Monday, January 17, 2005

Project updates

It's been awhile since I wrote about what's going on with the various collaboration projects that spun out of our collaboration strategy.

Team workspaces has been beset by numerous problems. We were planning a bakeoff between Windows Sharepoint Services and eRoom. Unfortunately, our sales rep is neither very responsive nor helpful when he does respond. Also, we found Vorsite, which provides a nice connector between WSS and Documentum, which eliminates one of eRoom's big plusses. In theory at least, this functionality will also be a part of Documentum itself in the next release. We are also increasing our usage of Sharepoint Portal Server, which brings WSS along for the ride. Finally, and most importantly, the biggest issues for us aren't technological, they are cultural and environmental -- problems we'd have to deal with regardless of tool. So we came to the point where eRoom worked themselves out of consideration with their delays and lack of responsiveness.

The primary focus for WSS at the start of the year is to get the basics in place in time for our rollout of Office 2003. (Yes, we are a bit behind the times.) Initially, we aren't planning a big push, but we'll have to have servers in place and FAQ's answered for those who discover the integration between Office and WSS. For instance: when do I use WSS v. the shared drive v. Documentum? Also, there are also infrastructure questions to be answered, such as how distributed to our WSS servers need to be? Currently, the shared drive is distributed through DFS, and it is a pain to manage. We have to figure out how to balance server costs, network costs, usability, and other issues. There's a lot to do in a relatively short time. Fun, fun, fun.

The secondary focus is on access by non-employees. We thought we had a quick and dirty workaround for our pilot using Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM), but unfortunately, ADAM is not a Windows security principal, so no dice. Further research indicates that our best bet is setting up a separate AD forest for external users which trusts our user domain, but not the other way around. This requires a lot more infrastructure, but for the pilot at least, we are hoping to virtualize as many of the servers as we can.

Our web conferencing RFP should be out this week. This is lower priority, but it is low hanging fruit that shouldn't require that much effort to get in place.

Unfortunately, our internal blogging pilot has been put on the back burner. We just don't have enough resources to adequately focus on all the things we'd like to be doing. We will take another look at our priorities at the end of the quarter. We may be able to jump start it then if we make enough progress on the other things in the meantime.

As always, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts, suggestions, or advice.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not find any response to your question, For instance: when do I use WSS v. the shared drive v. Documentum? Did you ever get an answer.

12:38 PM  

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