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Eat Mor Chikin – Cheap vs Quality

Tim is a Senior Consultant at ThreeWill. He has 15 years of consulting experience designing and developing browser-based solutions using Microsoft technologies. Experience over the last 8 years has focused on the design and implementation of SharePoint Intranets, Extranets and Public Sites.

Editor’s Note – I normally don’t pull screenshots from my personal facebook feed, but I saw this today and had to share…and Tim agreed to this when he found out this met his quarterly commitment of writing a blog post or doing a podcast episode.  – Danny

 

Tim Coalson

 

Another Editor’s Note – Not to get all personal, but while you were at the golden arches this morning, I was at a Men’s Group meeting at the Chick-fil-a at Avalon.  More than the food (which I crave daily), I know the people at this location and they know me – they ask about my family and they have the courage to share what’s really going on in their lives.  For example, I was greeted with a hug this morning and questions about our latest foster child.  We all think our jobs are insignificant, but in reality we have the opportunity to love/serve others by refilling a coffee or asking a question and truly listening.

A Final Editor’s NoteChick-fil-A® and Eat Mor Chikin® are registered trademarks and service marks of CFA Properties, Inc. (“CFA Properties“) in the United States and other countries.   Chick-fil-A does not endorse ThreeWill – but we endorse them and recommend eating Chick-fil-A on a weekly, if not daily, basis. 🙂

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Tim CoalsonEat Mor Chikin – Cheap vs Quality
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Summer Recap with the Star Intern – Oliver Penegar

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Oliver Penegar

Bio – LinkedIn

Tommy Ryan

Co-Host – Tommy Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Key Points

  1. Oliver had a diverse set of roles this summer ranging from helping out with front line questions on our website chat to producing and publishing podcasts on a weekly basis.
  2. Oliver achieved three certifications this summer – Google Analytics, Google Adwords and Hubspot Inbound Marketing.
  3. Oliver read a book that Danny recommended (called Lynchpin by Seth Godin) and learned about how to approach difficult problems by doing research first, framing out options and taking on solving the problem himself.

Conversation Highlights

  • The roles of a ThreeWill Marketing Intern – 1:56
  • Discussion about Marketing Certifications – 6:39
  • How to solve a problem (Hint: It involves a search engine) – 12:18

Helpful Links

Danny:Hello and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone podcast. Or should I say one bald brother here today. You’ve got lovely hair Oliver so don’t get rid of that. You need to keep your hair for as long as you can.

 

Oliver:Well actually need a haircut.

 

Danny:Oh well.

 

Oliver:Not as far as yours.

 

Danny:Not as far as, you’re not going to get it buzzed off, are you?

 

Oliver:No.

 

Danny:No, no, no, no, no, no. So we’re coming to the end of your internship. You mentioned this morning it was a quick summer.

 

Oliver:It went by so fast.

 

Danny:That means you had a good time.

 

Oliver:Yeah.

 

Danny:That’s a good sign, that’s a really good sign. I wanted to do this podcast with you to summarize the stuff that you did this summer so that when you go back to school and six months from now, someone says, “What did you do this past summer?” You can go, “Just go listen to the podcast.”

 

Oliver:I’ll send them a link.

 

Danny:Send them a link. Here’s a link, go read this, or go listen to this. Excellent. You came in and made some, you and I joking around made some pretty bold claims that you were going to be ThreeWill’s best marketing intern or the number one marketing intern. Do you feel like you’ve earned the status?

 

Oliver:Oh yeah, definitely. Definitely lived up to the hype.

 

Danny:Excellent. Excellent, I love self-promotion. Self-promotion’s a good thing. You’re well on your way to becoming a beautiful marketer.

 

Oliver:Oh yeah.

 

Danny:If I go through, I’m just going to go through the website and what I said to you before you came out here which was what were you going to do as a marketing intern and so were assisting the vice president of business development, that’s me.

 

Oliver:Oh yeah.

 

Danny:With various marketing related activities. We ended up, if I go through the different stuff that’s out there, you got to a lot of this stuff. I’m amazed with how much stuff you were able to cover over the summer. It’s pretty good. Let me go through some of these things. You were publishing blog posts on WordPress, adding, editing images from Shutterstock and then I’d soon after that come and replace them with another image.

 

Oliver:Yeah. Big battle between what images.

 

Danny:This is a huge thing for me cause you know how time consuming this is, which is post production and publishing of podcast to SoundCloud, WordPress and transcripts on Rev.

 

Oliver:Surprisingly this is actually one of my favorite jobs to do. Just with all the editing and getting to play around and then when you post it you have a final product you can be proud of.

 

Danny:That’s nice. And when you head back to school, you’re going to continue to do this.

 

Oliver:I’m excited to.

 

Danny:Awesome, awesome. So that’s great. Hootsuite updates, that’s staying on top of social. That was, you were able to help out with that and continue to help out as you head back to school.

 

Oliver:And I never heard of Hootsuite before. Just got the name right for the first time. But it’s a great application, I love using it now, saves a lot of time.

 

Danny:And then we have bio updates, I had you helping out with those occasionally and the success stories and testimonials I needed to, I’ve got a little bit work on my end of going and getting more of those so I think when you’re around this summer I was quiet with that but I’ll probably pick that back up in the fall. Social stuff was discussed questions which is our commenting stuff, you saw that on our website. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn questions, continue to be the first line out there. That’s awesome.

 

Oliver:Face of the company.

 

Danny:Monthly newsletter, that one just because we only had a couple of them go out while you were to here, I continued on with that. Snap engaged, online chat on the website. So you were, you’ll continue to do this when you go back to school. Just having that run in the background so every once in a while.

 

Oliver:Get these complicated questions and then redirect them to the appropriate department.

 

Danny:You have the snippets to handle them, right? Okay, good, that’s good. You just have to answer the call and then redirect them. I appreciate that, that really helps me out quite a bit so I stay heads down on things.

 

Let’s see, SEO scores. Yost you went and did some stuff like updating the images, the featured images which helps out with social and some SEO and then learned more about Yost and what that is and SEO in general.

 

Oliver:That was probably the longest project I had go on cause that took almost a full week of just adding images, getting all the green lights on all the posts. It started off, it take me a while to get each post to green light but then near the end I was streamlining everything.

 

Danny:Folks who aren’t too used to, or don’t know what Yost is, it’s basically a social plug in for WordPress. It’s that and more. I should say SEO plug in. Green light is, is if you go in basically marking it up correct for certain keywords that you’re looking for and they give you a list of things that you can do to improve the page and for us, I think we get a lot of our majority of our website visitors are through somebody searching for our keyword on Google are shuttled to our site. Organic cause we just started with some paid search though. We’re going learn a lot about that.

 

Live events, helped with setting up, breaking down booths. This was the first week. Trial by fire.

 

Oliver:Oh yeah. I’ll remember the sign next time.

 

Danny:We’re good, we’re good. Help run webinars on Go to Webinars, that’s great. We’ll do the podcast over at Go to Webinar when you head back to school. That’s cool. Did I miss anything from this list?

 

Oliver:Pretty much covered everything. A lot of little tasks here and there.

 

Danny:And you got some certifications. What certifications did you get?

 

Oliver:That’s what I started off the internship with, pursuing these marketing advantages I could get going for myself. I got the analytics one first because I’d already had experience with analytics and so that one wasn’t that hard and it’s very useful especially to marketing.

 

Danny:Google analytics.

 

Oliver:Google analytics, yeah.

 

Danny:Cool.

 

Oliver:Google’s the number one search so you want to be able to see what people are looking for. That one was super helpful, I use it every day.

 

Danny:Which test did you take for that? cause you have to take two tests?

 

Oliver:That one it was just the one analytics test.

 

Danny:It’s just one analytic, the AdWords was the two tests. Okay, gotcha.

 

Oliver:After that I did the Hubspot inbound marketing exam. That one’s just super helpful, knowing how to generate traffic because the market’s shifted from just throwing all your information out there to then trying to get the specific people that you want to have to your company, get them to come find you. Very helpful. It wasn’t too hard, I’m pretty smart.

 

Danny:Nice.

 

Oliver:Then I did that AdWords and that one, that was the two exams. That one took a while to study for. But AdWords is super beneficial. Again Google’s the number one search that you want to have your ads show up on the number one search.

 

Danny:You’ve been listening in too when I make initial, when somebody contacts the company, and they’re like, and I ask them how did you find out about us. I searched on Google, it’s amazing how many times that is.

 

Oliver:Oh yeah.

 

Danny:It’s great, it’s one of those things you’ve probably seen some of the content that we put out there. We put a lot of technical content which is fine but also some of the ones that are more marketing, trying to capture the right people at the right time, like the one we were talking about earlier this week with the best share point partner in Atlanta.

 

Oliver:Oh yeah. That got your attention.

 

Danny:Got your attention like, how can you say that? Some of that content that we’re putting out there is trying to reach the right people at the right time which is a huge part of what marketing is.

 

Oliver:My second exam, you had to take two for it and my second was mobile. I thought that pretty important because mobile, everybody has a smartphone, everybody’s searching with their smartphone. That’s why we chose to do mobile as my second exam.

 

Danny:What did you learn about amp and what did you learn about menus for mobile?

 

Oliver:Mobile’s a completely different playing field than desktop and so to get someone actually stay on your website on a mobile phone is pretty challenging. You have to make it fast, you have to make it streamlined version of your normal website. You just kind of go through and pick and choose all the different menu bars you want from your main site and then pick the good ones, put it up on your mobile and make sure it’s all on one page, it’s quick and so your mobile users don’t, as soon as it takes more than three seconds to load they just go to the next person down on Google.

 

Danny:So what did you notice that you pointed out to me when you were looking at analytics? I think this was about midway through you noticed something interesting.

 

Oliver:It was actually tech was when I started and we noticed that we were, people were coming to our site on mobile phones but then they were leaving almost instantly. And that was not a good sign. And when we went and looked at it and our mobile bar just wasn’t working. Then we went and fixed and now our mobile views have gone up and people have actually stayed on the site and read what we have to read.

 

Danny:And we’ve improved the checked up and made sure all the pages were amp ready so that Google will return those in the search results as well. So we have a mobile version of the different blog posts that are out there which is cool. Then as soon as pages, the plug in doesn’t support pages yet, but as soon as that comes we’ll probably do the same where we check make sure everything can show up in mobile. And then you learned one of things that it was key to me is look for a WordPress plug in for something. cause you’re not a coder so you can’t go out there but you can look at plug ins and you can do some research on what different people are using out there. That was a good thing for you to learn.

 

Oliver:That’s what great about WordPress. It doesn’t work just find a different one.

 

Danny:And you wrote an article about what tool marketing tools. So we’ll link up to that from this conversation as well. Which was neat to see. You also, I think you had, you read a book on how to write copy that sells which we did a podcast on that.

 

Oliver:Yeah, I listened to the podcast, it was you and Tommy. And then I’d just went through the chapter of how to write copy that sells. It was pretty helpful. There’s a lot of good stuff in there.

 

Danny:Awesome. And then you read Linchpin which I had you read because I wanted you to have some key takeaways of I thought was good especially earlier. It’s probably one of those books I wish I read earlier in my career. I was trying my young Padawan, handing off some things. What was the big thing that you took away from reading Linchpin.

 

Oliver:Well something like I noticed but never put words to it and it’s that the factory systems dead. You’re not supposed to just follow orders. Some situations you are but not in marketing really. It’s more of like, plot your own course, find your way to make yourself indispensable, come up with what you need to do because every time someone tells you something to do, that’s a missed opportunity. It’s very helpful. It didn’t tell me exactly how to do it, I got to figure that out for my own, definitely pointed me in the right direction, it was a very good book.

 

Danny:And you were, we had a couple of great learning moments when you find something wrong, what’s the first thing I tell you once you find something wrong?

 

Oliver:Go Google it.

 

Danny:Go Google it and then find the solution to it and put into, we ended up using Wunderlist which we’ll move over to something else cause that’s not going to be around for much longer. I enjoyed it too, but hopefully it’ll, it was nice to work through that. You were good at, there’s this problem putting it in Wunderlist, going after it yourself and it’s going to be really important for you as you start your career cause I’m not spending my whole day coming up with things for you to do as you’re finding things, saying this is what I can go after, this is how, and also a part of it as well I think with Tommy and I want to tap into is what are you passionate about? What do you want to go do? cause you’re going to do a great job at that if you really want to go do that.

 

And so a lot of this is, there always be things that are part of your job that you just have to do and you just get those things done and they take a lot of willpower to get them done but there’s some things that fill you up and you want to do more of and can do all day long. Maybe it’s podcast production or whatever it is. It’s good for you, the thing is you got to know what those things are and communicate it to other people that you enjoy cause it’s, you think everybody has the same motivations, the same passions, they don’t. That’s important that you know what those things are and can communicate those to others.

 

What other things? Any other things that you picked up this summer in the internship? Any nuggets of wisdom?

 

Oliver:Really just kind of what you said, just go after it myself first. Always try it before I ask someone else for help.

 

Danny:Awesome.

 

Oliver:Like at the very beginning I would ask you and then your immediate reaction was go figure it out. I kind of picked up on that pretty soon. Well I should probably figure it out first before I go and ask him for help.

 

Danny:Have you Googled it yet? cause if you haven’t I’m going to give you some wise response. Wise, am I going to say the word? Response. So something, I want you to do your homework, that’s always … And a part of this as well is you’re seeing in this unique experience where I’m taking some of the stuff that I do on a daily basis and hand it off to you for you to go after and there’s going to be a day where you’ll do the same. Once you come back after you graduate and you’ll come back here and take on this and then some more.

 

Oliver:Oh yeah.

 

Danny:And eventually you’ll have your marketing intern and talk them through the same.

 

Oliver:That’ll be fun.

 

Danny:That’ll be surreal. That’ll be fun, that’ll be a lot of fun. Anything else before we wrap this up at all? You looking forward to going back to school? I mean I asked you that?

 

Oliver:Yeah I am. I’m looking forward to teaching my professors a thing or two.

 

Danny:You hear that? If you’re one of his professors, he’s going to teach you a thing or two.

 

Oliver:I’m going to enjoy me being your student.

 

Danny:What classes you’re going to take this fall?

 

Oliver:One digital marketing. I considered that class before I knew I was even interning here so I’m going in there and hopefully that’s an easy A now.

 

Danny:Nice, nice.

 

Oliver:And some international marketing which would just be helpful in general. Even if we’re not marketing internationally just to understand the markets and stuff. Hoping to learn a lot of really cool things.

 

Danny:Well we have international companies. You’ve heard the meetings over in London.

 

Oliver:Companies in India too that are always Googling us.

 

Danny:Absolutely. Cool, anything else? What other classes you taking?

 

Oliver:Some generics of business finance. That’s going to be a tough one.

 

Danny:Awesome, awesome. Cool. Well good luck in your senior year, go learn lots. Thank you for continuing to help as you head back too, I appreciate you doing that.

 

Oliver:Not a problem. It’s my pleasure.

 

Danny:That’ll help pay for the Jeep.

 

Oliver:Definitely help pay for the Jeep.

 

Danny:Awesome. Well thanks for taking the time to do this, thanks for producing the podcast and for all your help this summer, appreciate it and good luck this fall.

 

Oliver:Yeah, thank you so much.

 

Danny:Thanks everybody for listening. Bye bye.

 

Additional Credits

Podcast Producer – Oliver Penegar
Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

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empty.authorSummer Recap with the Star Intern – Oliver Penegar
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The Top 10 Marketing Tools by the #1 Intern

Oliver Penegar is a Marketing intern at ThreeWill. Oliver graduated from a fine arts high school and is a rising senior in the School of Business at the College of Charleston. He has designed multiple e-commerce and informational websites. He is also certified in Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Inbound Marketing and he has produced songs, videos, and podcasts.

Danny asked me to create a list of marketing tools that I’ve enjoyed using this summer during my internship.  He created a list like this back in 2015.  Here’s my list of top ten tools.

1. WordPress

https://wordpress.org/

I’m sure WordPress is mentioned on almost every list of marketing tools out there, but for good reason. The number of options are almost overwhelming but it makes any problem manageable and all ideas possible. As soon as I started using WordPress for the first time I realized why it was so popular. You can try and test different plugins and if something doesn’t work correctly or just doesn’t accomplish what you had in mind, you can just disable the feature and move on until you have exactly what you were looking for. The support that comes with it is also super handy. With all of the different codes going into the site it is important that there is a solid foundation of support that can provide simple solutions.

2. AMP Validator Extension

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/amp-validator/nmoffdblmcmgeicmolmhobpoocbbmknc?hl=en

While this tool is specific and is only helpfully if your website uses AMP pages, it is extremely useful. Once you have it in your browser, as you navigate from web page to web page on your site you’re acting like a WebCrawler for google and it shows you what pages have an AMP version. If the pages are AMP ready but google hasn’t indexed it yet then the extension will verify it for you and google will have it indexed soon. This was extremely helpfully when our site was AMP ready but google was not getting to all our web pages.

3. Hootsuite

https://hootsuite.com/

Having both a social media presence and consistency are important factors for most companies. HootSuite provides both and is very easy to use. It’s mostly a time saver but it can also save you from mistakes. Instead of making individual posts for every form of media, one can instead make a single post and have that on all your medias. This provides for efficiency and consistency across various forms of media.  Scheduled posts are also very useful when it comes to planning future posts and then not having to worry about them, freeing up time and brainpower.

4. LastPass

https://www.lastpass.com/

LastPass is my favorite password manager but really any password manager can do the trick. With all the accounts, LastPass does a fantastic job of with organizing your information: be it different passwords and usernames, personal and work, LastPass can organize it all. Also, since it’s a browser extension the autofill feature can save copious amounts of time by automatically remembering your information even when the site has forgotten it. The extra security can give some peace of mind as well.

5. Browserstack

https://www.browserstack.com/

The importance of consistency cannot be stressed enough and not have the consistency you want can, itself, be stressful. Browserstack is great because with just a few tests you can know for sure where your consistency lies with all the different devices today’s society uses. For example, you could enter your homepage and get a preview of how your visitors might be seeing your company. It’s clear how that can be super useful.

6. Google Analytics

https://analytics.google.com/

Knowing how your visitors are interacting and behaving with your website is extremely useful information. While being certified in Analytics is beneficial, it is also fairly easy to use. I use it daily for seeing if mobile use is up and for seeing if certain pages are performing better than others. The amount of information is endless, you just have to be able to look at the information with a critical eye to know what is most beneficial.

7. Shutterstock

https://www.shutterstock.com/

This provides all the pictures you would ever need. Shutterstock has plenty of professional looking photos that are all licensed which eliminates the risk of using a photo that could lead to copyright issues. It lets you choose your size which saves a lot of time when it comes to making a photo fit a page without distorting the image.

8. Google AdWords

https://accounts.google.com/

Where would a better place for an ad to show up than on the most used search engine?  Nowhere. Google is easily the most sought-after place for an ad to appear and AdWords makes it simple. Google will optimize your bidding strategies, pick up on trends and recommend promising keywords for each campaign.

9. Wunderlist

https://www.wunderlist.com/

Simple and satisfying is the best way to describe Wunderlist. Whether you have a lot of to-dos or just a few, it really helps keep you on track with assigning due dates, tasks and helpful comments. Personally, my favorite part is the satisfying ding when I check off an item.

10. Adobe Audition

http://www.adobe.com/products/audition.html

I have to do a lot of music and sound editing and with that simple is not the way to go. I need to be able to customize the tiniest details and Audition is perfect. There is almost no end to what you can do and create with this application. All though it takes a while to get the hang of it, the precision it provides you makes it well worth the time to learn.

So there’s my list – what tools would you add?  Leave a comment below…

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Oliver PenegarThe Top 10 Marketing Tools by the #1 Intern
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ThreeWill’s Atlanta Braves Company Event

Oliver Penegar is a Marketing intern at ThreeWill. Oliver graduated from a fine arts high school and is a rising senior in the School of Business at the College of Charleston. He has designed multiple e-commerce and informational websites. He is also certified in Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Inbound Marketing and he has produced songs, videos, and podcasts.

This past Saturday, ThreeWill had a company outing at an Atlanta Braves game at the new SunTrust Park and it was a blast. With nearly 100% of people showing up plus families, we had quite the crowd cheering on the hometown team. With seats in the shade, being close to food and the game, the first round of refreshments already paid for, even the non-baseball fans couldn’t help but have an enjoyable time. Add a win for the Braves (7-1) and the ThreeWill company event was a complete success.

This was my first company outing, first MLB game and first Tomahawk chop which made for quite the experience. Being the newest member, I got the chance to meet some of the ThreeWill family I hadn’t meet before and catch up with familiar faces. I’d always heard horror stories about company events (mostly from TV & movies) but when everyone gets along as well as ThreeWill does, it can be nothing but friendly and fun. I will admit, baseball has never been my favorite sport to watch but, never the less, I was excited just to be amongst the crowd, cheering with the rest of the fans. As soon as the first Braves home run and I’m standing alongside everyone with a beer in one hand and a tomahawk in the other, I realized I wasn’t next to the fans, I was a fan! Not only was the game great, but so was our vantage point. No matter how big a fan of America’s favorite pastime you are, no one wants to sit in the Georgia sun for 3 hours or the possible the rain that was forecasted for the game. Luckily ThreeWill was prepared for both with covered seats and still close enough to catch possible fly balls. The bonus was that they were also a few feet away from the vendors and restrooms which kept the time away from the game to the minimum. Since this was my first game it was important to me that I could see as much as possible and spend time getting to know other members of ThreeWill.

I had always heard an adage that claimed that the most important part of a business is the people.  I cannot think of a better way to get to know people in the ThreeWill team than by watching one of the most beloved team sports in America. The environment of the day was perfect for furthering the connections I have with the other members of ThreeWill, while forging some new connections as well. Overall, this company outing not only made me a baseball fan, but it also helped me get to know all the wonderful people that I get to work with and learn from. The game ended in a win in more ways than one!

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Oliver PenegarThreeWill’s Atlanta Braves Company Event
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What Do We Look for in New Hires?

Tim is a Senior Consultant at ThreeWill. He has 15 years of consulting experience designing and developing browser-based solutions using Microsoft technologies. Experience over the last 8 years has focused on the design and implementation of SharePoint Intranets, Extranets and Public Sites.
Danny:Hello, and welcome to the ThreeWill podcast. This is your host, Danny Ryan. I’m here with Tim Coalson. Tim, how’s it going?

 

Tim:It’s going good, Danny.

 

Danny:Good. Another quarter’s past. It’s amazing how quickly three months can go by, huh?

 

Tim:Time to talk again.

 

Danny:Time to talk again. You don’t want to write a blog post? No? You don’t want to sit around for a couple hours, just looking at a blank screen and saying, “What have I been doing lately?” What have you been doing lately? Same project that we’ve talked about a couple times, right?

 

Tim:I have been, I have been. So, today, I actually thought I would sort of switch gears from a technical topic and really more one, I guess, kind of HR related.

 

Danny:That’s great.

 

Tim:Recently, I was at a function and sat next to a guy. As you know me, I don’t meet a stranger, so I started talking to the young man-

 

Danny:Everyone knows Tim Coalson. I’ve learned that.

 

Tim:I realized this guy, he’s an IT guy, so I start talking to him about what he’s doing, and it just so happened he’s into the technologies that we’re using, so, as is my normal course, I start asking him does he like what he’s doing, and just … And tell him a little bit about our company. When I see people like this I’m excited to tell them what we’re doing, and if the opportunity arises that they are looking for a new opportunity to give us a call.

 

So, I told him about our company, and then followed up with him, and most recently we had lunch together with this young man along with one of our managers, just to get a sense for what’s this person about; what are their interests, because one thing we know is important for anyone that we want to potentially hire is one, that we’re always looking for what is that person’s passion? And, of course, then, looking for what do our customers need, and where those two intersect, and you got a great combination of the passion, and the need, and they come together. So, it turned out, from our discussion with this young guy, he’s a very motivated person. Seems like a person of integrity, so we were excited to get to know more about him, so we’re going to continue on through that interview process.

 

But that sort of got me thinking about what are really the types of characteristics of people that we want at ThreeWill? First of all, we want to make sure that they know who we are. We’re not trying to hire someone under some sort of deception, making them think we’re something we’re not, because we know long term, they’re going to come here and they’re not going to be happy if their expectation wasn’t set. So, we like to be very transparent in, okay, this is who we are, this is what our values are, and does that align with your interests?

 

So, for me, that’s always very important, that we make sure that people know who we are. We’re looking for long term relationships. We enjoy and value working together for a long time. One, there’s you enjoy it, but then two, there’s a benefit, because as you work together more, you learn each other’s strengths, your weaknesses you learn to mitigate those things that aren’t as strong, and accentuate the areas where people are the strongest. So, we definitely believe a long term relationship is best, not only for us as a company, but really, long term for our customers.

 

Danny:I think one of the places I often send people to on our website is there’s a culture page where it goes through what our shared values are, and a lot of it’s tough, because there’s overlapping values with what a lot of people would say that they have as internal values, but you sort of … You’ll find out if people live them day in and day out, and one of the things that I put on that page was a person who represented that value. It wasn’t necessarily the best person to represent that value, but some person who sort of reminded me of that value.

 

Of course, like everything, like all my writing that goes on when I’m … I suggested a quote that they put … They may or may have not modified what the quote is, but it’s a good place for you to go sort of see what is it … When we say that, what’s it like to be at ThreeWill, what do we sort of share as we’re making decisions together as a group. I think the way that you do it is you talk about your shared values.

 

Tim:Yeah, one of the … As I thought more about this, I realized that the actual technical skills really was fairly low on my list, because I think you can find a lot people out there with technical skills. It’s really a matter of, like you just said, from a culture perspective, will that person fit in, because there’s a lot of people with a lot of skills, but there’s not a lot of people who communicate well, who are humble, who are team players. A lot of times, people really are sort of out to their ego. They like to feed their ego on either the code the write, or something else, and that’s really not what we’re all about.

 

Even our compensation is structured in a way that only when the team has success does the individual get the bonuses, or the compensations. So, it’s really more about what we as a team can do together, not what me as an individual can do. Whether or not my peers do good or not, we’re incented to work together, and I think generally, the people we hire, that’s what they’re all about. They’re all about teamwork, so part of that involves a certain amount of humility, that when there’s areas of a project that maybe I’m not as strong in, and I think I need help, the willingness to ask one of my peers for their input, for their feedback. So, certainly being a team player is a big part of our culture, as well as humility.

 

Of course, with consulting in general, good communication skills. You got to be able to set expectations with your customers. We don’t want customers to be surprised by anything, which part of our process involves one or two weeks sprints, so we’re regularly communicating to our customers, usually on a daily basis, but even if not on a daily basis, at least a week or two at the minimum, to keep them up to speed on where we are on our projects. So, we want to make sure that customers aren’t surprised by anything, that we keep them up to date on a regular basis that they’re involved in the process of understanding, okay, here’s what the concerns are, here’s what the risks are, here’s what our options are. Let’s make a choice and move forward.

 

So, being able to articulate that to a customer and being able to keep expectations, that is certainly important to our customers, as well as internally, to be able to share where are you at on whatever pieces of the project you’re working on. So, good communication’s certainly a big part of it.

 

Danny:Excellent. What else were some of the other things?

 

Tim:We’re really about solving business problems. I mean, technology is not the end, technology’s a means to an end. So, for us, it’s making sure we have people that really, it’s not about trying to continue to pad their resume by learning new technologies just for the sake of learning new technologies, but to really be focused on solving our customers’ business problems, helping them be able to collaborate, work together, be more successful. So, just finding someone that really solving the problem is their goal, and technology is just a means to that end, not the end itself.

 

Danny:Excellent, excellent. I’m just interested, because you were talking about this earlier, which was you were … I guess you were … What’s the first couple things that you say about working at ThreeWill? Not to put you on the spot, but how do you describe the environment here?

 

Tim:Yeah, for me, I guess part of it is just in contrast to hearing other people talk about their jobs. For me, we have a open door policy, so I’m constantly talking. Being a relatively small company, I’m always talking to the leaders of our company, so I don’t have a lot of bureaucracy, this management structure that I have to go through to talk about things, or express any concerns. So, it’s a very transparent environment. To me, I enjoy that piece, just being part of what really is a team, where we do work together. It’s not about one person, about what they can accomplish, but it’s really about teamwork and about how together we can help our customers be successful.

 

Danny:One of the things along with that, and it’s just sort of a side note, we hear a lot during the monthly company meetings about sort of how the pipeline is, how we’re doing as a business. It’s interesting, because I think what Tommy and I … We want to share what we can, but we also don’t want you guys to worry about certain things. You have do this on projects as well, right? You want the client to be informed, but you don’t want them to not worry about … They don’t have to worry about certain things.

 

Tim:Right, there’s technical details at times that really, a customer can’t help with, so there’s really no need to … We involve them to the extent that they can make a difference. We don’t want to unnecessarily burden a customer with things that are really outside their scope of influence, so … Certainly, if it is within their scope, then we want to be transparent and let them know about whatever the risk is, and tell them what we think the options are, and of course, get their opinion as well. Then together, come up with what’s the best path forward.

 

Danny:I think with us it’s just the things that you can control, or at least have some control over, is … I know you’ve been on a project for a while, but I think this is sort of why we look at utilization, because it’s the one … You can’t really control that much what your bill rate is, but you can look at the project and look for ways that you can help out on the project, and trying to grow what you’re doing, or take on new things on the project. That’s sort of the one area where you have … At least could have the potential to make decisions, and to maybe build up a skill, or be able to apply yourself to be able to make a difference. So, yes. It’s interesting to see how that factors in, yeah.

 

Tim:One of the things I think about, particularly as I talk to young people, is I think with our company, most of us are pretty seasoned veterans. I mean, I’ve been doing consulting now since … I’ve been doing IT since 1988. I’ve been doing consulting since around 2000, so that’s what, about 17 years? So, as you talk about developers versus consultants, there’s a big gap in there where I view a developer as someone that is really all about writing code, whereas a consultant is really about understanding the business, understanding the people, helping define what this application should look like, and helping define the requirements.

 

It’s a much broader, bigger communication piece, and then there’s, of course, the management to make sure the right things get done at the right time. That way, come the end of the project, then everything’s in order. So, as I talk to young people, I just think of all the experience that they can gather here at ThreeWill by working with more seasoned consultants to learn some of the … They may know the technology pieces. In fact, they might even know some newer technologies than we’ve actually used, but the piece that we can help them with is the consulting part. They can learn how to better manage a project.

 

I hear so much about failed projects, and we rarely, if ever, have those here at ThreeWill, because we manage things so tightly, I just don’t see that happening, but I hear statistically that how many IT projects fail, and it kind of blows my mind, just thinking about how much time and money’s been wasted on that. So, for us, the agile process is just so important to make sure that we do stay on track; that our customers are making decisions all along the way; that together, that we can be successful.

 

Danny:Anything else to add before we wrap up here?

 

Tim:I think that’s it.

 

Danny:Awesome. Well, I appreciate you taking some time out of your busy schedule, and you’ll continue to be on the same project for a while now, or …

 

Tim:Right now I think we’re to the end of the year. We’ve got signed contracts, or soon-to-be signed contracts. It’s great to work on the same project and to see it continue to mature over time.

 

Danny:That’s great, and I appreciate you staying on … You’re sort of the … You know what’s going on here at ThreeWill. I think Tommy and I rely on you, just sort of getting a sense of what’s going on inside of ThreeWill, and I appreciate your … Because you honestly care about other people, and it shows, and it really comes out. So, we appreciate just who you are as a person, and how much you care about other people. It is more than what we’re doing on projects, it’s just the human, being able to relate with other people and being able to really care for other people, and you’re really good at that, and we really appreciate you, Tim.

 

Tim:Thank you, Danny.

 

Danny:Absolutely. Thanks, everybody. Looks like we’re slowly getting more and more softer as we talk, and we go along. We’ll see if I can fix that, but oh well. Thank you, everybody, for taking the time to listen. Obviously, if you’re interested in ThreeWill, it’s a great place to be, it’s a nice … It’s a great culture here. It’s a consulting environment, so it’s pretty fast-paced, but it’s a place that Tommy and I really want to be a place that you love to work at, and so if you’re interested in learning more, come to threewill.com. Underneath the company section of our website, you’ll see something about our culture. Go into there and sort of look at what different people at ThreeWill say about working at ThreeWill. It’s a good place to start, and you can also see job openings, and start the whole application process on the website. So, definitely drop by, see if there’s any openings that look like something you’d be interested in doing. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen. Have a wonderful day. Thank you. Buh-bye.

 

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Tim CoalsonWhat Do We Look for in New Hires?
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From the Docks of Charleston to a Desk in Alpharetta

Oliver Penegar is a Marketing intern at ThreeWill. Oliver graduated from a fine arts high school and is a rising senior in the School of Business at the College of Charleston. He has designed multiple e-commerce and informational websites. He is also certified in Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Inbound Marketing and he has produced songs, videos, and podcasts.

Having everything on autopilot, built into a routine and then suddenly getting the guts to grab control and pull up to new altitude is something most of you reading this will have already experienced. However, a sudden life flip, for better or worse, was new for me. This is how ThreeWill leveled me off and had me flying higher than ever.

Born, raised and still currently living in Charleston, enrolled in college with a part-time job working on the water, I was as comfortable as a person could be in their hometown. Having just moved out of my apartment, within a week I found myself packed back up and driving out of state in my Oldsmobile. Along the way, I was calling friends and telling them “Sorry, I can’t this summer, I have an opportunity that I won’t pass up” hoping I wasn’t making a mistake.

The first day, I’m excited and crazy nervous but within minutes of stepping into ThreeWill, the nerves faded away to just pure excitement. I listen to Mr. Danny describe the good, the bad, and the ugly about my new job all I can think it “That all sounded like good stuff!”. My new coworkers took no time to welcome me into the team and I’m proud to be a part of it. Even though I’m only in my first week I know for sure this opportunity was worth every cost.

This Internship incorporates my academic studies with my other interests in an already well set up system. I get to experience the inner workings of ThreeWill and see the individual gears that make it run efficiently. From using a great website, full of content such as blogs and podcast, to going to events to get our message and what we can do out there, I have the opportunity to play a hand in most of it. Already I’ve learned so much about understanding data and how we can apply it to increase our customers and partners’ satisfaction, along with so much more. I’ve only had the chance to glance into ThreeWill but every day is full of new and exciting projects. All the risk I took has been rewarded in full for this opportunity to intern at ThreeWill and I look forward to spending the rest of summer working hard here.

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Oliver PenegarFrom the Docks of Charleston to a Desk in Alpharetta
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Where Does the Name ThreeWill Come From?

Tommy serves as the President at ThreeWill. In this role, he works with his leadership team to hire the best people, find the right business opportunities, and ensure that ThreeWill delivers for our clients on projects.
Danny Ryan:Hello and welcome to the ThreeWill podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan. I’m here with Tommy Ryan, my brother. How’s it going Tommy?

 

Tommy Ryan:Wonderful, just wonderful.

 

Danny Ryan:Okay, back away from the mic. Thank you. Thank you for stepping into the mic. Looking down, it’s a Friday. Did you wear special socks today? Let’s see what you got.

 

Tommy Ryan:These are my favorites.

 

Danny Ryan:Those are nice, nice, warm colors, I’m still doing my little conservative at the bottom, a little crazy at the top. We’re getting them real. Today, fun topic. Talk about where did we come up with the name of ThreeWill. I think it’ll speak a little bit to when we started the company out, what was founding values, those types of things. I guess, typically when people ask this, you hand this over to me to answer. I’ll take the initial cut and then you’ll follow up with some of your take on it as well.

 

When we were putting together the business plan for ThreeWill we kept on running into the number three, just kept on noticing that. It’s one of those things that … It’s funny. When the kids were doing a play … Now I’m going to blank at the word. Three’s The Magic Number, was one of the songs. Talked a lot about how things come in threes. That was the initial thing that started us off. We talked a lot about people, process, technology. That was one of the core things. That’s really, when you look at being successful in any venture in life, there’s sort of a who, the what and how that you have to address in order to be successful.

 

We kept on coming back to that and then one of our core values that we had was free will. We wanted to create a place that people were excited to be there. It wasn’t … Get rid of this whole idea of you’ve got a boss, you’re coming in and can’t wait until Friday. Really, people wanted to come in and really serve other people. That was fundamental to what we wanted to do, so one of our shared values was free will. Of course, I went out and, where every good idea for me comes from, which is, I was out on a run and I thought hey, why don’t I combine some of the things that we’ve been talking about into a new word that might have the domain name available.

 

Went out there and searched for ThreeWill.com and it was available. It just sort of summarized what I thought we were doing when we were stepping off to create this new venture. We originally talked about Ryan Solutions. What was it, Ryan Brothers? Just some different ideas based on our last name, but we wanted to be a little bit bigger than, hey, it’s the Danny and Tommy Ryan show. It’s really not. It’s about the people who are here and the clients that we serve. What do you have to add to that? Was that a perfect summary?

 

Tommy Ryan:That’s a great summary.

 

Danny Ryan:Thanks.

 

Tommy Ryan:We can finish right here if you like.

 

Danny Ryan:No. People will turn it off now. They’re all done. You answered the question, so move on. Anything else?

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, a couple of things. I think you said at the end there that we didn’t pick Ryan Solutions, something that you might say some consulting groups will do that. Especially in law firms where it’s like Drew, Eckel and Farnum. Some combination of people’s last names that were the founders of the company. I think we looked at it as more of how can we leave a legacy as a company? One of my biggest goals is can ThreeWill last beyond the Ryan brothers? To name it Ryan Solutions, it can last to be honest, but I think the intent is there’s a bigger purpose there than just two guys.

 

That there is a certain vision and value that people want to stand behind and be a part of, to speak to more the core principles and shared values of the organization was much more appropriate. You’re more creative than that. You’ve got the ability to think about things that are beyond the first thought in ways to combine things together. You love the name. The name is so positive, three and will. Both of those, you think of good things, very positive things. We even had people think about us being a religious organization because of three and because of free will. There’s a very, I think, Christian or you could even say, broader than Christian principles, that’s that number three. Also, I look at it as anything that is going to stand up, you need that three-legged stool.

 

Danny Ryan:Yes, absolutely.

 

Tommy Ryan:To have concepts, a lot of the things that we do usually comes in pairs or three. That number is important to us. It speaks beyond, I think, the people process and technology. Those are the appropriate budget buckets for us to think about how to reorganize around our business, how to explain what’s important to us, is through that people, process and technology. In taking it through that progression of, when we think about someone joining ThreeWill, people is the most important part of that. That’s the first litmus test is to say, “Is this a person that’s right for ThreeWill?” Then process, how do we get things done together as a team who’ll work together better? It comes through good process. Then, technology is where most of these folks are very passionate about. To have those three things tied together and is integral to the name of the company, I think it’s really important to us.

 

Danny Ryan:Has the name changed, the meaning for it changed through the years? How have … Let me start off with that question. It’s been pretty consistent for you as far as what ThreeWill means to you.

 

Tommy Ryan:It’s been consistent. That’s the nice thing about it is I don’t think the way we describe ThreeWill as, you know, where did that name come from? That story has stayed the same since day one. We haven’t really had to embellish it. It is what it is. It’s people, process and technology and our most important shared value. I don’t think it’s just one of them. I think it’s the most important one, which is people choosing to come to ThreeWill to make a difference. It’s more of a carrot mentality type organization versus a carrot and a stick balance or just a stick balance. I think we put so much energy into the carrot side of what we do that you don’t need the stick. There’s situations where you have that, but it’s really pretty much exception to the rule. We have such high expectations of other people, that many people just raise up to the avocation of doing the best they can with their abilities and their skills.

 

Danny Ryan:As you know, I’m an INFP and INFP’s are constantly looking for meaning in their life. I think I like it because it gives a bigger reason why we’re doing what we’re doing. I think it’s … I just like that it’s a constant reminder of us that we’re choosing to be here. We have one of the best gifts from God is our free will, is our ability to choose. On a daily basis, we can make that decision. For me, just having the name of the company being that reminder that’s there for you, that’s been really good for me.

 

It just sort of keeps pulling me back to the, okay, in this whatever I’m up against, I have the God given ability to make a decision here. Am I going to make the best decision based on the information that I have or what I feel like my conscience was guiding me to or what I feel like God’s calling me to? It’s just part of this culture that’s here, that we all are. We have free will and then some of the other shared values are responsibility and teamwork, which I think backs that whole value up as well. Balances well is one of them and we have that leading value and then, along with that, have a lot of other shared values which emphasize different aspects of free will.

 

Tommy Ryan:I think what’s nice about free will and the rest of our values is, I think it’s integral to our personal life. I think we don’t bring on a different mindset when we come to work. It’s really just who we are as individuals that the “whole choose to succeed.” I know that tagline, we used to have on our business cards, along with the logo. I still think that rings true. We have “work together better.” I think that’s more towards what do we do versus who we are. That “choose to succeed,” gosh, it just rings through the people at ThreeWill.

 

We went to our company meeting this morning and look at all the projects that were going, that are going on. We probably have a project per person, basically. Three teams that someone would be a part of and it’s just the nature of what’s going on now. It’s just amazing to see. We’re not forcing people to do what here at ThreeWill. People that rise to the occasion of, “I’ve got a challenge here and I want to meet that challenge.” It puts a heavy responsibility on us to say how do we balance that? How do we keep that balance? We’re going to be out of balance every once in a while, but when we’re out of balance, making the efforts to bring it back into balance.

 

Danny Ryan:I wanted to talk, before we rap this up, was to talk a little bit about the logo, which our first logo, I think, was the biohazard. It was the whole Venn diagram of the three circles and focusing in on that center portion of the circle and the technology.

 

Tommy Ryan:Technically is correct. It’s just visually-

 

Danny Ryan:Visually, it just made you want to run for the hills. From a marketing standpoint, I was bright enough to say, “Okay, well, maybe you need to move to something else.” Then we went to one that was more like the three pillars. We had a logo that I liked that took what we … I would remind people of the name. We took the T and the W, put them together and created what I thought was a nice little badge. Then, within the last five or so years, have a new version of the logo that we worked on and really is emphasizing, you can see three people. The interaction between three people, which we’re very into creating collaborative applications. The whole “how are we working together with other people?” I’m trying to tie that together. You can distinctly see three people. I also like the idea of, I think for me personally, is when we interact with other people, we’re not just responsible for that other person.

 

Not to get all religious on you, we’re also responsible to God as well. There’s always a third person involved in every relationship that we have. For instance, with our spouses and everybody that we interact with. We not only have a working with them, but we also have a relationship with God which I like. That’s sort of a reminder for me. Then, if people don’t pick this up with the logo or the badge currently and, I’ll actually take a couple of pictures of this, but if you take our logo and turn it sideways, you have one and then an ellipsis and then three, which is, how does one turn into three?

 

It’s a whole idea … I hate the over used word of synergy, but of how do you make one plus one equals three? How do you make something larger than itself, when you’re adding two things together. I think, for us, there is always that thought in the back of our mind of, How are we able to do these projects where, basically one project per person, and there are multiple projects? How are we more than ourselves? How were we able to do this with other team members? I know starting out the company, I think one of the things I was most excited about was what we were able to do on small teams. We were able to multiply what we were able to do as individuals on teams. You know that great feeling that you have when you’re on a team and you’re able to produce so much more working together, with just a couple of other folks. That excited me as we started this whole thing out.

 

Tommy Ryan:We always value that small, effective teams mindset for us. To go into projects humbly confident in a way that we can work with the other individuals on the project. Where sometimes, it could be threatening to your client to work with someone on their team, where, oh, they bring in the consultants. A lot of times it gets put in the hands of the consultants. You go do it, take care of it. We really push very hard towards it being a team effort. Some customers don’t want to do that, but we do our best to get them involved as much as possible, because we know that’s where one plus one equals three, is it being an effort that they’re involved along the way. We’re able to create something that goes beyond just a solution, but something that they’re bought into, that they’re proud of, that they’re … They stick behind, when it gets launched and it goes out into their environments.

 

Danny Ryan:Well, it’s been, these 15, almost 16, I guess we’re working on that, 16 years now. We haven’t had to rename the company. That’s success that we at least start and … I think that is we started off with something that, the whole traditional Salesforce naming itself Salesforce, but it’s so many different things nowadays. I think taking something that’s more of a concept and this is our guiding principle, has helped us stay away from, “Oh my gosh, yeah, 16 years ago we started off doing this, but now we’re doing this.”

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, like SharePoint Solutions. If we named ourselves something like that, then we’d have to rebrand as we look at things beyond SharePoint.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah. It’s served us well. It’s been nice. Some day, I want to have, we have to have some sort of a mascot. We’ve gone through the whole whale as-

 

Tommy Ryan:Free Willy?

 

Danny Ryan:I think that’s a movie and I think someone owns the copyright to that. We have to talk to Time-Warner about that, but that’s always a possibility.

 

Tommy Ryan:They’re merging with one of our big customers. Maybe we’ll have some leverage there.

 

Danny Ryan:“What is this whole part in this contract where you’re asking for this name Willy and a whale? What does that mean?” Just sign it, just sign it. It’s okay, it’s okay. Just sign it and then we’ll have a whale all over our website. Which, a whale’s a good connotation, because a whale is going, from a project standpoint, is going after something really big.

 

Tommy Ryan:Yeah, we go after the whales.

 

Danny Ryan:We go after the whales. Not shy of that. It’s not bad a mascot at all. We’re working on that. Course, Linda gave me the little Free Willy that I often have here in my office. That’s the little whale. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to do this today. It’s often good just to go back to the roots. I had one, I think Haley was working on something a couple of months ago, and Amy came to me and she was like, “Where does the name ThreeWill come from?” Well, I answer that all the time, but I just didn’t have anywhere to point to on the website. Now we have a page we can point her to.

 

You mentioned humble confidence. Maybe we can cover that. I think that we could talk for a while about that.

 

Tommy Ryan:I love that. I love humble confidence.

 

Danny Ryan:I think it’s a balancing thing. How are you confident and how are you humble at the same time? I really think that’s one of the things that … I’m surprised that we don’t .. We talk about that when we talk about our values, but our people we, that’s a consistent theme that we have. Something we keep on coming back to, so I’d like to talk about that next week.

 

Tommy Ryan:Okay.

 

Danny Ryan:Well, thanks you everybody for taking the time to do this. I’ll take a couple snapshots of the logo and show it sideways. People are always surprised to see that. I really appreciate you taking the time to learn a little bit more about ThreeWill, and where we came from, and what we’re passionate about. Thank you for taking the time to listen to this today. Thank you Tom.

 

Tommy Ryan:You’re welcome Danny.

 

Danny Ryan:Have a great day everyone. Bye-bye.

 

Tommy Ryan:Bye-bye.

 

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Tommy RyanWhere Does the Name ThreeWill Come From?
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Using ADFS Auth with SharePoint

Lane is a Senior Software Engineer for ThreeWill. He is a strong technology expert with a focus on programming, network and hardware design, and requirements and capacity planning. He has an exceptional combination of technical and communication skills.

We’ve cherry-picked internal Yammer conversations that might be helpful to the community – this one comes from Lane Goolsby about using ADFS Auth with SharePoint.

[Original Yammer Post – Lane Goolsby – June 6 at 10:27am]

I learned something recently that frankly I am surprised I have never ran into before. Since we are starting to do more Single Page Apps (SPA) I figured I would share as it may have impacts to design and architecture, and certainly impacts implementation with SPA.

If you are using ADFS auth with SharePoint, when a user is authenticated they are provided the Fed Auth cookie as we all have seen one time or another. However, what isn’t readily apparent is that the fed auth cookie only lasts for an hour – period. Now, the user’s session with ADFS is good for up to 8 hours with ADFS (by default) but every 60 minutes (again, by default) the user’s browser will get a HTTP 302 redirect from SP back to ADFS to refresh the auth token.

The 60 minute timeout for the session token is not a sliding session. Meaning, if the user is clicking around and ‘doing stuff’ in SP the token is not updated to [Now + 60]. So in theory a user could click around for 59 minutes then try to upload a file at 60:01 and will have to get a new auth token from ADFS. This doesn’t appear to be too bad if the user is working from within the browser since the browser handles the redirects gracefully and ADFS has some tricks in place to handle form POST data on the return trip to SP.

However, if the action taken at 60:01 is a GET or POST made from $http or $.ajax, then things go all crab. This is because the redirect response from SP ends up throwing a monkey wrench into the equation.

[Kirk Liemohn – June 6 at 11:19am]

Thanks for raising this issue. @Brandon Holloway, you may want to include a test case for this.

[Lane Goolsby – June 9 at 6:11pm]

I am still researching ways to address this but as of right now there are only two viable ‘fixes’ I can find. The first is to enable sliding sessions in SP via PoSh (there are few examples if you Google for it). The second fix is probably the ideal fix but is also the most complicated (I suspect). In short, make the JavaScript code smart enough to chase the redirects. I have found anecdotal evidence that browsers should actually handle all of this automagically (at least for $http) but so far this does not actually appear to be the case.

After spending most of the past couple days looking at this I think I have the root cause clearly understood. The issue is when the AJAX call is made to one of the SP REST endpoints but the token has reached its 60 minute threshold, SP issues a HTTP redirect response code back to ADFS. The problem is this triggers the CORS routines within the browser. IF ADFS used IIS instead of http.sys this wouldn’t be a big deal and we could just add the CORS headers to ADFS to allow the preflighting to pass. But alas. I am still trying to find a viable solution, but so far all the ideas we have thought of either don’t work or are sub optimal.

[Lane Goolsby – June 13 at 3:28pm]

So after dealing with this for what seems like an eternity I have two viable solutions identified.

Option 1: Enable sliding as I mentioned before. There are security risks with this approach so highly advised against if traffic is going over the internet or content is sensitive.

Option 2: Use a reverse proxy between ADFS and the browsers to inject the Access-Control-Allow-Origin header into all responses. I used IIS as reverse proxy using the URL Rewrite module and added the HTTP headers in IIS. This is probably not a viable production configuration, but you should be able to lock it down to make it ready for prime time.

Links you will likely need:
http://weblogs.asp.net/owscott/creating-a-reverse-proxy-with-url-rewrite-for-iis
http://www.carlosag.net/articles/enable-cors-access-control-allow-origin.cshtml
http://www.iis.net/learn/extensions/url-rewrite-module/modifying-http-response-headers
https://www.tylenol.com/

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Lane GoolsbyUsing ADFS Auth with SharePoint