Back to Reality
"Ni hau" and "aloha" to you all. I've made it back to the United States after an epic summer in China. Thanks to those of you that followed some of my adventures, both technical and personal, through this newsletter and on my blogs. It was a truly mind-blowing experience. The three weeks' journey through China gave me a much greater insight into the complex and rapidly-changing country that will play a major part in all of our lives in the 21st century. And the six weeks in Beijing working on the broadcast for NBC Olympics was as stressful, exhausting, rewarding, and utterly exhilarating as you could imagine. It took me about a week after returning—until just now in fact—to even begin to decompress. It's a bit challenging returning to my "real life" and to my clients and explaining that, yes, I saw some of the most amazing events, ceremonies, and sights in the world but it was, in fact, a lot of work! And what a lot I learned!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
I've got to give a big "shout out" to the team at NBC Olympics I.T., and to the entire NBCOLY organization, which is made up of the most amazingly talented folks I've ever had the pleasure to meet. I also have to give a really big shout out to SharePoint, which performed like a champ. There were half a dozen situations that arose during the run-up to the Games, and during the Games themselves, which SharePoint solved brilliantly, on top of the solutions we'd built ahead of time and the many collaborative sites we supported. I wrote about several of those solutions over the past few weeks, and will document a few more in upcoming issues. A final shout out goes to AvePoint. We put its Backup and Recovery solution to the test, both as a solution and as an evaluation for future long-term use, and it, too, deserves a medal. The installation was easy, the learning curve was short, we had our environment backed up in no time, and we actually leveraged its item-level recovery to restore some InfoPath forms from a problematic server's SharePoint library to a file share at one point.
Here in Hawaii, there is a tradition of "talking story," and no fewer than four days after returning from Beijing, I found myself in front of the Hawaii SharePoint User Group. I spent almost two hours discussing the solutions we delivered with SharePoint, as well as the role SharePoint played in other aspects of the Olympics. The talk put a 'real world' context to the value of SharePoint in an organization. Microsoft talks about the "SharePoint Wheel"—you know, the wheel with six "pieces of pie" that sets forth SharePoint's roles in collaboration, search, portal, forms, Business Intelligence (BI), and content management. As I've said in earlier newsletters, some of these "pieces of pie" are tastier than others, and some are half-baked. It can be helpful to see just how creatively SharePoint can be applied to achieve business value in some of those areas. I'm going to go out on a limb and offer to present this discussion to other users groups, enterprises, or organizations that are interested. So if you're curious about this kind of thing, shoot me an email at danh at intelliem-dot-top-level-commercial-domain.