Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Microsoft Strategy: Building a People Ready Busines

Mike Gotta (Burton Group) introduced Rob Curry (Microsoft, Director Office SharePoint Server).

I expected this to be a product specific presentation. We are deploying SharePoint 2007, so I looking for ways to use the new tools in the platform. In retrospect, I should have slept in for an extra hour or attended one of the other sessions. He spent a lot of time on generic Microsoft speak on business processes, etc. Then his demo barely touched SharePoint and spent most of his time on Office 2007 products. I know they have some great interoperability. But, we are just now deploying Office 2003, with no plans for Office 2007.

My notes on the presentation:

No surprise that Rob is starting off from a heavyweight, corporate governance perspective. This feels in stark contrast to the lightweight, free form models that I heard about on Monday and Tuesday. He is spending a lot of time framing the issue and the problems.

Enterprise 2.0 is coming from (1) the increase in hardware and processor power (desktop and mobile) with cheaper storage, (2) people being used to the web experience and getting familiar with the Web2.0 experience and (3) interoperability of systems, with vendors rallying around standards like XML, RSS and web services.

Ways to empower the user
  1. Employee Self-service - they do not have to go through IT
  2. Role Delegation - provide different information to different group, you get different information and a different intranet experience depending on your role
  3. Intuitive User Interface - [training users sucks] the ratio of adoption is inverse to the difficulty in using the interface
  4. Pervasive collaboration - make the information searchable and retrievable, harness the network effect
Ways to deal with governance:
  1. Site and Information Architecture
  2. Policies
  3. Rights Management - protection of documents
  4. Auditing - track the information, who looked at it and who used it
Strategies for success:
  1. Create a connected organization infrastructure
  2. Build a holistic information management system - so people do not have to deal with documents in different ways
  3. Invest in a vendor ecosystem with a broad range of interoperable solutions.

After 30 minutes we finally get to the product. We see a generic home page. The blog is list-based so you can set up a workflow with approval before the post is published. He moved onto the integration of Office 2007 with SharePoint 2007 and showed how you can make the blog post in Word and publish it to the SharePoint website.

He moved to a SharePoint team site and highlighted a PowerPoint slide library (I think this is tied to Office 2007). He also went into features of PowerPoint 2007. He continued on with Office 2007 applications so I started tuning out. They seem neat, but he is just teasing me with features that I will not be seeing for years.

He jumped back to MySites in Sharepoint. They give background on the user. It can pull information from your Outlook Inbox.

He moved onto SharePoint search and showed how it can search other data systems. He showed a search of a CRM system.

He pointed out how every SharePoint list has an RSS feed.

He went onto PopFly combining information from a SharePoint list and made a quick mashup of a map showing locations. It also turns the mashup into a widget that you can embed in other applications including SharePoint.

A question came up about folksonomies in SharePoint. Rob stated that SharePoint is a platform and that we should look to partners to create tagging. There are some robust third party vendors providing this tool.

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