Archive for August, 2017

Product analysis by Vlad Catrinescu – requested by SharePoint Vitals, but thoughts are my own.

SharePoint is an amazing tool that offers the tools necessary to increase collaboration in your enterprise. You’re paying for it, but are people really using it? That has been the question multiple companies have been asking themselves for a while since neither SharePoint On-Premises or SharePoint Online provides the full analytics solution that enterprises are looking for. This is why, multiple third-party vendors in the SharePoint spaces have created solutions on top of SharePoint On-Premises / SharePoint Online to fill this gap.

In this blog post we will talk about a product called SharePoint Vitals by Seven Twenty Software. Here are a few words about the product directly from their website as well as a small video.

SharePoint Vitals brings all the user site activity data you could ever want to your fingertips. SharePoint Analytics that can take days of manual data manipulation are now available when you need it. Vitals tracks your SharePoint users activity in real-time and pushes results to a clean and easily navigated cloud based interface.

With the available summary reporting, you can quickly identify your top users, sites and content along with problem areas such as slowest loading pages and users who frequently experience slow page load times. Vitals gives you SharePoint web analytics that can definitely help in cases of governance, user adoption, security and compliance.

Next time management asks the who, what, when, where – you will have the answers!

Now that we have introduced the product, let’s start the review!

SharePoint Vitals Review

SharePoint Vitals is a Software as a Service (SaaS) application running in Azure, so you can access it from anywhere in the world, and since it’s running on Azure, chances are it will almost never go down. As soon as you log on the platform you can see the statistics from this week, as well as the percentage of change since last week, allowing you to see right away if new users have joined the platform, if new sites have been created as well as how popular your SharePoint platform was this week.

SharePoint Vitals Review

Scrolling down a bit on the initial page, we can see various Top 10s such as the Top 10 Visited Sites, Active Users, Fastest & Slowest Users with a filter on the top allowing you to quickly changing from Today, to last week and a few other options as seen below. This is really great because as soon as you log in, you have all the important information to see how your sites are doing, who is accessing them, and users that might have problems reaching them. On any one of those metrics, you can click on them to dig deeper into the content, and get more information. SharePoint Vitals contains over 15
out of the box reports, and we will review some, but not all in this review! One of the cool things about SharePoint Vitals is that they also have a PowerBI API that allows customers to create their own reports in PowerBI by using data gathered in SharePoint Vitals.

SharePoint Vitals Review

Let’s take a look at the other reports. We first have a Page Hits report allowing us to see the most viewed pages, and we can select the dates for which we want to look at in the top.

SharePoint Vitals Review

You can also look at the history for a selected user, and see all the pages that they have accessed, this history is kept as long as you have the product, and you can download it in full at any time.

SharePoint Vitals Review

You can also view the active documents per user as well if you want to see what documents they are accessing.

SharePoint Vitals Review

Before we go over some of the other features, I Want to take this time to get over a question I get asked often: Vlad, why should I invest in a third-party analytics product, when I could just Google Analytics for my site? The two reports above answer that question pretty clearly, while Google Analytics will allow you to see stats on pages, you will not have reports that are as integrated with SharePoint as SharePoint Vitals, which allow you to filter stuff even by users. There’s a bunch of other reasons, for example, SharePoint Vitals allows you to quickly view the Site Map of your tenant, or SharePoint farm so you can quickly look at your Information Architecture.

SharePoint Vitals Review

SharePoint Vitals also allows you to view the most popular Search Terms. Having access to what people search for will allow you to better optimize your Information architecture, and help people find their content a lot faster!

SharePoint Vitals Review

Another cool feature is also the Heat Map where you can see the locations from where your users access SharePoint. You can also filter by user, or simply go to a location to see who is accessing from that location. If you see people are accessing it from the US but you do not have an office there, this can be a huge red flag, so it’s worth investigating!

SharePoint Vitals Review

The results in SP Vitals are in real time, so this is also different from a few other analytics tools that are waiting for a timer job or similar to actually refresh them. You can also schedule reports on a weekly or monthly basis and get them directly in your Inbox!

SharePoint Vitals Review

The sample report I had access to contained 3 pages and really showed the top information a manager might need to see if people are using SharePoint more and more every week! Some of the things not shown on the screenshot are the Top 10 Sites, Fastest & Slowest Users as well as the heatmap.

SharePoint Vitals Review

Lastly, something that a lot of you might also wonder is the pricing. I Had a chat with the product team and asked them about this, and they have a really interesting pricing strategy. The cost for SP Vitals is 1$/user/month, and never more than 10,000$ a year (USD). So even if you are a 5,000 company, you will only pay 10,000$ a year, so this can be really really interesting!

Conclusion

In this blog post we have looked at SharePoint Vitals, a tool that allows you to see detailed analytics on your SharePoint On-Premises or online environments. SharePoint Vitals has a lot of information about every aspect of your SharePoint usage, and also has some reports that could not be seen by a tool that is not integrated with SharePoint such as the User History, accessed documents by user, where a user is logged in from and so on. Furthermore, one of the cool things of SharePoint Vitals is that all the results are real time, so you do not need to wait 12 or 24 hours to get the latest analytics.

If you’re looking for an analytics solution for SharePoint 2013/2016 or SharePoint Online, make sure you check out SharePoint vitals! Click the banner below to learn more!

SharePoint Vitals Review

5/5 (2)

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Community Blast Provided and Sponsored by Lanteria. This information was provided by vendor for community education on the Lanteria HR referral program

We’ve already told you about Lanteria HR – the SharePoint based software that is helping companies automate their HR management. In short, instead of reinventing the wheel, a company can implement this ready-to-use software tailored to the needs of HR. You can view some of the reviews done by Vlad on his blog:

Right now, Lanteria HR offers a referral partner program. We’ve noticed that most of our new clients want to thank the people who recommended our product, and thus we’ve decided to encourage and motivate our brand advocates to spread the word.

Lanteria HR

How much can you earn?

Let’s take a story about a totally fictional SharePoint consultant named Jeremy. Jeremy is a dedicated reader of this blog and a SharePoint specialist. He is an independent consultant who works with a horticulture goods company from Cleveland. There are five hundred employees in the company providing Ohio with potting soil and various fertilizers. They use SharePoint for almost everything as their seasonal business requires the fastest and the most efficient solution.

So, Jeremy suggests they improve their HR processes by using Lanteria HR. The total cost of the license fee, implementation and first-year maintenance and support for a company of their size is $65,542. The referral commission is 10% of total project cost, which means that Jeremy will get roughly $6,500. Jeremy spends it on a trip to Europe.

So how do I join?

For many companies, choosing a new software solution may take weeks and even months in some cases. But the reason they choose our software was your recommendation, and we respect that. So every time you say “Hey, why don’t you save some time and use Lanteria HR for that?”, don’t forget to submit a lead at the Lanteria partner portal to obtain a referral number for this potential client. Then you can earn big! Click the logo below to go to the new Partner Portal and learn more!

Lanteria HR referral program

5/5 (2)

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While I was doing a SharePoint 2016 install at a customer, I got hit by the The tool was unable to install Web Server (IIS) Role error when trying to install the SharePoint 2016 prerequisites on a Windows Server 2016.

The tool was unable to install Web Server (IIS) Role

I know back in SharePoint 2013 this happened a lot, and there was a support article for it called The Products Preparation Tool in SharePoint Server 2013 may not progress past “Configuring Application Server Role, Web Server (IIS) Role”. This article gave us the following PowerShell cmdlets to run, that would basically install some of the features and roles that SharePoint Needs.

When trying to run this on Windows Server 2016, we get this error: Add-WindowsFeature : ArgumentNotValid: The role, role service, or feature name is not valid: ‘Application-Server,AS-Web-Support,AS-TCP-Port-Sharing,AS-WAS-Support,AS-HTTP-Activation,AS-TCP-Activation,AS-Named-Pipes,AS-Net-Framework’. The name was not found.

The tool was unable to install Web Server (IIS) Role

That is because the Application-Server role has actually been deprecated from Windows Server 2016. Some of its features have been added to the WAS role. The correct cmdlet you need to run for a Windows Server 2016 installation is :

And make sure to replace the D:\sources\sxs to the actual path of your sources file. The sources file is on your Windows Server 2016 installation media, and you need to specify it and have it mounted on your computer (or copied somewhere) for the prerequisite install to work properly! Everything should work properly afterwards to run the prerequisite installer! In theory, a reboot is not needed, but I always prefer to do one after activating that many features just in case!

5/5 (12)

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