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From the category archives: Customer and Employee Engagement Blog

Blog entries related to Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 solutions such as Power BI, Microsoft Flow, Power Apps and Microsoft Teams

What Am I Missing from SharePoint 2013?

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The purpose of this article is to try and compile a list of features removed or discounted features, not list all of the changes or improvements in SharePoint 2013.  This list will vary somewhat depending if we’re talking SharePoint on-premise or SharePoint online, but I’ll try to call out the differences where applicable. 

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Export and Synchronize Contacts from Outlook to SharePoint


Export Outlook Contacts to SharePointLet's say you’re a member of a sales team and you need the ability for your sales peers and managers on your team to be able to see your contacts. Did you know you can use SharePoint to store and share Outlook contacts?  This blog will show you just how easy this is to do!

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Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? The SharePoint Edition!

Are you a newbie when it comes to SharePoint? Are you lost in the lingo, or trying to make heads or tails of how to incorporate the tool into your day-to-day operations? If so, this blog is for you!

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Let Your SharePoint Users Be Heard With the C5 Insight Feedback Solution!

SharePoint Site Feedback How do users communicate their SharePoint frustrations, feedback, and questions?  If the answer is “they send an email” or “they open a helpdesk ticket” then this is for you!  We have created a solution for SharePoint 2010 on-premise and SharePoint 2013 on-premise and Office 365 that provides a powerful yet simple mechanism for users to provide feedback.  Best of all, it's free!

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Steps to Resolve the SharePoint Error “Sandboxed code execution request failed” When Configuring CRM Integration

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After getting a client's SharePoint available on the public interweb and thus available to CRM, we installed and activated the list component. But when we went to an Opportunity or other entity that was configured for document management, it would throw an error...

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Building A SharePoint Leadership Team


I know what you’re thinking: we already have a project team, do we really need another formal team?  After all, that only means more meetings, tasks, documents to write and manage, decisions to make, consensus to get, etc.  My answer is a resounding yes, you most certainly need this team.  But here’s the truth –  while extremely important to the success of the project, this doesn’t have a to be a huge undertaking. This blog entry details 3 practical steps for you to begin building a SharePoint Leadership Team today.

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Use PowerShell to Enable Versions in All Document Libraries in All Subsites

powershell_iconIn this post with PowerShell, I wanted to show you how you can write a script that will enable versions but starting from a subsite instead of the entire site collection. 

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Create a Simple Time-Based Email Reminder for SharePoint Calendar Events

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Someone asks you “Can I get an email reminder for these events on the team calendar?”.  You think well, we can set alerts, so you go look into the alert settings, so you go look into the alert settings, and quickly realize that alerts don’t work like that.  The alert mechanism in SharePoint will send the alert subscriber an email based on an action happening on the item (it is being created, edited, etc).  We need the trigger to be based on a date.  So what to do? 

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How to Easily Lower Opacity In Visio Shapes

imageAs a SharePoint solution architect, when I’m not creating site columns and configuring SharePoint server databases, I'm meeting and talking to clients about their business requirements for collaboration technology like SharePoint.  On a project basis like assessing a clients desire to upgrade their SharePoint environment, this involves documenting a SharePoint environment or a lot of times just business processes.  There are many tools available for these types of drawings, and one I typically use for drawing SharePoint farms and topologies is Visio. 

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Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 2–Creating Content

Welcome back to to my series on the basics of SharePoint.  If you've already read the first post, we covered what SharePoint is. Now we're ready to dive into how to create content in SharePoint.  (Notice I said create content, not any form of structure.)  We have to crawl before we can walk, right?  Then we can move on for the super users on how to create structure, the things that hold the content. 

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Plot SharePoint 2013 List Items on a Map – Automatically GeoCode Addresses with PowerShell

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SharePoint 2013 comes with new features for plotting SharePoint list items on a Bing map. However, it isn’t completely intuitive how to accomplish this, and once you figure it out, it is still a lot of work. This post will look at using PowerShell to quickly geocode a full list of SharePoint list items with address data.

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Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 1–What is SharePoint?

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To start with and ensure we’re all talking the same thing, we need to level the foundation.  It’s easy to assume otherwise, but I continually find people at any given company across a variety of industries who don’t even know what SharePoint is.  They have heard the term perhaps, but don’t know what it is, much all it can do (beyond the dumping ground for your documents).  So let’s get started with Part 1.

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A Better Approach – Understanding the 40/20/40 Principle

When we stepped back and looked at our current projects and proposals going out, we began to see that we were often being brought-in as a 2nd or 3rd vendor, to assist with a 2nd or 3rd implementation, or to help a project “get back on track” after it was underway. The reality is that 59% of all new projects for C5 Insight are rescue projects, or what we now call “CPR” projects. So, where do we go from here and how do we fix it?

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How to Make SharePoint List Form Fields Read Only Without InfoPath

I was working with a client recently in a simplified signup site.  In effect what was needed was to make the fields read only based on the role of the user.  Follow me as I walk you through the steps using only SharePoint Designer, no code or InfoPath required!

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Branding the SharePoint 2013 Global Navigation – Structural

 

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A few months ago I posted on How to Brand the SharePoint 2013 Global Navigation if you were using the Managed Metadata service to render your navigation using a term set.  The menu code renders differently if you use structural versus managed navigation.  This post is going to look at how to leverage the same base CSS code but modify it to work on the structural navigation.

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Account for SharePoint 2013’s Minimal Download Strategy with your Custom JavaScript


SharePoint 2013 introduced a new feature to aid in page load times called the Minimal Download Strategy. This only downloads JavaScript files when they are necessary. This sounds good until you try to load your custom JavaScript files that rely on standard hooks that SharePoint provides with it’s JavaScript files. The end result of all of this is that your code doesn’t execute. This post will provide you with JavaScript that will load your custom JavaScript whether this feature is turned on or not.

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The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 7

imageMeasure twice, cut once. You’ve heard the saying, right?  For this final habit, I wanted to take that saying and use it to illustrate a phenomenon that we often see in technology projects – lack of testing.  I call it a phenomenon, because it often defies logic. 

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The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 6

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Most organizations today believe that if you simply implement “the new technology”, that everyone will immediately and automatically (and of course without any prompting) begin to use the new system(s).  On the contrary, our experience has shown us that once a new solution has been implemented, there is still much to do to ensure it is truly successful. I would like to directly address a few areas where we see most organizations struggle to cross the finish line, and practical ways to correct these issues.

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Create Dynamic Images Using InfoPath and a SharePoint Picture Library

Create Dynamic Images Using InfoPath and a SharePoint Picture LibraryAs part of an auction site I was working on for a client, one part of the solution was to use an InfoPath form for users to submit their bids.  This post  focused on how to get the dynamic images from a SharePoint Picture library.

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The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 5

imageLet’s face it - no one ever tells you to focus on the past.  In fact, we’re all told, from very early on, to stay focused on the “here and now” and to look ahead to our future. While it may be a bit of a stretch, I would like to encourage those who are currently working on a project or getting ready to start a project, to take some time to reflect on the past.  Let me to explain...

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Add custom links to the SharePoint 2013 Suite Bar with jQuery

There are a few different ways you can get custom links into the SharePoint 2013 suite bar. This method is going to utilize jQuery to inject these links as the page loads and has the added benefit of working in SharePoint Online as well.   We'll look at how to accomplish this for both on premise and online.

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The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 4

Technology is wonderful thing, but never forget that it’s not the only thing.  What I mean is this - while technology can provide us with new ways of doing things, automation of tasks, and analysis we could only dream of doing on our own, technology should never be a substitute for your people and your process.

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Use Power Pivot to Merge Related SharePoint List Data

Excel-2013 When working with SharePoint, you occasionally need to work with related data.  Since SharePoint isn’t setup for true relational data, that means we’re typically working with lookup columns from a child to a parent list.  This is all fine well and good, but I had a client ask me for some special filtering and output with this related data.  After reviewing my options, I found that the quickest way to do this (in under 15 minutes) is to use Microsoft’s Power Pivot add-in for Excel.  No SharePoint Designer required!  If you have Excel 2010, you will need to download and install the add-in.  If you use Excel 2013, the add-in is already installed, you just have to enable it.

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Lead Scoring – Other Ways to Use Scoring – Part 4 of 4

Using predictive analytics and scoring for more than lead scoring. SharePoint. Dynamics CRM. Salesforce.

Used properly, scoring is a way not only to optimize your organization’s budget, but also to serve your customers, prospects and employees by trying to respond to them in the most relevant manner possible.  Think of scoring as a way to simulate an individual prioritization process across thousands – or even hundreds of millions – of people, all at once.

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The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 3

Trips (or projects) do not complete themselves.  It takes “unseen” things to make it all happen, and that is where this habit will focus.

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Blog Topics

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CPR for CRM Study

The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.

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SharePoint Readiness Assessment

This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.

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CRM Self Assessment

Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.

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SharePoint Feedback Solution

This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.

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SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.