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Category Archives: SharePoint

NBCU owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and  entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses.

As such, NBCU has some unique challenges related to the sharing of information, creative assets and knowledge management amongst its geographically distributed teams working on programs, projects and productions spanning the globe. With information scattered across multiple, disparate systems, NBCU needed to re-envision the manner in which users collaborate with colleagues, stakeholders and partners.

Collaboration, though, was just one of NBCU’s challenges, identified in an internal assessment, identifying the following issues:

  • Lack of a strategic alignment for IT systems
  • Limited information availability across multiple internal/external distribution channels
  • Disconnected sites and Emergent desktops
  • Inefficient, adhoc use of collaboration tools
  • Overly complex governance policies and inadequate security

The Henson Group, Inc. – a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in collaboration solutions for media and professional services companies – accepted the challenge to conceive and create a state-of-the-art collaboration platform enabling NBCU to achieve its vision of a High Performance Digital Workspace.

Solution

Henson Group assigned a team of expert Microsoft consultants, engineers and developers to design and develop an integrated digital resource collaboration platform to meet NBCU’s requirements.

Following a thoughtful evaluation process, including extensive reviews of key stakeholders, Henson Group documented creative, business, technical, security and financial requirements. The project was led by a senior Henson Group architect in partnership with Microsoft team, producing a recommendation to implement a Microsoft SharePoint-based architecture to provide NBCU with a game-changing platform for centralizing and streamlining its massive digital content inventory and workflows.

Subsequent to requirement gathering and solution architecture design, Henson Group initiated a “replatforming” phase – essentially evaluating, updating and migrating all required applications of the enterprise onto a single collaborative platform. Simultaneously, Henson Group partnered with stakeholders across the NBCU organization to reorganize massive troves of creative content assets.

Henson Group established Staging and Production environments within NBCU, supported by multiple SQL Server instances configured for High Availability. Meanwhile, Henson Group’s SharePoint team of architects and developers customized the collaboration platform, migrating into the platform integration with updated legacy micro-sites.

Mapping and innovating on NBCU’s existing collaboration processes, Henson Group developers leveraged Microsoft Workflow Manager 1.0, integrated tightly within SharePoint to deliver robust capabilities for authoring, hosting and managing workflows. These workflows within NBCU’s platform are designed to run at high scale and density, and will support execution in a multi-tenant environment, running customized SharePoint workflows.

The new environments consists of 11 SharePoint Servers, two Outlook Web Access servers, and three Microsoft Workflow Manager servers for each environment , “For each environment”? How many environments are there? Please clarify.] Three Microsoft SQL instances are configured to facilitate an “always-on” support requirement for each collaboration environment.

Results & Benefits

The search solution implemented on SharePoint provides users with the ability to quickly search and find relevant information in order to be collaborate effectively with internal and external stakeholders, improve the quality and accuracy of information and content, and ensuring newfound discipline in compliance and security.

Thanks to a technology overhaul which included website redesign and re-platforming on SharePoint, the system has seen a reduction in complaints, an increase in efficiency, and dramatic improvement in employee engagement and collaboration.

The project was completed within nine months.

Products

The new environments built for NBCU contains, 11 SharePoint Servers, two Outlook Web Access servers and three Workflow servers for each environment. Three SQL instances configured on always-on for each environment.

On Premise SharePoint installation, SQL Server Always-On, SkyDrive, Host-named site collections and Apps support in single farm, integration with office web apps.

  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012

To request a free consultation to learn how your organization can realize similar benefits and gains with Microsoft SharePoint deployment services provided by preferred Microsoft Gold Partner The Henson Group, please email Info@HensonGroup.com or call 1.800.980.1130.

Below are the top five reasons our enterprise clients are deploying SharePoint 2013.

New user interface 17%
SkyDrive Pro for syncing 9%
Revamped KPIs and BI support 24%
Better search engine results 30%
Sharper e-discovery features 20%

top-5-reasons-clients-deploy-sharepoint-2013

SharePoint is Microsoft’s all-purpose enterprise collaboration solution that is used primarily by enterprises to build intranets, public sites, forums, blogs and wikis, as well as for storing, searching and managing documents. SharePoint alone now generates about $2 billion in annual Microsoft revenue.

This data was captured based on a global survey of Henson Group clients in 2013. For more information and a free consult, please contact Henson Group at http://www.thehensongroup.com/ or 800-980-1130.

About a month ago, Microsoft announced that Excel Web App and the Office Web Apps are destined to become a comprehensive productivity experience on more browsers and devices (not just companions to the desktop applications). Microsoft didn’t give any specific timelines as part of that, but last week they released our first feature update since that announcement. I’m excited to share some of the awesome new things you can do in Excel Web App now in both SkyDrive and Office365:http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-excel/archive/2013/06/26/we-ve-updated-excel-web-app-what-s-new-as-of-june-2013.aspx

For more information and a free consult, please contact Henson Group athttp://www.thehensongroup.com/ or 800-980-1130.

As you add sub sites in SharePoint 2013, the top level navigation automatically gets populated with the site names. For example, if you add an HR team site under the top level site, then you will see an HR button in the top menu bar. However, if you add additional team sites under HR (i.e. Recruiting, Benefits, Payroll, etc), by default you need to click on HR first, and then select your sub site.  However, MOSS 2007 sites can display drop down menus in the top level navigation so you can access Recruiting from the navigation menus off the home page. To enable this feature please follow the steps below:

  1. Create a new sub site (i.e. HR) and corresponding sites under your sub site (i.e. recruiting, benefits, payroll, etc.). If your sub sites already exists, then proceed to 2.
  2. For each site you create or have created, navigate to Site Actions – Site Settings – Modify Navigation.

3.      Check Show subsites and Show pages in the first row.

Note that SharePoint 2013 only supports one level deep on drop downs. If you require the navigation to show 2nd level sub site pages or 3rd level sub sites under the 2nd level, you need to make a very minor tweak to the master page that the site is using.

  1. Using SharePoint Designer (SPD), open the master page being used by the site.   Warning!  Making edits to this file will customize the file, a.k.a. unghost it.  Don’t worry you can always undo this action.
    1. In SPD, navigate to _catalogs/masterpage/*.master
    2. How do you know which master the site is using? In the site, go to Site Actions – Site Settings – Modify All Settings, then choose Master page under the Look and Feel column.  Check which master page is selected in each drop down.
  2.  In the master page file, search for SharePoint:AspMenu.
    1. You will more than likely have more than one instance of a menu control.  Look at the IDs to find the right navigation control for what you want to edit.  They are intelligently named, you will be able to sort out which one you need.   For default.master, look for ID=”TopNavigationMenu”.
  3. In the properties for the tag, find MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels=”1″.  Change the number from 1 to 2.
  4. Save the file and publish the master page (do this from SPD, Manage Content and Structure, or the Master Page Gallery).
  5. Refresh your browser.  Now when you mouse over Site 1 – Sub Site 1, you should see another level of navigation pop up.

For more information and a free consult, please contact Henson Group at http://www.thehensongroup.com/ or 800-980-1130.