Week of January 21 update (late)

Due to a publishing glitch this post didn’t make it out last week. So pretend it’s last week and we won’t have any problems. Winking smile

On Wednesday (January 23rd) I presented my SharePoint/Yammer Case Study presentation to the UW E-Business Consortium. I got some really interesting questions and folks seemed genuinely interested in what I was talking about.

One thing that struck me from the start was that many of the decision makers in the room – the folks that are responsible for setting the collaboration and social strategies at their organizations – don’t have Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. This is akin to your dentist not having gone to dental school. I can’t stress this enough: If you’re responsible for setting policy or direction on something at your organization you need to know something about the tool. The best way to learn these tools is to actually use them. There is no Easy button here.

That Dilbert comic pretty much sums it up…

Some other points that struck me:

  • Governance and Compliance is a big point for most – everyone is paralyzed by making a decision because they’re concerned things will get out of hand, or worse, no one will use the tools. Understandable but I’d say the concerns are generally overthought.
  • Cisco vs. Lync runs RAMPANT! A lot of organizations – mine included – are using Lync for IM but Cisco for all the other communication tools (tele-presence, phone, etc.). I think most people overlook Lync as a true Unified Comm tool.
  • Collaboration tools are being used by almost everyone, every where – at least it’s good to know we’re not stuck in the 1990’s anymore with Outlook and File Shares.
  • Confidential vs. Secure vs. “I-don’t want-you-to-know-what-I-know” is a pretty common theme – I even heard one organization utter the comment “We don’t want our internal competitors choosing a tool before we choose it.” Aren’t you all on the same team?!

At the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat dealing with the same problems so you can at least take solace in the fact you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to take some calculated chances on these tools. Start small and work your way out. Never underestimate the power of the Proof-of-Concept.

#SPSSTL recap and other things

#SPSSTL (SharePoint Saturday St. Louis) was this past weekend. Very much a success. The more I go to these free events I realize just how important they are to the IT community. Both SharePoint and SQL offer these and they are absolutely worth their weight in gold. I hear the Windows Server folks are trying to start them too.

The benefits? Where do I start? First of all, they’re free. Doesn’t cost you more than your time and attention. Secondly, they feed you breakfast AND lunch. I guess there really is a free lunch in this life after all. Thirdly, you get to meet not only local talent, but you also get free access to many Microsoft MVP’s and taste-makers. Often times we look at some of these folks as absolute rock stars and we get to talk to them . . . for free! When was the last time you got to talk to Justin Bieber . . . for free?  Wait, what?

My session was entitled: Case Study: How SharePoint and Yammer shine together at Trek Bikes. I recapped all the things we’re doing at Trek to make SharePoint and Yammer work for folks. Really got down to some specific use cases and described the steps involved to go from point A to point B with each department. You can find my slides HERE. Overall, I had great attendance and the audience seemed to get in to what I was talking about. Got some awesome feedback and kudos so thank you all for that.

Several folks brought up an interesting point throughout Saturday. They don’t use Yammer at their workplace because it creates another place to save documents. Folks, odds are better than good that your workplace employs e-mail, public folders, shared drives, SharePoint, and individual workstations. That means people already have a number of places to save content. Adding Yammer will not add an exponential amount of complexity for information workers when it comes to saving things. Odds are they’re already complaining about the amount of places to save things. You can easily replace public folders with Yammer, and you may even be lucky enough to replace shared drives with SharePoint (I’m not that lucky…yet). Choosing not to deploy Yammer because it creates too many places to save documents is near-sighted and ignorant. Definitely a “throwing the baby out with the bath water” scenario. You’re dismissing all the social benefits that the tool provides just so you can make document management easier. IMHO, social takes precedence over document management. And since Yammer integrates so well with SharePoint’s search I highly recommend you rethink your approach on Yammer if you’ve avoided it up until now.

Some of the other sessions I attended were JWillie’s Rich vs. Reach presentation. Very interesting approach and very interesting topic. Felt much more conversation-ary and collegial. Would like to try that approach in the future. Jeff talked about how mobile is becoming more and more common and he shared some of the things Rightpoint is doing. Always cool to see how other companies are approaching this impending tidal wave.

Caught Bill Feldker and Benjamin Niaulin’s presentations on SharePoint 2013’s Search capabilities. You’ll need to completely change your way of thinking about SharePoint Search in 2013. An entirely new subset of SharePoint careers will be developed around Search in 2013. Just way too many good things to mention when it comes to Search. Both gentlemen did an outstanding job on their presentations. I seriously thought Tamara Bredemus’ head was going to explode during Benjamin’s talk. 

And finally, I caught Andy Milsark’s 2013 upgrade talk. Pretty amazing how far we’ve come in such a short time. The upgrade path from WSS 3.0 to MOSS was long, daunting, and scary, and that was just 5 years ago when people started doing that upgrade en masse. The SP2010 to SP2013 upgrade can be covered in an hour and realistically be accomplished in one day on small farms. Unbelievable.

I know I promised you the “greatest test environment since sliced bread,” but I’ve been busy with other things. I’ll try to get the first installment written this weekend.

PowerShell v3 & SharePoint 2010

I’m finding more and more that I’m late to the party for some things in SharePoint.

Apparently, SharePoint 2010 isn’t compatible with PowerShell v3.

Basically, when you try to use the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell you’ll be greeted with this:


Once you encounter this lovely error you’ll think you’ve done something horribly wrong. Is something up with your account? Did you break something? Are you losing it?

Nope to all of the above.

To get around this, type: powershell –v 2

Then hit enter. You now have regular ole PowerShell loaded. You’ll have to load the SharePoint snap-in if you want to do anything with SharePoint though. For anyone who may need it, the snap-in is:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell

You can check out all the details here in this Connect article:


Hopefully this gets fixed in the next CU.


I know I promised you the "Mother of all test environments.” But I’ve been busy. Let me tell you what I’ve been up to:

  1. Taking on new responsibilities at work:
    • Taking over Dynamics CRM – Our CRM resource decided to leave Trek a few weeks ago. Our team will be taking over the administration of our deployment and I’ll be one of the main points of contact. Hopefully I’ll have some good blog posts coming out around the topic. Does that make me the Dynamics Wookiee too? (har har har)
    • Working more with Active Directory – cool stuff going on here
    • SSRS Integration with SharePoint – I could write an entire blog around this subject alone, especially my experiences around making SSRS talk with DB2
    • More and more training, especially around Excel Services
    • Learning more about SQL and the inter-workings with SharePoint
    • More developer type experiences
    • Yammer integrations
  2. Getting ready for SQL Saturday St. Louis. I had the pleasure of speaking there last year and it was a blast. Well sort of, my CloudShare environment died on me 3 hours before my session, but that experience aside, it was definitely a highlight for me. I’ll be speaking about SharePoint and Yammer at Trek so stay tuned there.
  3. Blog challenge at work – gotta write 1 blog post a week so I ‘m getting my ducks all lined up so I can pwn.
  4. The holidays [nuff said]

  5. Getting my head wrapped around SharePoint 2013 – so many cool things there it’s not even funny.
  6. And finally, planning world domination

On a completely unrelated side note (and because I need to get to 300 words in for this post due to point 3) I did all my holiday shopping through Amazon. Muuuuuuuch better way to go when it comes to getting everyone’s Xmas gifts. Amazon Prime was money too. Highly suggest you give it a try.