Microsoft SharePoint 2010 – Las Vegas Day 4 ‘Adios’

Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas

I sitting on the plane packed with SharePoint conference attendees, including Jeff Teper – Corporate Vice President, Office Business Platform.  Lots of conversations around the plane about the conference and the exciting new features and opportunties that are coming in 2010.

I look forward to the Beta 2 release of SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010.  Windows 7 was release yesterday, I have had it at home for several weeks.  As a user and technology executive I can say that Windows 7 is definately a major step forward in simplicity, user experience, stability and efficiency.  Having spent 3 days being bombared by SharePoint 2010 messaging and seeing the product in action I am pretty impressed with what the SharePoint and Office teams and Microsoft have done.

I look forward to seeing you at Nexus 2009, we will be showing sneek peeks of SharePoint 2010 and talking about some of the new features during SharePoint specific breakouts.

Shadrach White
Chief Technology Officer
ImageSource, Inc.

 

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 – Las Vegas Conference Day 3

Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) gave excellent presentations on how they have adopted SharePoint solutions.  Each took different approaches in deploying the platform.  Kraft focused on Web Content Management and CCE deployed using Business Product Online Services BPOS for employee team sites, collaboration, search, calendar shares and business intellegence.

In both cases the organizations selected SharePoint as not only a technology but a platform to enable their employees to engage more collaboratively.  Both organizations are eager to continue building out cutting edge ECM, WCM, BI and Social media applications on SharePoint 2010.

kraftfoods  Kraft Foods Digital Marketing group led by Rose Moda worked with Blackwell Consulting and Razorfish to deliver an extensbile, flexible and highly scalable web content management platform.  The customer facing websites are crisp, easily updated, brand flexible and powered by SharePoint.

Kraft is the second largest domestic food manufacturer and distributor with an annual revenues of 42B.  They have some of the best known brands that you find in your refrigerator or pantry everyday.  Including Maxwell House, Oscar Meyer, Oreo, Philedelphia Cream Cheese and Nabisco.  40 of the Kraft brands are over 100 years old.  Kraft has 168 manufacturing and food distribution facilities worldwide.

With 270 sites globally and 3 different (web) Content Management Systems, Kraft forcasts a $2.2M cost saving over 2 years using the SharePoint ECM platform.  They are currently running 64-bit versions of MS SharePoint 07 (MOSS) and MS Commerce Server 07.

Kraft wanted the new platform to provide fast, easy publishing.  In order give the sites clean brand awareness – reusable rich media web parts were developed that could be skinned to provide flexibility and uniquness across specific brand sites.  The platform had to be scalable and bullet proof, Frank Perkins from the technical team was part of the team that helped make sure the infrastructure was rock solid.

Maria DeLuna, Technical Director at Razorfish (a Microsoft company), was responsible for leading the design effort.  Key objectives were driven by the fact that each brand wanted flexibility ‘no strict templating‘.  This is not an easy task considering the re-usability goal that was necessary to gain ROI.  Out of the box skins & web parts were used to provide key internet marketing tools for polling, customer registration, product rating/reviews and newsletter functions.  By doing this each brand’s marketing group attained feature rich integration with no backend development work needed, this speeds deployment by not having to wait for development to code standard functions.  They achieved full creative layout control over were these webparts could be placed, this gave them more flexibility to what marketing does best, ‘create a vision’.

Web Parts Generate XML -> Apply XSLT -> Add Form Ctrls -> Render HTML
You can have one web part for navigation but present it differently on a brand’s site by using CSS.  For instance one recipe webpart by all brands don’t look the same.  Besides who wants to go to a Cool Whip recipe and have it presented the same way an A-1 Steak Sauce recipe is presented.

Kraft used a flexible template model that could incorporate standard content items but seperate them from presentation UI to let each brand have its own identity.  This cuts way down on what I call excessive wheel building.  Functional content items are bundled in a content group so they can be shared across sites and customized using CSS and XHTML to give them a unique look and feel.  Gene Hong from Blackwell gave a technical overview of the web part properties and content publishing process.

cokelogoCoca-Cola Enterprises has 75K employees, spread across 431 facilities worldwide.  23 – 30K of those employees are knowledge workers connected by PC’s, Laptops and Mobile computing devices.  They have 4 distinct lines of drinks, Sparkling (coke), Energy (monster), Juice, Water (dasani) and Tea.  Brett Kirkland (Priniciple Architect), Shahira Elsohy and Jonathan Phillips (Public Affairs) presented “The Sky’s the Limit – Journey to the Cloud”

CCE decided in 2008 to that it needed a 21st century communications platform.  They wanted to consolidate the communications infrastructure to reduce the number of vendors providing those services, this drives ROI.  They needed real world collaboration for employees, thus increasing the social networking culture between groups.  The vision was to establish digital communications as the key enabler to engage employees to drive sustainably collaboration and ongoing innovation.  Employees have good ideas and valuable knowledge, connecting them better would give CCE a competitive advantage.

In March of 2008 CCE announced that it had selected Microsoft for its integrated communication and collaboration platform using Online Services for SharePoint, Exchange and Office.  By moving these technologies to the Cloud and taking advantage of a SaaS licensing model they gained ROI and efficiency by off loading support, ongoing hardware and software upgrades and daily maintenance.

  • Key success factors included:
    Active and Visible Executive Support – critical
  • Market as an ongoing change management campaign well before launch
  • Simplified Integration
  • Created two-way communications

For a marketing video clip visit this link Coca Cola & Microsoft
Also this video from CCE Executives on the Decision to go with BPOS

Shadrach White
Chief Technology Officer
ImageSource, Inc.

 

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 – Las Vegas Conference Day 1

The 2009 Microsoft SharePoint Conference held at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas has officially kicked off.  It has attracted around 6,000 attendees from around the world.

SharePoint 2009 Conference Badge

SharePoint 2009 Conference Badge

ImageSource exhibited recently at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, we will round out this month with attendance at Kofax Transform in San Diego and we will be exhibiting at IBM On Demand at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, which begins October 25th and runs through the 29th.

Then the Annual Nexus Enterprise Content Management conference begins November 2nd and runs through November 3rd.  I look forward to seeing you there and hope you can attend some of the breakouts that I will be speaking at, check out the agenda here.

I attended several break-out sessions today at the SharePoint conference and wanted to highlight some of the exciting announcements coming from Microsoft & KnowledgeLake.  First I attended ECM for the Masses – How SharePoint Delivers on the Promise.  Key areas that everyone who has followed Microsoft SharePoint has considered as gaps in true ECM functionality are starting to be addressed.

  1. Records Management:  SharePoint 2010 comes completed with a revamped Records Center, that includes the ability to create taxonomy schedules and import existing schedules using CSV files.  Microsoft is calling this Managed Metadata.  More importantly there is now a Unique Document ID that is created for each content item.  This Document ID is stored in the database and follows the content item regardess of where the original content is stored or migrated to.  This will also make integrating with 3rd party Line of Business applications such as ERP, CRM or Cloud based computing platforms.  Other key features include Document Sets that allow you to create work packets/packages, Advanced Routing to determine appropriate library or folder with predefined RM metadata.  Check in / Check out, Legal Holds, Folksonomy (tags created by individual users, that can be re-used)
  2. Web Content Management:  In context editing, by implementing the Ribbon UI, familiar to Office 2007 users, authoring and editing exisitng web content is a snap.  Rich media support for photos, video and audio files has been updated with a new slice of cool SilverLight that allows web developers to skin the player to match the rest of the sites branding.  Also included are web analytics that allow site owners to monitor traffic and size of the site(s).
  3. BLOB: binary large objects, for years ECM practitioners and tenured professionals have known that storing large image files in the database is a no-no.  This architecture created real scalability problems for SharePoint 2003 & 2007.  Although it was somewhat addressed with EBS, external blob storage support in 2007.  It was still a sticking point for enterprises looking to deploy large SharePoint solutions to support 100’s of millions of content items like TIF files.  KnowledgeLake did a nice job of using EBS techniques in their software to bridge the scalability issues.  With SP 2010, RBS or Remote Blob Storage is now support at the API level.  This will allow third party storage vendors to create fully pluggable storage architectures that can be used to reduce SQL database growth, advance SP scalability and much more.
  4. Workflow:  For many who have used third party workflow engines and tools, the out of the box capabilities of earlier versions of SharePoint were lackluster.  In SharePoint 2010 you can build rules based workflow routing for individual content items and document sets based on document actions.  Most of the workflow demonstrations I saw were modeled around records management processes.  I will have to seek more information on this as the conference progresses.

I also attended KnowledgeLake: ECM on SharePoint 2010 – Features that rock!  by Chris Caplinger.  This was very well attended and I learned about some of the key Server & Scalability improvements to Indexing, Search/Query and the aforementioned EBS/RBS architecture.  Chris gave a sneek preview of the new KnowledgeLake Viewer based on SilverLight, very cool.

Shadrach White
Chief Technology Officer
ImageSource, Inc.