Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Moshe Kranc, John Basso, AppNeta Blog, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Microservices Expo, API Journal, Silverlight, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

Microsoft Cloud: Article

SharePoint Gone Wild: When Governance Lacks Training | Part 2

Part two of in-depth SharePoint series

*If you missed part one of this series, you can read it here.

So far in this series, we've looked at business requirements that drive governance - including accountability, quality, appropriateness, restrictions, discoverability, and compliance. In this article, I wanted to touch on how training requirements - and lack of them - can affect governance for SharePoint.

In my travels, I speak with many large enterprise customers who often spill the beans on the issues they are having with relation to SharePoint. One of the biggest things I encourage is to get details on their plans and strategies for SharePoint governance. A key area that I see omitted in these plans is training. Training is oftentimes the elephant in the room, from an IT perspective, and subsequently is often left until the last minute without receiving the proper amount of attention.

Training Expectations
One of the key messages you'll hear from all the experts in the field regarding governance is the alignment of the business to IT, and actively encouraging their involvement in creating the plan. This should lead to business leaders asking for training, but they often don't know what to request. Additionally, IT's usual training is vague enough that the business won't realize it's insufficient to satisfy users until it's too late. What do I mean by "too late"? Training should be given to the appropriate people before the launch of any workload or application on SharePoint in order to maximize the effectiveness of the launch and adoption. It is never too late to start training, even if the launch has occurred, and often the business owners in the governance committee will push for this after the fact.

Make Users Earn the Privilege
For many customers, the main driver for training comes from the governance committee in terms of combating site sprawl and security compliance. Referring back to my post on governance and accountability, essentially Site Owners will get full control of their site collection or sub site which gives them the keys to do anything they wish. This is often dangerous in the hands of untrained owners. I have found many organizations enforcing that a business user cannot be a Site Owner until she has passed specific training. This can actually be enforced more readily with Claims Based Authentication where the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) token contains the certifications the business user has achieved.

Relevant Training Material
Some of the biggest hurdles in SharePoint training is that while it is easy to find SharePoint 101 for business users virtually anywhere, the requirement from the business oftentimes is that the training should be tailored to the look and feel of the actual workload or application the organization has had built. This essentially means re-creating all the screenshots in the context of the specific environment deployed. Another large hurdle is that, in most cases, teaching business users how to add new documents as well as create lists and libraries is not successful at driving adoption (Which we will talk about in my next post ... foreshadowing!) because people can't relate it to their current business process pains. As an example, training someone how to create a list with a few columns is great, but without context, that business user may not realize that her current inventory list in Excel could be a perfect candidate to be in a SharePoint list so that you can have workflows on each inventory list item, have alerts on inventory changes, version changes in inventory information at the item level, and have multiple views set up of the inventory items.

One-on-One Workshops
One very successful initiative I've witnessed is one-on-one training with business user Site Owners. Essentially, they are "SharePoint Champions" who work with a user to find out "what their problems are" in her day-to-day operations. The champion then starts showing how SharePoint can help improve the current process, and at the same time, educates the business user on how to create it for future reference. This is obviously a resource intensive exercise, but the results are worth it - one customer I spoke with told me that this helped to raise SharePoint adoption significant in their organization.

Brown Bag Sessions
An extension of one-on-one workshops, these are team events where people get together to talk about what they have done in SharePoint over lunch, hence "brown bag". These can be very useful for individuals to share what they've learned, but also for people to bring challenges and obstacles to a larger audience in hopes that the combined brain power will help them come to a resolution.

Scheduling Training
Frequently in an organization, the reason SharePoint is purchased is for collaboration and, in some circumstances, on a global scale. This immediately brings problems regarding scheduling training across geographies and time zones. AvePoint has 25 offices worldwide, so our training team deals with this by internally conducting three live sessions for each topic, leveraging Lync as well as a conference bridge.

Online Training
To best accommodate the varying availability of new users of the platform, training is either scheduled online or made available for viewing online at all times. In organizations I have worked with, SharePoint 2010 itself has been leveraged to host the videos and viewed via the Silverlight web part on the screen. I have a personal preference for consuming these things on the road, as I'm on it a lot, and therefore prefer to download the videos and push them onto my Samsung Series 7 slate for viewing on the train.

With all these things mentioned above, it is important that the expectation is set as part of the governance plan on what your organization will do and when in terms of end-user training.

Next week, I'll explain in greater detail the next business driver for governance with adoption requirements.

More Stories By Jeremy Thake

Jeremy Thake is AvePoint's Chief Architect. Jeremy’s 10-plus years of experience in the software development industry, along with his expertise in Microsoft technologies, earned him the label of “expert” in the global SharePoint community. He was named a Microsoft SharePoint MVP in 2009, and continues to work directly with enterprise customers and AvePoint’s research & development team to develop solutions that will set the standard for the next generation of collaboration platforms, including Microsoft SharePoint 2013.

Jeremy was one of only eight Microsoft MVPs from Australia, where he lived for seven years, who was recognized by the SharePoint Product Team in 2010 for his extensive contributions to the global SharePoint community. He also played an instrumental role in organizing the Perth SharePoint User Group during his time living there.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.