DeliverPoint provides the tools for any consultancy to ensure they are performing permissioning tasks correctly. From a client perspective it’s a tool that they can benefit from rather than a tool they are just buying to help their integrator do their job.
We spoke with James Beck, Managing Principal Synergy Corporate Technologies, to see how Synergy have been deploying DeliverPoint within their consultancy engagements.
Synergy is a full-service technology integrator providing Technical Services, .NET development, SharePoint consulting and training. Synergy specialise in higher-end enterprise type implementations of SharePoint. The projects vary in size for companies from less than a hundred to several thousand employees. They have locations all around the world, including Sydney Australia, Singapore, the UK and in the United States New York Tri-State area, Texas and Hawaii.
James: ‘When we saw DeliverPoint, we thought it looked great. Now the new pricing structure is in place, it really fills the needs of a lot of our customers.’
‘As part of our review process, we always look closely at their security. In most organisations, network security is never as good as they think it is. When they do searches they commonly find items they don’t believe they should be able to see. Invariably the client blames the vendor, whereas really their security configuration is to blame. So from our perspective DeliverPoint fills that gap perfectly.’
‘It enables us to really go through the portal at a very incremental level; it enables us to service group memberships via groups which are very common. In SharePoint and out of the box you can’t see it so from an IT perspective, it gives us the ammunition we need to ensure that their security is set up correctly, rather than hoping that it is, trusting their legacy security groups and having blind faith.’
‘From a client perspective, it gives them the ability to be more in control. Generally speaking each organisation, group, department in a company is going to have a certain power user or users that are going to have administrative rights over their section of the portal. But they’re not IT people and they don’t necessarily understand how permissions work, so from their point of view, DeliverPoint gives them a much easier to understand interface where they can see what is going in pretty much in 2 mouse clicks.’
A vital area where I think it really shines is the ability for one person to replace another in a group. One of the things SharePoint does poorly is it doesn’t clean up its own profile database which goes back to Microsoft’s doctrine of not destroying data. So if a document is owned by ‘John’ and ‘John’ leaves, they don’t want to kill ‘John’ because then the document would be orphaned. But what it means is that there are people with permissions to an area that are no longer with the company. DeliverPoint does a really good job of removing those orphaned accounts. They’re still in the profile database initially, but it gives you the opportunity to get rid of that very easily.’
Richard: Why do you choose to buy from a 3rd party rather than make a bespoke product for each client?
James: ‘We only believe in bespoke solutions when they make sense, we don’t believe in reinventing the wheel. If you’ve completely customised and written a bespoke solution within the model that they provide for you, there’s no guarantee that it’s going to work when they upgrade. And then you get accused of not writing it properly and it just causes aggro. So, bespoke is an option when there aren’t tools or the third party tools are cost prohibitive.’
‘So from my perspective the 1st rule of thumb is don’t reinvent the wheel and 2nd rule of thumb is we try and leave them with knowledge to manage it without an external vendor and when they have additional needs in the future they’ll call us.’