We haven’t come across a single organisation that uses Office 365 / SharePoint Online and did not have change control challenges caused by unannounced releases of features.

It may not resolve all our Office 365 release scheduling and deployment problems, but Microsoft have announced a long awaited Office 365 Public Road-map today.

In addition to that, two new services have been announced – codename Oslo and the Office Graph. Codename Oslo is the next generation of proactive and personalised discovery and search platform, and the Office Graph sits right in the core of it.

Find out more about it on the Microsoft Office Team’s blog.

Office 365 Public Roadmap

Posted in Exchange Online, Extranet, Intranet, Lync, Office 365, Office 365 Roadmap, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint Architecture, SharePoint Online, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Following twelve signs of problems are just few of many that our team has noticed the organisations like yours may be coping with on daily/monthly basis. Year in, and year out…

Please read through the following sections and do let us know, whether you identify any of the 12 signs in your organisation.

1 – Email Overload

You spend more than 10 hours per week in email searching for, reading, and forwarding the old emails.
Is that an issue in your business?

2 – File Search and Retrieval

Every project requires searching your file server, emails, customer data, and other business related data in 5 different apps and folders for relevant materials.

3 – Creative Thinking

You can only spend less than 20% of your time thinking about the issues, the rest is in endless meetings, admin, management, and clunky search for existing data.

4  – Repetitive tasks and application overload

You need to browse through 5 different systems before you gather all relevant information. And finally you find out that the topic you are about to research has already been worked on and resolved by another department just couple of months ago.

5 – Knowledge retention. When do we get the time to work on that!?

At the meetings, everyone always knows everything. But the output of creative sessions is often lost, with no way of easily locating the creative threads that led to key decisions.

6 – Response Time!

The response time to client requests. You find it too diffcult to respond with speed to client questions as decision process takes ages, and the knowledge is often scattered, in people’s heads or hard to ask of the right people quickly.

7 – Frustrated employees

All team members and staff often complain of time wasted, inefficient processes and being ‘swamped’.

8 – Your problem is never important enough.

Your problem is never big enough to get the attention of the IT. If the problem becomes important enough it takes 6 months or more to get the IT solution implemented even if you feel that your colleague from IT could mock it up in a week time.

9 – Unworkable project software

The software the company makes available for projects is too complex, and no-one uses it outside of the project specialists.

10 – Where is my report?

It’s a weekly task for your colleague to send you that report. And you keep waiting for that “please find the new report attached” email to arrive. It should be so easy to have a look at the data required just when you need it and how you need it.

11 – Integrating contractors…

It may be hard to get contractors up to speed and contributing to projects. It is often necessary to break security policies to get them access to what they need, or their methods of working are simply too different from the rest of the team.

12 – Mixed Messages on Business Priorities and Risk Management

When should we cut costs and when do we need to invest to get ahead of the game or at least stay compliant? There are mixed messages comming from different senior sources. What is our direction? Is it still the same as our CEO communicated it to us at last year’s end of financial year corporate briefing event?

 

Did you identify with any of the signs for SharePoint Intranet?

No? Congratulations! You clearly manage your, time, staff and communications better than most. You may of course, already have a mature collaboration platform or perhaps you are still small enough where these issues have not yet emerged.

In case you did identify yourself at least with two of these signs, and you would like to discuss them further. Please do contact us via one of the options that are listed on this contact page (or simply fill out a form in the top right corner of this page).

 

WorkShares Team’s passion and mission.

Our core team of SharePoint Project Success Managers, Architects, Developers, Communication Officers and Trainers have been gathering their experience on the most complex SharePoint projects for over a decade. Now they are here to help you to move to the next maturity level of how you get things done, and free up the time to focus on the things that really matter to you at work.

We, the WorkShares SharePoint Team, are excited about resolving the problems related to the signs mentioned above. We see them in organisations we work with every day. And we take pride and joy when we see these problems being reduced to a minimum or even disappear for good.

Posted in Business Case, Intranet, SharePoint, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint Business Case, User Experience, WorkShares | Leave a comment

Microsoft SharePoint and Gartner Enterprise Content Management (ECM) for 2013 report

In the latest updates from Gartner, we see Microsoft’s SharePoint software continuing to be placed amongst the leaders in this highly competitive category of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) 2013

Unsurprisingly to us considering it’s been there for several years now, as we see with the release of SharePoint 2013 it builds on its underlying core strengths (document management, tight integration with Office suite and free ‘SharePoint services’ licensing for small to medium business).

It’s maintained this position with an improved look and feel and hence ease of use, as well as huge improvement in search and overall licensing changes, to help extend its implementation reach and adoption opportunities externally with suppliers and customers of those who deploy it.

Whilst thankfully it’s not performing to the same levels in the Web Content Management (WCM) space, as we report in our last article, it’s still a formidable platform every CIO/CTO should be considering, given its offering these huge capabilities both in the on-premise and cloud based offerings, as well as a maturing hybrid model for those who wish to remain local and or take some advantage of putting some services in the cloud.

Further evidence of its important position as a leading vendor in this space can be found in Forrester’s report and Microsoft’s response out about the same time.

What next for SharePoint 2013

The continued discussion around ‘to be in the cloud or not’, or go ‘hybrid’ will we think be one of the major topics that prevail for this release and beyond in our view. These will for some time  overshadow the specific functions the Gartner report has reviewed in terms of document management, search, workflow, etc.

This is a complex issue that is not a straight forward decision that simply looks at the cost of ownership, or compares Google Apps with Office 365 capabilities.

It’s about understanding impact of operating in the cloud, and what this means practically to issues such as governance, user adoption and compliance. Other more real-world issues such as privacy, data protection (locally with UK and EU laws), integration with line of business applications and desktop applications, will all need working through before you can reap some of the benefits of improving the way in which you collaborate and share information.

This will also open up discussions about social collaboration and engagement, with tools such as Yammer and how these impact on the organisation in terms of adoption and governance especially when you’re thinking of exploring these in the context of your SharePoint environment.

We’ve experience in all aspects of these technologies, their technical implementation and support, as well as the wider business engagement thinking and steps you need to go through before taking the plunge. For help with any of the topics discussed on this article, do get in touch.

Posted in Business Case, SharePoint, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint Architecture, SharePoint Business Case, SharePoint Design, Yammer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment