Kurt DelBene Remarks
Vice President, Authoring and Collaboration Services Group
Microsoft Exchange Conference 2001
Orlando, Fla., Oct. 3, 2001
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Microsoft’s Vice President of Authoring and Collaboration Services, Kurt DelBene.
KURT DELBENE: Welcome. Thanks for coming.
Well, some of you, I see some people in the audience that I’ve known from the past and certainly around the show over the last couple of days. Some of you don’t know me in my current role. I used to be the general manager of the Outlook team, and I’ve done that for about five or so years. I’ve been involved in collaboration and that product space for probably about seven years at Microsoft.
So for those of you who don’t know me, the whole gig is I am responsible for every problem you’ve ever had in Outlook. Every time you’ve had to wait for that annoying thing when the Exchange server didn’t come up, that’s my fault. Everything is my fault. But that’s all behind me.
What I want to talk about today, and you’ll notice the title has changed over what you saw in your bulletin. I felt like I had to jazz it up. We had a little power failure in the other auditorium, so you’ll notice that the place got changed and so all my pyrotechnics, those are all gone, so I figured I needed a jazzier title, especially after the wonderful time you guys probably had out at Universal Studios. I see the attendance is a little light. Maybe some people are hung over this morning.
But I thought we’d improve the title a little bit, so we’re going to talk about Knowledge Creation and the .NET Enterprise . And you wonder what does that mean. Well, it’s my attempt to kind of talk to you about how is it that Microsoft views the collaboration space. We have a broad array of products in that space, and people sometimes get confused about what the prescription is for how we would apply those products, and more importantly how do the product teams think about the collaboration space when they’re developing the products and what are the implications for you as well.
So that’s what the title is all about and that’s what I’m going to talk about.
We have a CEO summit that we have every year at Microsoft and we bring all the CEOs from some of our larger customers in to Redmond and we talk about what’s on their minds, what are their important agendas for the next year, and this year we asked them this question that I’ve put up here, which is, “Which of the advances would have the greatest impact on your success in business over the next five years?” And we collect this information and we use it in terms of determining what our priorities are for our products over the next year, and presumably it’s something that’s important to you guys as IT professionals, as developers of software, as CIOs in your industry.
And what do you think they thought the most important one was? Knowledge worker productivity was considered the most important thing in your CEOs’ minds about what they should be focusing on over the next year.
And I think that’s got a number of things that that says about where we are in the space right now. I think one it says that CEOs believe that empowering individuals and their assets, the assets of individuals minds in their organization is truly the most important thing for them to be leveraging over the next year.
I think it also means that they don’t believe that they’re done with that space, that we’ve actually accomplished everything that we need to in that space, and that they’ll be evaluating us in terms of delivering software and you all in terms of implementing that software in terms of how well that you’ve delivered on those solutions over the next year.
So let’s take a look at what some of those solutions are. R & D teams are always trying to get faster time to market. Sales groups, they want to get quicker response to opportunities, finance teams more efficient processes across the organization, and across the professional services a need to actually deliver value to their customers by improving the processes in their client organization.
And what is it that these things have in common? I think first that they necessitate leveraging information across the organizations. They involve teams working together to deliver and to figure out the answer to often complex problems. They involve generating new insights, looking at data in new ways and analyses in new ways to come up with new solutions. And then finally I think they involve ultimately translating those ideas into actions.
So in short these knowledge worker projects that you all have been working on truly span the entire process space for knowledge workers, the entire problem space, how they do their entire job, which makes the implementation of knowledge worker solutions particularly difficult in organizations. You have to work through the process of how people find information, how they work together, how they create their end product and finally how they distribute them. In fact, it’s the whole IT infrastructure, every aspect is touched by these knowledge worker solutions. It’s a very complicated space in general.
If I think about how Microsoft has worked in this space in the past, I think we’ve actually been somewhat piecemeal in the way we’ve developed solutions to this space. The fortunate thing is most of our competitors and the other software providers out there haven’t done a lot better job historically, and, in fact, a lot of them don’t even have the assets to bear on the problem that Microsoft has to be able to develop the kinds of solutions we have.
So what have we done in the past? Well, we certainly got Office in the content creation space, certainly the strongest product there, and even from the beginning Office has been about collaboration implicitly. You can think about creating documents, creating spreadsheets, it’s all about creating content to distribute to other people, so that’s all in the collaboration space.
We’ve also had a set of server products we’ve been able to depend on. Windows Server has certainly been something we’ve leveraged over time, and Exchange Server in particular has been a particular focus. But in general we’ve tended to focus on what the narrow set of things we can count on in that space to be. So, for instance, we can count on file servers to be throughout an organization. We can think of messaging as something that’s preponderant across the entire organization. So we’ve focused on those things that we can really count on every desktop having.
And whether you believe it or not, sometimes it seems like the Outlook team doesn’t talk a lot to the Exchange team, but I’m here to tell you that’s actually not true. We actually have a very in depth conversation and working relationship between Outlook and Exchange, and that’s how those features get developed, but the relationships across the other products have been a little weaker.
In recent times we’ve actually filled out the product line, but we had a few products that were missing. Exchange has been particularly good at discussion groups, at calendaring and developing custom applications, but they haven’t really had, the public folder certainly hasn’t been a very rich environment for doing ad hoc collaboration.
At the same time, Microsoft didn’t really have an offering at all in the information location area of the knowledge worker space, how do you find information in the organization.
So recently we’ve fleshed out the product line. We’ve got SharePoint Team Services as the ad hoc collaboration space, and we’ve got SharePoint Portal services in the information location and the portal space.
But more importantly, I think there’s a growing realization in the Office team and across Microsoft that we need to deepen the relationship in how these products interact. So across the Office team, for instance, teams like Excel and PowerPoint and FrontPage are all thinking about how do we leverage a server infrastructure, how do we see collaboration beyond the desktop and think of it not just as a client application or a client problem to work on, but how do we think of it together as a client/server problem.
So I think that’s a growing realization and a growing investment that we’ve had in developing collaborative solutions in Microsoft.
So I wanted to transition for a moment and take you through how is it we think about the knowledge worker space, how do we think about how these products relate, to give you some insight one into how you can think about deploying our products, but probably more importantly what are the kinds of things we’re developing in the future moving forward in this space.
So we think of the knowledge worker space as a cycle. We think of it as the cycle of creating knowledge in your organization. And it starts with identifying an opportunity or an issue that has to be solved. This could be something that’s external, a competitive situation that you may face. It may be an internal issue that you have to address, an opportunity that comes up, but it’s always something that kicks off a process where you have to come up with a solution.
From there, the user goes through a process of finding knowledge in the organization. And in an ideal world what they do is they go to a single location that they go to over and over again and they find that information. They want to search the organization, they want to search lots of disparate sources of information and find everything that’s out there in the organization. So search is the first real key to going to this knowledge portal and finding the information they need.
As I said, they want to find all sources of information in the organization, and more importantly oftentimes they don’t have a lot of understanding of what they want to search for, so fuzzy search is really important, that you have some notion of it’s in this particular topic area. They may not know how to frame the question exactly, but they have some sense of the question, and that’s what insert into this space is this thing to search for. So deep R & D knowledge in the search space is absolutely key in this.
And also because it is kind of a fuzzy notion, just as important as finding the documents that exist in the organization are finding the experts in the organization, the people that they can actually go to or the teams where collaboration is going on. That’s probably as key as actually finding the documents, because the particular answer to that solution hasn’t been found yet.
And then finally, taxonomy is important. They need to be able to see the space in terms that they recognize, see categories that they’re familiar with, because if they can’t define the exact question, they want to drill down in the category that may actually be appropriate for what they’re trying to solve.
Another important part of this is it’s not just about finding documents and it’s not just about finding teams, et cetera, but it’s about looking at information that may be quantitative in the organization and gleaning new insights for that. So if you take as an example I may go to my portal and look at sales for a particular region and try to find out why are those sales numbers down, and I may want to drill down into what the factors are that influenced that. So you need a set of analytics and LOB data, line of business data that can be exposed in your portal and drive new insights there.
And then finally also the information is not static, so once I’ve found a search, I’ve found one that’s actually interesting to me, something that got information that I was in need of, I want to actually subscribe to that search, so whenever new information comes by, I want to actually be alerted to that rather than have to go repetitively to this space to find the information I need.
If I go to this space over and over again, I’m fairly quickly going to come to the point where I want to have a unique view that is all my own and that shows the information that’s relevant to me personally and relevant to my role in the organization, so that I don’t just get this vanilla look at the organization that was just as relevant to the CEO as the service person deep in the organization. I want it to be specific to my needs, present the exact data that I want.
Now, that’s a fairly tall order and if you think about this as a space that the user is going to over and over again, you conclude fairly quickly that this is a platform investment you’re making. This is not just a point product that you’re investing in. You need to think about this as something that integrates into your IT infrastructure and, for instance, is consistent with how you think about your LOB data, how you think about your directory, et cetera, and think about it really in a holistic IT fashion, because this is a fairly serious investment that you’re making.
So once we’ve found the information, we’ve gotten a sense of where the centers of knowledge exist in the organization, the next step is to do collaboration analysis with others. Almost always the answers that come out come out as a result of discussing things with others and finding the analysis, the key insights as a result.
What you want are topic forums, easy ways in your organization to create ad hoc spaces. Literally a team can come together and when that team comes together you want to be able to very simply create an ad hoc space. This is a particularly key implication for IT managers in that these are the spaces that you want to be preponderant across your organization, just let a thousand flowers bloom so that there is no limitation into how people can do collaboration in your environment.
So simple creation is key and flexible administration is also key. When I go to find a new topic area, I want people within the organization to be able to add users, et cetera.
And it’s particularly important that collaboration spaces integrate with the way people work. The key problem we talk about with collaboration is the out of sight out of mind problem. And the problem is that you create these spaces, but if you’re not doing work in these spaces all the time, you very quickly lose track of being in these spaces or being subscribed to these spaces, et cetera. So you really have to figure out how do I get collaboration pushed right into the environment where the person works every day, how do they show up in messaging, how do they show up in my portal, how do they show up and surface themselves in Word documents, et cetera. It has to be preponderant across all the parts of my knowledge worker space to really be effective.
And then communication centric is obviously key. They go hand in hand. When I’m doing collaboration I automatically start thinking about how do I communicate results with others, how do I fire off an IM session with one of the participants to find out some particular information. So we think about collaboration as having to have all the different communication spaces integrated in in a very seamless way.
The types of collaboration that can go on are actually two types. You can have a more structured environment, which is what Exchange would be particularly good for, workflow, routing documents across the organization for approval, or there are the ad hoc spaces, which are collaboration where teams get together to share knowledge.
So that’s the whole overview of collaboration.
The next step is content creation. I’ve collaborated together. I’ve figured out what the answer to the problem is. I want to create content. This is obviously where Office is key. We certainly have the most popular desktop suite of applications here. And people ask us when they think about Office, “What would you possibly add to Office as the next iteration? It’s certainly got more features than I ever use. How do you think about adding new features to Office?”
And what we’ve found is one there is no lack of people asking for more things for Office. It just comes over and over again, which is really confusing if you think about most people saying it’s all there. And what we’ve found when we do the focus groups studies, when we do “instrumented” versions of our applications, where we actually collect the keystrokes that people use when they agree to be in the study, is that while people may use 15 to 20 or 25 percent of the product, the pieces of the product that they use are actually different across the different user spaces. So we actually, and I think it was in Office 4 we designed a feature, which added short menus. You could choose to only show up a certain set of the most common commands. But we found it actually wasn’t a very successful attempt, and the problem again was this notion that what the person used was different depending upon what their particular user profile was.
So what we’ve concluded and what we’ve actually driven certainly in Office XP and are driving across the multiple releases as well is that the key here is to expose user functionality in the context of how they work.
So, for instance, when I want to create a file template or create a new file, show me all the different kinds of things that I might create, things I thought about naturally or things I hadn’t thought about yet, and do that in the context of the particular operations the user is wanting to do, so let them discover more functionality in the product.
And then secondarily give them control over the product: We’ve added a lot of features as we’ve gotten more sophisticated in our functionality, which does auto sensing things, the whole things like doing auto correct and spelling, et cetera.
And what we’ve found from that experience is that it’s somewhat frustrating for people because it sometimes does things that aren’t very natural to them, they didn’t expect that particular operation to take place.
So we’ve done things like added Smart Tags so that when it does an auto correct, if it didn’t do quite what you wanted, there’s a little on-object UI that shows up that lets you change that to the particular thing that you had in mind.
So again the notion is keep the richness of the Office application, but as they get more sophisticated and as more functionality gets exposed, expose that to the user in the context of how they do work and also give them more control over how they do that.
Creating content for the Web continues to be a key for the Office applications. That means, of course, HTML has to be a first-class citizen. It also means that XML becomes more and more important. Of course, XML is all the buzz. I’m sure everybody knows what it is, but it’s a general markup language that allows you to say things in a way that other applications can access that information and discover the structure that’s in that data.
So that drives us to start thinking about what other sources of information might we think about pulling into Office and how can we actually save to XML in ways that allow other processes to reuse that information. So, for instance, if I think about XML in Word, how could I pull different XML data sources together to create a compound document? How could I save data back out of Word in a way that it could be used by other business processes? And of course that feeds into the whole notion of collaboration, because as I can post more of this data back, it’s more discoverable for collaborative uses, et cetera.
And, in fact, if you think about it, the whole process of content creation is really an iterative one. It cycles back upon itself. It cycles back into the ideas of generating more and more collaboration. It cycles back into the knowledge location space. So, for instance, if I create a document, I want the taxonomy, the things that people are going to go ahead and search for that information to be immediately accessible for my portal. So the minute I save that document into the organization, boom, people can get use of that information, it’s automatically indexed, it’s automatically available for future searches.
Let’s take, for example, a status reports that somebody might create. People create that in the context of collaboration, so you want that to be able to save directly to your collaboration spaces. You want to be able to have everybody input the same set of core properties, et cetera, so that, for instance, I may be able to do a roll-up analysis on particular projects that are distributed across different status reports, immediately be able to gain new insights from that analysis in the collaboration space. And as I said before, you want to be able to post that up to the site, because the information that’s most relevant for people finding new information in the organization is what’s going on in collaboration sites right now, so again that tight looping together of the different processes and feeding that back on itself to gain more insights more rapidly in the organization.
Relative to the other processes we’ve talked about, the whole notion of presentation and distribution is actually a simpler one, and it is all about keeping it simple. It’s about creating clean presentations, clean Word documents, facilitating the creation of those documents, the PowerPoint presentations, et cetera, so that you can get your ideas across in a crisp manner.
And if you think about PowerPoint in particular their role has historically been thought about as how do I create great presentations for meetings. We’re expanding that role over time, and this is certainly something that Bill likes to talk about a great deal, as how do we have more productive meetings. We sit in a lot of meetings, but they’re not always the most productive. How do we think through the process beyond just PowerPoint presentations in meetings to things like meetings at a distance, a particularly important thing given the recent events in the United States? How do we bring real time collaboration into the meeting space? How do we think about video teleconferencing in the context of a meeting?
And again how do we take the assets we have in Office and make more productive meetings with a combination of that through the combination of collaboration in the context of meetings and in the context of new investments we might make in new application spaces that are particularly relevant in that space?
The second part of presentation is all about creating knowledge repositories. You want to be able to save this data into places in the organization that it can immediately be searched through, and we talked a bit about that where you have to feed back into the portal space so it can immediately be searched again.
Organizational taxonomy is key. We talked a little bit about the whole notion of you want to create categories that are relevant to that particular way that people think about that product space, that problem space, so that people are immediately familiar when they go to search for a document how to look for that and how to drill down into different categories of information in the organization.
And then finally as the information grows in an organization, again notifications about new information that exists and getting that out to people, they need to be able to subscribe to searches, et cetera so that they can get information relevant to them immediately.
So that’s a sense of how we think about the problem, how we think about driving the integration across the knowledge creation cycle. Obviously we have a set of products that span the entire space, but it’s important to realize I think with the new set of products that we have in SharePoint Team Services and SharePoint Portal Server we for the first time have a set of products that span the entire space, and there’s a growing and very strong realization across Office that we need to think of this as a holistic process and a holistic set of systems and solutions that we’re delivering to users to solve the whole knowledge creation process.
So with that, I’d like to introduce Wayne Tynes. He’s a product manager in the SharePoint team, and he’s going to give us a demo in Champion Zone of how some of our products work together, again to facilitate this whole process of knowledge creation.
WAYNE TYNES: Thanks a lot, Kurt. Good morning.
I’ll go ahead and outline the scenario first before we get into the demo. Our demo scenario is based about Champion Zone. They’re a fictitious retailer and global manufacturer of sporting goods equipment. And they’ve recently launched a new product line; it’s a new sports watch. And the sales for the sports watch have been disappointing. So the CEO, in order to make the shareholders happy, has decided to appoint a new director of marketing, and her name is Carol Phillips.
So the scenario walks through how Carol is going to go out and locate information on the product. She’ll walk through and find information on the sports watch. As a new member to this team, that’s one of the things that’s really valuable to having corporate portals is as new people join your organization or team they can quickly get up to speed on the activities that are involved in their new job responsibilities. And she’ll go out and collaborate, do some analysis, create some content, publish that content out to the portal and make it accessible, and then we’ll end the demo with a little bit of a more structured workflow as we’ll walk through how Carol would then take this new marketing campaign that she’s going to create to solve this sales problem, and then collaborate with other areas of the organization like the sales force.
So with that we’ll start out in the Champion Zone corporate portal, and you can see that the portal is composed of a collection of Web Parts. And Web Parts are really powerful concepts. We have the ability to encapsulate just the piece of the application you need in order to get your job done. So a portal is a great aggregator of applications and also content.
So you can see here that I have a category Web Part, and as Kurt started talking about categories a little bit, we’ve made it really easy with SharePoint Portal Server to develop a corporate taxonomy and then to extend that taxonomy out into your organization with technologies, things like auto categorization and the ability to quickly categorize your information.
And I have an Awaiting Your Approval Web Part here, so you can quickly see documents. And this is specific to who’s logged in, so the Web Parts are going to respond based on your logon and give you a bit of personalization. So I can see docs that are awaiting my approval, quick access to news and information in the organization, recent live media events that have happened, and I have access to other areas of the corporate intranet from my quick links. And then I also have the ability to quickly see subscription information that I’ve gone out and subscribed to. So I have the ability to subscribe to documents, to specific searches, to folders, so you have the ability to have the information to come find you.
So we’ll start off with Carol going out and learning a bit more about sports watches. We’ll click on the product category. As that opens up there, you can see it takes me to a listing of all my categories that I have in the portal and we’ll go to the watches category.
And one of the things we want it to do with our categorization is to not only allow you to separate the physical and the virtual storage of your documents, but to also make it a rich place for people when they first go to the category. So you can see that there’s an icon that represents that I’m in the watches category with a description. There are documents that can be tagged as best bets for that category that you’re in. And then I have a collection of documents that meet that category.
As I scroll down further, we also have the ability to add Web Parts into categories so that you can show rich interactive sales data, for example, in this example, but any other type of data that you want to represent in a category from a Web Part. So you can imagine extending out your organization into any application.
And as I expand out the 2000 sales, I can quickly see that sales for watches are a bit disappointing based on the forecast, as the CEO did mention, and one of the other things to note here is this data is coming from a SQL database. We’re able to pivot on it. And it’s also being filtered by the category that I’m in. So I mentioned that I’m in the watches category. If I were to move this Web Part to another category like jerseys or athletic shoes, it would automatically filter on that data.
So the next step is to go out and learn more about the marketing activity that the team has been doing, so we’ll go out and do a search on watch marketing.
When this search comes back, I’ve gone out and I’ve searched my Exchange public folders, my internal Web Sites, external sites that I’ve tagged to go search, file systems, public folders, and my hits are organized based on category matches, so that might be familiar with Yahoo or MSN category matches, and based on the description I’ve got that same category we were just in. I have a best bet now that’s showing up for the term “watch” and I also have documents that meet my criteria. The document hits that come back can be Office documents, you have Adobe, Corel, TIFF files. Our filters have the ability to go in and corral all those different types of content sources.
So as an end user what that really means for you is you don’t have to worry about what the file share is or what format your information is in; I just go out and locate what I’m looking for based on the task at hand.
So we’ll click on and open up this best bet, and scrolling down through this document, one of the things that we’re pointing out for the proposed activities for the marketing campaign for Champion Zone are a breadth of marketing activities, so TV spots, radio ads, direct mail campaigns.
So since Carol is new to the team, one of the things she notices right away is she thinks that they’re starting to spread themselves a little too thin with too many marketing activities.
So the next part of the analysis stage here would be to go out and find what were the most successful campaigns that were done in the different regions. In order to do that, I could go to the business unit portal for the sports watch, and we’ll do that by starting off at the company home page and then using the quick links Web Part to go access other areas of the intranet. So in this case we’ll go out to our business unit portal.
So this business unit portal has a collection of Web Parts that are focused on the job that these guys do, which is to manufacture and market their sports watches.
And there’s a tab here for marketing campaigns; we’ll click on that tab. And I have some information that comes from a pivot table and to create this kind of information you don’t have to do any kind of development. We have the ability from inside of Excel to do Save as Web Page and then with the integration we have with SharePoint Portal Server you can then create that and turn that into a Web Part very easily and publish that out to our portal.
So the first thing that we’ll have our manager notice is the customer responses are divided by region. And you can see that the Northeast region had the most responses for the campaign, but I don’t have enough information to know which ones were successful, so let’s filter on that. So you can see that all the data that’s in the portal again is interactive and I can drag and drop my marketing campaign filter and then I can see on the legend here the breakdown of the responses.
If I look at the Northeast I can hover over that and see that they had 1,334 responses for the direct mail offer. In fact, they were the only region that did a direct mail offer at all. So with a quick graphical view, I’m able to distinguish what the most successful campaign was or the one that had the most impact on the different businesses.; in this case it was direct mail.
So if I want to go out and learn more about the types of direct mail activities, I could do a broad search on the entire intranet again and my hits that come back this time, one of the things I want to point out is that we have the ability now to search not only the documents and some of the applications but actually the places where people are working and coming together. I think Kurt touched a little bit on SharePoint Team Services, so one of the Team Services sites is this direct mail campaign team Web Site. So we’ll click on that from our hit.
That takes me to a Team Services site. Team Services sites are great for ad hoc collaboration, so in about 12 seconds you can build a new site, start populating it, importing contact information, creating team calendars and bringing up the documents that you want the team to work on.
In this case, back to our scenario, our marketing manager could go out and find out who the team members were that worked on this really successful Northeast regional direct mail campaign and maybe go out and contact those individuals and help to form a national campaign to try to turn around the sales in North America.
So if we back up here and we go out, I could look at the team calendar events, get up to speed on the things that are happening there.
And if I wanted to edit the information, the look and feel of these team sites, you have that ability by just being able to edit with FrontPage. So I could go here and change the entire look and feel of my ad hoc Web Site just by clicking on FrontPage and changing the theme.
So from here, there’s a new announcement that talks about marketing project portal now available. Since Carol is starting to think about doing this direct mail campaign, it might be valuable to go out and see what types of project elements that you have to have in order to kick one of these campaigns off.
As I go to this project portal, you can see here that I have some team tasks rolled up in a Web Part up in the upper right hand side there, and those are coming from SharePoint Team Services. So if you want to encapsulate functionality from your ad hoc site and then put that into portals so that you can focus it by task, it’s very easy to do.
And here I have a project cost balance Web Part. One of our partners, (P Cubed ?), has written an integration with Microsoft Project and Project Central. What they’re able to do is go out and pull elements from multiple project files and to allow managers to do analysis on that.
So I mentioned that the direct mail campaign was the most effective, and you can see here that it’s also the least expensive of the projects that were kicked off in the region.
So as we’re doing our analysis, I might want to go down and drill down a little further into the direct mail campaign, and I’ll expand all those elements. And you can see here that we have the ability to look at project elements, displayed graphically, and this is great for a manager, because you don’t have to be a project expert. I don’t have to go digging through it. Again, I just bubble up what’s relevant in order to make a decision. And I can see that some of these areas where the project elements were over budget or they weren’t coming in on time, so hopefully I can avoid the mistakes when I scale this thing up to a national level, that maybe the regional team made.
So with that, I want to walk through creating content. We’ve shown locating knowledge, doing some analysis. Now, after making the decision to do a national marketing campaign, we’ll have Carol Phillips go back to the business unit portal and we’ll use this new document Web Part and we’ll create a new creative brief to outline her plan.
When I click on Create New Brief, I’m going out and accessing a template file. I’m being prompted by Microsoft Word whether I want to open this document read only or check it out. That’s the integration with the document management kicking in for me there. So we’ll open this read only since it’s a template and give it a name. We’ll call this the National Sports Watches Campaign. And I’ll go ahead and do an initial save here.
When I go out and do File, Save, I’m automatically redirected to the folder that’s appropriate for storing this type of template by default. It’s just part of the Web Part, and that’s in our resource data if you’re interested in looking at those Web Parts in a little bit more detail.
And from here I could drill down into my file system and save it anywhere I want, but I’ll go ahead and take the default location, call that National Sports Watches Campaign.
When I click on Save, I’m then prompted to add additional metadata to make the document easier to find later. So I could pick from a variety of templates, depending on the type of document I’m saving; in this case it’s a creative brief. Put a little shorter name there and my author automatically filled in. This is the Sports Watch. And I want to categorize the document, so the categories I showed earlier, you can use either auto categorization or when you’re filling in profile metadata, so if I start to type watches, you can see that all the categories that have watch in them show up there for me, and I’ll select that and I can add a description.
So we save our document. As I continue working on it, one of the areas that I get to is my target audience. And as a manager, I remembered creating some target audience information in another document, but it’s kind of typical, I don’t really remember where I put it. So I can go out and search and with the integration between Office XP and SharePoint Portal Server we have the ability to search your entire organization from inside of your productivity application, allowing knowledge workers to work in the area they’re comfortable with while still accessing corporate data. So I can go out and expand out My Computer and I’ll search my local document file for this and I’ll search my portal server, and I could also search my Outlook Inbox for target audience information.
I get my hits back and I see the document that I was looking for, so we’ll open that up read only; also, I’m just going to copy that content and paste it back. And we’ll just replace the target audience information here.
I’m almost finished with my document edits. Before I move on and publish this document to the portal, I just wanted to point out one other piece of integration we have. We want to make it really easy to drive users to the information they’re looking for in a variety of ways, so you’re doing it via category, via searches, and also by technologies like Smart Tags. So if I hover my mouse over watches, I can see it has a dotted line underneath it, and can get additional information on that term. And from here we created a Smart Tag that allows you to go out and view categories that are stored in your portal server. So I can click on View this Category and notice it launches a browser instance for me and takes me directly to that same category that we were looking at in the beginning of the demo, the watches category. It’s pretty cool.
And from here we’ll do a File, Save, actually File, Check In and just hover over that for a second. The document management integration you’re seeing in Office XP is there out of the box. So if you deploy Office XP and then you deploy SharePoint Portal Server you don’t have to touch your desktop again; all the integration I’m showing is just part of the product.
And I’ll click on Check In and now I’m presented with that same profile that’s already filled in from before, and I’m going to publish it this time. I could add some additional version comments depending on if I wanted to point users to the changes I made, and we’ll click Okay.
So you hear an e-mail notification happened as soon as I published that. I’ve got a property on the folder, in that brief folder that says send out an e-mail notification to all the approvers. So we have some routing capability built right into SharePoint Portal Server. If I go out to my Inbox here, you can see the new notification from the portal server telling me that I have a document awaiting my approval. From here I could access the document by clicking on the link or I could go directly to approve the document if I’d already seen it.
So by clicking on approval you see I’m taken back to the portal where I can approve, reject or look at previous versions. I’ll click on Approve, click Okay. Now that the document’s approved it’s available to readers on the portal for read only access. So I’ve just completed the publishing loop.
And what I wanted to do for the next part of the demo is invite Earnie Glazener out to help me demonstrate a solution that was developed by Genisys, who is one of our partners, and Genisys developed and won recently the Best Customer Solution Award here at MEC and we took some elements of that solution and then added it to the Champion Zone scenario.
So carrying the scenario forward a little bit, now that Carol has decided she’s going to do a national marketing campaign, we’re going to bring up Carol’s personal portal on one side and then we want to put Ted’s portal on the other side, and we’ll walk through a workflow. What we’re able to do by integrating Exchange and the Genisys solution is add additional structure to the workflow activities and additional complexity and sophistication. So there we go.
So from here we’ll have Carol initiate a new marketing plan. What she’s going to do is work with the sales force to distribute the mail campaign to all the various regions. And I’ll type the new promotional name. I could give it a description; maybe it’s a direct mail campaign. We’re going to feature the Champion Zone sports watch and this will be over mail media. We’ll have the promotion start on 10/01, and we’ll have it end on 12/31. And then we’ll send that out to a manager for approval. Outlook is making sure that I want to send this mail on my own, so we’ll do that, click Yes, and Save and Close. And over to you.
EARNIE GLAZENER: Thanks. Ted’s portal now where he’s working — Ted is a sales director, and he would see this thing come in in a couple of places. For one he’s got it down here in his marketing plans Web Part where he sees that in his dashboard. He also has the promotional notification from Carol that there’s a new promotion that he needs to look at and approve. The sales director wants to engage here, approve this and say, “Yes, I’ll jump on this with my sales force and begin to contact our people, our distributors.”
Ted also subscribes to the folder where these creative briefs get listed, so he received a notification from SharePoint that there’s a new creative brief that was posted. He may want to look at this, read through it, understand exactly what they’re up to.
Then he says, “Yeah, I’m going to engage on this. Here’s the approval from Carol. I do approve this.” Again, Outlook wants to make sure that I want to send this mail and we’ll go ahead and let him do that, and then we’re going to save that.
And when you heard the beep now, Carol’s been notified that Ted has approved the campaign and will engage on it, so she receives a notification there as well.
Some other interesting things are happening, and that was all driven by Exchange workflow. This little area here or this Web Part actually goes into the data in Exchange and tracks the sales activity, the phone calls, the appointments, the contacts, the tasks that go on around this for this organization, for this sales organization.
So what happens is as I try to engage on one of these campaigns, I’ll pop up my sales contacts. So, for example, this is a sports watch so we’d have sporting goods outlets like Big 5, REI, all those kinds of things. Let’s look at REI. And I’ve got activities for a variety of campaigns, so I may want to add this campaign in now, the national sports watch marketing campaign, and I’ll say something like, “Call Jim and ask him to order 60,000 units, so they’ll have this in stock when customers start getting the mail and come in to buy it.” That promotion, that will now be tracked down here and it will start showing up in my graph as additional people do this.
I may have tasks for myself and my team associated with this. I may have appointments I want to schedule either for the team or with the customer. I can do all that from right here. And as I do these things, that promotion begins to show on my tracking graph and I start seeing the activity of my team as they engage on this campaign and bring to action a decision that’s come out of this system; so incorporating Exchange and bringing the workflow elements in and the ability then to show that stuff inside of SharePoint with the data coming out of Exchange.
And we’ll turn that back over then to Kurt.
KURT DELBENE: Thanks. Enjoy the rest of the conference.
WAYNE TYNES: Thank you.
KURT DELBENE: Thanks, guys.
So that gives you some sense of how our products can work together and how we think about the whole problem space as a complex one and one that involves the knowledge portal drawing down into the Office applications and collaboration as well, and how it all iterates back together in the context of doing things like creating a marketing campaign.
But that’s one thing for us to actually do a demo where we’ve put the whole thing together. I wanted to also give you a point of view of one of our customers, Turner Broadcasting, who’s using the SharePoint family and Office XP to facilitate communications within their organization.
So let’s go to the videotape.
KURT DELBENE: So hopefully that gives you a sense of how some of our customers are using our product.
I wanted to spend a little bit of time getting more prescriptive, and much of this is a summary about what I’ve already talked about, but really addressing the whole question of where do we see the various products applying in the different problem spaces and the whole knowledge creation cycle. So this will help you in terms of thinking through where we see you applying our products to solve those problems.
In knowledge location, this is all about SharePoint Portal Server. This is all about having a single portal onto information in your organization. And then it’s also about linking to SharePoint Team Services for collaboration sites.
In terms of collaboration we really view SharePoint Team Services as the place where we’re going to invest on an ongoing basis and ad hoc collaboration spaces.
Exchange we view as the industry leader in terms of messaging, in terms of scheduling applications, in terms of structured collaboration, things like workflow, and also in terms of custom applications development, which there’s a large number of players who have developed solutions on top of Exchange. All you have to do is look, if you ever wondered what’s so heavy in that darn bag of yours, it’s that whole solution space for Exchange. That’s kind of a testimony to at least how many applications are out there.
BizTalk is great for business aggregation or for business process automation. We definitely view linkages over time between the whole structured business process and workflow within the organization and also how do you present that stuff into a portal space, so we view increasing linkages to BizTalk over time.
And then Office we’re really investing in terms of growing collaboration and analysis into the applications and also figuring out how do we take the analysis that you can do in applications like Excel and present that in different spaces, how do you present it in a collaboration space, how do you present it in SharePoint Portal, the portal in your organization, both on a departmental and an organizational level, how does Excel link with line of business data, again things like XML are absolutely important here, so you can fetch data from disparate systems in your organization, present things like pivot tables that do simple analysis or very complex cube analysis, three dimensional cube analysis, et cetera, using Excel’s power.
Content creation is all about Office, but again with growing links into collaboration, growing links into the SharePoint Portal Server for location in the organization.
Presentation and distribution, again in Office we talked about for creating the content but growing investments in terms of facilitating meetings, how do you go beyond just creating the content for meetings to think about creating more productive meetings to creating good agendas, driving through the agendas, bringing in real time collaboration, et cetera.
Exchange for messaging based distributions is still the most popular way to distribute information in the organization today, and also for real time meetings with a conferencing server, and STS in terms of the knowledge worker portal.
So that’s how we see our product laying out in this space. It’s also how we see investments happening in the future.
Another way to think about it is that a lot of IT professionals think about and certainly it’s worth talking about for a moment is by deployment environment, where you can think of this as concentric spaces, starting at the personal desktop through the team space, the organization and then the great beyond, the inter-organizational boundary.
In terms of personal workspaces, we really see this as being the place where Office is. As collaboration solutions become more and more complex, we believe the need to leverage Win 32 on the desktop will become stronger and stronger. You just won’t be able to do everything in a browser. We believe roaming and the browser is absolutely important, but you’re going to find linkages to the desktop, linkages to Office functionality, because the depth that you want these collaborative solutions to work at are going to be more and more important.
Manageability is key. You have to be able to customize the installation. You have to be able to do one touch with the desktop. That’s a key need as well.
In terms of teams, it’s all about easy sharing. I mentioned the fact that it’s important not to have a lot of administrative boundaries in terms of creating these ad hoc spaces. It has to be just as simple as going to a Web Site and creating one of these spaces. So it’s really important to set up the processes in place to make this sharing super, super easy.
There are also two elements to it. There’s ad hoc and structured. Again, we talked about ad hoc being STS and the more structured things being Exchange.
It’s an interesting play between business units and IT in terms of the management process. These are processes that are mostly driven at the team level within the business unit, and it’s important for them to have the flexibility to implement the solutions and the resources to do so, but the IT organization absolutely has to worry about things like security and overall manageability within the organization. So it’s a very difficult play across the two.
This is a place where new technologies will be growing in importance, things like mobile platforms, different form factors like the tablet PC. These are going to be ways of accelerating mobility and getting data anywhere that you have it, and also going into things like meetings and being able to effectively take notes, et cetera; again facilitating the collaboration process to a greater extent.
And as I mentioned in the team space, we really believe this is the place where STS and Exchange are going to be the predominant products.
In the organizational space, this is more about publishing than it is about collaboration. That’s not to say collaboration doesn’t go on, but across your organization we think of it more as a publishing problem. The best investment is in cross source search, and that’s not just have access to all your information in your organization; that’s going beyond the simple “here’s the search on the data” to what does the user really want you to figure out and how do I get the best hits to them, how do I find information like where the team spaces are that they’re actually collaborating on a particular problem, et cetera.
Scale is absolutely critical and the whole enterprise abilities are key things here.
Unified management: You need to think in terms of how do I manage these systems not just as standalone products but in my overall management scheme and how does it plug into my overall management strategy.
As I mentioned earlier in the talk, this is a platform investment. So you need to think about things like how do line of business applications plug in, and I’m really making investment where there’s a lot of different data sources I’m going to start plugging into the portal and does it really fit well with things like Active Directory and the other infrastructure pieces that I put in.
And in this space we think about SharePoint Portal Server and Exchange as being the predominant plays in this space.
And then finally in the inter-organizational space I think of this as the new frontier. It’s a place where people have done point solutions, but we really have not seen the huge wealth of solutions that I think we’re going to see. And I think this is an area for huge productivity opportunities. Once you get collaboration in the organization working, how do I think about linking in my suppliers, et cetera. There are obviously huge concerns here about security and having secure solutions as a key thing. Again, this ties back to the notion of how does it hook in with your infrastructure, how does it hook in with areas within your organization, et cetera.
And we see all the different products playing in this space: SPS, STS, Exchange, and I should have also obviously mentioned BizTalk as a key player here as well.
So this is the part that I have most fun as driving one of the teams or the development teams, and that’s all about giving you some sense of where we’re headed, what are the key investment areas that we’re looking at in the future, and where are we placing our bets.
In no particular order, first it’s all about creating a collaborative platform that spans client, server and the cloud. We’ve talked a bit and the press has certainly talked about us thinking in terms of an Office service that you might subscribe to. We are definitely thinking in terms of how do I, one, go beyond the desktop in terms of thinking of it as a client only problem to being a client-server problem, and then you can think beyond that to how do you think about it as a service that others might subscribe to.
SPS and STS as platforms: We don’t really think of them just as point applications; we think about them as things that third parties want to plug into, as platform investments that you guys are making. We also think in terms of dev tools. FrontPage we think will be the primary way that people edit the HTML in these sites, but we also think how do you use Visual Studio as a way to edit to put code behind these solutions, et cetera.
XML I mentioned is a major investment area for us and it facilitates a ton of data reuse scenarios. You’ll see it across all of our products. It permeates all of Microsoft thinking these days.
We do think in terms of unifying data and application models, and so we think in terms of how do I get the storage to be consistent across the applications, how do I think about consistent exposure of those things through interfaces like SOAP, et cetera, and how do I have application models, for instance, over the long-term if I create a SharePoint team site versus a SharePoint portal site, what’s the development model between those two; there ought to be a growing similarity between those two and we certainly are investing in that area.
Enterprise abilities are things that we talk about all the time, investing in terms of broader scale, in terms of reliability, in terms of fail-over, et cetera. Those are key things of mine especially in the SPS space, in the portal space.
LOB and IT infrastructure integration: These are definitely not systems that you want to think of as standalone systems in the organization, so we talk to the Windows servers guys to think in terms of how do we plug into the administration applications that they have going on.
Personalization: This is the whole notion that when I have a portal I want to personalize that to things that I want to see in particular and I want to personalize that to my role in the organization. And again I want to tie that back to things in the Active Directory. It’s a huge investment area for us, key in the portal space, but also you can think of it as being key in the team collaboration space as well. I might, for instance, want to create a role in my organization and have all team sites that have already been developed automatically inherit that role and have that to be a right on that particular role that could be used in assigning rights to individual users.
Integrating disparate communications: This is all about in collaboration I mentioned the communications is a key part of that. It automatically flows from working together to communicating with others about the results. We think in terms of how do we bring in real time communications in meetings. We think about instant messaging integration and evolving communications methods. Certainly telephony would be something we’d think about long term as well.
Mobile and diverse platforms here: I’d put certainly cell phones. I want to be able to go from my desktop to be in the field and I want to get at all my information in the organization. I’d certainly think about PDAs as important in this space; also alternative form factors like the tablet PC. The tablet PC is truly going to be that platform that is the knowledge worker platform and gives the great mobility, pen input so you have a natural interface that people think about writing notes in and interacting with the applications. That will be a big investment area for Office moving forward.
Bill talked a lot about managing information overload, and I think it’s the thing that other companies don’t necessarily invest heavily enough in. It’s certainly an area that we’re investing in. And this is the whole notion of as I have collaboration across the organization, as I have portals, as I have growing information there’s a nice tendency to want to subscribe to all this information or have others subscribe to it for you, but then once I’ve got all these subscriptions, how do I manage those, how do I only get the interruptions that I want to see; absolutely key.
Thought capture and re-purposing: Certainly the Tablet PC is a place where you can think about thought capture happening before the Word document is created, taking notes in a meeting, et cetera. And we think through scenarios where I would be in a meeting and capture some notes, drill that through and re-purpose it into a final product in a simple way.
And then finally another area that Bill talked about that we’re certainly thinking a great deal about in the Office team in particular is the whole area of reading and annotation. I think there is a statistic that about 30 to 40 percent of documents that are opened in Word are done so just for the reading experience, not to actually work on the document. Yet there’s very little that’s been done in Word in particular to actually facilitate that process and to make that easier, things like how do the fonts look so that they’re easier to read, things like having the particular commands at your control that you’re going to use in the particular reading process. And annotation plays very closely into this. If I’m reading a document, I’m most likely going to want to annotate it and send those annotations back to somebody as comments. How do we think through those scenarios in an integrated way and think through them in the context of collaborations.
So those are some of the areas that we’re thinking through in terms of the products that we’re developing today.
And I wanted to round things off with implications for what we think you guys should be thinking about. In the corporate IT space I really believe and I hope that everybody is thinking through either prototypes or deployments of portals. Important things to understand are usage roles, how do I integrate my line of business applications, what are the data needs that my portal are going to have and what are the scale needs that I’m going to have. So those are important things to consider.
Low or no administration team space I’ve emphasized a couple of times, but having a space where anybody can create an SPS space in the organization very simply is absolutely key.
And then obviously Exchange and BizTalk for the automation of business processes; there’s huge productivity potential in being able to take a business process that’s largely manual today and automating that process.
So those are some of the things that we hope you as customers are thinking through.
In terms of solution providers, I’ve seen a number of very cool solutions for SharePoint Portal Server today and during the course of the show. I would encourage people to think through how do I build value added services on top of SharePoint Portal. I’ve seen some very interesting ones in terms of mapping knowledge, in terms of extranet solutions, et cetera; very cool stuff going on there.
Working through how do I expose application data via Web Parts into the portal is a fairly simple process to expose your line of business data into the SharePoint Portal portal.
And making data sources available to portal search: We’ve got an extensible model where anybody can build one of these plug-ins to have your data source available and searchable by SharePoint Portal. Again, the key is to have all that information available for search across your organizations.
And then add collaboration: Think through how collaboration can be added to the business processes that you work on with your customers.
And then finally for everyone here you should watch for as I talked about the whole cycle of creating knowledge look for even deeper integration across our product lines over time. As I said earlier, I really believe that Microsoft has come perhaps for the first time to a point where we have a broad set of products that address the entire cycle and there’s a very strong realization at Microsoft that this is a problem that is not solved by point products in each space but is best going to be approached as a holistic problem that has to be solved from a scenario level, thinking through how the user will use the entire process to solve business problems.
And that’s it. Thanks for coming. Have a great time at the show.