkedin.com/company/perficient SharePoint Online Learn How FirstGroup Will Use the Cloud-Based Service to Collaborate & Share Across Five Divisions
  2. 2. Agenda • Who is Perficient • Benefits & challenges of working with SharePoint Online • Deployment & development best practices • Patterns for common challenges • Yammer and integration into SharePoint • How FirstGroup is aligning 5 divisions with SharePoint Online • Questions & answers
  3. 3. Perficient is a leading information technology consulting firm serving clients throughout North America. We help clients implement business-driven technology solutions that integrate business processes, improve worker productivity, increase customer loyalty and create a more agile enterprise to better respond to new business opportunities. About Perficient
  4. 4. • Founded in 1997 • Public, NASDAQ: PRFT • 2013 revenue ~$373 million • Major market locations throughout North America • Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fairfax, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York City, Northern California, Philadelphia, Southern California, St. Louis, Toronto and Washington, D.C. • Global delivery centers in China, Europe and India • >2,100 colleagues • Dedicated solution practices • ~85% repeat business rate • Alliance partnerships with major technology vendors • Multiple vendor/industry technology and growth awards Perficient Profile
  5. 5. BUSINESS SOLUTIONS Business Intelligence Business Process Management Customer Experience and CRM Enterprise Performance Management Enterprise Resource Planning Experience Design (XD) Management Consulting TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS Business Integration/SOA Cloud Services Commerce Content Management Custom Application Development Education Information Management Mobile Platforms Platform Integration Portal & Social Our Solutions Expertise
  6. 6. Our Microsoft Practice
  7. 7. Girish Balsavar | VP - Employee Channel - Center of Excellence, FirstGroup America • Over the last five years, he has held multiple senior leadership positions within FirstGroup’s IT department • In his current role, he is responsible for the establishment of Employee Channel COE • Key objective of creating a global platform to enable employee productivity through increased collaboration and sharing of best practices across divisions Our Speakers Chris Hines| Senior Solutions Architect, Microsoft Modern Apps, Perficient • More than fourteen years of IT experience, he has worked with SharePoint since 2003 • He has led many successful SharePoint projects over the years, and is now focused on delivering SharePoint Online & SharePoint Search solutions to global organizations • Certified SCRUM Master and an expert in understanding & leading SCRUM projects
  8. 8. Benefits of SharePoint Online • Create a globally scalable SharePoint instance in minutes! • Deploy minimal viable product quickly, reduce risk • Upgrades are managed by the service ‘Evergreen’ • Improved update cadence, smaller changes • Focus on solving business problems
  9. 9. Challenges with SharePoint Online There are restrictions, but it’s often just a case of thinking about the problem in a different way. • No farm solutions • User profile synchronization is limited to set fields • No vanity URLs, need to work with <name>.sharepoint.com • Cannot edit search content sources nor schedule crawls • Probably need to deploy ADFS + DirSync or FIM This list used to be longer but the service is constantly improving: e.g. Content by Search WebPart, 1TB site collections
  10. 10. Development & Deployment MSDN Tenant Developer Scripted Deployment Development All Developers Team Foundation Server Scripted Deployment Refinement Scripted Deployment Scripted Deployment Tenant Admin Periodic Content Replication Product Owner Stakeholders Test Users End Users Review Test Use Tenant Admin Can it be scripted? Document exceptions. Development (Integration) Tenant QA Tenant Production Tenant
  11. 11. Development & Deployment • Scripted Deployment – Highly repeatable – Helps new developers onboard very easily – Document exceptions – Could also be used on-premises • Separation of Environments – Shared services/features not compromised during development – No developers in QA or production – Preserves tenant administrators in production – Sign-up for ‘first release’ in development • Leverage Cloud Accounts for Development and QA – Very easy to setup, easy to manage for external users • Federated Identities – A test domain could also be federated to QA – Needed to test single sign-on experience
  12. 12. Scripted Deployment • PowerShell Library with XML Configuration • SharePoint Server 2013 Client Components SDK (v16) • Scripted Deployment For E.G. – Content types (avoid content type hub) – Deploying display templates and layouts – Populating term store • Client Object Model Does Not Support E.G. – Setting managed properties – Configuring search navigation • Temporary (Unsupported) Work-Arounds – Use .Net assembly browser on server code – HTTP remote operations (Vesa "vesku" Juvonen) *Credit to Roydon Gyles-Bedford and David Palfery at Perficient
  13. 13. Building Apps for SharePoint Online • App Model Samples – SharePoint Community effort – http://officeams.codeplex.com – Contributors include: • Richard diZerega • Vesa Juvonen • Pattern Highlights: – Remote site & site collection provisioning – Remote event receivers – User profile updates and picture uploads – Personal site (e.g. OneDrive) customization/branding
  14. 14. Remote Site Provisioning • App Model ‘App’ • Site or Site Collection • Custom Form • Collect Site Metadata • Associated Workflow • Execute Provisioning Scripts
  15. 15. Hybrid Search
  16. 16. Hybrid Search • Propagates search-based patterns and will most likely fit with patterns adopted already e.g. result sources, display templates, etc. • Hybrid is a powerful pattern when we need to augment SharePoint Online with on-premises content • Can be used to solve the user profile synchronization challenge • Requires on-premises (or Azure with VPN) SharePoint 2013
  17. 17. SharePoint Online Developer’s Toolkit • Search Query Tool – Build your queries for search-based design patterns – http://sp2013searchtool.codeplex.com • Client Object Browser – Debug script-deployed content types and site columns – Inspect OOTB content types and site columns – https://spcb.codeplex.com • Color Tool – Brand by theme – Give it to your visual designers! – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38182
  18. 18. Yammer Integration • Integration of Yammer is evolving rapidly • Switch from SharePoint Social to Yammer • Unified Groups: SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer • Yammer App Parts and Yammer Embed • Yammer Search and the Office Graph http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/MEC/2014/USX202
  19. 19. FirstGroup – Employee Portal
  20. 20. FirstGroup plc Keeping people moving and communities prospering First Student : The largest provider of student transportation in North America – over twice the size of the next largest competitor First Transit : One of the largest private sector providers of public transit management and contracting in North America Greyhound : The only national operator of scheduled intercity coach transportation services in the US and Canada, serving 48 US States and ten Canadian Provinces and Territories UK Bus : One of the largest bus operators in the UK, with around a fifth of the deregulated market UK Rail : UK’s largest rail operator with almost a quarter of the UK’s passenger rail network, carrying more than 330 million passengers per year Our services help to create strong, vibrant and sustainable local economies. Each day, every one of our 117,000 employees works hard to deliver vitally important services for our passengers. During the last year around 2.5 billion people relied on us to get to work, to education, to visit family and friends and much more.
  21. 21. Employee Portal – Office365 Implementation • Provide an authenticated single point of contact • Provide a single directory of employees and contact information • Enhance ability to communicate group messages • Standardize document storage for policies, procedures and forms across divisions • Enhance search (people, documents) • Simplify access for device/location
  22. 22. FirstGroup – Employee Portal
  23. 23. Why SharePoint in the cloud • Focus on collaboration and communication vs servers and datacenters • Focus on getting to information vs. VPNs and network access • Reach the right people when needed vs. which device do I use • Focus on increased integrated capabilities vs. working on technical projects connecting best of breed products • Opportunity to increase collaboration and communication across the countries and divisions
  24. 24. What doesn’t change for successful implementation (Cloud or no Cloud) • Executive sponsorship • Business partner engagement • Skilled resources to implement • Keeping it simple – right architecture and guidelines
  25. 25. Connect with Perficient