13 October, 2011

Speaking at the European SharePoint Conference in Berlin

ESP_Speaker_badgeAfter an awesome few days at the WUG conference in Chicago, I’m headed for Berlin next week to speak at the European SharePoint Conference. I’ll be talking about how SAP customers can utilise SharePoint as a platform for optimising SAP-centric business processes. Although my talk is centered around SAP, the issues and solutions discussed are relevant to any large ERP back-end. Here’s the session outline:

Accelerating SAP Transactions with SharePoint and InfoPath
Data entry into SAP can in many cases lead to complex business processes taking up unnecessary time and resources throughout the organisation. Enterprises can achieve significant cost-savings by providing alternative interfaces that simplifies data entry and increases user adoption.
Considering SharePoint's popularity amongst business users, it provides an immense opportunity for delivering SAP transactions to the broader user base. As an integrated part of the SharePoint platform, InfoPath is a tool for creating electronic forms which can be utilized by business users to rapidly create fit-for-purpose user interfaces for SAP.
In this session, you will learn what it takes to surface SAP transactions in SharePoint solutions following an approach that is entirely driven by business users. In particular you will see specific examples of how a business user can utilize SharePoint and InfoPath to build alternative user interfaces for SAP, with no programming involved.

I’ll be keen to connect with anyone at the conference who wants to discuss SAP/SharePoint integration and/or workflow for SharePoint in general. I will also be looking for a SharePoint talent to join our European team. Just ping me on Twitter (@kalsing) and we can arrange to meet. I look forward to meeting you!

12 October, 2011

Wrap-up from the Winshuttle User Group conference in Chicago

WUGThe annual Winshuttle User Group (WUG) conference has been the sole focus of my attention the last few days. After the inaugural event in New Orleans last year and follow-up events in London and Paris earlier this year, the WUG has grown exponentially into a sizable affair with more than 400 Winshuttle enthusiasts gathered to share experiences, attend customer presentations, participate in training classes and engage with the Winshuttle Partner Network.
The show was kicked off Monday with a keynote that included a solution demo by Winshuttle Co-Founder Vikram Chalana and a very inspirational talk by Harold Hambrose on software design and usability. Vikram’s demo showcased an expense claim process automated in SharePoint and fully integrated with SAP. It was a great example of all the Winshuttle products working nicely together to provide a complete, yet simple solution. In 15 minutes he demonstrated both the end user experience and gave an overview of how it was all put together. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this demo was the fact that the entire solution was built in under four hours on a flight from Seattle to Chicago.
Following the keynote, I attended a couple of customer presentations focused on the Central governance platform. Both sessions sparked some hectic debates between business users and IT representatives. Like any other business user-oriented software platform, such as Microsoft SharePoint or SAP Business Objects, the Winshuttle suite aims to empower the business without compromising IT governance requirements. It is a balancing act that sometimes can create some internal friction in organisations. However, consensus was that it is something that cannot be ignored and business units seeking more autonomy in solution development need to partner with IT every step of the way to ensure success. It is clear that business user tools must have good governance and control features to be relevant in an enterprise context.
At the end of the first day, I facilitated a panel discussion on master data governance. Again, all attendees were very open to share their experiences and some valuable lessons were passed on. Probably less than half of the companies represented had reached a maturity level where master data governance is centralised with an executive sponsorship. This is what everyone is striving for though and it is increasingly becoming an area of high priority.
Tuesday was all dedicated to training and overall the event was a massive success. Like other industry events, the WUG provides a perfect opportunity to collect feedback from customers and partners alike. And there is no doubt the customer-to-customer interaction was well appreciated by everyone. Large enterprises face many of the same challenges and taking out a few days to learn how other companies are dealing with these challenges is invaluable. And as a Product Manager, I have certainly come away with a long laundry list of first-hand customer feedback and ideas that will feed into both short term product improvements and long term roadmaps.

03 October, 2011

SharePoint rock star wanted for Europe

Following the success of Winshuttle’s product suite as an effective way of utilising the SharePoint platform for SAP process optimisation, we are ramping up our global SharePoint competencies. We have an immediate opening for a highly motivated SharePoint rock star in Europe.

We are looking for a consultant with solid SharePoint experience who can work directly with business units to compose solutions. Are you interested? You will be helping customers to optimise SAP processes through the use of Winshuttle and SharePoint technologies. Prior experience with SAP is desired but not a must.

This is an awesome role where you will be part of a strategically important Acceleration Team where the primary objectives are customer readiness and enablement. As such, your focus will be on short and sharp engagements that prove the value of Winshuttle software and help customers to hit the ground running.

Key responsibilities include project scoping, solution architecture and proof-of-concept delivery. Expect to be working with many different customers across Europe. Ideally, you should be based out of our EMEA head office in London, but we would be willing to consider other arrangements.

I’ll be in Berlin for the European SharePoint Conference, 17th through 20th of October, and in London during the first week of November. If you are interested, please drop me a line (kristian dot kalsing at winshuttle dot com) and we can arrange to meet up for a chat. This will be a lot of fun!