Knowledge Cue

  • SharePoint Online – Icebreaker Case Study

    posted on August 3rd, 2012 by Chandima Kulathilake

    Our team recently worked with New Zealand based global clothing company Icebreaker to deliver an Intranet solution using Office365 (SharePoint Online).

    When Icebreaker decided it wanted an intranet to unite its far-flung workforce, it worked with Knowledge Cue, a Microsoft Partner based in Wellington, and DNA, a creative agency. Mark Orange, Director of Strategy and Innovation at KnowledgeCue, says that because of the tight timeline, and because Icebreaker wanted the ability to incorporate creative design into its intranet, he agreed with Icebreaker that the company should migrate to Microsoft Office 365. Orange and Icebreaker also wanted a reliable, fast, cloud-based solution for its IT needs, and Office 365 unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with email, calendaring, collaboration, and communication solutions.

    Read full case study at Microsoft Case Studies – Icebreaker global Intranet case study.

    Icebreaker intranet

    Icebreaker intranet

    For more information on Office 365 – contact Knowledge Cue for planning and deployment guidance.

     


  • New Zealand SharePoint Conference 2012 – Auckland

    posted on March 26th, 2012 by Rachael Lake

    Our team will be in Auckland attending and also presenting at this annual event. This year we are presenting alongside two of our clients showcasing an Intranet solution for Bank of New Zealand and a global Intranet for Icebreaker clothing using Office365 (SharePoint online).

    If you are at the conference come along to the following sessions:

    28th March 2012 – 10.30am – Icebreaker: Creating a global Intranet

    As Icebreaker continued to expand around the world there was a need for better tools to manage and share information; previously having only used shared drives and email. Our high performing teams needed fast and easy access to relevant and up-to-date information, through a collaborative intranet that reflects the authentic and inspirational Icebreaker culture. Office 365 with SharePoint Online gave us the platform to quickly deploy a global intranet without the cost and complexity of our own global infrastructure. In this session we will provide an overview of how we achieved a great Icebreaker experience working with DNA and Knowledge Cue. – Meet Mark Orange (Knowledge Cue) and Brooke Riley (Icebreaker) and join in the conversation.

    28th March 2012 – 11.45am – BNZ: The great Intranet migration

    BNZ has leveraged WSS and SharePoint for many years, but the Intranet has remained on older technology until now. In this session we will share some of the SharePoint 2010 investments BNZ have made into communications and personalised homepages, and discuss the challenges and approach to migrating many thousands of pages over many months into a new Intranet. Meet Mark Orange (Knowledge Cue) and Mick Gasson (BNZ) and join in the conversation.

    For the IT Professionals who are managing or deploying SharePoint in an organisation the following sessions from Patrick Harkins and Chandima Kulathilake of Knowledge Cue will provide best practice planning and guidance for successful deployments.

    29th March 2012 – 10:30am Kerberos for SharePoint and SQL

    Need to setup Kerberos but not sure where to start or gave it a try but hit issues? Come to this session to find out how to implement Kerberos for SharePoint Web Applications and SQL communication. Meet with our SharePoint Infrastructure specialist Patrick Harkins at this session.

    29th March 2012 – 1:30pm SharePoint 2010 – Planning High Availability for SharePoint 2010 Farms

    In this session we look at architecture components that must be planned and identified for deploying high availability in SharePoint 2010. The session covers core SP2010 service architectures and what is required in high availability scenarios and how to approach your solution design. The session will look at some of the tricky situations where each service and service application component of SharePoint may need to be considered. We will also look at some of the enhancements provided by Service Pack 1, as well as outlining some of the best practices for deployment with high availability at platform and solution level. Meet with our SharePoint Infrastructure specialist Patrick Harkins at this session.

    29th March 2012 – 1:30pm SharePoint Post Deployment Stress Management

    So you’ve built a great Intranet on SharePoint your business users have been sold on the platform value – your team has rocked the award shows and now your team is onto the next Intranet. Enter the “IT Support Team” – the people who now has to take care of the award winning Intranet.
    This session looks at some of the practical complexities of handing-over the reigns to BAU support teams and what they’ll need to know and as a team on how to manage SharePoint as a platform beyond just another Intranet. We’ll look at “Governance” in a practical point without the wishy washy buzzwords and steps you can take early on in the planning process to mitigate post deployment stress. Meet with Chandima Kulathilake who provides overall architecture and solution planning/design guidance for SharePoint technology based projects.
    Check out the full agenda of the conference at http://www.sharepointconference.co.nz

     


  • Planning High Availability for SharePoint 2010 Farms

    posted on December 14th, 2011 by Chandima Kulathilake

    Here are the slides from the session at TechED New Zealand delivered by our team on “Planning high availability for SharePoint 2010″. The session looked at the architecture components that must be planned for when planning for architecture of high availability in SharePoint 2010. The session covered core SharePoint 2010 component architectures and what each component needed in order to achieve high availability and how to approach this is a solution design. The session also looked at some of the tricky situations where each SharePoint 2010 service and service application component high availability may need to be considered on a case by case scenario. Lastly the session looked at some of the enhancements provided by SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1.  Overall the session outlined some of the best practices for deploying SharePoint 2010 into an organisation where high availability is required at platform and solution level.

    If your team is interested in learning more on this topic get in touch via sharepoint@knowledgecue.com.

     

    For more of our presentations visit: http://www.slideshare.net/knowledgecue


  • SharePoint Day – Auckland – August 10th 2011

    posted on July 12th, 2011 by Chandima Kulathilake

    SharePoint Day – Auckland Event – 10th August (Wednesday) 2011

    SharePoint Day is a free event hosted by SharePoint specialists and Microsoft MVPs Mark Orange and Chandima Kulathilake of Knowledge Cue. This event provides decision makers with an opportunity to increase their understanding of SharePoint, and specifically SharePoint 2010.

    If you want to gain a good understanding of what it means to implement or upgrade to a SharePoint 2010 Platform, or want to gain more understanding of what it means to manage a SharePoint platform, or just want to talk about SharePoint with a real SharePoint specialist, not a sales person, then SharePoint Day will be of benefit to you.

    Four sessions will run throughout the day aimed at business and technical audiences respectively, with the morning sessions focused on those with minimal SharePoint experience, and the afternoon for those who have SharePoint experience and want more an in-depth view.

    Who is this for?

    Are you…

    • An owner of the vision for SharePoint within your organisation?
    • A key SharePoint decision maker?
    • The manager of people who look after SharePoint?
    • The person who holds the SharePoint budget?
    • On a SharePoint governance group (or should you be)?
    • Running a team responsible for implementing, upgrading, and keeping SharePoint running?
    • A Programme or Project manager delivering SharePoint work?
    • Responsible for your organisations Knowledge or Information Management?
    • The Enterprise Architect or Analyst who also has to cover SharePoint?

    More details of the two business and technical content along with registration information is available on : http://www.sharepointday.com or via RSVP to sharepoint@knowledgecue.com

    See the feedback we had from our previous event which was held in 2010 in Wellington!


  • Office365 – should we get on the cloud with Microsoft?

    posted on May 29th, 2011 by Chandima Kulathilake

    Office 365

    Today there are many options available for small to medium size organisations to utilise various software solution options delivered on the internet (aka cloud). For customers who have used Microsoft products such as Exchange, OCS and Microsoft Office one of the most appealing and most obvious choices now available is the Office365 service from Microsoft.

    This blog post provides high level information and guidance on why and how small businesses can achieve significant benefits by choosing the services offered by Office 365 and what is actually offered under the Office365 banner.

    What is offered with Office365?

    Office365 includes a range of services that can be leveraged by an organisation based on their changing needs and number of staff. The available services and capabilities include:

    • Email services using Microsoft Exchange and Outlook client and web access
    • Document authoring in the browser or client (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
    • Document sharing with colleagues and external parties via secured web sites offered via SharePoint online
    • Public facing internet site to showcase your companies services and products using SharePoint web content authoring and publishing
    • Instant messaging and online meeting capability with Lync with the ability to add external IM connectivity via federation
    • Full use of the Office Professional Plus client on your desktop as part of a monthly pay as you go plan

    All of these capabilities are delivered via trusted and tried technology that is used by thousands of organisations all over the world with the difference being it is now hosted and managed, not in your data centre or your hosting company, but by Microsoft. Microsoft guarantees 99.9% availability (uptime) meaning that the services are financially guaranteed.

    What should we consider before making the jump?

    There is an old saying which states ‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should’ – with any solution to a business need you need to do your own due diligence before you make the decision to use the service. Some of the practical and pragmatic choices you need to consider when making the move are:

    • You may only want to choose a particular service such as email or you may wish to have a hybrid option with co-existing deployments, depending on either there are technical and business change considerations from an operational point.
    • If your workforce is largely mobile and work ‘disconnected’ most of the time then you will need to consider alternatives of how you can ‘sync’ them or how they will be able to work in an ‘offline’ mode – there are third party software solutions that can help here and this only affects you if client tools (Such as Office products on the user desktop) are not used.
    • You may need some training and some hand holding whilst you make the transition from your existing tools and solutions – so you’ll need to look at resources and partners available to you and a change management/training and communications plan.
    • You might need a strategic business plan and operational plan to understand the value add of moving to a hosted model or a hybrid model (best of both worlds)
    • You may just need a hand getting to know the configuration of Office365 and the services offered.

    There are a number of options and price plans available for each of the service offerings. As of writing this these are available on the Subscription plans page.

    Microsoft Office 365 provides four service plans. (New Zealand Pricing):

    • Small Business Plan starting at $9.25 per user/month)
    • Office 365 (Plan E1 starts at $15.25 per user/month) – For smaller companies who require email and a team site to share documents with team members.
    • Office 365 (Plan E2 starts at $24.50 per user/month) – Ideal for small companies who also have a distributed workforce and may not have desktops for each user.
    • Office 365 (Plan E3 starts at $38.25 per user/month) – For medium sized companies who want to have most of what’s available today in Exchange, SharePoint and Lync. (Currently available as Beta)
    • Office 365 (Plan E4 starts at $43 per user/month) -For companies who require enhanced telephony and federation capabilities.

    Microsoft also has an offering specially catered for Education including schools and larger universities. Information on the availability and options for Office 365 for Education can be found on the following site.

    Detailed Office 365 Service Descriptions of each service is available as a download. (Please note that these are updated as new information becomes available)

    Getting started and Administration

    Whichever plan you choose getting started and the administration, maintenance of these services depend on your organisation size. In most scenarios access to all administrative functions are online via an administration portal.

    Office 365 Admin Portal

    If you want to try out Office 365 with no cost or any obligation to use it after the trial expires email us at sharepoint@knowledgecue.com for a Trial invite and a free 2 hour setup and consultation over a coffee.