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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Elevator Pitch for SharePoint

Employees in an organization share a lot of information among themselves and it is very critical that an effective Intranet Portal is implemented for employees to collaborate effectively in the form of documents, tasks, discussion forums, surveys, wikis, blogs, metadata, knowledge management, content search and many other ways… Microsoft SharePoint based Portals, Document Management, Correspondence Management, Content Management, eForms, Workflows and Business Intelligence solutions have changed the ways employees collaborate and has rapidly increased employee productivity in numerous organizations worldwide. Available on On-Premise as well as Office 365 or Azure, contact us for further information, presentation as well as live demo.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Creating 3 Virtual Machines in Azure and joining them to a Domain using a Virtual Network 

Moving SharePoint from one SQL instance to another

1.       Shutdown SharePoint Front-End Server after stopping all SP Services
2.       Stop the SQL Server Service in SQL02
3.       Copy all database files from SQL02 – MDF, LDF files pertaining to the SharePoint instance
4.       Move these database files to SQL01’s D Drive (whichever drive has higher space)
5.       Install SQL Server 2012 with SP2 or SQL 2014 Std edition on SQL01
6.       Then attach these files to SQL01’s SQL Instance
7.       Restart the SharePoint Front-End Server and start all SP services
8.       Run PowerShell Commands to re-map the SharePoint Server to point to the new SQL Server

9.       Test whether the SharePoint environment works fine

Friday, November 7, 2014

SharePoint Project - Case Studies

Business Needs
iGrid’s Solution
A leading
Water desalination plant company, globally present (HQ-India)
Project Tracking of their multiple ongoing projects across the country.
Task Updation from Outlook itself;
Live status being shown in a very intuitive look and feel; data being pulled from their ERP (IFS) and certain other applications.
A SharePoint 2013 based portal called “Firstlook” which shows live projects status – with information being pulled from within SharePoint, their ERP and other SQL / Oracle Databases.
The project status being intuitively shown using a Tile based User Interface (built on SharePoint); each tile showing further information, charts, graphs and entry screens.
Also built an Outlook Add-In using which tasks can be updated within Outlook itself and they will get synchronized with SharePoint
Engineering company in the Oil & Gas Industry
Corporate Intranet Portal, Document Management, Bids Management, Project Tracking, Projects Document Management, QA / QC Workflow for Material Test Certificates and Digital Asset Management; Custom Add-Ons for Document Management
A SharePoint 2013 Foundation based corporate intranet portal in which DMS was setup, configured. Custom Bids and Projects Dashboards were built to show real-time status of Bids and Projects, related tasks. Documents across 10+ departments, various Bids and Projects can be stored. Add-Ons for Document Management such as Copy Folder Structure, Date Field based Alerts, Choice Field based Reminders were built. A Customized QA / QC workflow was built and was integrated into the Ribbon User Interfaces of SharePoint

MS Project Sync with SharePoint tasks list feature was best used to publish tasks to different users on their dashboards and then reflect them back on the MPP itself;

As this is foundation, Graphical Management Dashboards were built using Tiles, JQuery graphs and Charts were built to show information graphically.
A leading Helicopters Company, Qatar
Corporate Portal, DMS and BI Dashboards to see quick and KPI based view of concerns, things going on track
Corporate Portal for overall home, document management and separate sites for all Departments and Business Intelligence solution with SQL Server, SharePoint was built.

Company wanted dashboards for all CXOs. For example, the Operation Manager wanted to see all Pilots available for Duty, Delayed Flights, # of hours Flown by Customer etc. on a single dashboard page. So SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) was used to pull data from their ERP and cubes were created. KPIs were built inside the cubes itself.

Once these SSAS Cubes were built, using this, information was pulled into Performance Point Services Dashboards and also SharePoint KPIs (The actual and target values were pulled from the ERPs through SSAS Cubes)

Apart from that SSRS Reports were created and published on SharePoint Dashboards;
Corporation of a leading State, India
Public Website on SharePoint 2013, Business Intelligence using Power BI and Self-Service BI using Excel 2013
Public Website to showcase to different initiatives taken by the Corporations across the state of Tamilnadu. Statistical data such as # of Corporations, # of Municipalities, # of Schools, # of Roads, # of Public Toilets, Population all need to be graphically and intuitively presented. SharePoint 2013’s Power BI were used for this capability to show some pre-built Dashboards. Excel 2013 was used to give Self-Service BI capabilities in the hands of Senior Management Users – such as Power View, Power Pivot and Power Map
An Engineering company, UAE
Corporate Portal, DMS and BI Dashboards along with Excel based Self-Service BI
Corporate Portal and Document Management Sites, Libraries were built based on SharePoint 2010 was built along

Currently this is being upgraded to SharePoint 2013, also adding Mobility capabilities, adding Dashboards and Self-Service BI capabilities using Excel 2013.
A global engineering giant head-quartered in France
Feedback Management, Knowledge Management Portal
Feedback Management is an important tool for people to post ideas and get feedback from concerned groups in the organization. Ideas that get good feedback shall be shared with the Engineering team to develop POCs
Leading Qatar Government Entities
Correspondence Management System, the company receives and generates a number of correspondences and needed an efficient way to manage these with scanning, OCRing, document viewer capabilities incorporated in and being multi-lingual (English & Arabic)
A customized Outlook Style Interface on SharePoint was built for the customers to register incoming correspondences, flow them through their internal departments / users, who can then further forward to other employees for feedback.

This can be a pre-defined workflow or a manually forwarded workflow. Controls such as fixed turn-around time, features like Escalations, Delegations were all built and with the Outlook Style Interface (Showing fixed folders such as Inbox, Sent Items, users can also create their Personal folders and store the items there.

Custom Reports and KPIs that show turn-around of correspondences, workflow based KPIs etc. have also been built for these customers.
A Big Bank in Africa
A comprehensive Human Resource Management System that integrates with their Core Banking System
An HRMS application on top of SharePoint is being currently built for this 20K+ employees bank; this has Core HR, Compensation, Employee Self Service, Manager Self Service, Recruitment, Exit, Performance Management, Talent Management, Learning Management & Document Management. This has multiple touch-points with their Core Banking System (CBS)
A Leading Bank in India
Top Management Dashboard that shows status of all their Loan Applications and their status across the country
The bank has a SharePoint based Workflow application in which new loan applications are registered at one of the 3500+ branches around the country. These applications will further be sent to Regional Offices and then to Zonal Offices and then to the Central Office. A SharePoint based Dashboard application has been built to show the current status across Branch Offices, Regional Offices, Zonal Offices & Central Office – in terms of # currently in Progress, Approved and Rejected; A tile based UI was developed and these tiles when clicked will help further drill down and also help see the actual applications list as well
A Leading Group of companies in Qatar
Need is automate their Business Processes which are currently made using
Document Management functionality includes creating dedicated Sites, Document Libraries & Lists for storing documents by various departments; Versioning, Check-In, Check-Out, Workflows all have been configured.

Apart from this, the below forms & workflows have been automated:
IT Forms:
•              IT Helpdesk Request
•              Email ID Request
•              Software Access Request
HR Forms
•              Leave Request Form
•              HR Request Form
•              Resumption of Duty
•              Clearance Action Form
•              Personnel Action Form
•              Salary Advance Form
•              Qatar ID Visa Renewal Form
Other Forms:
•              Purchase Requisition Slip
•              Demand Voucher
•              Transportation Form
•              Payment Advice Form
•              Upload Invoice
•              Excess Money Claim Form
•              Request for Signature
•              Transmittal Form
And many other

Configurable Multi-Stage Approval Workflows with Clear Workflow History, Printable forms as well

Friday, October 31, 2014

Changing the Top Left Corner "SharePoint" text

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Management Goals for implementing Business Intelligence

To provide single version of the truth
To provide a seamless integrated experience
To provide reliable business data quickly
To provide role based dashboards assisting decision making / forecasting
To enable both fixed and mobile workforces
To consolidate applications into lesser applications to manage, monitor
To shield for the future with choice of cutting edge technology solutions

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application Service - To Run or Not Run

Scenario: Running Deployment Scripts that are publishing WSPs into a multi-server farm (2 front-ends, 1 App Server)

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application Service running in their environment (where the Foundation Web Application is running) is making the deployment go fine, where as the same in our environment is not running, so the script is failing.

Generally, if you run this service in a server, that makes that server as WFE (Web Front End) so, people prefer to have this stopped in App Servers. But there is a dependency on this with the “Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service” and since this is running as well in the App Server, the script is trying to deploy the solution in the App Server as well and since the Web Application Service is not running, the script is unable to deploy and throws errors.

Now you have 2 options:

1.       To stop the “Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service” and re-run the script and try how it works
2.       Second, to turn on the Web Application Service  on the App Server as well. Though it is not required or generally people don’t do it as a best practice, by leaving it on, it is not taking up any resources or it is not going to make the environment slow. The reason is – users always are hitting the WFEs only and thus the Foundation Web Application Service in the WFEs only invoke the IIS Web Sites, Load up the App Pools and start consuming memory
3.       Since direct requests are not going to come to the App Server, the Foundation Web Application Service running in the App Server will never have any job to do: so the memory over here will not be used