Formal Presentation

Background: The following product presentation is for SharePoint, a collaboration portal solution offered by Microsoft.  SharePoint is both a software solution and a platform on which other solutions can be built. Presenting all that this tool can offer could take days and weeks. It was important to establish early in the process the desired scope of this presentation. So, prior to beginning work, I met with two of the executives from the client’s firm to understand exactly what they wanted to know. From this needs analysis,

  1. Software demonstration was designed
  2. Test environment was built
  3. Powerpoint presentation created
  4. Follow-up document developed that highlighted key points from demonstration

The following is that follow-up document. It was developed by combining boilerplate Microsoft content with prior knowledge of the solution and knowledge of the client’s environment. As a result of this presentation a SharePoint solution was implemented on the client’s network to great effect.

Introduction

The following is a demonstration outlining key reasons for installing Sharepoint . and for use Sharepoint to increase revenue and improve operational efficiency.

Demonstration:

Document Management

  1. Uploading a document
  2. Moving and deleting a document
  3. Mapping  a sharepoint document library as a drive on a local computer
  4. Setting permissions
  5. Document security
  6. Check in /check out
  7. Tracking document history

Workflow Function

  1. What is a workflow?
  2. What are the advantages of workflows?
  3. Example: “Time sheet;”  a three user scenario
  4. What does it look like to approve an item in a workflow?
  5. Where else could they be used?
  6. Customization options

Integration with Office

  1. How to map a drive
  2. How to create a document inside Sharepoint
  3. How Sharepoint works with Outlook tasks, email, etc
  4. How to use shared calendars

Collaboration

  1. What is a Wiki?
  2. How can wikis help us?
  3. What are Forums?
  4. How can forums help us?
  5. Shared document libraries
  6. Remote access
  7. Outside limited access to vendors, customers

Increase revenue

  1. Use it to efficiently run current projects
  2. Use it to respond to RFPs more quickly
  3. Sell it to clients as a tool
  4. Consulting services for Sharepoint
  5. Use it internally to improve processes like timesheets

Background information:

Document Management

At first glance, the idea of using SharePoint for document management appeals to many organizations. SharePoint 2007 has native document management capability – its document libraries can be used to store all types of files; SharePoint supports Check In / Check Out, Version History and Retention Policies. SharePoint document libraries can store additional classificatory or meta-data related to the files and provide an intuitive means of viewing and working with that meta-data. SharePoint offers Search functionality and of course SharePoint is web-based, which opens up the prospect of simpler remote access to and sharing of documents and files with key clients and business partners.

News of these document management features in SharePoint is motivating many organizations to look to SharePoint as a way of improving on existing File Shares (e.g. G: or P: drive) for managing their documents and files. SharePoint is relatively inexpensive; it has other potential applications beyond document management (such as maintaining the intranet and collaborating on project-related data) and SharePoint allows users to continue with the familiar approach of naming files and choosing a location for them as they are saved (which helps to reduce the cost of re-training staff who are accustomed to storing their files on File Shares).

These cost-of-ownership factors are even leading some organizations that have licensed a traditional DM system (such as Hummingbird DM or Interwoven Worksite) to consider whether they should be replacing their traditional Document Management systems with SharePoint.

Workflow Function

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes a number of predefined workflows for performing specific tasks. These predefined workflows are called ‘out-of-the-box’ workflows and include all of the necessary components, such as forms, to function properly with no configuration.

A workflow can control almost any aspect of an item in SharePoint 2007. A simple workflow could require the approval of several users for a document such as a budget. A more complex workflow could require information to be gathered through forms and that the workflow branch out to perform different functions depending on the information gathered. The user interface used by a workflow can be Web-based, created by using Microsoft Office InfoPath forms and accessed by using 2007 Microsoft Office system client applications, or accessed by a custom application.

Workflows can be applied to individual documents by end users. This is useful when only some documents require the formal process in a workflow. However, for consistency in applications, you can associate a workflow with a content type. Then, whenever a document of a particular type is created, the workflow is automatically associated with the new document.

Take advantage of workflows to automate and gain more visibility into common business activities such as document review and approval, issue tracking, and signature collection. Integration with familiar Microsoft Office client applications, e-mail, and Web browsers simplifies the user experience. Organizations can easily modify the out-of-the-box processes or define their own processes using familiar Microsoft tools such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 (the next generation Microsoft Office FrontPage) or Microsoft Visual Studio development system.

Integration with Office (and LDAP)

  • Microsoft integration – Compliment current technology by using group policy, works with exchange, outlook and other Microsoft software – users must feel comfortable quickly. The increasing levels of functional capabilities have been deemed “fair” for Office 2000, “good” for Office XP, “better” for the Office 2003 Editions, and “best” for the 2007 Office Suites in terms of how they work together with SharePoint.
  • Advanced interoperability – Office SharePoint Server 2007 is built on a scalable architecture, with support for Web services and interoperability standards including XML and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Office SharePoint Server 2007 also has rich, open application programming interfaces (APIs) and event handlers for lists and documents. This enables integration with existing systems and provides the flexibility to incorporate new non-Microsoft IT investments. LDAP integration support for other pluggable authentication providers makes it easier to work with non–Active Directory sources. Out-of-the-box WSRP Consumer Web Part enables integration with other WSRP-compliant portal solutions.

Collaboration

  • Back office – Create a place for all of the data and back office knowledge held by the client
  • Contract management – Each contract to have its own “home” where the project manager can easily manage all activities and all content
  • Proposal generation –  Production of accurate proposals that are more likely to succeed in a fraction of the time and cost
  • Ubiquitous Enterprise Search. Enterprise Search in Office SharePoint Server 2007 has great relevance and incorporates enterprise content such as people and business data, along with documents and Web pages, to provide more comprehensive results. Enterprise Search is ubiquitous in Office SharePoint Server 2007, with tight integration into SharePoint sites, Web Parts, SharePoint lists, people profiles, and more. This enables people to look for the information they need wherever they navigate within the portal. Enterprise Search has the capability to search through business data, and the search results can be highly customized; for example, surfacing specific metadata elements of back-end records.

Increase revenue

  • Use it to efficiently run current projects: Decrease the overhead cost of projects by creating an environment that is easier to navigate and collaborate
  • Produce impressive results for clients. The solution will be used to support current projects; as well, it has the ability to become a profit center through deployments and add-on projects
  • Use it to respond to RFPs more quickly: Super-charging proposal process: Many of the proposals the client sends out each year are comprised of the same “boilerplate” information time and again.  Beyond the information about the client that is referenced; often many bidding agencies require the same stack of forms be submitted along with each proposal. Creating or writing this each time is cumbersome and costs valuable time. Enterprise collaboration will allow the client to build proposals and answer RFPs and RFQs quickly and easily. Because all of the information will be readily at hand; effort will be reserved for addressing the unique requirements, not hunting for or recreating the same content for each new opportunity.
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