Thursday, November 29, 2012

SharePoint 2013: What Should You Do? Where Are Your Currently? What is the Truth? Help! No B.S. Please

Have you ever seen the video where a guy in a cubicle (Office Space-esk) decides his computer software has put him over the edge? He takes his keyboard and gives the monitor a nice “wack” to nudge it into place after possibly not finding the right content or has maybe just had it with EMC or OpenText (Documentum and\or LiveLink)? I have heard others speculate he just couldn’t understand why his CIO purchased FileNet and why he had to get to work 45 minutes early every Friday to monitor Business Objects’ exports to find his sales reports for the week. (I’m only kidding, of course)… (The video in reference can be found here: just don’t blame it on SharePoint please)
I am going to try and take a very serious topic and try to make light of major issues while posing questions that you should ask of your organization and put it on your organization’s radar screen ASAP!

I am extremely grateful to be part of the AIIM Community and be able to share my thoughts and real life, from the trenches (pardon the SharePoint 2013 book plug, by Sam’s Publishing, a sector of Pearson…kidding), thoughts and recommendations.
Over the past 13 years, for which I have been able to be part of the SharePoint community, I can’t think of a time when so many organization around the globe have been seriously reviewing their I.T. roadmaps and at the same time so much hype and misinformation is being spewed for one reason or another.
We are in the midst of the approximate 3 year SharePoint release but what the big difference here is that a large number of organizations have not yet upgraded to version 4, SharePoint 2010, and are still on SharePoint 2007 (MOSS or WSS). If you’re familiar with some of my previous AIIM articles or have attended any of my seminars, I am not really one to sugar coat things or avoid telling things like they are…

It’s not that I am not trying to follow in suit or get along with the larger “SharePoint crowd” or not play by Microsoft’s hype cycles but I have never been paid commission for licenses, cared if one of my clients purchased  “Standard” or Enterprise” (only based on their needs) or picked up a SharePoint Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt or "nickname" along the way. So I will end my attempt at hilarity here and dig into this very special time we are in now but I wanted to set the stage a bit as it’s a time for some sense and practical knowledge from a voice with a pulse on the ground without an agenda.

We have SharePoint 2007 > What do we do?
1.     If you are on SharePoint 2007, should you skip 2010 and go to SharePoint 2013? (You first need to understand what you have, the answer is not, “yes – no doubt”….Really, it depends and more than likely (gasp), probably not until you take a deep look at yourself and do a health check and assessment)
I want to expand on question # 1 above… If you’re an organization who is currently running SharePoint 2007 (MOSS or WSS 3.0), what type of SharePoint platform do you have? (See questions below)
  • Do you have customizations?
    • Custom Web Parts
    • Custom Workflows
    • Even 3rd Party Tools \ Add-ins
  • Are you happy with your navigation \ hierarchy or has your organization changed in the past 4 years and you need to redesign your site structure?
    • This is one of the most important areas to look at in conjunction with site proliferation
  • Is your governance strategy not working and/or could it be improved?
    • Has that caused massive site proliferation?
      • Do you have 4 sites that do very similar things?
      • Have you broken the “SharePoint Golden Rule” = 1 document in 1 site and all other sites reference that document
    • Do you have a lot of sites that have permission inheritance broken?
    • Do you have a SharePoint Steering committee?
    • Do you have a SharePoint Code \ Configuration Review Board?
  • Is performance lacking? Do you have major performance issues are specific sites \ regions \ countries \ farms?
    • Do you have a global deployment
    • Are you utilizing language packs
    • Do you have publishing turned on and are you “pushing” content to other farms?
    • Do you have Riverbed or other network tools available?
  • Have you experienced serious user drop off?
    • Are users tired of SharePoint?
    • Have you stopped “promoting” SharePoint and its features and functionality?
      • Did you do an initial SharePoint “roadshow” and then after that hoped “the snowball would continue to roll down the hill?” (This is a typical item I see in organizations)
    • Have you experienced data loss due to not having a solid disaster recovery (DR) plan in place?
    • Do you require item level backups?
    • Are your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the business lacking?
      • Has SharePoint become “too big to fail”?
  • Have you taken advantage of powerful features that are seamless with SharePoint like:
    • PerformancePoint
    • Excel Services
    • InfoPath
Note: Do you have reports or custom forms that need to be put into consideration?
1.     Are you looking to expand the capabilities of SharePoint 2007 and are wondering why you should not just jump to the SharePoint 2013 version to take advantage of powerful ECM \ RM features, Communities, Social Networking, Mobile, Browser Compatibility, etc.?
There are cases where a jump from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013 is a simple (double) upgrade and then there are other cases (which I personally see) where the 2007 to 2013 is really just more of a fresh start than a migration?

Honestly, there are very few cases, except for those organization who have literally just utilized SharePoint 2007, out-of-the-box, with it completely locked down (governance wise) from day 1 and you have no issues with what is currently implemented and want to take advantage of SharePoint 2013.

When you get to the point of saying, “ok, we have SharePoint 2007 and we know it needs improvements in its navigation \ taxonomy, security, need for improved search, site structure, and “xzy” needs to be improved, do you want to just go right to 2013 and then deal with these issues later?

Note:I beg you not to take the easy way out here…

We have all heard the “garbage in \ garbage out” discussions but this is similar to when a SharePoint implementation (of any version) does not take the bottom up approach in asking what type of content does our organization have and what are we wanting to access and store.
I could rant forever about all sorts of scenarios but if you are on SharePoint 2007 and are taking a hard look at going to SharePoint 2013 you should perform a requirements gathering or “health check and assessment” of your current SharePoint 2007 implementation to identify the “gotchas” before migrating 1 to 1 to SharePoint 2013.

I would advise you to take a hard look at your SharePoint 2007 environment, identify the areas of concern and tackle the issues such as navigation \ taxonomy updates as well as site provisioning, governance, DR, SLAs, as well as getting ready to manage custom “requests” from your user base as a 2007 to 2013 leap is literally night and day and you should have the right roadmap as well as user communication plan in place to successfully complete this effort.

We have SharePoint 2010 > What do we do?

If you currently have SharePoint 2010 implemented, you have more options than those organizations that are on 2007, but are not out of the woods because a lot of the system and information architecture issues that SharePoint 2007 farms (as mentioned in the section above) experienced are also prevalent in SharePoint 2010. This may quickly boil down to a conversation of what are the major gains in features and functionally your organization will gain by moving to SharePoint 2013 right away. I always like to step back and ask, “What is SharePoint 2010 being utilized for”?
The simplistic answer is SharePoint 2010 is more than likely being utilized in one of seven utilizations \ platforms:
  • Intranet Solution
  • Enterprise Content Management System
  • Knowledge Management Solution
  • Collaboration Solution
  • Internet-Facing or Extranet-Facing Solution
  • Business Process Automation Platform (i.e. Workflow)
  • Application Development Platform
Ideally and possibly more realistic within your organization, SharePoint currently may be utilized as a hybrid of one of the following as a “SharePoint Hybrid Service:”
  • Records Management Service
  • Workflow (Reusable) Service
  • Business Intelligence \ Reporting Service (Dashboards, Scorecards, etc.)
  • Collaboration Service
  • Intranet Service
  • Extranet Service
  • A possible Internet facing SharePoint Service
  • Mobile “Edge Device” Service
  • Learning Management System Service (Training)
  • Application Development Service
  • Corporate Communication Service
  • File Share Replacement Service
  • Social, or I prefer, a Professional Networking Service (My Sites, etc.)
  • Scanning Service (OCR) (Paperless \ Green Initiatives)
SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013 should be utilized as a Hybrid SharePoint Ecosystem and more of a baseline platform for your organization to access any and all material.

What Major Milestones or Considerations Should Your SharePoint 2007 or 2010 (Health Check & Assessment Initiative Contain (Reference: EPC Group’s Health Check)

The following items should be taken into consideration, by EPC Group’s recommendation, in any SharePoint 2007 or 2010 to SharePoint 2013 upgrade:
  • Architecture / Multiple Farms / Consolidation / Environments
  • Governance / Process Management of SharePoint Environments
  • Enterprise Project Management
  • Personalization / Configuration / Custom Requests
  • Collaboration vs. a File Archiving Mentality
  • Intuitive Navigation / Information Architecture
  • Global / Local Design
  • Forms / Taxonomy
  • Content Management Process
  • Security
  • Workflow / Process Automation
  • Business Intelligence / Dashboard
  • Meaningful Search
At a deeper level you should also take into consideration:
  • Improve collaboration with internal staff, project teams, and stakeholders,
  • Create a searchable central repository of business, project and marketing assets
  • Provide a central repository for firm-wide content and information
  • Provide a platform for enterprise content management
  • Replace shared drives with searchable, organized document repositories
  • Provide a platform business process and reporting dashboard
  • Provide easier and more timely access to the information employees need to get their work done
Most organizations do try and review these more topical and “easier” to understand questions but do not always finalize them due to time constraints. I completely understand time and budget constraints but EPC Group feels it is also critical to review the following items as part of this process:
  • Improve the ability to share and exchange information across the organization by providing an electronic publishing method that is easy for users to leverage
  • Improve the "time to talent," the speed with which new employees become productive
  • Capture knowledge of retiring employees in a collaborative environment
  • Improve overall portfolio performance and achieve strategic objectives
  • Achieving more efficient utilization of resources
  • Reduce program management cost per unit of program benefit due to better management of project schedules and more efficient resource allocation
  • Improving program benefit realization from new business opportunities pursued using cost savings
Note: SharePoint Server 2013 will no longer be divided into 2 separate licensing models as it was in SharePoint Server 2010 (being SharePoint Server “Standard” and SharePoint Server “Enterprise” ) as it will be the only “SharePoint Server 2013” with all features and functionalities built in the singular licensing model.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

EPC Group's CEO Errin O'Connor's SharePoint Expert Blog Articles - 2012 (To Date)

Please see the list of EPC Group's CEO Errin O'Connor's AIIM Expert Blog Articles (To Date) this year. There are 2 or 3 additional articles being planned for December 2012 but here is a great comprehensive list to-date for your review and to help you with your SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013 organizational strategy.

EPC Group's Errin O'Connor AIIM - SharePoint Expert Blog Can be found at:

Errin is also in the progress of writing (with EPC Group's leadership team) SharePoint 2013: "From the Trenches" By Sam's Publishing (Pearsons).

Purpose The purpose of this article is to share with the AIIM Community EPC Group’s consulting experience to standardize the nomenclature and define the responsibility of individuals who partic...

I wanted to post a blog that would allow organizations to get a head start on developing a SharePoint 2010 Training Guide. I believe this is something missing from the community and I am hopeful th..

I.T. – SharePoint Problem and Change Management Procedures I. Introduction The purpose of this document is to define the procedures used to manage SharePoint 2010 / 2013 support re..

Whiteboarding Your SharePoint Road Map In most any enterprise SharePoint implementation, SP 2010 or 2013, one of the single most valuable tools I find that most frequently provides that “Aha!” ...

Overview With the SharePoint Server 2013 Preview being released yesterday there are a lot of organizations who are currently involved in large SharePoint 2010 deployments who are wondering how ...

If I had the keys to the castle, just released Microsoft Surface and wanted to bloody the nose of Apple… and by the way, in a hand full of months was about to release the next wave of SharePoint (o...

As midsize to Fortune 500 type organizations are finding out, a hosted SharePoint cloud outside of their immediate control can cause unbelievable frustrations. Configurations or small customization...

Purpose of Article The purpose of the document is to outline EPC Group best practice recommendations from an “In the Trenches” SharePoint Consulting perspective for Enterprise SharePoint 2010 E...

50,000 Foot Overview This article describes the source code management and deployment process for SharePoint 2010 initiatives and provides the current-state of SharePoint 2007 deployment anal...

Walking into Continental Airlines to implement an Enterprise SharePoint Deployment is entire different animal than walking into an organization like the Department of Justice (DOJ) for nearly the e...

Background I am writing this article (Article 1 of 4) as myself and my organization, EPC, has embarked on and completed our 653 successful SharePoint implementation. In the sections b...

You have probably been flooded with external sources telling you what SharePoint Governance really is and I am here to state mine and my SharePoint Consulting organization, EPC Group’s, definitive ...

Overview Within an enterprise SharePoint 2010 deployment, a key best practice to ensure your organization’s long-term SharePoint’s success, is the creation of a SharePoint Steering committee an...

Overview Within an enterprise SharePoint 2010 deployment, a key best practice to ensure your organization’s long-term SharePoint’s success, is the creation of a SharePoint Steering committee ... read

Introduction I wanted to share with the AIIM Community the overview of a White Paper that myself and my team at EPC have been working on by studying approximately 35 enterprise

“Everyone is going to want one of these,” Gary Dahl half-joking said. Gary Dahl is an author and advertising executive, but more importantly, the inventor of the Pet Rock. A Cloud-based SharePoint…

Why are 75% of the organizations in the United States (with an enterprise presence) looking at implementing a records management solution and why are they drawn so much to a particular Microsoft  

The following is a SharePoint 2010 Web Standards and Usability Quick Reference Guide following EPC Group’s best practices for SharePoint GUI development (master page) and configuration best

A SharePoint 2010 Enterprise initiative must be approached in a manner to ensure it is implemented with a “Platform Strategy” and “SharePoint as a Service” in mind. This not only includes the imple...

Background on One of Many Similar Situations I Have Come Across in the Past 24 Months As a disclaimer to this article, I do own a SharePoint consulting firm, EPC, and am writing this ... read

The Perceptions vs. Reality of I.T. and New Technologies When discussing with a client who is considering or beginning the process of rolling out SharePoint 2010, I sometimes feel like a broken... read

An approach that I have seen work well for a large number of organizations either implementing a new SharePoint 2010 enterprise implementation or possibly upgrading from SharePoint 2007 to

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is one of the most popular software programs \ platforms in history and with it has come a community with a near cult following as well as a large number of extremely

Your organization more than likely already owns SharePoint licenses and may be using it for collaboration, the Intranet, an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) \ Enterprise Records Management

Like a stock trader who has purchased a “put” on a stock in hopes the stock value will decrease, I continue to see articles and blogs every now and then asking questions and making statements on

In developing any Enterprise Records Management (ERM) or (ECM) Platform, the key to long-term success is your organizations ability to develop a roadmap that takes into consideration the hybrid

Errin O'Connor's Bio -

Errin is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for EPC Group and the author of three Microsoft SharePoint books covering SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2010, and SharePoint 2007. Errin focuses his efforts on implementing Microsoft Technologies in organizations throughout the country and around the globe.
Errin manages EPC Group’s corporate strategy as well as architects the proven methodologies around collaboration, enterprise content management, and custom application development that have set EPC Group apart from its competitors. Errin is the author of "SharePoint 2013: From the Trenches" by Pearson Education | Sams Publishing which covers implementation best practices, content management and records management methodologies, initial SharePoint 2013 development best practices as well as mobility planning.
Errin is also the author of "Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010" by Microsoft Press and "Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Inside Out" by Microsoft Press. Errin's firm EPC Group has completed more than 675 SharePoint implementations and a large number of Microsoft Project Server implementations. Errin is also the founder of an online solutions provider of SharePoint web parts and custom solutions and is a frequent speaker at Microsoft SharePoint events throughout the United States and Canada.

Monday, November 26, 2012

SharePoint 2013 Related Videos from EPC Group's YouTube Channel - Part 1

A SharePoint 2013 Deep Dive - 40 Minute Overview Video

Yammer and SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 Social and Sharing Enhancements

SharePoint Conference 2012 - Keynote Video

 SharePoint Conference 2012 Walk-through

SharePoint Conference 2012 Intro Video

From Data to Insight & Impact: Using Power View to Review Sales Performance



Friday, November 16, 2012

EPC Group Attends Microsoft SharePoint Conference to Promote New Book, "SharePoint 2013: From the Trenches"

EPC Group attends Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas - November 12-15, 2012. Promotes release of new book "SharePoint 2013: From the Consulting Trenches" due out May 2013 by Pearson Publishing. 

Original News Link: 

Quote start"This book is like having a team of Senior SharePoint 2013 consultants by your side as you implement this new powerful and game changing software platform within your organization," says Errin O'Connor.Quote end 
Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) November 14, 2012

EPC Group's booth at Microsoft SharePoint's Conference November 12-15, 2012 focuses on SharePoint 2013 and the information around it to aid companies to think about 2013 now.

CEO and Founder of EPG Group, Errin O'Connor is also sharing preview copies of "SharePoint 2013: From the Consulting Trenches," his real-world guide detailing how some of the nation’s top SharePoint consultants approach, plan, implement, and deploy SharePoint 2013 to ensure its long-term success.

"This book is like having a team of Senior SharePoint 2013 consultants by your side at each turn as you implement this new powerful and game changing software platform within your organization," says O'Connor. It will guide you through all areas of a SharePoint initiative from the initial whiteboarding of the overall solutions to accounting for what your organization currently has deployed.

It will assist you in developing a roadmap and detailed step-by-step implementation plan. "SharePoint 2013: From the Consulting Trenches" will also cover implementation best practices, content management and records management methodologies, initial SharePoint 2013 development best practices, as well as mobility planning.

About EPC Group EPC Group is a 13 year old company, a proven Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that has recently reached the landmark number of 675 SharePoint engagements. At the SharePoint Conference, EPC Group will be giving away cash prizes up to $20,000 and copies of the book at their booth #135. 


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EPC Group at the Final Day of the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Busy!

EPC Group on the final day of the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Our Booth # 135 - Extremely busy day with great conversations about SharePoint 2013, the big question around should a company with SharePoint 2007 go right to SharePoint 2013, Business Intelligence, SQL Server 2012, your organization's mobile... You name it and it was a topic today! Thanks to all the conference attendees and the EPC Group team for making this a huge success!

Here are a few pictures of the EPC Group Booth, EPC Group Team Members, and Attendees!

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Long Lines for the "Mega Money Machine"

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Long Lines for the "Mega Money Machine"

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Long Lines for the "Mega Money Machine"

Lines started going around the 2nd Isle of the Conference!

Lines started going around the 2nd Isle of the Conference!

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EPC Group at the SharePoint Conference 2012

EPC Group at the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Booth # 135 - Come talk Enterprise and Global SharePoint deployments, ECM strategies, Custom SharePoint Branding, Custom Workflow & Application Development as well as BI ! And any and all SharePoint 2013 questions you have!

Here are a few pictures of the EPC Group Booth, Team Members, and Attendees!

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Booth # 135

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Booth # 135

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Booth # 135

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Knowledge Workers Get New Tools from Pingar to Improve Search, Organization & Document Understanding in SharePoint 2013

Knowledge Workers Get New Tools from Pingar to Improve Search, Organization and Document Understanding in SharePoint 2013

Posted: Nov 11, 2012
Better keyword tagging of documents produces better organization, search and business insight capabilities

From SharePoint Conference 12, Pingar, a leading provider of document understanding tools and technology, today announced the availability of Pingar Metadata Extractor for SharePoint 2013. For the first time, Pingar tools to improve search, organization and analysis of large data stores can be installed and managed by individuals without administrative role access. Records managers, business analysts, content managers and e-discovery professionals can use Pingar tools to bring unstructured data into structured processes, making it easier to search, organize analyze and sanitize large amounts of unstructured data.

Pingar Metadata Extractor for SharePoint 2013 is now available for download at and includes a trial version that will extract metadata from hundreds of documents on a recurring basis.

Errin O’Connor, founder of EPC Group and author of SharePoint 2013: From the Trenches states, “What excites me about the new SharePoint 2013 App from Pingar is how it’s going to help our customers increase user adoption and bring unstructured content into structured processes. This is the missing link between successful SharePoint ECM projects and exceptional ones.”

Pingar tools and technology vastly improve the search experience for business users by automating the analysis of documents to create meaningful context for classifying, navigating and quickly identifying their significance. By automatically tagging documents to assign consistent metadata, IT and knowledge managers minimize a laborious manual process that can result in a lack of consistency and quality making it difficult to find and manage business information. Searchable SharePoint libraries can aid in improving efficiencies and business value throughout the enterprise content management lifecycle.

Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP, trainer/solution architect with says, “Pingar is making it easy to provide rich metadata for documents. Their tool extends the advanced metadata management capabilities of SharePoint 2013 by automatically tagging documents in a way that leverages the SharePoint 2013 Term Store. This brings additional findability and business process capabilities to the knowledge worker.”

The Pingar Metadata Extractor for SharePoint 2013 installs directly into the SharePoint 2013 environment and can provide access via the cloud or via an on-premise installation. Pingar’s tools can also be integrated with an organization or industry’s proprietary taxonomies, to provide a higher level of document comprehension, ensuring that all applicable information is searched, saved and stored systematically.

Owen Allen, vice president of solutions at Pingar, said "more organizations, and particularly large enterprises, are using SharePoint for records and content management. Pingar’s automatic document tagging tools help knowledge workers to extend the capabilities of SharePoint 2013 and to meet corporate compliance, e-discovery and archive goals while improving their ability to search, analyze and share information.”

About Pingar

Pingar is a platform agnostic metadata generation and classification software company focusing on unstructured data. Using the power of text mining, natural language processing and artificial intelligence, Pingar’s process is intuitive, its API works seamlessly with existing enterprise content management systems and yields more contextually relevant results. Pingar enables enterprises to extract information and transform that information into intelligence.
Pingar headquarters are in New Zealand with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Hong Kong. For more information please see 

About EPC Group
Innovation and dedication to client satisfaction, along with the passion to deliver exceptional SharePoint services and solutions, has positioned EPC Group as a leading SharePoint Integrator over the past 13 years.  Having executed more than 675 SharePoint projects across the globe, EPC Group carries time tested experience and proven methodologies that will leverage the power of SharePoint to solve critical business needs and foster organizational success and growth while focusing on ROI. Allow our custom engagement, project management, project-closing and patented SharePoint Center of Excellence (COE) methodologies to aid you in achieving SharePoint success.

Follow Pingar on Twitter @PingarHQ

Follow EPC Group on Twitter @epcgroup

Follow Errin O'Connor on Twitter @errinoconnor

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

Friday, November 9, 2012

EPC Group's Booth at the SharePoint Conference 2012 - Booth # 135

Come by and say hello to the EPC Group Team next week at the SharePoint Conference 2012 -
EPC Group's Booth is #135 -The Exhibitor Hall opens at 6:00pm for the Welcome Reception!

(Click image to enlarge booth picture)
EPC Group's SharePoint Conference 2012 Booth - # 135

SharePoint Conference 2012 Exhibit Hall Hours - Daily Schedule

(Click to Enlarge Image)