Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Microsoft TECH EXPO 2009 in LA...

I just found out that I will be able to go to Microsoft's Tech Expo 2009 next week. Unfortunately I am only able to make it on Thurs/Friday because I am teaching an End User SharePoint class Monday-Wednesday...but I'll get plenty done in only two days.

The biggest reason I am going is to get a face to face with the CorasWorks team. CorasWorks provides 3rd Party Applications to improve SharePoint usability with user friendly GUI (Graphic User Interface) tools.

The Marine Corps actually has contracts/licenses with CorasWorks, which is another reason I am going to meet with them...to see exactly what the extent CorasWorks licenses are being used throughout the Marine Corps.

I know a lot of overseas SharePoint deployments are using the CorasWorks products, but not real clear to what extent it is being used ConUS.

If there is a real need, we'll see if we can integrate some of the CorasWorks products either into the actual USMC SharePoint End User Course (as a demo) or perhaps create an advanced user course where we teach the functionality/application of their products.

Either way, CorasWorks is one of many great vendors that I am looking forward to getting a face-to-face with. If you are going to be there let me know...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SharePoint is GREEN!

Joel Oleson is very active in the SharePoint community, and he posted an article called "SharePoint is Green" a little while back. Since today is Earth Day 2009, it made me remember his article and want to bring it back. His article is located here..."SharePoint is GREEN!"

No matter what your beliefs are when it comes to Global Warming, there are plenty of other benefits included in the 'green' package that even an organization as large as the Marine Corps can appreciate.

As any organization that uses a 'Share Drive' knows, it is next to impossible to find a document you are looking for. Actually, it is not hard to find a document 'like' the one you are looking for, but to find the exact one is a bit more problematic. This is because people are afraid of losing information that they do not have control over. When a file is sent out to an organization (for instance, the Marine Corps Ball LOI to put it in Marine terms)...that document is expected to change multiple times before the event. EVERY section then takes that document and saves it to their folder on the Share Drive. If that file was 1MB large, and it was sent out to 25 sections, you now have 25MB of space being used for one document. But that document is also stored on their desktop because they do not trust the Share Drive either.

Now make a change to the document and resend the file to everyone. What I didn't mention is that your EXCHANGE e-mail server is also storing a copy of that file in your e-mail until it is PERMANENTLY deleted, AND a temp copy is also stored in your Outlook on every computer you logged in on.

With that new change, everyone is going to resave the new version to the Share Drive...and usually change the name because you may not trust that you can overwrite the old copy.

What does all of this have to do with green? You probably thought I was going to talk about all the trees being saved by SharePoint, but it goes a bit further.

If you originally sent a LINK to the Marine Corps Ball LOI instead of the file, you have saved a lot of server space. First, everyone will ALWAYS have the most current information no matter how many times you change the original file. They will not have to save their own copy of the file because all the links point to the same location. Your EXCHANGE server will not copy the file in everyone's mailbox, and another benefit there is that your network overall will move faster without all the downloading.

End result: all of saved server space means less servers using energy, less servers to keep cool, less servers to maintain.

Just remember this mantra: SEND A LINK, NOT A FILE. SEND A LIST (EXCEL) OF LINKS, NOT A ZIP FILE!! Pass that around, and you will find your network speed up while you accidentally are using Microsoft to save the world one server at a time!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

USMC SharePoint Course Developments...

Just to update everyone on some of the latest developments in the SharePoint Course...

First, we have two new instructors. One instructor just started at the Camp Lejune, NC office and another instructor just started at the newly created Hawaii office.

Both instructors are planning on coming to SoCal so we can meet and get on the same sheet of music (so to speak). We also have two instructors trained at 29 Palms, CA to provide SharePoint training/support as needed.

A lot of changes are being made to the course itself. Not necessarily in what is being presented, but more on how it is being offered. We are breaking the course up differently to give students more training flexability, in addition to adding more days to the training to offer more advanced features/functionality. Expect more focus on MOSS 2007 and InfoPath as the Marine Corps gets around to upgrading all of their servers to the full Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Some other items we are looking to integrate into the advanced training are Content Types, WorkFlows, Access Integration and KPI/Excel Services.

I'm expecting to be able to start teaching the new course by June. By the end of the year we should be pretty close to offering some additional courses/training to include SharePoint Designer/Web Development, SharePoint Server Installation, and perhaps even some generic Office Suite classes (still pending approval on that one :).

Hope everyone is as excited as I am for the upcoming changes!

Access in SharePoint...

I started following one of my Facebook friend's blog on SharePoint Issues. His name is Michael Gannotti and I highly suggest you look him up and connect with him. He'll definitely accept your friend request, and you will get all kinds of great information from his status updates.

One in particular I liked was a video he made regarding Microsoft Access 2007 and SharePoint integration. It was really easy to follow and pointed out some of the great integration features of the Office 2007 suite.

Ironically, the integration features were a big topic today for one of my students that uses Access. The link to the video is HERE.
Eventually I'm going to create a slide presentation that discusses typical military applications of SharePoint/Access integration. Enjoy the video, check out his blog HERE, and SEND ME MORE STUDENTS!! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Future of SharePoint in the Corps..

I think the USMC SharePoint Symposium was a huge success and will pay off huge dividends in the near future.

From the event, a USMC SharePoint Best Practice Community forum is being developed and a lot of great contacts were made to not only further develop the MISTC SharePoint Operator's Course, but to develop SharePoint within the Marine Corps community as a whole.

More info from the event will be posted soon.

Thanks again to all that participated!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

USMC SharePoint Symposium

Things are really shaping up for the MISTC West USMC SharePoint Symposium going Nov. 17th - 21st on Camp Pendleton, CA.

We already have many companies traveling from all over the country to have the opportunity to present some outstanding SharePoint knowledge in a variety of topics.

There is still plenty of space for any military/DOD employee to attend. Simply e-mail me at brian.reeves.ctr@usmc.mil for more information.

Hope to see everyone there.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

International SharePoint Professionals Association

This new Association looks like it will be a great resource for SharePoint users on a global scale...and believe me SharePoint is indeed INTERNATIONAL.

I've been in contact with SharePoint Designers/Administrators from all over the world and they are all hungry to collaborate on all things SharePoint.

This organization exists to lend support to SharePoint End User Groups (one of which is right in San Diego).

Check out the link to the ISPA...right now they are not accepting open membership, but they are providing some great information to get connected with the community.

International SharePoint Professionals Association