Connect it all

One of the greatest strengths of SharePoint is that it can bring together and enhance many other applications and systems, from Microsoft Office tools to Active Directory and enterprise applications such as SAP through to web services.

This creates unique challenges for SharePoint installations or upgrades. To ensure a secure, trouble-free platform, coherent systems integration and a reliable technical architecture, you have to design and plan for all the connections to SharePoint in your data centre. Considerations include systems and applications, networks and security, even the versions of software on your user's desktops and laptops. This can be a big and complicated task, especially for a first deployment.

Sharepoint City deployment and upgrade services help you realise the gain without the pain. Working together with your IT team, we develop a robust SharePoint architecture with a clear deployment and upgrade plan, providing hands-on help and guidance throughout the process to ensure a successful deployment.

Up to 15 days FREE SharePoint 2013 consulting, courtesy of Microsoft!

As a Microsoft Deployment Services Partner, Sharepoint City is able to offer 1-15 days FREE consultancy, fully subsidised by Microsoft, for selected customers that are either planning to upgrade from SharePoint 2007 or 2010, or to deploy a brand new SharePoint 2013 installation.

To find out more about this limited offer and your eligibility please Contact Us »

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Phone: 020 7099 6039

To discuss your requirements directly with our consultants please Contact Us »

Develop Together

Our 'Develop Together' methodology lets your IT team and key users shadow our every move, so that they can pick up the new skills rapidly, or repeat the processes involved in an effective deployment or upgrade of SharePoint.

Sharepoint deployment planning

Whether you are planning a brand new SharePoint installation, or an extension or version upgrade to an existing system, Sharepoint City helps you to ensure a smooth transition and seamless integration with your existing IT architecture and management processes.

As a partner in the Microsoft SDPS (Sharepoint Deployment and Planning Services) programme, we follow a proven Microsoft methodology to architect, plan, deploy and test a successful new SharePoint implementation or version upgrade.

SharePoint deployment challenges

A fully-fledged SharePoint system is likely to connect with a number of systems and applications in your data centre. This means that when planning for deployment, you'll need to consider all of the connected systems.

This involves your whole Microsoft platform, from Windows servers to SQL databases and Active Directory, as well as any other enterprise applications that you intend to integrate with. You also need to include the networks and firewalls that the applications and end-users connect over, and the user desktop and laptop builds including Office, the browser and any security software. Finally, you need to consider version compatibility, web browsers and screen resolutions, configuration settings, security rules, VPNs, authentication methods etc.

Of the many SharePoint 'server farms' that we have been asked to look at, almost every one has had some form of hidden weakness. At best, some of SharePoint's powerful features have not been fully set up, leading to users being disappointed with SharePoint's capabilities. At worst, back-ups have been incorrectly configured, leading to a risk of a difficult re-build (and downtime), or even loss of data should hardware or system failures occur.

Beyond the platform

SharePoint is both a platform and an enterprise application. That means that getting the installation and platform configuration right is only half the job. Before SharePoint is ready for use, a number of application configurations need to be carefully planned, carried out and tested. These include setting up root sites with their templates and permissions and enabling and configuring shared services, such as the search and people profiles, plus deploying the branding templates and any application customisations.

You also need to consider the information management and governance features needed, both to maintain a healthy and consistent system and to meet all of your legal and compliance requirements.

Upgrading to SharePoint 2013

If you have already adopted SharePoint 2007 or 2010 as an enterprise business suite, you are probably now considering an upgrade to take advantage of the many new features in SharePoint 2013 and its enhanced interoperability with other Microsoft products.

As with any enterprise-wide application upgrade, you need a carefully drafted migration plan to ensure a smooth transition for all your users. You will also need to build into the plan any data conversions and development to refactor customisations to work in the new version, specific configurations to enable the new functionality, and training for your IT team and users to learn the skills to run and maintain SharePoint 2013 productively.

Making a pit-stop

When starting to plan a SharePoint upgrade, you'll soon find that it resembles not so much a gear-change as a gearbox change! Because your business cannot wait for days whilst the upgrade is carried out, you need to plan, prepare, test and practice your 'pit-stop' in minute detail.

You'll need to make an informed choice between a number of options to both minimise user downtime and to counter any upgrade risks. Should you opt for an in-place upgrade or a fresh SharePoint installation? Will you maintain or change the user interface and visual appearance? Would it be best to go for a gradual change or a 'big-bang' update of templates and customisations to make use of new functionality?

Our SharePoint upgrade service will help you with the planning, guidance and hands-on deployment:

  1. Demonstrations and workshops to discover the benefits that SharePoint 2013 offers
  2. Review of current systems and infrastructure to identify any potential risks or change needs
  3. Systems health-check and content migration testing for existing SharePoint implementations
  4. Design and branding update to incorporate new user functionality, such as the new Search engine and web parts
  5. Changes to existing sites and apps to enable the new SharePoint 2013 functionality
  6. Mentoring of IT and business teams to accelerate business and user adoption of SharePoint 2013
  7. Completely new SharePoint 2010 applications, integrations or replacement of legacy business applications – see our customisation and development services