My name is Gino Rossi. I have a background that expands more than 12 years in web applications development. I am the Social Business Scientist at Dell Software. Last year, I attended a SharePoint conference in April in San Francisco. At the conference I was eager to share Dell Software’s SharePoint deployment plans.
While getting acquainted with the attendees — many of whom were Dell Software customers and thought leaders in the SharePoint world — I began to realize that our company’s goals were quite lofty in comparison to others. Dell Software had the tools to migrate to SharePoint, but we also had plenty of challenges to face.
Plans for SharePoint
Previously known as Quest Software, Dell Software gave way to formation after an acquisition by Dell of multiple software companies. With many software companies now working together, integrating our systems so that we could maximize collaboration and continue to progress development of projects became crucial. Internal collaboration had become a hot topic. Questions kept coming up, such as: which platform can we use to easily collaborate; is there a solution on the horizon; what about Active Directory integration with Dell; and who can solve this problem?
It was at this time that I was tasked to make SharePoint the most effective collaboration tool our company has ever seen.
Joining the SharePoint team in October 2013, my first mission was to find sufficient functionality in SharePoint that closely matched functionality found in our current collaboration system. My findings were very positive as I discovered the new SharePoint had greatly matured in many areas of collaboration, especially in the social sharing areas (a feature that it lacked in previous versions).
In February 2014, the project moved forward and the team and I began the arduous task of deploying our platform to Amazon’s cloud servers. We would face many challenges.
The First Challenge: Authentication
We had to first ask ourselves: should we authenticate against our old Quest Software Active Directory, which had now been dubbed Dell Software’s Active Directory, or should we go through the process of authenticating against Dell’s Active Directory?
Initially we thought to authenticate against Dell Software’s Active Directory as we had previously done with collaboration systems; but, it quickly became clear that the need for collaboration with Dell Software Group and Dell was at our heels. Thus, we embarked on the task to authenticate against Dell’s Active Directory.
The benefits of authenticating against Dell’s Active Directory were great. First, each employee at Dell would have access to the platform… No more second guessing where acquired company employees were from and then trying to figure out how to provide them access. As soon as a software company became officially acquired by Dell, the employees would be added into Dell’s HR system and thereby adding them to Dell’s Active Directory. This was the perfect solution and the most effective way to tackle the authentication problem.
After several months of aligning and upgrading some of our systems, we were ready to connect to Dell’s Active Directory. A few technical sessions would follow with questions, answers, and configuration suggestions. Finally, in late September, we finally achieved the task of authenticating. Other challenges would follow, which I will cover in my next blog post.
Planning a similar SharePoint deployment for your organization? If you’ve got your sights set on some sizable goals, you’ll need to make sure you’ve taken the appropriate steps to prepare your organization. Take a look at this white paper for tips on preparing for SharePoint 2013.
About Gino Rossi
Gino is a former web programmer turned social collaboration expert. With Dell since November 2010, Gino thrives on learning new technologies.
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