Posts Tagged enterprise-it

Sharepoint adoption

Taxonomy is a word that is used quite frequently when describing the classification and management of information within Sharepoint. Sharepoint is the information management component of Office 365, and as great as it is there can be some hurdles to getting users to adopt it. In a perfect world Sharepoint would replace the file share and any other document based processes within your business. Chris Riley blogged recently on Taxonomy and how important it is to any Sharepoint deployment, cloud or on premise.

Taxonomy Planning in SharePoint 2010 – End User – NothingButSharePoint.com.

The biggest limitation with Sharepoint is that there are NO limitations… Time and time again Sharepoint deployments fail due to lack of planning. You can plan your Sharepoint deployment so that your users aren’t put off. Keeping it simple and easy to understand while at the same time enforcing a level of governance to ensure the data stored is searchable and relevant.

Going from a file share to Sharepoint takes some getting used to and with a good amount a planning it should make logical sense to the user from the get-go. One of the tools we have found to be useful that allow users to work from a familiar environment is Harmon.ie . This tool is a plug in for Outlook and is accessible from the main Outlook pane or any new calendar or mail item. It allows a user to interact with their Sharepoint sites and document libraries right from within Outlook, no need to change to a different app or grapple with the browser experience. Navigation is handled similar to traditional folder structures and its that familiar navigation that adds to its ease of use.

Harmon.ie is free up to 250 seats however there is an “Enterprise” version available for USD$129/user/year. There is also an iPad and iPhone client available for free, this client allows navigation of your Sharepoint sites and at a glance view the documents and their meta data. With the current lack of Office for iOS the premium version of the iOS client will take a user to the Web App interface for quick editing of documents. My iPad uses a version of Quick Office (a 3rd party Office style editor) and Harmon.ie recognizes this and allows you to edit documents in this app seamlessly.

The important thing from an administrative point of view is to architect the structure of the information within Sharepoint ahead of time. The moment users are able to access the site they will revert to old habits if strict governance isn’t present. Office 365 has to be the cheapest content management solution on the market and with some good planning it can be the best experience for an end-user as well.

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Office 365 drops in price

Today it was announced by Microsoft that they are to drop the price of the Office 365 products to new and renewing customers. The price drop is around 20% on all subscriptions listed on their site. This doesn’t come as a surprise, not long after the launch of the predecessor to Office 365 (BPOS) Business Productivity Online Suite, the price was cut in half. The explanation for the reduction in price is quoted by Microsoft to come from the increase in efficiency within the systems that run the platform, but its simpler than that…

Microsoft has made no secret of the fact that Google Apps is a target for their Office 365 offering and price is usually one of the biggest talking points when the two are compared. Even with a large customer spending many millions of dollars on IT infrastructure every year a dollar makes a difference. The price conversation just got a whole lot easier for Microsoft, throw in the total cost of deployment and you will find that there is little between the two.

The message is clear, Microsoft are in the cloud game for keeps and the longer they remain there the better they will get at it. The support is second to none, I have been working through a few customer issues recently and think that it could put a lot of IT firms with SLAs to shame. The interface in Office 365 is slick and will only get better.

With Windows 8 and the next version of Office on the horizon the cloud strategy held by Microsoft becomes even more relevant, the integration with the desktop will become tighter and sooner or later cloud will become the way you work

Office 365

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