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Organizations spend a substantial amount of money and resources, for executing new techniques to perk up their operating performance with improved quality inputs while aligning to compliance regulation. Continual optimization and improvement of the quality and compliance processes needs the implementation of a technology or solution platform that is capable of providing a collaborative environment with the right types of tools provided to the end users. Through this collaborative environment, management can set up goals and objectives which are trickled down to specific quality and compliance teams. End users can use these tools  to initiate and collaborate on new ideas, share knowledge and information, and allow  for the best and feasible quality and compliance improvement ideas  to  roll  up  to  the  management,  from  where  it  can  be  formally implemented and integrated within the existing processes.

Microsoft SharePoint as a collaboration platform for Quality and Compliance management

We can easily identify the gaps in the Quality and Compliance model which is because of a vertical approach rather than a more effective horizontal approach. A horizontal or flat approach can make the process lean and hence makes room for cultivating innovation and improve the Quality of the work because of effective collaboration and adherence to compliance standards.

SharePoint assure a comprehensive quality and compliance Management application for managing and communicating the best practices through Shared knowledge, workflow notification and collaboration with high level of application security.

SharePoint’s familiar user interface and seamless integration with Microsoft Office applications provide a familiar environment for users. SharePoint reduces complexity, lower implementation costs as well is accountable for lowering the ownership cost in of and far lower costs of ownership than alternative quality and compliance management systems built on proprietary, legacy platforms.

SharePoint provides the important collaboration features like advanced document and picture management, surveys, wikis and discussion boards. SharePoint provides a very simple but comprehensive framework to manage Compliance and quality management processes effectively and contextually.

Organizations  need  a  process  that  enable  continuous  improvement  in Quality   and  Compliance  processes  and  be  capable  of   providing   a collaborative environment with the right types of tools provided to the end users.

SharePoint is an ideal platform for Quality and Compliance management by providing  a  very  simple  but  comprehensive  framework  to  manage  the processes very effectively and contextually. It makes collaboration effective by  introducing  simple  horizontal  approach  instead  of  the  conventional vertical approach.


Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is an integrated suite of server capabilities that can help improve organizational effectiveness by providing comprehensive content management and enterprise search, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight. Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports all intranet, extranet, and Web applications across an enterprise within one integrated platform, instead of relying on separate fragmented systems. Additionally, this collaboration and content management server provides IT professionals and developers with the platform and tools they need for server administration, application extensibility, and interoperability.

SharePoint as a Platform for Intranets, Extranets and Internet sites

1. Share Point as an Intranet Platform:

The following are the features that make SharePoint an ideal platform for implementing an intranet website.

· Collaboration

o SharePoint by default is an Collaboration platform aimed at improving the collaboration and communication between the internal users of the organization.

o Provides out of the box collaboration features like tasks, issues, surveys, discussions etc. that can be quickly setup and be used to publish and share information across the intranet.

· Search

o The inbuilt search capabilities provide a quick and easy method that can be used to find information residing throughout the portal without additional configurations.

o Its extensibility features allow the search to be customized to suit the organizations information targeting requirements.

o Provides inbuilt crawling and indexing capabilities, provide search results in very less amount of time.

· Self Service

o SharePoint as defined by its characteristics is a self-service platform

o Users can easily create and publish information, as well as customize the SharePoint lists, libraries and pages according to their preferences

o Tools can include personalized tools or cross departmental tools that can automate the business processes across the organization from a single, central location.

· Content Management

o SharePoint’s Web Content Management abilities make it possible to differentiate and manage the different types of content present on the intranet

o Using the content types, SharePoint allows organizations to build the content type framework for the information residing on the intranet and reuse the same in different locations throughout the intranet

· Document Management

o SharePoint provides document management through the document library feature

o The document libraries can be customized to include meta data that by default are indexed by the SharePoint search

o Features like document level security, advanced versioning etc. make SharePoint a powerful document management tool

o Provides easy interface to share and collaborate on documents to achieve focused goals

o Document content types provide template based creation of documents right from the SharePoint interface.

2. SharePoint as an Extranet Platform

The following are the factors that make SharePoint an ideal platform for implementing an Extranet in your organization:

. Secure Access

o SharePoint can be easily configured to provide secure access to the extranet to the external users like customers, partners, vendors etc.

o With support for multiple authentication providers, the external users profile information can be stored in separate database, and can be managed separately

· Extending the Enterprise

o With the intranet and the extranet implemented using Microsoft SharePoint, communication between the internal and external users of the organization is delivered in a seamless manner.

o Only a subset of information from the intranet that is pertinent to a given customer, partner, vendor etc. can be published to the extranet to provide up to date information to both the internal and external users of the organization.

o With the workflow engine being the same for the intranet and extranet implementation, workflows can be extended to automate the processes that are carried out between the two implementations.

o With a single platform implementation for the intranets and the extranets, SharePoint truly extends the enterprise to include not only the internal users, but also the external users of the enterprise under a single umbrella.

3. SharePoint as an Internet Web Site:

The following features make SharePoint the ideal platform for implementing your organization’s internet sites

· Site Customization and Branding

o SharePoint provides a build once, use many times option using ASP.NET Master pages and page layouts

o SharePoint Themes allow customizations to change the look and feel of the site to meet your organizations branding requirements

· Content Management

o Content authors need not wait for the site administrators to publish content.

o Content can be published in a pre defined format, requiring no help from the web designers

o On the screen rich text editors to format the text on the fly

o Supports standardized look and feel across the web site without much effort

o A structured hierarchy makes it easy to maintain and manage the sites and content on the web site.

· Web Communities

o Inbuilt templates for blogs and wikis allow user communities to be created on specific topics on your web site that can be used as an effective feedback mechanisms on your solutions and product offerings

· Rich Media

o SharePoint supports rich media like images, videos, flash files etc.

o Can be easily streamed over the internet with minimal customizations


Information is vital for organizations, whether it’s about the organization or the customers; the competition; or the market. Organizations can’t work in silos and collaboration is a key result area for improving performance efficiency. SharePoint from Microsoft is an answer to the several questions rose by the industry to resolve the issue of information silos & improving collaboration. SharePoint can be seen as an intranet used for streamlining data collaboration within organization more effective information sharing with secured access. It provides a centralized storage repository to make data access faster, easier and in a much safer way.

SharePoint emerged as a solution for many organizational issues in concern with Document management, Enterprise content management, Social applications, Project Management, Forms and workflow management and many more industry wide challenges. SharePoint provides an effective mechanism integrates organizations irrespective of their capacities i.e. it provides solutions to organization ranging from startups to fortune 500 companies.

ü  Enterprise Content Management: With the amount of content that is being created daily by users within Enterprises, no wonder that there is a need for more and more sophisticated Enterprise Content Management solutions to organize, manage and search content within the enterprise. SharePoint Content management enables all users to participate in a governed, compliant content management lifecycle. SharePoint Content makes it possible to expertly balance user experience with policy and process.

ü  Workflow & Form Management: Forms and workflow automation provides an IT independent self service mechanism allowing for automation of eforms, process and approval workflows like those one comes across in HR, IT services and the like. Leveraging Window’s workflow foundation, highly flexible, secure and scalable form and workflow solutions can be implemented in SharePoint that allow business users to configure the forms and process flow, set alerts and reminders, and change various parameters as needed, in a centralized self service fashion without having to depend on IT developers continuous

ü  Social Application: Organization’s are striving to reach to customers in a much more extensive manner in a cost effective way. With user communities, blogs, wikis, mashups, RSS feeds, surveys and other facebook like social applications, pan enterprise communication, information sharing and collaboration has reached a whole new level, helping organizations harness synergies, and reduce process and project turnaround times making them more nimble and efficient

ü  Project Management: Organizations across the world are striving for global reach and hence scaling up their project volume. With multiple ongoing projects the challenge to deliver on time being profitable becomes tremendous. The challenges organization face are Managing task and resource allocation, handling internal and external communication, team management, disparate workflows and teams involved, language/cultural barriers etc. To meet all of these challenges in a comprehensive fashion, one needs a complete project collaboration solution that allows for centralized web based collaboration, document and content management platform, and provides phase wise project monitoring and reporting dashboards, event triggered alerts, metadata and tagging driven process workflows, and secure access, all in a configurable, seamless, scalable and extensible format.

ü  Document Management: With a plethora of documents- both paper and digital, scattered across your organization, information discovery becomes very important to provide the right information at the right time for your users. To meet this specific challenge, a comprehensive document management solution is preferred which centralizes all of your enterprise documents and provide ease of access along with a workflow, meta-data and security to seamlessly manage your document management solutions. SharePoint provides plenty of control over your data it allows managing access

Conclusion: SharePoint solutions have defined the new paradigms for Enterprise collaboration which is very effective in connecting the dots within organizations. SharePoint allows you to share information across groups, departments and teams by bridging the gaps and making information flow more effective and efficient across the broad spectrum of users.


Microsoft cycle of innovation continues to deliver high as always. SharePoint 2010 is the new collaboration platform from Microsoft as a successor of SharePoint 2007.

The question knocking your head must be:

  • How am I going to benefit with it?
  • How is it superior from SharePoint 2007?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Does it require additional Hardware support? ….. and many more

Let explore more about SharePoint 2010

What is SharePoint 2010?

SharePoint 2010 is a collaboration tool which connects & empowers people through its integrated set of rich features.

But does this statement really reflect its real capabilities!!!

To be closer we can say SharePoint 2010 facilitates business collaboration in its broadest sense and helps colleagues, partners, and customers to work together in new and effective ways.

Some of the business benefits with SharePoint 2010 are:

MSCOMSP Page Content 1

ü  ​SharePoint 2010 connects people through both formal and informal business communities, within the enterprise and beyond

ü  It enables to manage content throughout the information lifecycle

ü  It enhances search capabilities and enable users to quickly respond to the altering business requirements by making data-driven decisions & by deploying customized solutions

ü  It lowers training & maintenance costs and increases IT productivity

New inclusions!!!

SharePoint 2010 comes packed with a host of technologies like:

ü  SharePoint Foundation 2010 : It is the new version of Microsoft Windows SharePoint service

ü  SharePoint designer 2010: Provides the designers with their tools of choice for rapid development of SharePoint application

ü  SharePoint workspace 2010: It is the new name for Microsoft office  groove that allows faster access to Microsoft SharePoint Team sites

ü  Duet Enterprise: It is the joint solution from Microsoft & SAP  enabling interoperability between SAP and SharePoint 2010

Let see the benefits for the different Stake holders in an organization:

IT professionals:

  • Improved administration with profound  operational insights
  • A scalable service architecture allows to manage services( MySite, taxonomy, search) through a centralized administration
  • Extensible architecture allows third party companies to build and add services to platform
  • Provides flexible deployment option with governance control

Developers:

  • Provides a comprehensive collaboration platform with familiar tools, interoperable out of box features
  • Developers can improve productivity with tools like Visual Studio 2010 & SharePoint designer 2010
  • SharePoint 2010 provides  new features for business collaboration for ex:  Silver light hosting for user interfaces; Client object model; LINQ to SharePoint; data relationships; BCS; large list scalability
  • Developers enjoy a flexible deployment option

Partners:

  • Collaboration, content management, enterprise search, business intelligence & web capabilities enable partners to deliver innovative and extensible solutions for customers
  • SharePoint 2010 provides new capabilities like cloud service, new client side object model, advanced support for .NET & Silver light development & business connectivity open opportunities for partner solution
  • Microsoft partner programs strengthen opportunities and capabilities to help serve the customer better

Why SharePoint 2010???

Comparison:: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 & Microsoft SharePoint 2007

  • SharePoint 2010 works on 64 bit Share Point Server
  • SharePoint 2010 makes updating content type easier
  • It let users define the workflow with reusability
  • SharePoint 2010 can associate SharePoint Designer workflows with content types
  • It simplifies record management usage by using in place record management
  • It provides hold & e discovery features to track external actions like litigation, investigation or audit
  • It provides out of box support for compliancy
  • It has improved quality of service making management of SharePoint much easier

ISSUES: It’s the most common phenomenon each and every one of us encounters; the only differentiator is the degree of intensity, ranging from low, medium to high.

Issues not only exist at individual level but they exist at organizational levels too. Issues are events that occur outside the control of an organization, they can affect organizations at any functional point including strategic directions, core business or operations having severe or nominal after effects. A strategic issue affects the organization’s mandates, missions and values, service level, clients, stakeholders and proponents, financing, management or organizational design, whereas operational issue are responsible for in efficient performance.

Various types of issues hovering on organizations are:

Board Issue: Board conflicts, Managing the modus operand, Board meeting attendance

Strategic planning: Conflicts on thoughts or opinions, decision making conflicts, Conflicts regarding roles & responsibility

Business Planning: Complains from employees on product & services, Shortage of resources, Blur view on goals & outcomes from the product and services

Financial Management: Issue related to payment, issues concerning financial audits, investors issue, ambiguous financial goals

Teamwork: Conflicts of thoughts among team members, perplexity in decision making, performance issues

Employee development : Compliance, performance issues, complains and conflicts

Resolving issue is mandate for an organization to function in an effective manner for desired results.

Issue management

“Issue management is a management process whose goal is to help preserve markets, reduce risk, create opportunities and manage reputation as an organizational asset for the benefit of both an organization and its primary shareholders”

The steps involved in issue management for issue resolutions are:

Issue categorization: The 1st step is to categorize the issue either as foreign or internal issue so that appropriate measures can be taken to counter them.

Setting priority: Setting the priority for resolving issue depending on their seriousness is a critical function. The issues are mainly categorized as high, medium & low priority issues. Depending on the criticality the counter action is set and followed up.

The above chart simply explains the flow of issues and the process of resolution in 3 simple steps:

ü Intelligent input: Explains the different source of issues related to the organization

ü Synthesis & analysis: Their function is to breakdown the varied issues based on priority and recommend action on the issues while providing the feedback to the staff or issue sources.

ü Action & responses: In this stage after the final classification of the issue the action is taken and hence the entire process is concluded.

Conclusion:

You need an Issue Management Platform to be able to effectively hold people responsible for issues and track issues to resolution. The following can be termed as the desired characteristics of a perfect issue management system:

ü  Easy to Use

ü  Quickly create, break up & track issue

ü  Discuss and comment on issue tracking your participation

ü  Issue database to learn from previous cases

ü  Share Issue information with peers & experts

These characteristics within your issue management system can yield the desired results for a conflict free organization with improved results.


1. Establish a vision for SharePoint

Some of the questions that need to be answered when establishing the vision would be

  • What will SharePoint mean to your organization?
  • What is the best way to implement it so it provides the maximum value to the organization?
  • Should it be an intranet, extranet or a collaboration platform?
  • Should users create their own communities or should they be restricted?
  • Will the document management features be useful for automation workflow and document handling?
  • Can Dashboards be of any use to your user community? Etc.

2. Establish a Business Case before you plan the infrastructure spend

We have seen many a times that IT organizations invest a lot on building servers, hardware, network storage etc. without considering the overall business case for the SharePoint platform. Some of the questions that are necessary to be answered include

  • Who are the users of the intranets, and what are their profiles?
  • What business units need the support of the intranet?
  • What are the different types of scenarios that need to be supported by the intranet?
  • Should the intranet support cross departmental processes?
  • Can the intranet be paving way to create paperless processes?
  • How can you reduce time and cost spent in managing the processes? Etc.

All of this in totality [with or without the large infrastructure spend] will make the SharePoint project focused and successful.

3. Sell the SharePoint idea to as much business units/departments etc

Sell the SharePoint Portal idea to as many people as possible to create awareness among them. This is very important for users to accept the new environment, and seamlessly fit into to the overall intranet environment. Some of the ways in which you can promote the idea would be

  • Create awareness workshops to focused groups of audiences in your organization
  • Create Proof of Concepts of different functional sections of the intranet, and use it as a mechanism to sell the idea
  • Provide the users with some hands on experience by creating Pilot projects for the SharePoint intranets, and exposing the users to the applications.
  • Project the benefits in terms of increase in productivity, reduction in costs, ease of use etc. to different kinds of audiences within your organization

4. Start a grass roots organization for supporting the Portal

Identify the important user profiles – which would include Contributors, content editors, content authors, administrators, end users, approvers etc. from as many of the business units and geographies as possible. Have champions for the various sites based on the interest level, and the ability to spend time and contribute effectively towards the development of the Intranet.

5. Create Processes for Content development, publishing and administration of

SharePoint Intranet

Content is king in Portals. Establish content development, review and publishing procedures for all types of content and make sure relevant and interesting content gets to the site. Do not make the process too elaborate or you will lose all the volunteers for content development or publishing. The processes must be developed by giving importance to the different governance considerations, policies and procedures around security, data exposure and other aspects. Including administrative strategies for backup and recovery, intranet maintenance etc. upfront during the design process would save a lot of time later on.

6. Involve the users to make the intranet more usable and also useful

It is not enough if the intranet has been implemented in your organization. It is very important that the users find it useful and usable and spend enough time on the intranet on a day to day basis to carry out their daily tasks.

The intranet implementation must be aligned to provide the users what they ask for and meet up with their expectations in one way or the other. The intranet will be an utter failure if it does not provide the necessary features, functionalities and most importantly tools that would help them carry out their day to day activities at a faster pace.

One of the ways in which user involvement can be achieved includes creating surveys, and gathering information on the tools, functions and features that the users would like to have on the intranet.

The bottom line is – for whatever it takes; keep the users happy for it is they who decide the success or failure of the intranet implementation.

7. Plan on implementing powerful search capabilities

Most of the users come to the intranet to find information that they will not find elsewhere. If the information exists and is not findable, then it would serve no purpose than to disappoint the user. A Powerful and flexible search is a must in your intranet implementation which would allow the users with the capabilities to target information using different parameters and queries and find the right kind of information in a short span of time.

Microsoft SharePoint search provides flexible APIs that can be used to improve and customize the search to meet your information requirements.

8. Democratize the intranet

Apart from allowing the users of the intranet to interact between themselves and with external users of the organization, it must also provide for an “Architecture of Participation”. I.e. the users must be equally capable of contributing to the content of the intranet without the dependency on any other user roles in the organization by encouraging user communities.

SharePoint by default is a self service capable platform which allows the users to carry out most of the tasks with minimal development and administrative interference.

9. Mirror the outside world

Almost all the users are well aware of the tools and utilities like Instant messaging, Blogging, wikis, link sharing, social community applications like Orkut etc. that the World Wide Web provides. They know the benefits and the usage of the tools and use them almost on a daily basis. When these tools are implemented in the organization’s intranet in the context of the collaboration and communication of users within the organization, it would add more value to the users, as well as the organization as a whole.

10. Keep the Content fresh and up to date.

A Portal is not a static web page. It is like a daily newspaper. People get fresh content with new feature updates on a regular basis.

SharePoint is a platform for business which is web based and can be used to create powerful business Solutions. Up until now SharePoint was positioned and implemented with a narrow focus of being a just Platform for Intranets that are front-end heavy and a simple system for limited document sharing and forms automation solutions. SharePoint Server is and will be a bigger platform encompassing solutions for Web enabled Applications, Extranets, Intranets, Document Management, Business Intelligence and Complex Workflow. Therefore SharePoint needs to be leveraged and internally marketed in as such a way that represents the true capabilities it presents the next generation web enabled organization. A well-planned solution based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 will promote better collaboration, content management, knowledge discovery, and business processes across your organization while being secure, cost-effective, and manageable for your IT department. To satisfy this broad set of goals, it is important to identify key stakeholders across all relevant disciplines and include them in your planning team.


Microsoft cycle of innovation continues to deliver high as always. SharePoint 2010 is the new collaboration platform from Microsoft as a successor of SharePoint 2007.

The question knocking your head must be:

  • How am I going to benefit with it?
  • How is it superior from SharePoint 2007?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Does it require additional Hardware support? ….. and many more

Let explore more about SharePoint 2010…

What is SharePoint 2010?

SharePoint 2010 is a collaboration tool which connects & empowers people through its integrated set of rich features. This statement doesn’t really reflect its real capabilities.

To be closer we can say SharePoint 2010 facilitates business collaboration in its broadest sense and helps colleagues, partners, and customers to work together in new and effective ways.

Some business benefits with SharePoint 2010 are:

MSCOMSP Page Content 1

  • SharePoint 2010 connects people through both formal and informal business communities, within the enterprise and beyond
  • It enables to manage content throughout the information lifecycle
  • It enhances search capabilities and enable users to quickly respond to the altering business requirements by making data-driven decisions & by deploying customized solutions
  • It lowers training & maintenance costs and increases IT productivity

Let see the benefits for the different Stake holders in an organization:

IT professionals:

  • Improved administration with profound  operational insights
  • A scalable service architecture allows to manage services( MySite, taxonomy, search) through a centralized administration
  • Extensible architecture allows third party companies to build and add services to platform
  • Provides flexible deployment option with governance control

Developers:

  • Provides a comprehensive collaboration platform with familiar tools, interoperable out of box features
  • Developers can improve productivity with tools like Visual Studio 2010 & SharePoint designer 2010
  • SharePoint 2010 provides  new features for business collaboration for ex:  Silver light hosting for user interfaces; Client object model; LINQ to SharePoint; data relationships; BCS; large list scalability
  • Developers enjoy a flexible deployment option

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