Box Moves into the Enterprise

July 24, 2014

The once maligned category of document sharing solutions is now being embraced and adopted by the enterprise. Solutions such as Box and Dropbox are now seen as a necessity because employees simply demand them. The latest success of Box is covered by CiteWorld in their article, “How Box Took Off at Toyota, Where SharePoint is Already Used.”

The article begins:

“Yesterday, file collaboration company Box shared some good news, announcing Toyota North America as a customer. The company has actually been using Box for a couple years now, says IS technology manager Dave Statham, who drove the Box deployment. In 2012, a group of Toyota execs wanted to use their new iPads to share product plans and other information, instead of the three-inch binders they usually carried . . . But hang on a second — about two years ago, Microsoft made a lot of noise when Toyota signed a contract for Office 365.”

So aren’t the collaboration solutions included with Office 365 adequate? Well, no. And while collaboration software might be included into the latest version of Office and SharePoint, it is not intuitive, leaving many organizations to look for an easier option – one that employees with use. Stephen E. Arnold has found the same things as he works and reports on SharePoint on his Web site, ArnoldIT.com. Stay tuned for the latest news on third party solutions that might help your organization bridge the gap left by SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 24, 2014

SharePoint Server Updates Coming More Frequently

July 22, 2014

Microsoft is not known for timely updates, but it does appear that they are attempting to address that problem, at least with their SharePoint suite. SharePoint Server updates are now being offered on a monthly basis. Redmond covers the latest in their article, “SharePoint Server Cumulative Updates Now Arriving Every Month.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft now delivers its SharePoint Server cumulative update (CU) releases on a monthly basis. The stepped-up release cycle was announced this week by Microsoft in conjunction with the July CU releases for SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2010. Those releases likely were unexpected by IT pros since they typically expect to see SharePoint Server CU releases only on the even months of the year.”

Microsoft is taking this step toward assisting SharePoint administrator by offering more frequent updates, but they still have a long way to go toward ultimate ease of use and oversight. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of all things search, including SharePoint. His Web site, ArnoldIT.com, features a SharePoint feed that many administrators will find helpful for keeping an eye on the latest tips and tricks. SharePoint still has a way to go when it comes to intuitive use; but in the meantime, third parties like Arnold can offer a great deal of assistance.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 22, 2014

Webinar Offered on SharePoint Extranet

July 17, 2014

Webinars are a helpful and popular way to make sense of some of the most complicated issues facing SharePoint users and managers. PremierPoint Solutions is hosting one tomorrow to help make some sense of the extranet. Read more in the PR Web release, “Webinar: A Comprehensive SharePoint Extranet Solution.”

The article begins:

’Making SharePoint Extranet Collaboration and Management Secure, Easy and Affordable,” a free one-hour webinar about a comprehensive solution for simplifying SharePoint extranet management, will be take place July 2 at 11 a.m. EDT. The session will include a question and answer period. Hosted by PremierPoint Solutions . . . the webinar will demonstrate a proven tool for making the extranet secure and easy, with affordable access and collaboration for business partners, venders, employees and clients from virtually any place in the world.”

For those that find this type of precise support to be helpful, Stephen E. Arnold’s SharePoint feed on his Web site ArnoldIT.com might also be worth keeping an eye on. Arnold lends a career’s worth of expertise to all elements of search, including SharePoint. His tips and tricks are valuable for end users and managers alike.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 17, 2014

Prepare for Double Life with Office 365

July 15, 2014

Microsoft is pushing all SharePoint clients toward Office 365 for obvious reasons. In fact, they announced discontinuing certain payment plans last month in an effort to consolidate some services. And while some organizations, particularly smaller ones, are hesitant for the transition, even early adopters are finding it is not completely seamless. The Register covers the story in their article, “Face Up to a Double Life with Hybrid Office 365.”

The author sums up the situation:

“The vision is of businesses using Office 365, running in Microsoft’s Global data centres, for collaborating, conferencing, messaging and calendaring . . . If you are migrating to Office 365 from on-premises you will need to set up a hybrid deployment to get your services migrated to the cloud. Once you have done that you can decommission your on-premises environment. But it often turns out that businesses with Exchange, SharePoint and Lync deployed on-premises will need to keep a small portion of that environment running.”

These are the sorts of hiccups that happen often with large implementations like SharePoint, especially SharePoint. Stephen E. Arnold has made his career out of following and analyzing all things search, including SharePoint. His Web service, ArnoldIT.com, is a one-stop-shop for all things search. Check out his SharePoint feed to stay on top of the latest news, tips, and tricks.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 15, 2014

SharePoint Fest 2014 in Denver

July 10, 2014

Conference season is a little heavier in the spring, but SharePoint Fest Denver is something to look forward to this fall, September 22-24. PRWeb gives all the details in their release, “AmeriTeach Confirmed as Title Sponsor of SharePoint Fest – Denver 2014.”

The press release begins:

“AmeriTeach is a Title Sponsor of SharePoint Fest Denver, and joins other sponsors in bringing this conference to the Colorado Convention Center on September 22-24, 2014. Conference delegates will hear from keynote speakers and attend breakout sessions. Over 70 sessions will be offered across multiple tracks, as well as an optional day of workshops preceding the conference.”

In a space like enterprise search, staying on top of the latest technology, tips, and tricks is vital. Training, webinars, and conferences are all important way to stay in touch with the industry and with the solution used at your organization. Another valuable resource is ArnoldIT.com, managed by lifelong search expert Stephen E. Arnold. His SharePoint feed provides the latest tips and tricks for the full spectrum of SharePoint users and administrators.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 10, 2014

SharePoint Potential for Surface Pro 3

July 8, 2014

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 made waves as one of the first high profile enterprise ready tablets. Mobility is no longer a trend, but a necessity, with mobile search set to surpass desktop search this year. SharePoint needs to keep itself in the mobility game, and Surface Pro 3 may be one way to do that. Redmond covers the story in their article, “Why SharePoint Admins Should Check Out Surface Pro 3.”

Tamir Orbach, Metalogix’s director of product management for SharePoint migration product, gave his opinion on the new device:

“’Pretty much all of us professionals want or need both a laptop or desktop and a slate,” Orbach said. ‘It’s so light that you can carry it anywhere you want and you would barely even feel it. And the screen is big enough, the resolution is good, the functionality is powerful enough to be used as our day-to-day computer.’”

Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of following all things search. Enterprise is particularly affected by search, good and bad, and SharePoint is unequivocally the biggest player in the enterprise game. However, it has struggled with mobile functionality. And while critics will not be completely satisfied if Microsoft claims SharePoint’s mobile struggles must be settled with another Microsoft product, it does show some movement in the right direction. Keep an eye on Arnold’s SharePoint feed on his Web site, ArnoldIT.com, for the latest news, tips, and tricks.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 8, 2014

SharePoint through Rose Colored Glasses

July 1, 2014

SharePoint is definitely a powerful and ubiquitous enterprise tool. However, it is not always efficient and is definitely not easy to use – at least that is what the majority of users would argue. However, every now and then an article wants to paint a “best case scenario” picture of SharePoint. The harmon.ie article, “’Seek and Ye Shall Find:’ Making the Most of SharePoint Search” does just that.

After a lengthy discussion of some helpful SharePoint 2013 highlights, the article sums up the argument:

“A lot of the new functionality in SharePoint 2013 is provided by the previously separate add-on ‘FAST Search,’ developed by a company Microsoft bought in 2008). Until SharePoint 2010, this was a separate product, but Microsoft has now integrated it fully into core SharePoint functionality. With the exciting new developments of Office 365 and the cloud, we expect search to become even more powerful and user friendly in coming years. All of which is good news for the most important SharePoint audience of all – end users.”

But in order to get to that level of usability, most organizations will have to work through Microsoft’s “easy” tips and tricks for customization. We say “easy” because for most people this will be anything but easy. But for many organizations the investment in staffing and time is worth it for the end result. SharePoint is big and powerful, but in order to control this beast many organizations will have to sacrifice ease of use.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 01, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Microsoft Retires Some SharePoint Online Plans

June 26, 2014

In what is sure to cause a big uproar, Microsoft is discontinuing some popular SharePoint Online payment plans. Redmond Magazine covers all the details in their article, “Microsoft Ending Some SharePoint Online Plans This Month.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft is retiring some of its SharePoint Online and Office Online plans by the end of this month, while offering other plans as substitutes. A total of four plans are going away and won’t be sold after June 30, 2014, Microsoft announced today. Those plans include SharePoint Online Plans 1 and 2 with Yammer, plus Office Online with SharePoint Plans 1 and 2. Organizations currently licensed under those expiring plans can still use the software for a year or two, depending on how the software was purchased.”

Substitutions are suggested in a helpful chart that follows. Stephen E. Arnold also has a few suggestions. He has made a living out of covering all things search, and reports his findings on ArnoldIT.com. His SharePoint feed is full of tips and tricks for SharePoint, as well as all manner of search options, enterprise and otherwise. And while users are bound to be frustrated over SharePoint’s pricing changes, it is doubtful that it will do anything to change the demand for its ubiquitous product.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 26, 2014

SharePoint Burns Bridges with Payment Options

June 24, 2014

SharePoint is the mostly widely known and adopted enterprise search option for organizations of any size, and yet it also has a reputation for being one of the most difficult, on many levels. SharePoint has proven the critics right with their latest announcement to cut some popular payment plans. Read more in the CMS Wire article, “Microsoft Fiddles With SharePoint Pricing.”

The article begins:

“It’s hard to see the justification, but Microsoft just announced it will cut back four of its payment plans for SharePoint Online and Office Online once the plans expire at the end of June. While Microsoft certainly can cut back on plans whenever it wants, especially when those plans expire, the lack of an explanation could leave a bad taste in the mouths of enterprise customers facing higher prices in replacement plans.”

Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of tracking these sorts of quirks in SharePoint, as well as all other aspects of search. His Web site, ArnoldIT.com, offers a helpful SharePoint feed for those who need to track the ups and downs. In the meantime, SharePoint is going to get a lot of feedback, mostly negative, on these new pricing plans. However, it is unlikely to dent their market share, as users will hesitate to rework their infrastructure, despite the price hike.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 24, 2014

Halting SharePoint Information Bleed

June 19, 2014

A lot of time and attention is spent on how to get information into SharePoint effectively, and subsequently store and organize it well. However, more attention needs to be paid to information loss in SharePoint, or how information sometimes seeps out backdoors and cracks in the information architecture. This topic is handled well in the CMS Wire article, “Stop SharePoint Information Bleed Before It Starts.”

After stating all the obvious benefits to SharePoint, the article then addresses the challenges of information loss:

“But all these [helpful] functions go for naught if the information leaves SharePoint as soon as it arrives. Just telling people they can’t leave isn’t enough. Most people don’t have an exit plan for SharePoint — they upload documents expecting to keep them in perpetuity. Zombie SharePoint sites drive a lot of information out the back door. Perhaps more perniciously, empty or sparsely populated SharePoint sites suggest to users this may not be the best place for them to keep storing documents. If the last home page update was 18 months ago, users won’t have much confidence.”

Stephen E. Arnold has made his life’s work about search and has devoted a lot of time and attention to SharePoint over the years, including reporting on his information service, ArnoldIT.com. He finds that SharePoint is the most widely adopted enterprise solution, but because of its breadth and depth, is perhaps the hardest and most arduous to customize. Keeping on top of issues like information loss can feel exhausting to the SharePoint administrator, but keeping an eye on useful resources like Arnold’s SharePoint feed can really help.

Emily Rae Aldridge, June 19, 2014

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