Conquer the Chaos of SharePoint End User Support

It seems to be a common concern for SharePoint architects, managers and administrators–or any of the people who are constantly encouraging end users to actually USE the features available in SharePoint. After all, the organization has invested a good deal of money into SharePoint. The expectation is that SharePoint is widely used across the company. However, this isn’t always the case.

SharePoint adoption is something many companies struggle with. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with SharePoint…in fact, their are so many features and capabilities within SharePoint that people just are not even aware of. The problem is people’s lack of knowledge and understanding in how to use these features. And when this is wide-spread throughout the company, that results in “chaos”. What happens next is that your SharePoint support team is bogged down with so many requests, that they aren’t able to actually “do” much more than respond to support calls. Not only that, but they often answer the same questions over-and-over again…leading to frustrated support team members.

Furthermore, end users also get frustrated. If they encounter a problem and don’t have the know-how, they contact the support team. what’s worse is when the support team is too busy to answer…then what do they do, they move on. They find a different way to solve the problem which may often be an alternative to using SharePoint. This is exactly what management does NOT want to happen.

So, is there a solution to this?  Isn’t there a way to lighten the load of the support team by giving them a way to share support documents so that “Help” is accessible right there on end users’ desks?

Is there actually a way to conquer the chaos of end user support?

Last month, we hosted a Free Webinar presented by Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), Consultant, book author…and “SharePoint Guy”.

The goal of the webinar was to provide some insight into this dilemma.

If you missed the webinar, no worries…it’s available for you to view HERE

Webinar Overview:

Wouldn’t you love to provide users the support they need when and where they need it? Stop the repetitive explanations by giving users the Help they need in-context and on-demand. We talk about the strategies needed to cut down on the support phone calls and emails freeing you to really build powerful solutions in SharePoint instead of just being the SharePoint help desk.

One solution we talk about in our webinar is VisualSPTM SharePoint Help System –  in-context and on-demand support for end users provided through the  SharePoint ribbon.  With VisualSP, you can empower end users by giving them HELP when and where they need it most. No more waiting for responses from support teams. In fact, you’ll hopefully cut down on support requests all together. This should result in more confident end users, and happier support team members.


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SharePoint in Education

Today, I want to focus on SharePoint in academic organizations.

  1. How does SharePoint help educational institutions?
  2. How do on demand educational tools align to empower them?

The usual educational staff and teacher complaints stem from frustration with the time it takes to get access to needed data. More often than not, too many systems need to be utilized to get access to required data. This also subsequently requires remembering access information and passwords to all those systems.

SharePoint has been deployed at many K-12 and higher level educational institutions. Many of them have been our customers over the years. There are many different ways in which educational institutions can use SharePoint to provide a one-stop shop for all their constituents. Some of them are:

  • Staff Collaboration – Staff members and teachers can share resources and ideas using SharePoint lists and libraries. Documents can be shared across various grade levels.
  • Notice and Announcement board – Staff announcements and special notices can be surfaced up on SharePoint team sites.
  • Access to class specific data – Student attendance and evaluation reports on teacher portals.
  • Classroom and resource booking – An easy way to view and book availability of classrooms and resources directly through the teacher portal.
  • Students accessing their class materials – A student portal where students are able to see their own class schedules, assignments and other related material.
  • Email alerts for teachers – when a lesson plan is due, a teacher is alerted through email automatically with a link back to where the lesson plan needs to be submitted.
  • Substitute teacher management – Display to teachers which substitutes are available. If a substitute is assigned to a class already, display the scheduling details.
  • Analysis of data – Class reports, student reports, and class subject reports can be generated to understand the return on investment.

The one important thing that Universities and K-12 schools need is a firm set of best practices for SharePoint that is easy for administrators, teachers and students to follow. This is where on-demand education can help. With access to a SharePoint video library depicting the ‘How-to’ of SharePoint with keeping best practices in mind, users can:

Also feel free to check out the entire video library.

When it comes to maximizing the value of a SharePoint deployment, awareness and education are two of your greatest assets. When you are ready to learn more about how we can help, contact us online or give us a call at +1 630-786-7026. We can walk you through the possible solutions to see if it’s a good fit for your needs.

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One Year Access to All Videos on

The Offer

Access to All of our SharePoint Videos (current and the ones that are added regularly to the site) for 1 full year for $179.55. After the year is over, the access is automatically terminated and there is no recurring charge.

Here is the link:

You can use the above link and then use the following coupon code:
sp10disc (please be sure to click Apply button after entering the coupon code)

That will give you a 10% discount on the regular price of $199.50 making the total to $179.55.

The membership will start automatically right after the payment is made.

(Note: This membership is not available through our site. The one on the site is the yearly recurring membership for $199.50/year)


Details about the Videos

  • Current video count: 271 (More videos are constantly being added every other week)
  • Video tutorials are created by experts in the SharePoint field –
  • Video length is from 5 minutes to 30 minutes each video. Almost all of the videos are entirely demonstration to show you how to do tasks and create your solutions on top of SharePoint. PowerPoint is minimized as much as possible
  • Videos are categorized, tagged, compiled in courses and also easily searchable –
  • Videos work on all platforms: PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Android phones etc.

Sample the Videos before making the decision

Lots of our videos are available here to be watched at no cost:

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SharePoint Easy Start – An easy way for anyone to start or continue their SharePoint Journey

Check out the SharePoint Easy Start page!
After years of teaching, consulting, writing and speaking on SharePoint, I realize that each of us is still learning and discovering the power of all you can do with SharePoint. You might be a beginner or have been using SharePoint for a number of years. You might be using SharePoint 2007 or maybe you were one of the first to jump on SharePoint 2010. In any case, we are all still continuing on our SharePoint journey and it is important for us all to understand how the different pieces on the SharePoint platform fit together.
Since each of us has a different need and a starting point, I created the SharePoint Easy Start page to make it easy for everyone to dive right in. Just pick the version of SharePoint you are using (either 2007 or 2010) and we will guide you on your SharePoint journey. If you have any feedback about the page, we would love to hear it. Thanks!

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Spotlight on SharePoint Video Tutorial DVDs

Do you learn best by watching examples/demonstrations? Do you want the ability to be able to watch the videos anywhere you are regardless of presence of an internet connection? If the answers to these are yes and yes then you might find that our DVD-ROM based video tutorials are just what you need! We are dedicating this newsletter to highlight our top DVDs and provide you with some more information on what you should expect to find inside of each video tutorial package.
SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services
Business Connectivity Services (BCS) is one of the Most powerful features in SharePoint 2010. You can use BCS to easily integrate data from your external systems into your SharePoint environment. The videos in this tutorial show you how to take advantage of this functionality in your SharePoint environment. Create lists in SharePoint which show your line of business application data (such as from custom databases, SAP, PeopleSoft and more) or show that information using pre-built BCS web parts. You will also learn about how to make BCS associations to relate two different connections. All of this and a whole lot more is all taught in this video tutorial package.
Reporting Services using SharePoint 2010
The introduction of Reporting Services 2008 R2, using the SharePoint 2010 add-in with the free Report Builder 3.0 authoring tool, provides an excellent way to create powerful reports for your business needs. These video tutorials show you how to take advantage of Report Builder’s design concepts to create reusable datasets and report parts from multiple sources. Also, easily create visualizations of your data such as sparklines, databars, charts, indicators and more. The end result is transformation of live data from multiple sources into powerful and meaningful reports inserted right within your SharePoint sites.
SharePoint 2010 Fundamentals
If you need to start out with the basics of SharePoint, this is the video tutorial to pick up. However, even if you are an intermediate SharePoint user already, you are guaranteed to pick up other tricks and tips along the way. It covers topics such as customizing sites, navigation, document management, list management and more.
SharePoint Designer 2010 Fundamentals
Once you have mastered the fundamentals of SharePoint 2010, it’s time to dive into this video tutorial which will present you with all of the opportunities you have to create no-code customizations and solutions on top of SharePoint using SharePoint Designer 2010 (a free product). SharePoint Designer lets you create views of your data (fetched from lists, libraries, databases, web services and more) directly on any page within your site. In addition, you can automate processes using workflows, customize site metadata, security, list/library schema and a whole lot more.
SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflows
Ready to dive deeper into all that SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflow capability has to offer? Pick up this DVD for demonstrations of various opportunities you have to produce workflows in SharePoint Designer. Learn how to create list based, reusable or site workflows and what the difference is between the three. Also, you will see how to package these workflows and transport them from one site collection to another when needed.
InfoPath 2010 Fundamentals
InfoPath is ‘the recommended tool’ to create and modify forms in SharePoint. Learn how to create form library, list and workflow forms using InfoPath designer. Already have forms created using Microsoft Word or Excel? The videos in this DVD will guide you on how to migrate those forms into InfoPath. You will also see how easy it is to fetch information from your data repositories like lists, libraries and even databases into your InfoPath forms to present to your users.
Check out our complete collection of video tutorials on DVDs. Have an idea on a subject area we should consider for our next batch of DVDs? Just comments on this post or fill out our contact form to let us know and we’ll definitely consider it!

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