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Another ThreeWill Client Wins Best Intranet of the Year

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Last year ThreeWill client Cadwalader was one of the winners of the Best Intranets of 2016.  Another ThreeWill client, Goodwill, has won the same award for 2017.

The user-experience research firm Nielsen Norman Group announced the winners of the Intranet Design Award for 2017.    Among the winners for Best Intranet was ThreeWill’s client Goodwill (Press Release).  The winning intranets were chosen by expert review based on design and usability from an international field of submissions.

ThreeWill worked with Goodwill to design SharePoint dashboards for managing and reporting on sales, people, donations, square footage and other financial information.  ThreeWill also performed a health check on their SharePoint environment . They were having some issues with their hosting provider and asked us to take a look at their farm and make recommendations for stability.

ThreeWill was referred to Goodwill by another client, St. Francis Hospital, based on our experience and knowledge of SharePoint.

ThreeWill, a Microsoft Gold partner based out of Atlanta,  helps teams work together better by building solutions on SharePoint using an agile process.

Learn more about Goodwill – http://www.goodwill.org/ .

Read more details and purchase the report here – https://www.nngroup.com/reports/intranet-design-annual/.

Contact us today about building an award winning SharePoint initiative for your company.

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Danny RyanAnother ThreeWill Client Wins Best Intranet of the Year
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How to Assign ThreeWill as Your Office 365 Partner of Record

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Over the last 15 years we’ve been fortunate to help hundreds of customers.  If you’re a customer of ThreeWill and you want to do us a huge favor, please assign us as your Partner of Record.  This enables us to keep our Gold Certification and to serve you better because we have more resources from Microsoft to help you on projects.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Add ThreeWill as Your Partner of Record

  1. Go to the Office Customer Portal at https://portal.office.com/adminportal/home#/homepage.
  2. Log into your account using your user name and password.
  3. In the left navigation pane, select Billing, then Subscriptions (screenshot).
  4. Select your subscription and click on More actions in the bottom right corner under the price per user/month.
  5. In the More actions drop down menu, click on Add Partner of Record. This is where you will attach their Partner of Record (screenshot)
  6. Enter 566560 for the Microsoft Partner ID.
  7. Click Check ID to verify ThreeWill and Click Add this partner to all of your subscriptions without an associated partner.
  8. Click Submit to complete assigning their Partner of Record (screenshot).
  9. After you customer assign us as your Partner of Record, we will receive an email notification that lets us know that we have been assigned as the Partner of Record.

To Change or Remove Your Partner of Record

  1. Follow steps 1 to 5 outlined above.
  2. In the More actions drop down menu, click on Edit Partner of Record.
  3. On the Partner information local pane, the Partner of Record ID assigned to the subscription will be shown. Click the “X” inside of the field to remove it.
  4. Click Submit. The Partner of Record has now been removed for this account and the subscription no longer has a Partner of Record.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a Partner of Record?

The Partner of Record for an Office 365, CRM Online, or Azure subscription is the partner who is helping the customer design, build, deploy or manage a solution that they’ve built on the service. It is not the partner who sold the subscription.

What are the benefits of specifying a Partner of Record?

Customers benefit because it provides the partner access to usage and consumption data, so they can provide better service and help customers optimize their usage for their desired business outcomes.

Who can attach a Digital Partner of Record?

The administrator role, also known as the owner, is the only role within the customer’s tenant or account that can attach a Digital Partner of Record. Service admins, co-admins, and partners designated as delegated admins do not have the ability to change the Partner of Record.

When should a Partner of Record be added to a for Office 365, CRM Online, or Azure subscription?

Microsoft recommends a Partner of Record be assigned to subscriptions right away. Partners of Record can also be assigned for Azure subscriptions in the admin portal for that service.

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Danny RyanHow to Assign ThreeWill as Your Office 365 Partner of Record
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How to Assign ThreeWill as Your Azure Partner of Record

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Over the last 15 years we’ve been fortunate to help hundreds of customers.  If you’re a customer of ThreeWill and you want to do us a huge favor, please assign us as your Partner of Record.  This enables us to keep our Gold Certification and to serve you better because we have more resources from Microsoft to help you on projects.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Add ThreeWill as Your Partner of Record

  1. Go to the Microsoft Azure Portal at http://azure.microsoft.com/.
  2. Click on the My Account icon on the upper middle of the screen.
  3. Click on Usage and Billing.
  4. Log into your account using your user name and password.
  5. In the left navigation pane, select Subscriptions.
  6. On the Summary Subscription Page, click on Partner Information on the right navigation. This is where you will attach your Partner of Record.
  7. Enter 566560 for the Partner ID.
  8. Click Check ID to verify ThreeWill.
  9. Click Submit to complete assigning their Partner of Record.
  10. After you customer assign us as your Partner of Record, we will receive an email notification that lets us know that we have been assigned as the Partner of Record.

To Change or Remove Your Partner of Record

  1. Following the steps outlined above, log into the Microsoft Azure Portal.
  2. On the Summary Subscription Page, click on Partner Information on the right navigation.
  3. Highlight the Partner of Record field and delete the Partner of Record shown in that field.
  4. Click the check box. You have now removed the Partner of Record for this account and your subscription no longer has a Partner of Record.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a Partner of Record?

The Partner of Record for an Office 365, CRM Online, or Azure subscription is the partner who is helping the customer design, build, deploy or manage a solution that they’ve built on the service. It is not the partner who sold the subscription.

What are the benefits of specifying a Partner of Record?

Customers benefit because it provides the partner access to usage and consumption data, so they can provide better service and help customers optimize their usage for their desired business outcomes.

Who can attach a Digital Partner of Record?

The administrator role, also known as the owner, is the only role within the customer’s tenant or account that can attach a Partner of Record. Service admins, co-admins, and partners designated as delegated admins do not have the ability to change the Partner of Record.

When should a Partner of Record be added to a for Office 365, CRM Online, or Azure subscription?

Microsoft recommends a Partner of Record be assigned to subscriptions right away. Partners of Record can also be assigned for Office 365 subscriptions in the admin portal for that service.

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Danny RyanHow to Assign ThreeWill as Your Azure Partner of Record
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What Makes a Great Stakeholder?

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 and I have Tommy Ryan here with me, my co-host. How are you doing Tom?

 

Tommy Ryan:Doing well Danny.

 

Danny Ryan:Great. We’re trying a new format where we’re standing up. That seems to be the theme.

 

Tommy Ryan:That’s the theme around here. Stand up; stand-up desk, stand-up podcast.

 

Danny Ryan:Sitting is new smoking, right? I guess there’s probably going to be a stand-up desk in my future. I think it’s a great idea. Just getting up and also walking around and every once in a while getting out of that desk. We don’t want to get to be 70-80 years old and all you see is some hunched-over dude. I think it’s a really good thing. Let’s start it off with the socks. Let me see … Now I’m looking down. What did you do today.

 

Tommy Ryan:That’s nice. Not too bad.

 

Danny Ryan:I have asked … from my children have asked me what I want for my birthday and I told them dancing socks so we’ll see if …

 

Tommy Ryan:Oh, you going to kick it up a notch.

 

Danny Ryan:Yes, because I just have black socks on right now so I’m not going to show you my black socks. Great topic today was one with sort of just talked about a little bit earlier and I think it will be a fun one to cover which is what makes a great stakeholder. We’ve been in business for like 15 years … I guess right around 15 years.

 

Tommy Ryan:August 23rd will be 15.

 

Danny Ryan:My goodness … and through that period of time have had a series of great stakeholders and wanted to talk through with you sort of what makes a great stakeholder. What do you see as the characteristics of a great stakeholder so let’s get this whole thing kicked off. What’s one of the key ones that you see as far as a characteristic of a great stakeholder?

 

Tommy Ryan:I think a great stakeholder has vision. Not only has vision but can map that vision to business value and communicate that in a way to their organization to kind of get what they need to follow through with that vision so being able to obtain budget, being able to obtain internal buying from teams like IT organizations, other business stakeholders that need to be subject matter experts to pull off that vision and to be able to find what it takes to pull that together to see through that vision so that’s a tough combination; having vision and then execution together. That’s some of our best stakeholders that have that combination.

 

Danny Ryan:Not only do they have the idea but they have the willingness or where with all to go execute on that idea …

 

Tommy Ryan:Right. They might not have project management disciplines or disciplines that are required to implement against division but they can see it through and get the right people involved to make that a reality.

 

Danny Ryan:Great so it’s a key, having a vision and being able to execute on that vision. What’s another thing that you see as a key characteristic?

 

Tommy Ryan:Another key one I think is humility in a sense. A lot of our great stakeholders have strong personalities but they have a humble aspect of “I can’t do it by myself.” It takes a team to do it and we tend to find the stakeholders that we work with the best are the ones that are willing to say, “We don’t have it covered. Let’s look at expertise that we can bring in to kind of round out the team and make sure we’re successful.” There’s a lot of times the ego gets in the way to say, “I can do it all. I don’t need any help,” and so they end up kind of closing off opportunities to be more successful because they think they can do it themselves.

 

Danny Ryan:The fact is we’re outside help and if somebody never feels like they’re going to ask for outside help, we’re never going to get involved. That’s one of the things early on from a marketing standpoint is looking for people. There is a lot of folks out there who just want to go do it themselves and that’s great but then this may get into another characteristic. I think they have to be willing or I guess part of humility is looking for some outside help, recognizing they can’t get it done all by themselves or all with internal teams or whatever they may be hung up on using internal teams but they’ve got to be able to be willing to look for that outside help. I think this gets into another one which is they have to be great collaborators. We do a lot of collaboration software but as individuals they’ve got to be able to be willing to work together and want to collaborate with someone to go create something as well.

 

I think a lot of our … the end product of what we’re creating is are these solutions typically on share-point where you have large groups of teams collaborating together. They themselves have to have the characteristic of being great collaborators because they’re going to not only work with us but work with a lot of internal teams to go get the things done, they’ve just got to be able to pull all these different groups together to go pull this off.

 

Tommy Ryan:Right. Another aspect of that is in the communications side is not only collaboration but also being able to make those tough decisions and be direct and really ask for the things you need to ask for and do that in a way that works within large political systems which are corporations that they know what are the right punches to pull to kind of pull it through because I think in most cases in large organizations that need these big projects accomplished you’re a lot of times rewarded by not picking your head up and not drawing attention to yourself so to be direct to ask for things to be aggressive towards “we’re going to make this goal.” That sometimes goes against the culture of some large organizations and so you have to be brave to be a good stakeholder to have those direct conversations with your leadership to ask for the things that you need to be successful and to get the right people involved and that sometimes is not a shy person. It’s a person that is willing to make those … kind of be in those awkward situations but see through that situation so you can be successful.

 

Danny Ryan:I think along with the vision that we’re talking about earlier is that ability to translate what they’re trying to do into business value and a key point for a great stakeholder and a couple of people come to mind with this is they have the ability to go get budget. If they’re never able to be able to have this idea to go translate that over into what the business value is of this and sometimes we collaborate with people to talk about what the value is of something. I know I’ve been doing a lot of migrations lately and trying to translate it over into why do you want to invest this money into doing the migration but a lot of these stakeholders have to be able to say, “Hey, this is going and creating this new community side. This is what the benefits are of doing this. This is why we should we go spend this money.” They’ve got to be really good at that.

 

Tommy Ryan:Right and they’re taking the chance because they’re kind of putting their neck out there because companies care about the bottom line so when you’re going to make these investments, you’re taking away from that bottom line for the promise of things will be better and those things. To have the results of what that vision … the vision that you said … it’s a lot of hard work. It’s actually seeing it through and making the left and right turns as you get roadblocks along the way because it’s never going to be a smooth path and your original vision can been seen through. There is some adjustments along the way and a smart stakeholder and an effective stakeholder will know where to give and where not to give and where to push through and say, “Team, we’ve got to do this. This is going to be important in the overall success.”

 

Danny Ryan:I think that through the years the best stakeholders have been people that we’ve gone through some struggle with. I think that’s sort of where rubber hits the road, where you really see are you a partner or not and looking at where a challenge comes up and seeing what the other side does during that challenge and really seeing yourself through that … I know some of our key stakeholders we’ve been through that and they know what happens when things inevitably go wrong and it’s nobody’s fault about it but how do you react to those situations.

 

Tommy Ryan:Right and I tell you that’s when we build our best relationships and if you do see yourself through a tough situation with a great stakeholder, that’s a life-long stakeholder and although you don’t want to see those bad situations occur, you know when they do occur this is going to be tough but if we make it through it, we’re going to have a better relationship, a better bond in a sense with that stakeholder that they know, we’re going to see them through the tough times so we in a sense have got their back and they’ve got our back. It’s a mutual thing that you have to have this trust that’s built up and what really strengthens trust relationship is through having a situation where things go wrong and it could be things that someone is at fault and admitting that, “Okay, well this did not go well and this is what we’re going to do to learn from that and this is how we’re going to adjust and this is how we’re going to compensate for that situation and do that in a fair and equitable way that allows you to move forward,” and that’s important.

 

Danny Ryan:… and we’ve had situations where it was a win-lose where we may have … we’re on projects where we could have been at fault with somebody and seeing what happens during those times. Do they go after … There has been situations in which we see someone say, “I understand you guys have come up with a good resolution to this and I’m not going to … at every meeting I meet with you, bang you over the head about this,” and we’ve had some customers who are that way and it’s like we need to look at it and it’s win-lose. They’re not thinking of “how do we learn from this and grow to be better as organizations,” and some of these you walk away, you realize …

 

Tommy Ryan:… you did a good job.

 

Danny Ryan:… this is not a good client. You need to walk away from that.

 

Tommy Ryan:You finished what you’ve committed to and then you don’t look for the next opportunity and the opportunities don’t just fall at your feet in a sense, it’s because you’re continuing a relationship, building that relationship, having those conversations and if you do have that strain of it, it’s a win-lose. Then when you come to the end of that commitment there’s not going to be another opportunity and so you gracefully move on because there’s customers that need our help and there is nothing worse than putting a lot of energy towards a situation where you’re not behind that stakeholder and that’s tough. It’s hard to get up every morning and work hard in that situation. Those are the toughest projects but you have to finish through on your commitment and then you’re at that walk in the road that, “Okay, is it worth entering into a new commitment or we’re better off having some bench time and then looking for that next opportunity.” We’ve been fortunate were a lot of our … through the last 15 years or so a lot of our stakeholders have been at three or maybe four companies and we’ve followed them around. I think it’s just been something where they can rely on us. You know who I’m thinking of.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah.

 

Tommy Ryan:She goes by Bad Penny. I think it’s her name. If you’re listening to this, you know who you are but there’s multiple folks who have moved on from company to company and we’ve just been lucky to continue the relationship with them and really just fortunate that … and I think it’s because they go and they come when they want to make changes and their wrong terms of purposes rising stars because they’re going and trying to do the difficult things that they’re doing and in a lot of ways I feel fortunate to be able to get to know some of these stakeholders who are going out there and making things happen in these larger companies because …

 

Danny Ryan:… you feel like you’re a part of that too and there is some pride in that to say, “We’ve done some pretty amazing things” and definitely takes that stakeholder to be the leader and you want to follow those leaders that are strong, ones that make a big impact.

 

Tommy Ryan:A key characteristic of a stakeholder is that it’s a woman. We’ve joked around about this but I don’t know whether it’s a … through the years we’ve just … it seems like there’s been a lot of … I think in nowadays in IT I think sort of the leadership that we’re seeing in women coming into IT is that they have a lot of these characteristics of great stakeholders which is they work collaboratively, they are trustworthy, a lot of the things …

 

Danny Ryan:… they’re humble in the right way.

 

Tommy Ryan:… in the right way and so I think we joke around about it but as a market person one of the things that I do is I want to understand what’s our key persona. What is the person who really does make up a great stakeholder and some of our best stakeholders hasn’t been all women but I’m seeing …

 

Danny Ryan:… a good proportion.

 

Tommy Ryan:… a good proportion of them are. It’s whatever that means. It means whatever it means but it’s been … I think we’ve been really fortunate to work with some great … and it’s been great in the IT industry because it’s been primarily male-dominated and to see some up and coming stars go and make things happen in these organizations and to really come in and shake some things up and needs to be a part of that.

 

Danny Ryan:Definitely. Anything else that we haven’t covered yet that you’d like to …

 

Tommy Ryan:Probably you’ve hinted around this but I think innovation is a key aspect that they are comfortable with new ideas and willing to break through the status quo to be innovative and try something new that has a certain risk component to it but they have enough wisdom to know how much to buy it off but that energy to be innovative, I think that has to be within the person. You can’t make someone be innovative. I think they naturally have that ability to kind of see through an existing situation and say, “We can do better and this is how we’re going to do it.” I think innovation is probably the one thing we didn’t mention.

 

Danny Ryan:Yeah. I’m sort of looking out a list over here on the chalkboard. I think we’ve probably hinted at this but they’re not typically political creatures themselves but they know how to deal with politics. They’re very direct. They don’t fool around with … I think for us a majority of the business that we’ve had over the lifetime of the organization has been non-governmental because we didn’t … I think we like to go and we’re not political creatures ourselves. We’re problem-solvers. We want to come in, get something done and don’t want to have something that we’re not just doing this because this person doesn’t want to do this on this certain day. It’s because we want to come in and really solve our business problems but these folks that the stakeholder has to be able to deal since they’re in larger organizations, they’ve got to be able to deal with the politics that are out there but I think they just put out, they just realize that’s part of their job.

 

Tommy Ryan:Right. They look at it from a logical standpoint of these are constraints within seen through my vision and as a part of that picking the battles that you need to pick, the right battles to be able to go forward with the vision and there’s going to be some people that will be nay-sayers and you have certain conversations there to listen but not have that discourage you in seeing through your vision unless there is something obvious that you overlooked but in a sense they don’t get beaten down by kind of political systems they know how to work within that system and do just enough to make that impediment go away and see through their vision.

 

Danny Ryan:Anything else before we wrap up here?

 

Tommy Ryan:No. I think that covers it. Thanks for covering this topic.

 

Danny Ryan:Absolutely. For folks who are listening who are our key stakeholders, thank you so much. A part of why we feel like we’re going to be in business tomorrow is because of you and it’s because of the trust that you’ve put in us and as an organization and I think Tommy and I are very thankful for the years that we’ve had working together with some really great stakeholders. For folks who this sounds interesting to and maybe we haven’t worked together we’d love to hear from you. Obviously drop by the website. The person you’d be interacting with would be me and just be looking for more of a longer-term partner. If you’re looking for … If you have some of these characteristics that we have of a key stakeholder we’d love to talk to you so thank you for taking the time to listen to this today and have a great day. Thank you. Bye bye.

 

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Tommy RyanWhat Makes a Great Stakeholder?
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Cadwalader Partners with ThreeWill to Win Best Intranet of 2016

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Earlier this year the user-experience research firm Nielsen Norman Group announced the winners of the Intranet Design Award for 2016.    Among the winners for Best Intranet were ThreeWill’s client Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.  The winning intranets were chosen by expert review based on design and usability from an international field of submissions.

ThreeWill worked with Cadwalader in setting up their SharePoint Infrastructure on Azure, Authentication, SQL Infrastructure, Design/Implementation of Branding and Handshake Software configuration.  The project lasted 3 months and was completed on time and under budget.

When wrapping up the project with a project retrospective, Cadwalader shared that they liked having a concise sales cycle, a full product backlog to support justifying hours and dollars for the project, having multiple user experience experts available and our ability to find ways to solve complex problems.

ThreeWill, a Microsoft Gold partner based out of Atlanta,  helps teams work together better by building solutions on SharePoint using an agile process.  Cadwalader chose ThreeWill based on our experience with SharePoint and working with other law firms.

Learn more about Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP – http://www.cadwalader.com/about/.

Read more details and purchase the report here – https://www.nngroup.com/reports/intranet-design-annual/.

Contact us today about building an award winning SharePoint initiative for your company.

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Danny RyanCadwalader Partners with ThreeWill to Win Best Intranet of 2016
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Feeling Grateful for a Colleague? Write a LinkedIn Recommendation

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Last week we had an event at Microsoft Alpharetta office – it was on moving to the cloud on your terms. Pete Skelly did an excellent job presenting on the New Business Operating System covering subjects like Top 5 Benefits of Moving to the New Business Operating System (including Office 365 and Azure) , Three Perceived Barriers to Moving to Office 365 and Azure, and The Business Impact of a Continuous Delivery.

The second part of the event was a Panel discussion on moving to the Microsoft Cloud. We were fortunate to have a great panel that included leaders from Ernst & Young, Atlanta Braves, McKesson, and PGi.

We had about 80 people register for the event, but last week mixed two things that are like oil and water – (the chance of) snow and the SouthEast. All of the Panelists were able to make it to the event (miraculously), but we had a lot of cancellations because Fulton county cancelled school for the day – if you want a good laugh, here is the weather for that day.

Yes, 0 inches of precipitation (snow).

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Image Credit – Christy3514165 

Friday afternoon after the event, we were feeling pretty thankful for the panelists and discussed how we could show our appreciation. After some discussion, we thought that it would be good to write a LinkedIn Recommendation for each of the Panelists.

I was writing my recommendations this morning and noticed that a majority of the recommendations that I had received almost stopped after 2010. I used to love to go look at my recommendations if I was having a bad day. Recently, I find myself going to the testimonials section of our website to feel like we are making a difference if I’m having a particularly challenging day.

I think when endorsements came along, people stopped taking the time to write recommendations. It’s easier to click than to take the time to put your thoughts down in words.

Here’s my challenge to you (if you’re setting goals for this year). Next time you are feeling grateful for a colleague, why not take the time to write a recommendation? Chances are that you will get a recommendation in return. I’m definitely guilty of this – I’ve stopped writing as many recommendations.

You could probably set the goal of writing one LinkedIn Recommendation a week? Set apart 30 minutes on Friday afternoon to write this.  Put this down in your calendar as an appointment for yourself.

Of course, for my connections (probably the only people who will read this ;), write a recommendation for me and I’ll do one for you in return.

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Danny RyanFeeling Grateful for a Colleague? Write a LinkedIn Recommendation
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The ThreeWill Promises – Control, Choice and Commitment

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

What is The ThreeWill Promise?

Our promise to our business sponsors:

  1. Control – We provide the structure for our clients to control priority of features and budget throughout the lifetime of the project​.
  2. Choice – Because we deliver working software every two weeks, we earn our client’s business every two weeks.​
  3. Commitment – We take on your challenges like they are our own; you will not find another business partner more committed to your success.

Internal Discussions

We’ve been discussing our brand promise often recently on our internal Yammer network.  It’s a relatively new concept for us. I wanted to summarize what we really do for our business sponsors.  Yes, we are technical and process experts in our given domain. but how does this ultimately translate over to benefits to our customers?

Control

The first promise is control.  We want you to feel and be in control throughout the lifetime of the project.  To do this, we need to provide structure.  The way we do this is you own the priority of the features (what goes into the next Sprint) and you decide where the budget is spent (more about that in a minute).  The feedback we get from many of our projects is that what is liked best is the process we use to structure the project.  We typically get hired because of our technical acumen, but the reason we stick around is our execution of the process.  In fact, sponsors like the experience so much that they want us to teach other projects on how to “do SCRUM.”

Choice

There are a couple of options on how we price projects.  A majority are T&M with a budget cap.  We have adopted a fundamental tenet of SCRUM, which is to deliver working software every two weeks.  That means you can stop when you feel the product is ready.  And yes, this does happen.  Some opt not to use the remaining budget; others opt to use the budget on other projects that could use some attention.  This means we earn your business every two weeks – because you are in a good state at the end of each Sprint.  Note, especially for larger projects, there is a Transition Sprint – usually for 1 or 2 weeks to do appropriate training and transition of deliverables.

Commitment

Our last promise is commitment.  Simply, when you hire us your challenges become ours.  Take a minute to read some of the testimonials here and here.  The only way we build this reputation is putting your needs in front of ours.

Making the Promises Real

We don’t want these promises to be just words on a website or a slide.  As a part of ThreeWill, we need to hold each other accountable and call each other out if we aren’t true to a promise.  As a customer, we want you to challenge us if we fall short of any of these promises.  Iron sharpens iron.

Leave a Comment

If you’re a customer, we’d love to hear any experiences where you have seen the promises in play.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

If you’re another ThreeWiller, I’d love to hear your words on what these promises mean to you.  This would be great to supplement the page on what it’s like to be at ThreeWill.

If you’re a prospective customer, we’d love the opportunity to show you these promises in action.  Reach out to us here.

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Danny RyanThe ThreeWill Promises – Control, Choice and Commitment
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ThreeWill Hero – Steve Pattison

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

This Month’s Hero

This month’s ThreeWill Hero is Steve Pattison from Polycom (Vice President, Strategy and Business Development). Steve is another person that we were introduced to by Owen Allen at Microsoft. Based on initial conversations, we could tell that it would be great to work with Steve as a sponsor and that he had great vision for integrating enterprise video within SharePoint to realize the user experience that Steve was the first to dub “YouTube for the Enterprise”.

Meeting Up

The first time we met Steve was at the SharePoint Conference in 2009. Steve’s a very well connected guy so he was very familiar with people and companies that we had worked with in the past, like Jive Software. We talked through what we would need to do to make the relationship work – although Steve had time and budget constraints, he was upfront so we could work together on a plan that would work for both sides.

A Good Partner Helps Make Great Connections

As we pointed out in the blog post on Bill Lynch, one of the best signs in a partner is that they connect you with people that make an impact on your company. Steve made sure that we were connected with one of the most influential people in the SharePoint ecosystem, Mark Gilbert of Gartner, who is an influential analyst covering SharePoint. He’s exceptional about connecting folks and we are grateful for this.

Hands On Approach

We worked very closely with Steve to develop the first version of the integration for the Accordent Media Management System (now rebranded as the Polycom RealPresence Media Manager following Polycom’s acquisition of Accordent) with SharePoint. Don’t let having Strategy in his title throw you off…although he’s great when determining the right strategy, he can also roll up his sleeves and make tactical decisions. We had to address some serious constraints at the beginning of the project. Steve thoughtfully reviewed the options and was decisive when we needed to move forward.

The Polycom Team

Working with smart, hardworking folks is an integral part of being successful in a partnership. Along with Steve, we were fortunate enough to be teamed up with Chris Spanellis in Engineering and Chuck Malloy in Professional Services. Chris was key in helping us understand how we could properly architect a SharePoint Integration solution that would best leverage the AMMS platform and he continues to be our goto guy in engineering to this date. We started working with Chuck when we had a release version that would go into Accordent/Polycom customer environments. Chuck is great with process and the kind of person you want to work with when you need to get down to the brass tacks of getting a solution rolled out to a customer. We could go on, but just thought it would be worth mentioning some of the Polycom Team that made the AMMS integration with SharePoint successful.

Accordent’s Acquisition By Polycom

Polcyom’s acquisition of Accordent was a great move for both companies and positioned Polycom to become the leader in the video content management and delivery market by integrating Polycom’s leading open standards video software solutions with Accordent’s innovative video content management solution.

Working with Polycom

Polycom is one of the most exciting companies to be working with at this time – for example, this year they won the Microsoft Partner of the Year for Unified Communications Innovation award. They are making the right investments and we are excited to begin working with their sales folks in the field. There is no doubt that 2012 will be an exciting year for the Polycom/ThreeWill partnership.

Clients Working Together

It’s always great to see our clients working together. Earlier this year, Jive Software and Polycom announced a strategic relationship. Steve has long envisioned the day when the worlds of enterprise video and social networking would come together, and it is exciting to see it happen especially given our strong relationship with both Polycom and Jive.

Today

We’re excited to be working with Steve to this day. Recently, we met with him at the SharePoint Conference to talk about the next version of the integration. He’s connected us with new folks at Polycom (wonderful folks like Zip Zieper) and we look forward to helping the field roll out successful integrations.

Steve, from the whole team at ThreeWill, we want to thank you for your support and the trust you have placed in us to work together to build a great integration with SharePoint.

A Word from Steve

Upon hearing that he was a ThreeWill Hero, Steve had the following to say:

Working with ThreeWill has been a great experience from the outset at Accordent, when Microsoft first recommended ThreeWill to us as a leading SharePoint development organization, to this day at Polycom as we continue to lead the market with enterprise video solutions for SharePoint. ThreeWill has been consistently committed to our success, our partnership with Microsoft, and the needs of our customers as we provide video access and scale to the SharePoint user community.

Thanks again Steve for being a ThreeWill Hero!

Learn More About the Polycom RealPresence Media Manager
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Danny RyanThreeWill Hero – Steve Pattison
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ThreeWill Hero – Clint Padgett

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Helping Rembrandt Paint Masterpieces

A couple of years back, Atlassian introduced us to another company based out of Australia that they thought would be good for us to talk to because of similar cultures. The company was Customware. I had skype conversation with their CEO, Rob Castenada, and about midway through the conversation he mentioned something pretty insightful…”You guys are like us, you help the Rembrants of the world to paint their masterpieces.” For us, we help the most successful software companies in the world build software products that run on or are integrated with SharePoint. In the case of Customware, the focus on Atlassian’s products as the platform.

I could say the same thing about the company that this month’s ThreeWill Hero leads. Unlike ThreeWill and Customware, the company doesn’t focus on software development. Instead, they focus on the business of executing successful mission critical projects. Their medium is a proven process. Their clients they serve are the world’s most successful companies. Their company name is apropos, Project Success, Inc. (or PSI for short). This month we wanted to recognize the company and leader of the company, Clint Padgett.

The Book On Successful Projects

Before we get too far, I just want to point out that Clint actually wrote the book on successful projects. Below is a link to his book on Amazon.com.

How Things Got Started

We started working with PSI long before we “bet the boat” on SharePoint. We worked together to update what they call the Project Success toolkit. This toolkit, which extends what Microsoft Project does as an add-in, helps support the principles of the Project Success Method. There was a lot of time in design spent understanding what was needed to support the process.

Real Partnerships Are Made During Difficult Times

What is perhaps most interesting about the PSI/ThreeWill story is that at one point we came to an impasse. There was a time on the project where both sides decided to stop development. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another project in our history where we came to such an abrupt stopping point. After a bit of time backing off from the situation, we came together and put together a plan to begin working together again.

This actually helped me mature about what partnering means…going through a difficult time you find out from both sides the intent. Do they walk? Do they come back and look for the way to bring the divide? Do they put the sweat in to make things work or do they just play lip service? This is what you learn during difficult times.

What We’ve Learned About Clint

Tommy shared this with me about Clint and I think it’s spot on:

Clint has been a great client through good times and bad. He is a man of integrity. Because of our long standing partnership and the trust that has been built up we have been able to achieve great things together!

Tommy doesn’t use the word integrity about people lightly. What happens over the course of working together five plus years is you understand the intent of the other party. You find out if they are really interested in a mutually profitable partnership. Clint has been a man of his word and he can be trusted and he we have no doubt that he and his company have many years of continued prosperity. We look forward to working together over the next ten years and beyond.

Huge Shout Out To Crissy Tevis

It’s official, we have found the world’s best product owner. Her name is Crissy Tevis (scroll to midpage). She spends more time at the ThreeWill office than most associates…we love seeing her and we’re thankful that she takes on her role so responsibly. This is another sign of Clint being great leader, he attracts and builds a team of high contributors like Crissy.

Eric Bowden, who has been working closely with Crissy recently, had the following to share:

You couldn’t ask for a better product owner. Crissy is always part of the solution. She is eager to dig into real problem solving and understanding the pros and cons of feature design, while at the same time having vision for the product level roadmap and features.

And every once and a while, she makes sure that Clint does his job…(smile)

A Word From Clint

After hearing he was a ThreeWill Hero, Clint shared the following…

I deeply appreciate being selected as a ThreeWill Hero. My experience with ThreeWill has been nothing short of phenomenal. They are incredibly good at what they do and we reap the benefits during our product development collaboration. I am looking forward to leveraging their SharePoint expertise as we further integrate the Project Success Toolkit with Project Server. By the way, if you’ll send Crissy back to us for a while, I promise to return her before the next phase of development starts!

Clint, thanks again for being a ThreeWill Hero and we look forward to seeing great things from you and your team at PSI…

Learn More About PSI
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Danny RyanThreeWill Hero – Clint Padgett
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ThreeWill Hero – Bill Lynch

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Introduction

ThreeWill has been fortunate to work with some of the most innovative companies in the world through the years (including Atlassian, Informative Graphics, Accordent and JackBe, to name a few). But, perhaps there is not a better example of an innovative company than Jive Software. They lead 3 of the Gartner quadrants for Social Software in the Workplace, Externally Facing Social Software, and Social CRM. This month we would like to recognize Bill Lynch, Jive Software’s Co-Founder and a Vice President of Product Management, as March’s ThreeWill Hero.

[cb type=”person”]Bill Lynch[/cb]

The Backstory

The most innovative companies have the brightest and best working for them – this usually means that they are not willing to go outside their organization to be successful. Much like our hero from last month, we need to have someone that is willing to give us a try. That person was Bill Lynch.

A lot of things led up to us working with Jive Software. One of the most important was the work that we did with Atlassian for the SharePoint Connector for Confluence (read How We Did It coverage from the SharePoint Product Team blog). Jive was looking to take a similar approach for a SharePoint connector for their product. Fortunately for us, they were willing enough to look for an outside partner for help.

Support To Be Successful

It’s safe to say that building “world class” integration between two complex software platforms could be one of the most difficult ventures out there for software development.

Although we had a leg up experience-wise with the integration that was built with Atlassian, we still had a long road ahead of us. Bill had the patience to see this integration come together and in general the whole team at Jive treated this as a team effort. Throughout the development phase we worked as one team (even through the stresses of release deadlines). This is the recipe for success for a successful endeavor between two companies. We have transitioned off our development efforts to their capable engineering teams and today we are focusing on making sure that the integration is successfully deployed to the field with our Jive Packaged Services offering.

Building On Strengths

As with Confluence, there is plenty of overlap between SharePoint product features. The difference with Jive (as we would soon find out) is that people fall in love with their product. And with Social, this experience of falling in love with the accompanying high adoption is key.

At ThreeWill, we believe that using SharePoint and Jive together is a great solution for a lot of enterprises – especially for enterprises that demand “best in class” solutions. But, in a world of limited enterprise funds of course there are times in which the two products compete. Sophisticated buyers recognize that both Jive SBS and Microsoft SharePoint are platforms with their own strengths. It’s been a blast to see companies that are putting Jive (with its refined Social UI and branding options) together with SharePoint (the “Swiss army knife” of ECM platforms).

Extra Support

Bill has also looked out for us as a company, providing sound advice and even making introductions to other companies. A great case of this was an introduction last year to Zvi Guterman of Cloudshare. These introductions have helped us grow and thrive through the years and we are grateful for the doors he has opened for us.

Humbly Confident = “GNAC”

When you work closely together on a product you get a sense of whether there is a cultural fit. On one occasion, Tommy and I were talking to Bill about how it was important for us to find “humbly confident” people for ThreeWill (we were probably talking about Chris “Bazooka” Edwards). Bill related this to a similar Jive value – a “GNAC”. This stands for good natured a** kicker. Love it.

Today (and Tomorrow)

Jive is making bold moves today and we can’t wait to see what is in store for the company through the next couple of years. We’re excited about the upcoming version of Jive and the new opportunities for developers to build on the Jive Platform. We have no doubt that it will be a wild ride and we look forward to being a part of that journey. Bill, thank you for your support through the years and the trust that you have put in us.

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Danny RyanThreeWill Hero – Bill Lynch
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ThreeWill Hero – Tricia Mercaldo

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Introduction

Our second selection for ThreeWill Hero was another no-brainer. Working with Tricia Mercaldo and her team has been one of the highlights of our ten-year tenure at ThreeWill. She places trust in her teams to give them the opportunity to grow and be successful. She has also placed this trust in ThreeWill, which is one of the primary reasons we would like to recognize her this month as a ThreeWill Hero.

Early Discussions

Microsoft invites ThreeWill to present at events to both educate and sometimes entertain enterprises, usually covering various SharePoint topics. At one of these events, I was fortunate to sit beside Tricia and have a nice initial discussion with her. We followed up with each other over the next year or so until the opportunity came up for us to work on a business case together. The business case focused on Collaboration and laid the foundation for her organization to move to SharePoint.

Working Together

Tricia and her team are extremely creative, innovative, and hard-working. Given that, it’s not to often that she looks for outside help. Fortunately, she placed trust in us to help her and her team out with making the move to SharePoint. We were excited about the opportunity to work with them to put together a plan for both setting up SharePoint 2007 as a pilot and help with the overall rollout. This initiative was successful by every regard and the adoption has turned this into a case-study on how to roll out SharePoint successfully in the enterprise.

Building Momentum

Tricia has been a huge advocate for ThreeWill. She has recommended us to other groups and this has turned into more successful projects that have helped to build the momentum around SharePoint. Most people do not realize how important these referrals are – small companies like ThreeWill live or die based on whether we get referred to other potential opportunities. Tricia has also treated us like we are an extension to her team. In a world where most people have low opinions of consulting organizations (and sometimes rightfully so), it is refreshing to have a client relationship where we are focused on solving problems together and not on whether one group will take advantage of the other.

Today

We continue to feel fortunate to work with Tricia and her team to this day. There are some people who help you to become better over time and she is one of them.

And now, a word from our Hero

Upon hearing about being a ThreeWill Hero, Tricia shared the following…“Thanks again for considering me to be a ThreeWill Hero…I appreciate the continued opportunity to work with you and your team…the experience in working with ThreeWill is so very different than the other vendors in this space and I appreciate that you make it easy to do business. We have accomplished a great deal and I look forward to whatever comes next.”

Thank you Tricia for being a ThreeWill Hero!

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Danny RyanThreeWill Hero – Tricia Mercaldo
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ThreeWill Predictions for 2011

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.

What A Year…

It’s been an incredible year for ThreeWill. In addition to setting a new company revenue record, we have developed new and deeper relationships with some of the most innovative companies in the world: Jive Software, Accordent, Informative Graphics, Rover Apps and JackBe (to name a few).

When Gartner released the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2011 in October, we were excited to see that our clients were leaders in several highlighted trends. We thought that it would be helpful to share some insights as they relate to some of the strategic technologies mentioned in Gartner’s list.

What’s a “Strategic Technology”? From http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1454221

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

It just so happens that the first 5 of 10 of the technologies on the list are the ones we will highlight. For each of these technologies, we’ll list the companies to watch along with some predictions for the year.

Top 10 Gartner Strategic Technologies for 2011

#1 – Cloud Computing

Prediction – Just like the magical third version of any Microsoft product, the stars are aligned for Office365 to be a huge success next year.
Microsoft’s Office 365 – http://office365.microsoft.com/

Microsoft has been doing a top-notch job getting their partner community ready for the option of Office in the cloud for their clients. They have been preparing for the transition to the cloud as an option for a couple of years now and from what we are seeing this is the version that will be the tipping point. We believe that support for ISV applications is critical for companies to make the move, and are very hopeful that Microsoft is serious about supporting the ISV community based on what was said by Eric Swift.

As usual, Microsoft will heavily depend on their ecosystem to make Office 365 successful.

To learn more about Office 365 ecosystem and other predictions for SharePoint in 2011, read what Joel Oleson has to say about Office 365 at the top of his 2011 Joel Oleson’s Predictions for SharePoint 2011.

By the way, we just updated our SharePoint Product Development white paper to include a section on Office 365 – read more and download the white paper.

#2 – Mobile Applications and Media Tablets

Prediction – Enterprise users will demand both native mobile apps and mobile access to information normally “locked up” behind firewalls.
Rover Apps – http://www.roverapps.com

We recently spent a couple of weeks meeting up with our enterprise clients to discuss mobility. Talk about a hot topic! We have been working with Rover Apps for a SharePoint Connector and are very excited about where this product is going. Imagine getting access to SharePoint content using native apps from a whole host of mobile devices. Mobile users are looking for a simple, but rich user experience. We believe the technology is in place to put low footprint – but highly functional – native mobile application on the devices that people are using today. Many enterprise users have wanted mobile applications, but have given up due to the cost of mobile enablement of applications. We are seeing that technology has caught up to make it affordable to provide mobile to the masses.

#3 – Social Communications and Collaboration

We’ll list two companies for this category, one for Social Communications (Jive Software) and one for Collaboration (Informative Graphics).

Predictions – The enterprise app store with social features will become the new normal for how companies deploy applications and users will demand social features in any new enterprise applications.
Jive Software – http://www.jivesoftware.com

Jive is nailing social business software and the next BIG thing at Jive is the Jive Apps Market. They are definitely betting big here and will enter a new arena of supporting an app market ecosystem of developers along with partners and customers. It is a good thing they have such a great platform for building communities (of course their Developer Support Forum for this initiative is in Jive SBS). We know from first-hand experience that this company has the DNA to take on such a great challenge. We look forward to the innovation they will bring to challenge traditional conventions for making social applications readily available to the enterprise end user.

Predictions – Users will expect to stay in the browser as they collaborate on documents and redaction will be a hot topic as more and more information goes online and is easily searchable.
Informative Graphics – http://www.infograph.com

It is amazing how well Microsoft implemented the first version of Office Web Apps (viewing and editing an Office document like Word in the browser). They have set a high bar for viewing binary documents in the browser. We have found that people expect this for other document types and need to look to third parties for viewing other document types like Autocad files. We have recently worked with Informative Graphics to extend the ability to see binary content through the browser – either through search results or within a document library. We are excited about this extension to SharePoint and see that document viewing and redaction in the browser will enable a new class of applications that yield high business value. And with all the news about WikiLeaks, if you haven’t heard about redaction, you will soon.

#4 – Video

Prediction – Video asset management will be high on the shopping list for most enterprises.
Accordent – http://www.accordent.com

Accordent’s new offering could span a number of these emerging technology areas, but we’ll give them Video all by themselves. Video capture, distribution, and lifecycle management are core Accordent competencies and they have a strong play in the enterprise with their recent release that includes SharePoint and Lync Integration. With the introduction of their SharePoint integration, we think Accordent has filled a large void that SharePoint has had since its inception with Video Asset Management. We think that video asset search and playback has been long overlooked and is defining a new niche within the SharePoint ISV ecosystem.

By the way, Accordent’s support of video user generated content is right in line with where the applications of the future are headed. If you follow Gartner, you will see that they recently stated that “Citizen Developers” will build at least 25 percent of new business applications by 2014.

#5 – Next Generation Analytics

Prediction – Enterprises are tired of big BI projects. Welcome to the age of agile Business Intelligence.
JackBe – http://www.jackbe.com

JackBe recently won Development Tool of the Year for 2011. We put them in the Next Generation Analytics bucket because, from recent conversations with enterprises, they have created an unique way to empower organizations to solve their complex Business Intelligence initiatives. Imagine building rich dashboards on the fly that connect to pretty much anything on the back-end. If you haven’t seen what JackBe has to offer, you should.

Innovation in 2011

Most interestingly, we are excited to see what is going to happen when you bring a number of these technologies together. Looks like 2011 is going to be a fun year!

We’d love to hear from you – leave comments about your predictions. Of course, our list is biased toward companies we are working with now so take it as ThreeWill’s view of the world.

All the best in 2011!

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Tommy RyanThreeWill Predictions for 2011
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SharePoint and Confluence

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

A few ThreeWill associates (Kirk Liemohn, Chris Edwards, Jerry Rasmussen) have been working with Atlassian the past few weeks to integrate SharePoint and Atlassian’s enterprise wiki product called Confluence. This was announced today at the Web 2.0 Summit. Learn more and check out the press…

The integration between SharePoint and Confluence involved single sign on, integrated search, showing Confluence pages in SharePoint (via web parts), and showing SharePoint data in Confluence (via Confluence plugins).

If you want to learn more, here are several links…

Atlassian Home Page
Atlassian Announcement
Feature
Documentation

Microsoft Press Release

Blogs from today about the announcement:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Howlett/?p=205
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/microsoft_partners_with_atlassian.php
http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=6627
http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2007/10/17/microsoft-powers-up-web-2-0-with-innovative-microsoft-office-sharepoint-server-2007-partners.aspx
http://blogs.atlassian.com/news/2007/10/introducing_the.html

Sean Gerety sent over one more link that referenced the product – http://scobleizer.com/2007/10/17/microsoft-goes-web-20-with-sharepoint/.


SharePoint is a web application platform in the Microsoft Office server suite. Launched in 2001, SharePoint combines various functions which are traditionally separate applications: intranet, extranet, content management, document management, personal cloud, enterprise social networking, enterprise search, business intelligence, workflow management, web content management, and an enterprise application store. SharePoint servers have traditionally been deployed for internal use in mid-size businesses and large departments alongside Microsoft Exchange, Skype for Business, and Office Web Apps; but Microsoft’s ‘Office 365’ software as a service offering (which includes a version of SharePoint) has led to increased usage of SharePoint in smaller organizations.

While Office 365 provides SharePoint as a service, installing SharePoint on premises typically requires multiple virtual machines, at least two separate physical servers, and is a somewhat significant installation and configuration effort. The software is based on an n-tier service oriented architecture. Enterprise application software (for example, email servers, ERP, BI and CRM products) often either requires or integrates with elements of SharePoint. As an application platform, SharePoint provides central management, governance, and security controls. The SharePoint platform manages Internet Information Services (IIS) via form-based management tooling.

Since the release of SharePoint 2013, Microsoft’s primary channel for distribution of SharePoint has been Office 365, where the product is continuously being upgraded. New versions are released every few years, and represent a supported snapshot of the cloud software. Microsoft currently has three tiers of pricing for SharePoint 2013, including a free version (whose future is currently uncertain). SharePoint 2013 is also resold through a cloud model by many third-party vendors. The next on-premises release is SharePoint 2016, expected to have increased hybrid cloud integration.

Office 365 is the brand name used by Microsoft for a group of software plus services subscriptions that provides productivity software and related services to its subscribers. For consumers, the service allows the use of Microsoft Office apps on Windows and OS X, provides storage space on Microsoft’s cloud storage service OneDrive, and grants 60 Skype minutes per month. For business and enterprise users, Office 365 offers plans including e-mail and social networking services through hosted versions of Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server, SharePoint and Office Online, integration with Yammer, as well as access to the Office software.

After a beta test that began in October 2010, Office 365 was launched on June 28, 2011, as a successor to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (MSBPOS), originally aimed at corporate users. With the release of Microsoft Office 2013, Office 365 was expanded to include new plans aimed at different types of businesses, along with new plans aimed at general consumers wanting to use the Office desktop software on a subscription basis—with an emphasis on the rolling release model.

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Danny RyanSharePoint and Confluence