David Broussard Archive

The Executive or Company as the Customer

Last week we talked about the end user as the customer for our Intranet and I proposed that we look at them more as product than as customer.  To recap, our definition of a customer is: someone that buys or pays, for a product or service.  So, let’s look at another potential customer…the Executives or the Company as a whole. The Executives certainly have the budget for an Intranet, but do they actually make use of the product or service?  That is where the answer starts to fall apart.  Let’s look at the problem this way.  How many users do you

End user, customer or product?

Last week, I wrote a blog post about how to sell an intranet to your organization and I quickly talked about who the customer of the Intranet should be.  The quick definition of customer is someone that buys or pays, for a product or service.  So, with that in mind, lets explore who the customer is for an Intranet.  There are three potential groups that make sense as customers in an organization. The End Users The Executives The Departments The End User as Customer When I talk to many customers about who the customer is for the Intranet, most people respond

Selling an Intranet to your organization

Let’s face it, we want a new Intranet and we are getting tired of waiting for our company to approve the project to build one.  How do we get that project going?  I’m glad you asked, and I hope to help you in this endeavor.  The first thing that you are going to have to realize is that if you want the project to happen you are going to have to sell it to your organization, and if we are going to sell this project we better understand more about the project and how to sell it. Step 1 –

Odd 403 Error in MOSS 2007

I was working at a client migrating some MOSS 2007 servers from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008R2 and ran into an odd issue with a custom user control they were using for a Captcha. When you tried to access the control and its associated graphics in the _controltemplates library you would get a 403 Access Denied error. It was really odd. It seems that this is an IIS 6 to IIS 7 change and you have to update the IIS 7 system to allow it to execute the user controls. Here is how you do it. Open up IIS 7

Microsoft at 40 and what it means for us all

​I got an article sent to me today.  It was in The Economist and it was about Microsoft entering Middle Age. An interesting read that takes a long hard look at Microsoft, where it came from, and how the new CEO Mr Nadella is reshaping the company to move forward into its 5th decade.  First a few comments on the article itself. “Mr Nadella’s formula for reinvigorating Microsoft is to move as quickly and as far as possible away from being a Windows-only company to be a global network of giant data centres that provide a broad range of online services

The Alternatives to Top Down Design

Second in a series, read the first entry here. The Big Reveal is dead…long live, the Little Reveal As I talked about in my first post in the series, most Intranet projects focus on a Big Reveal where the project works towards completion and has a big massive launch with much fanfare. There are a number of reasons for this style of approach. Partially it is due to the main landing page being the starting point for the Intranet, and thus a major focus of effort. Since that landing page is usually comprised of information from multiple lower level sources

Should Top Down Intranet Design Be Dead?

I have been consulting with companies about how to build SharePoint Intranet sites for almost a decade now, and the conversation usually goes something like this: Customer: I want to build an intranet because my people need to accomplish some specific tasks Me: Well, building an Intranet is like building a house. You need to lay the foundation (servers), then frame the house (Information Architecture, Navigation, Taxonomy, Site Hierarchy, etc.), and then you can finish out the room (branding, workflows, etc). Customer: Oh, well, what if I just want to do one thing (get departments off shared drives, paperless invoices,

SharePoint 2013 Distributed Cache 5 Important Items

​I was working with a client today trying to talk about the Distributed Cache in SharePoint 2013 and I found this great article by Sean McDonough (spmcdonough). http://blog.idera.com/sharepoint/the-five-minute-cheat-sheet-on-sharepoint-2013s-distributed-cache-service/ High points: Distributed Cache replaces the older Cache mechanisms in SharePoint 2007 and 2010 and adds some security stuff as well Runs on the AppFabric Cache model Uses 10% of the RAM on the sever by default.  Watch memory utilization because if the host is memory starved, the cache will stop working Don’t run it on servers that run Search, Excel Calculation, SQL Sever, Project Server You don’t HAVE to run it…but

Social Solutions in SharePoint

​One of the new features of SharePoint 2013 is improved Social features.  The activity feed is significantly improved and integrated with hash tags to make it easier to see content from people that you are not following.  The ability to follow a user, a document, a site, a hashtag all make it easier to interact socially   This is critical to making Social Solutions work in SharePoint, but just because we have a technology doesn’t mean that we have a solution to a business problem.  There are a ton of potential business problems that Social Features can help us solve,