• In a world where mobility is strength, the concept of tablets is a powerful one for businesses. The difficulty is that tablets, being a very different platform than your standard laptop or desktop computer, require a steep learning curve – at least if business users really want to make the most out of their Android tablet or iPad.

    To help you conquer that learning curve as quickly as possible, here are some basic pointers on using SharePoint for the tablet environment. First things first: Get the right apps.

    While there are a good number of apps that technically allow you to interact with SharePoint, and a few apps designed for highly niche purposes within SharePoint, there are a couple highly reputable options that are beautiful for a broad number of SharePoint purposes.


    First, there's SharePlus. SharePlus has three different versions: Lite, Pro, and Enterprise. The Lite version is free but lacks some important security measure, the Pro version costs $15 (a one-time fee), and the Enterprise version requires a quote. Once you've purchase the version that works best for you, loading the program on your tablet will show several navigation options, including "Office 365." This means you can access your SharePoint Online content.

    Once you're done with the standard authentication, you'll see a well-organized navigation tree that shows your libraries and documents. From here you can create new files, post announcements, and much more. Well worth the low price!


    Next there's DocumentsToGo. DTG is popular for document creation, and while it doesn't support the same broad level of interactivity with your SharePoint site, it's one of the best tablet-based ways to create attractive documents with professional designs.

    There are two versions, the standard ($10) and the premier ($17), but either one works well for your typical document editing and creation. The premier version does offer some cloud storage and the option to create and edit PowerPoint presentations, however.

    Once you've decided on which apps to purchase (of the two above or any number of other alternatives), it's all about adapting to the mobile work. We'll cover that in future entries. As always, if you have any questions on SharePoint or want to learn what a SharePoint consulting group can do for you, just contact us.
  • This month's newsletter will cover SharePoint staffing services provided by SPE, the advantages we offer, and – far more importantly – a lineup of information, resources, and statistics on the value offered by temporary staffing options. Here's a quick peek at some of the most interesting facts.

    Temporary staff positions are continuing to become the employment of choice for tech gurus around the world. As evidenced by the 18.4% growth in 2010, the 2.6 million jobs being worked by temporary staff on any given day, and the continued growth in Q1 of 2011, more and more individuals and companies are turning toward temporary positions to fill their needs.

    Going against misconceptions about the staffing industry, most temporary staff members actually prefer temp positions to standard positions, since "flexible work time is important" to spend time with their family and pursue other interests. Two-thirds of all temporary staffers cited flexible work time as a major motivating benefit.

    Also a less-known fact is that 79% of all temporary staff members are working full time, which is right on par with the full-time vs part-time rate seen in non-temporary industries. All these advantages make contract work an intuitive choice for SharePoint experts, and allow us to access some of the brightest minds in the industry.

    Add to these benefits the simple reality of improved screening, fewer HR headaches, and the ability to quickly find a staff member that suits your company, and choosing SharePoint staffing solutions becomes the clear choice for many projects.

    [The statistics provided in this article come from the American Staffing Association]
  • SP1 is officially out, which is great news for all of the tech-savvy SharePoint gurus who've been hovering over their keyboards, ready to blitz the Microsoft download site the moment the update pack was ready. However, many SharePoint users aren't quite so familiar with SP1, and may be a bit uncertain on how to install the updates. To make that process simple, this entry will give a step-by-step guide on installing the service pack.

    Step One: Get the Service Pack Files

    You can pick up SP1 on the Microsoft Download site, but you'll need to get the correct version for your system type (specifically, 32-bit or 64-bit) and you may need to install a language pack afterward. You can find a listing of SharePoint 2010 service pack options here. Meanwhile, the two most common files needed will be SharePoint Foundation 2010 SP1 and SharePoint Server 2010 SP1.

    Step Two: Prepare for the Update

    A few preparatory steps are in order. First, make sure the account you're working from has all the administrative privileges enabled. Second, create a backup of the entire server farm, just in case something goes wrong during your installation process.

    Step Three: Determine and Execute an Update Type

    There are multiple update type options available, and different companies may find different alternatives preferable. Each option has different support (e.g., for reverse compatibility, etc.) and downtime requirements. Check out this Microsoft site summarizing the details of the update options and how to execute each.

    Step Four: Install the Latest Cumulative Update

    SP1 does not include some of the updates from the June 2011 cumulative update, so it's a good idea to install those immediately after you've installed SP1.

    If you feel that you need help in choose the best option for your company, in executing the update, or in understanding the benefits of SP1 or other SharePoint Foundation and Server updates, we'd be glad to help. Just contact us by your preferred method to get in touch with a certified SharePoint expert.
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