Monday, September 29, 2008

Hurdles to Getting Started

More from my conversation with Errin O'Connor, who has led some 80+ SharePoint implementations at all kinds of organizations:

Errin identified 5 big hurdles to getting a SharePoint implementation going and working the way an organization envisioned. They are as follows:
1- Lack of executive sponsorship and/or buy-in;
2- Lack of enterprise SharePoint governance, i.e. planning and enforcement;
3- Lack of the development of a rock-solid environment with a corresponding disaster recovery plan;
4- Lack of the development of enterprise metadata/Content Type standards; and
5- Lack of the development of a SharePoint road map.

Clearly, all are important, but without buy-in from the top, SharePoint doesn't even get off the ground. It takes management-level commitment to get all areas of the organization involved and on the same page to optimize the software's capabilities. Once that executive leadership is obtained, the other four items listed above will influence how SharePoint works. It is in these areas that the implementation can fall short of expectations. Governance, according to O'Connor, is extremely critical, as is the proper development of the information architecture. And, he says, coming up with a best practice for metadata, navigation, site structure and templates, along with site provisioning, are determining factors in the success of the implementation -- of getting out of SharePoint what you might expect when you decide to use it.
O'Connor and other subject matter experts will be leading classes on these and other subjects at our SharePoint Technology Conference Jan. 27-29 in San Francisco. Register today!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

A second keynote

We've firmed up the second keynote for SPTechCon, and it's on a topic most important to people looking to get SharePoint implemented in your organizations. Titled "Calculating SharePoint's ROI and Its Impact on Your Business," the talk will help you address ways to put an accurate dollar amount on the cost savings or productivity gains SharePoint can have on a business. And we're thrilled -- I know people say that all the time, but this is sincere -- to have SharePoint consultant Errin O'Connor give this talk. He's been involved in many SharePoint implementations and knows the business cases cold. Here's his bio:

Errin O’Connor is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for EPC Group and the author of "Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Inside Out" by Microsoft Press. He has completed more than 83 individual SharePoint implementations and has worked with some of the largest organizations in the United States.

As previously announced, Microsoft's Tom Rizzo is giving the opening keynote address. More details on that to follow.

And, a reminder that registration for the conference is now open. An eXreme Early Bird rate is in effect until Oct. 17, so if you're working with SharePoint and looking for answers to specific problems or simply wanting more knowledge about the technology, sign up now and save.

--David Rubinstein

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Registration is now open!

The registration process for January's SharePoint Technology Conference is now up and running. Also, the conference classes have been posted to the Web site. As we locked down our print catalog (it will appear with the Oct. 1 issue of SD Times and the October issue of Systems Management News), we were missing a few course descriptions from speakers we learned were based in the greater Houston area. Hurricane Ike had forced them from their offices as power was interrupted and water and wind damage was assessed and dealt with. With relief, they reported that the damage they incurred was only minor, and no one was hurt. In reviewing the catalog, you'll notice that we've made it possible for IT administrators, business managers, developers and information architects to create class "tracks" of their own, with plenty of classes tailored to each of those job functions. So check it out, and check back in this space regularly as we spotlight some of the classes and speakers who will present them.
--David Rubinstein

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We DO eat the dogfood.. I promise!

Yes, we have SharePoint Server. And yes, we use it for lots of things -- our issue-by-issue ad sales reports, our production orders to the printer and quite a number of other things that used to require us asking someone to make a printout, and then hoping that it was up to date with the most recent data and in sync with the information everyone else had. But for me, to really be able to visualize the sessions and tracks as we put the program together for our first SharePoint Technology Conference, nothing beats a bare wall and yellow stickies (as this photo can attest). Here, I'm moving things around so I don't have a speaker giving two presentations at the same time, or leave a block of classes without a course from each track. You can call me names -- luddite, low-techie -- but as the old children's rhyme goes, they can never harm me! Of course, after we nail the program down completely, the course listings and speaker bios will get input into our system, where a grid will go up on SharePoint to allow our conference team to make changes or additions as need be.

As for SPTechCon (Jan. 27-29 in Burlingame, Calif.), we've just about nailed down the conference technical program. As of right now, there are more than 60 sessions -- either full- or half-day workshops and two days of classes -- and just about 30 excellent presenters. We'll be profiling the classes and speakers on this blog during the weeks leading up to the conference.

David Rubinstein
Conference Chairman