• As we discussed in our last post, SharePoint has become a go-to resource for many of the world's leading companies. Everything from the core content management to site creation are in common use. To help remedy the myth that professional sites can't be built from within SharePoint, we've collected some of the best consumer-facing SharePoint sites created and used by Fortune 500 companies.

    4) Valero Energy

    Valero Energy Corporation may not be a name you hear every day, but it's a company that impacts more than its share of Americans. As the largest independent refining company, Valero satisfies the energy needs of millions of Americans, and provides additional products on top of it all. And who does Valero turn to from their all-important public-facing site? None other than SharePoint.

    5) Viacom

    Viacom, the global entertainment company, runs top media networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike TV, Logo, and about 150 more networks. Their assets also breach into other fields, with Neopets, BET.com, and Addicting Games all falling under the Viacom umbrella. Given the sheer amount of content to handle, it's little surprise that Viacom turned to SharePoint, the world's recognized leader in large-scale content management.

    6) International Assets Holding

    International Assets Holding, commonly abbreviated INTL, is a global advisory and execution group working with currencies, commodities, capital markets, asset management, and much more. They work with some of the world's top producers and processors, creating a world-wide bridge for government, for-profit, charitable, and other organizations. Their public-facing website brings it all together thanks to the manifold capabilities of Microsoft SharePoint sites.

    Other major companies that use or have used SharePoint for their core site include Kraft Foods, Brystol-Meyers Squibb, Exelon, Emerson Electric, PPG Industries, and – of course – SharePoint Engine. However, this list is only the tip of the iceberg. Beyond the hundreds of top-ranking companies who trust Microsoft SharePoint for both their content architecture and presentation, more businesses are choosing SharePoint every single day.
  • SharePoint is a powerful tool on almost every front. Whether you're looking to create a more powerful social infrastructure for your company, ensure that each employee always has the right document, make training and scheduling more simple, or make your task workflow more effective, SharePoint offers solutions. One of the features often overlooked, however, is the ability to create dynamic, attractive front-facing websites.

    Some companies fear that they will look unprofessional if they use a SharePoint-generated site as their public-facing resource. However, there are numerous Fortune 500 companies who have and continue to use SharePoint as their public-facing content management service. Here are just a few of the Fortune 500 companies who are using SharePoint sites today.

    1) Procter & Gamble.

    Procter and Gamble is a mega-corporation that controls some of the most powerful products on the market. From Pringles to Tampax to Pantene Pro-V, P&G has its fingers in several core marketplaces. To ensure that these products are presented in the ideal light, P&G has turned to SharePoint; four of their core sites are designed using SharePoint.

    2) Kroger

    Kroger, the supermarket giant, is a recognized name across the country. Their combination of low price and solid quality has helped the brand build itself into what it is today. To protect that brand, Kroger chose to create a SharePoint site.

    3) Dell Financial Services

    As a leader in the electronics industry, Dell is a household name for many Americans. Their low-cost computers are also a mainstay for businesses and educational organizations across the world. To help get their products into consumers' hands, Dell offers flexible financing – and to ensure that the financing runs as smoothly as possible, Dell runs a SharePoint site.

    This entry will be continued in our next post, where we'll delve into additional Fortune 500 companies that use a SharePoint portal for their front-facing site.
  • Get Microsoft Silverlight

    SharePoint is a popular platform with companies of almost every size; from the smallest of the small to the world's top corporations, Microsoft's content management platform offers a way to increase efficiency, decrease cost, and improve communication. Among the hundreds of companies who adopt SharePoint each month, last year saw a giant name added to the list: Coca Cola.

    Coca Cola Enterprises is the largest manufacturer and distributor of Coke products. Their 75,000 employees had been using a content management system that created problems; employees felt there was a lot of "push down" communication, but very little opportunity to communicate to the upper tiers. Additionally, files were often lost and the most recent versions of policies or documents were difficult to come by.

    Through the implementation of SharePoint and a team site system that allowed users to create their own sites, Coca Cola Enterprises saw a dramatic positive shift. Their staff, from ground level to C-level, commented on how intuitive and capable the system was.

    Among other core benefits of the SharePoint system, Coca Cola employees mentioned the easy-to-create team sites (over 800 sites were created by the staff in the first week after implementation); the ability to create engaged, two-way communication; the opportunity to create profiles that highlighted the personal strengths and capabilities of each team member; the increased security and visibility associated with user access; and the improved organization of resources, information, and content.

    If you're like Coca Cola and had trouble finding that "single version of the truth," are looking to create more "engaging communication," and want to create "a foundation that allows us to really understand the presence of our resources," SharePoint is the right system for you. Watch the video above for further details.

  • While the default print option for SharePoint 2010 is certainly useful, much of the included data can be done without; specifically, the inclusion of a header that gives document names, navigation, and other system-based details will often be useless when you have a document in print. One of the most effective and simple to implement solutions is a quick change to the CSS of a page.

    Thanks to the SharePoint 2010 custom CSS functionality, as well as improved rendering from the 2007 edition of the same, users will be able to take care of the header quite easily. (Users of SharePoint 2007 should note that there are often hidden elements that prevent appropriate rendering when you change the CSS. As such, you will need to either re-enter full CSS or locate the hidden elements before proceeding.)

    The primary piece of CSS you'll need is as follows:

    #s4-topheader2, #s4-titlerow, #s4-statusbarcontainer { visibility: hidden; display:none; }

    This code alone will hide the core header elements during print when you place it within the appropriate media signal (@media print). You can extend this functionality further by connecting the customized CSS with your print preview for a page. To do so, add the code <linl media="print">.

    Additional helpful CSS for printing includes the following line: #MSO_ContentTable { margin: 0 }. This line centers the content on a page. You can further alter the page alignments and other visual features with the use of tags such as text-align (left, right, or center) and padding (where you can insert a specific size to determine how much space is put between objects).

    If you have additional page elements, or page elements that are named differently than the items above, you can hide those items by inserting the element name with the code visibility: hidden; display:none;  }. 

    For more information on CSS coding, including what elements are functional inside SharePoint, visit w3schools.com.
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