Posts Tagged ‘Integration’

Sharepoint Licensing cost – demystified !!

SharePoint has unquestionably garnered a lot of attention from CIOs worldwide and has been called “nothing short of a phenomenon” by Toby Bell, Gartner Inc.’s research vice president. Now with advent of its new version Sharepoint 2010, the business collaboration platform, interest in Sharepoint has increased manifold.

However, most of the organizations are still struggling to calculate the TCO and ROI for the sharepoint.

Total cost of ownership can be calculated by including various costs like Software licenses, Server and SQL Server Licenses, Hardware and Infrastructure, IT staff for Planning, designing, Development, testing and Support, user training ,  Antivirus, 3rd party products and last but not the least indirect costs like having other MS products like Office, AD, Exchange, Live meeting, OCS, Groove, Performance point as part of your IT stack.

Calculating Software Licensing costs for Sharepoint itself is quite a tricky business. Only if your Solution Architect and stakeholders can answer the following questions with confidence, you can be comfortable calculating the license model:

  1. Do you understand the difference between the feature set of WSS, MOSS 2007 Standard and Enterprise Version and Internet version?
  2. How many users are going to use MOSS 2007 Standard/ Enterprise version? How many users will be using after 2-5 years?
  3. Do you want Sharepoint to act as ECM/ Collaboration tool for your public facing/ internet site?
  4. What is the existing content size in your organization? What is the content size expected in 2-5 years?
  5. Do you want to automate your business process? If yes, answer following sub questions: What is the complexity level of your business processes? Do you want to use Inforpath forms? Do you want to use 3rd party Workflow tool?
  6. What are the search requirements? Do you want to index more than 5,00,000 items?
  7. Which shared services do you want to use? Have you identified them?
  8. What are your integration points?
  9. Do you want to use Loadbalancing for your WFEs? Do you want clustering for the DBs?
  10. Do you want to manage Indexing in a separate server apart from Application server?

If you cant answer to one or more questions, I would suggest that you do your homework first and come up with the Logical and Physical Architecture. Calculating a ballpark figure for licenses would then be a cakewalk.

Next step would be to go the Bamboo solutions site and use the calculator. For your quick reference I am posting the following table for 3 scenarios

Option 1:100 users, 2 WFE, 2 SQL, 1 App Server

Option 2:500 users, 2 WFE, 2 SQL, 1 App Server

Option 3: 1000 users, 2 WFE, 2 SQL, 1 App Server, 1 Index Server

Sharepoint Licensing Ballpark estimate

Sharepoint Licensing Ballpark estimate

 The scenarios assumes that you would need to search more than 5,00,000 documents, all users would need Enterprise CALs, you need  minimum of 2 WFEs and 2 DBs and you don’t want to have a public facing site.

Not to mention, if you are good at negotiating and if you are already into Microsoft infrastructure, you can get yourself a good bargain.

I will be talking about calculating ROI for Sharepoint in next post.

Till then have fun exploring the new features of Sharepoint 2010 and my new post on Sharepoint 2010 licensing

Are you using your Sharepoint fully?

Are you using your Sharepoint platform fully?

No.. I guess. Thats why you are here reading this post. Don’t worry you are not alone. You are now a part of million strong family struggling with this question and that includes me also. I may not be able to answer your question but would try my best to give you some pointers for the way ahead.

In my last 5 years of experience with Sharepoint, I have seen customers coming back to me with the same expression and same question… “I think we are underutilizing our Sharepoint Environment. We know we can achieve more than that..but we don’t how to do it. Please help in creating a roadmap and provide us training of what Sharepoint is capable of?”

Well..before I answer that question, I would like you to tell me what you have been using Sharepoint for? Following are the most common Sharepoint groups you’ll find.

1. A department wide Intranet site for file sharing and collaboration and basic search

2. You have implemented it as Enterprise level Intranet and Knowledge Management system. Custom Home Page, limited Portal features, Knowledge Repository, collaboration tools (task management, project management ), My Site functionality

3. You have implemented Enterprise search, Outlook Integration, are using basic Reporting and Dashboards (KPIs and Report template), and Business forms using Infopath, Web 2.0 features like RSS, Blogs etc

Now if you can relate to user group 1, you can jump onto level 2 and 3 with some dedicated and organized efforts. One suggestion I always give to my customers is “Stick to what Sharepoint has given OOTB”. 80-20 rule is here to stay i.e. keep your custom development to a bare minimum. The more you explore you would find that you can do a lot with web parts like content query and Business data webparts.

If you belong to user group 3 category, you deserve kudos for atleast touching the most publicized features of MOSS ( darn!! I should start using Sharepoint again).  Having implemented it all, I am sorry to say that you have seen just the tip of the iceberg. Your implementation is still few miles away from what you can call an “Integrated workplace”. What else you can explore

  • RIA features – Give your implemetation a magic touch with Silverlight
  • Records Management
  • Extranet Implementation
  • Forms based Authentication
  • CRM Integration
  • Integration with other LOB systems
  • Groove Integration
  • Live Communicator for Chat
  • Dashboards and Reporting using SSAS and SSRS
  • SaAS – Sharepoint as a service 

Apart from technical front, there are many things on a ‘softer’ side that you can get a lion’s share in your plan

  • A better Governance Model
  • Revisit existing Information Architecture
  • Usability engineering
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
  • User Training

 One thing to remember is that ease of using Sharepoint is also its nemesis. So before you take any action do a lot of planning and Impact analysis.