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SharePoint Empowerment

SharePoint Empowerment

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Published by Carl Sawatzky
SharePoint addresses collaboration challenges by allowing individuals with basic MS Office skills to easily create & manage their own document management solutions
SharePoint addresses collaboration challenges by allowing individuals with basic MS Office skills to easily create & manage their own document management solutions

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Published by: Carl Sawatzky on Jul 01, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Making Document Management and Organizational Collaboration Easier

Dux Raymond Sy, PMP Managing Partner Quantum X, Inc.

SharePoint Empowerment:

1-800-843-8733 www.learningtree.ca

©2008 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.


White Paper




Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1. What is SharePoint? . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2 Key Benefits of SharePoint . . . . . . 1 1.2.1 Enhanced document management . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2.2 Increased team productivity through collaboration . . . . . 2 1.2.3 Convenient definitions of who can do what, when . . . 2 1.2.4 Seamless Microsoft Office integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.2.5 Reduced burden for IT . . . . . 2 1.2.6 Automated business processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.2.7 Integrated third-party data sources and systems . . . . . . 2 1.3 Components of SharePoint . . . . . . 2 1.3.1 Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) . . . . 2 1.3.2 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007) . . 2 1.3.3 SharePoint Designer 2007 . . 3

In today’s information-based society, managing electronic documents has become an increasing challenge. Personal computers and e-mail in boxes have become storage repositories, shared drives are disorganized and inefficient search tools make finding relevant information a difficult task. Fundamental issues arise, such as: • Information is scattered • There are often multiple copies of the same document • Tracking and modifying changes is not straightforward • Merging changes from multiple users can be problematic Coupled with document management challenges, forwardthinking business environments are tasked with promoting a culture of collaboration. Knowledge workers (those who work primarily with information or develop and use knowledge in the workplace) specialize in various disciplines; hence, their ability to assist and leverage one another’s capabilities can greatly benefit the growth of any organization. Common tools available for addressing these issues can be technically complex and difficult to integrate with existing business processes and procedures. A practical yet effective solution can allow an organization to focus on delivering value to their core business instead of being burdened by information management roadblocks. SharePoint addresses these challenges by allowing individuals with basic Microsoft Windows and Office skills to easily create and manage their own document management and collaborative solutions in their organization.

2. Common SharePoint Solutions . . . . 3
2.1 Intranet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2.2 Project Management Information System (PMIS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2.3 Web Portals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2.4 E-Commerce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2.5 Legal Compliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

1. What is SharePoint?
1.1 Overview
The chief advantage provided by SharePoint is an increased organizational efficiency delivered by an integrated suite of server capabilities. Along with managing content and enterprise search more comprehensively, business processes become more efficient and information can be shared with greater facility. In fact, all of an organization’s intranet, extranet and Web applications can be supported within this one integrated platform. For IT professionals and developers, this collaboration and content management server supplies the critical platform and tools required for enhanced interoperability, server administration and application extensibility.

Internet Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 About Learning Tree International . . . . . 5 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

1-800-843-8733 • www.learningtree.ca
©2008 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.

SharePoint® Empowerment


1-800-843-8733 • www.learningtree.ca


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1.2 Key Benefits of SharePoint
1.2.1 Enhanced document management SharePoint sites provide a central document repository for various types of information, such as group documents, address books, meeting schedules, and discussion forums. They are stored in a Web-based location that has seamless integration with existing Microsoft products such as Windows and Office. More importantly, document integrity is easily achieved by enabling features such as: • Version Control: Changes made to any document stored in SharePoint are saved in a specific version. One can easily look up the version of a document based on a specific date, time and who modified it. • Check-in/Check-out: Maintains document integrity by preventing multiple people from editing the same document at the same time and accidentally overwriting each others’ updates. • Content Approval: Requires content to be approved before it can be made available in SharePoint. 1.2.2 Increased team productivity through collaboration A community of users can create a content-specific Web site with features such as shared contacts and calendars, threaded discussion forums, and document repositories. Since it can be accessible via the World Wide Web, it provides remote access capability via a Web browser without the need to rely on sophisticated tools such as VPN, Citrix, etc. 1.2.3 Convenient definitions of who can do what, when In a SharePoint site, a site owner can define varying permission levels for different site members. These permission levels can range from having read-only permission to granting full control for those with higher levels of authority. All this can be done without the assistance of technical support. 1.2.4 Seamless Microsoft Office integration Document management and collaborative features of SharePoint are not limited to the Web browser. They can be fully utilized in Windows or any Microsoft Office product.

1.2.5 Reduced burden for IT Although SharePoint is a Web-based technology, it is not designed to require an overly technical individual. In fact, it is intended for knowledge workers to be able to rapidly create and manage collaborative solutions without seeking the assistance or intervention of an IT or IS department. 1.2.6 Automated business processes With Workflows, users can easily convert humanbased business processes, such as Vacation Requests, into automated electronic processes. 1.2.7 Integrated third-party data sources and systems SharePoint Web Parts and Business Data Catalogs provide the mechanism for integrating data from existing sources and common third-party tools, such as Crystal Reports, SAP, Lotus Notes, etc., without programming.

1.3 Components of SharePoint
1.3.1 Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) WSS 3.0 is the core technology of Microsoft SharePoint. If SharePoint is a car, WSS can be considered the “engine.” It serves the primary purpose of providing document management and collaborative solutions. More so, it is the foundational platform for building custom Web-based business applications. WSS is available for download at no additional charge and is installed in Windows Server 2003 and 2008 environments. 1.3.2 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007) MOSS centralizes organizational intranet, extranet, and Web applications into one integrated platform. Going back to our car analogy, if SharePoint is a car, MOSS provides custom accessories for the car such as a “GPS system.” The GPS is not required for the car to operate, yet it can provide useful information. WSS is required to implement MOSS. MOSS provides organizational and management tools for SharePoint sites such as: • Users can create personalized portals from many SharePoint sites This feature allows the aggregation of relevant content and information for users so they don’t have to traverse multiple SharePoint sites.

©2008 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.

SharePoint® Empowerment


1-800-843-8733 • www.learningtree.ca


White Paper

• Comprehensive content management Apart from a Web-based interface for easy creation and update of content, editorial approvals are built-in, allowing multiple people to review and approve information to be published to a SharePoint site. • Enterprise search This is a powerful search engine that can find people, sites, documents, images, or other types of information located in SharePoint, network shares, Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes and on other Web sites. • Business Intelligence A SharePoint Server feature that provides an easy way to integrate business data from systems such as SAP, Siebel or PeopleSoft without writing any code. • Digital dashboards displaying Key Performance Indicators (KPI) A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a visual cue that communicates the amount of progress made toward a goal. Through the use of lists and Web parts in SharePoint, KPIs can be easily created and customized to the relevant community of users. Unlike WSS, MOSS is not available for free. Pricing is dependent on which feature set is needed. 1.3.3. SharePoint Designer 2007 SharePoint Designer provides powerful tools to deliver compelling customized SharePoint sites without the need for manual coding. Most of the common tasks for enhanced branding, referencing various data sources and building workflowenabled functionalities are available through predefined wizards and drag-and-drop capabilities. Building a SharePoint solution with this tool has proven to be effective, saving time and minimizing the need for complex programming.

2. Common SharePoint Solutions
2.1 Intranet
SharePoint can be used as a corporate intranet right out of the box. Organizations can leverage the ability of SharePoint to group business entities based on departments, business units, product teams and project teams. Common, relevant information such as documents, calendars, contacts, or specific content can be targeted to a community of users. More importantly, current archaic methods of sharing and storing information, such as network shares and e-mail, can be efficiently replaced. Starbucks has deployed SharePoint for use by approximately 24,000 users in more than 6,000 locations, and it serves as the primary means of communication between the corporate office and its stores, replacing previous paper-based correspondence. Additionally, Starbucks was able to deliver a platform to vendors and partners to allow access to business analysis reports, the latest business news and updates, comprehensive search results and training materials.

2.2 Project Management Information System (PMIS)
The success of organizational projects may be compromised by inefficient communication between team members, document management and storage challenges, and by burdensome reporting requirements. SharePoint can be adapted as a standards-based Project Management Information System (PMIS). Industry standards and methodologies from PMI, PRINCE2™ and ITIL® can be leveraged by utilizing SharePoint capabilities to implement best practices in areas such as project communications, tracking, change control, reporting and lessons learned.

2.3 Web Portals
A Web portal is a site that functions as a point of access to information on the World Wide Web. Portals present information from diverse sources in a unified way. When the fourth-largest public school district in the United States needed to communicate with its more than 1 million students, parents, teachers, and administrators, Miami-Dade County Public Schools found that it had no consistent way to deliver information. To answer that challenge, the district used SharePoint to build an enterprise Web portal that provides all stakeholders in the education of Miami-Dade children with a single point of access for relevant information, services, and applications.

©2008 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.

SharePoint® Empowerment


1-800-843-8733 • www.learningtree.ca


White Paper

The portal’s goal is to improve learning potential for children, enhance parents’ ability to participate in the education of their children, and improve the effectiveness and productivity of teachers and school administrators.

• Potential loss of focus on the core organizational mission while scoping, managing, and completing compliance activities Solutions based on SharePoint can help facilitate regulatory compliance and sustainable corporate governance by simplifying planning and enhancing visibility over processes and internal controls. SharePoint, along with Microsoft Office, can address key areas of legal compliance, including: Accuracy: Diagramming tools make it easier to map business processes and run visual reports on existing processes, risk and control information. Workflow automation and customizable templates help enforce business processes and reduce errors. Bar code labels facilitate management of paper-based records. Accountability: Real-time dashboards, workflow status reports, and detailed audit trails enable executives to regularly monitor and measure the status of compliance processes and internal controls. Security: Policies can be applied to individual documents, or across an entire library, to better control who can open, copy, print, or forward information. A records repository prevents direct tampering of documents and ensures the protection of original versions. Automatic holds can be applied to the repository to ensure that files cannot be deleted during a specified time or event. Availability: An integrated search engine scales to tens of millions of items, works across disparate content sources, and helps ensure people only see the results they have permission to view.

2.4 E-Commerce
Though SharePoint was initially developed for internal organizational use, it has been scaled to provide benefits to public e-commerce sites as well. For example: The HawaiianAir.com site has been considered mission critical for the organization since 2005 when it transacted a majority of the company’s estimated $880 million revenue. In 2006, when Hawaiian Airlines planned to redesign the look and feel of their Web site, they wanted a solution that would improve the authoring and management of the Web site’s content and users, as well as providing online ticketing transactions. Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server (MOSS) 2007’s compatibility with the existing technology used by Hawaiian Airlines’ Web site provided a common architectural foundation that improved their site’s capabilities. Today, SharePoint is responsible for Hawaiian Air’s online bookings and managing Hawaiian Miles, their frequent flyer membership.

2.5 Legal Compliance
Today, organizations are required to comply with various legal regulations, such as Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). SOX aims to achieve improved trustworthiness in corporate reporting and greater financial transparency. The HIPAA’s goal is to protect health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. In addition, the HIPAA requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans and employers in order to protect privacy and confidentiality. Compliance with these regulations presents some immediate challenges, including: • Extensive documentation requirements • Inefficient and error-prone manual or semiautomatic processes for tracking and auditing financial or personal information • Lack of visibility over financial process and control documentation • Slow employee adoption of complex processes and systems

Internet Resources
SharePoint homepage: http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/default.mspx SharePoint brought in to rescue Aboriginal language: http://www.news.com/SharePoint-brought-in-torescue-Aboriginal-language/2110-1012_3-6203826. html?tag=item ROI from file shares to SharePoint: http://blogs.msdn.com/joelo/archive/2007/04/12/ roi-from-file-shares-to-sharepoint.aspx

©2008 Learning Tree International. All Rights Reserved.

SharePoint® Empowerment


1-800-843-8733 • www.learningtree.ca


White Paper

About Learning Tree International
Learning Tree International is a leading worldwide provider of vendor-independent training to managers and IT professionals in business and government organizations. Since 1974, over 1,800,000 course participants from over 13,000 organizations worldwide have enhanced their skills and extended their knowledge under the guidance of expert instructors with realworld experience. Learning Tree develops, markets and delivers a broad, proprietary library of instructor-led courses focused on the latest information technologies, management practices and key business skills. Learning Tree International annually trains over 90,000 professionals in its Education Centers around the world. Learning Tree also provides training in a number of additional cities and on site at customer locations in 26 countries. For more information about Learning Tree products and services, call 1-800-THE-TREE (1-800-843-8733), or visit our Web site at www.learningtree.ca

About the Author Dux Raymond Sy
Managing Partner Quantum X, Inc. Dux Raymond Sy has been working with IT technologies since 1990. He has produced and managed the development of high-quality, multichannel and usable software applications for non-profit organizations, educational institutions, corporate and micro-business clients. He is currently involved in designing, consulting and deploying SharePoint solutions for various corporate and government organizations. Dux is currently a managing partner at Quantum X. Quantum X is an end-to-end IT solutions provider that assist clients by offering full-scale solutions encompassing strategic information technology consulting, systems integration, project management, software development and wireless application development. He has been a course author and instructor for Learning Tree International since 1999.


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