Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Harry Trott, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

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
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
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...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...