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Liza Sisler

I am passionate about connecting people and information and fascinated by the evolution of social business solutions and cloud adoption. I have driven Perficient's Microsoft Healthcare relationship since its inception. The team has been honored with Microsoft's Healthcare Provider Partner of The Year award three out of the past four years. I currently lead Perficient's Microsoft Marketing team and am fortunate to work with incredibly talented people sharing the stories, accomplishments and insights of Perficient's Microsoft team - Microsoft's 2013 US Partner of the Year award winner. Follow @Perficient_MSFT and @lizasisler for updates.

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Top 25 SharePoint Influencers #Top25sp

With the SharePoint Conference nearly upon us, Scratch Media has come out with a list of the Top 100 SharePoint Influencers in the world, and asked for votes to identify the top 25 SharePoint Influencers globally.  While there are many excellent and worthy candidates on the list, it shouldn’t include me, or my esteemed colleague, Windows Azure MVP, Ryan Duclos.

My Perficient choice would have been Rich Wood (@richOthewood) who blogs extensively on SharePoint, trends, future direction and strategy on Perficient’s Microsoft blog and is a top contributor at CMS Wire. He speaks extensively at industry and other events and will be speaking at the SharePoint Conference on Yammer External Networks; Engaging Customers and Partners.

That said, the list does include several worthy candidates.  Here are some of my favorite SharePoint (not technology) influencers.  Please note that I am not familiar with all those on the list and this is a personal selection based on what I know of their current status as a SharePoint influencer. My list includes MCM’s, authors, bloggers, speakers and those who I have encountered evangelizing SharePoint in recent years.  If you choose to vote, consider some of these folks.

Wictor WilenTom ResingSpencer HarbarLaura RodgersFabian WilliamsDux Raymond SyBill BaerBecky Isserman

Christian BuckleyJoel Oleson

Why you Should Consider Cloud Based Gifts this Holiday Season!

I’m a huge Cloud fan.  In my world, I want the device to function merely as an access point, a gateway to the myriad of experiences living in the Cloud can provide.  Lately, I’ve found myself explaining the how and why in many different settings, and to different people, but always with the same end result.

Cloud_shutterstock_102236311My parents recently visited from Ireland and on the last day of their visit, my dad’s ancient laptop died.  I took him to Best Buy and we test drove a number of different devices.  His PC requirements are limited to email, some occasional Word & Excel docs and Chess. This allowed us to select a nifty light Asus device for less than $300.  I added one of my unused Office 365 Home Premium licenses, set him up with a free Outlook.com email address and he and my mum headed back to Ireland.  Now all his emails and documents will be stored in the Cloud.  A future device failure won’t result in the loss of data.  It’s all in the Cloud.

Meantime, my son was looking for some photographs. All my photos are instantly backed up to my Skydrive.   So if something should happen to my phone, a Nokia Lumia 920, the device where I take most of my photos, I don’t lose my data.  For my past few phone upgrades I haven’t even needed to create a back-up.  All my data is stored in the cloud and I just need to reconnect my accounts and go. Now I just need an upgrade available, so I can get this phone!

Music in our house comes from Spotify.  Again, the device doesn’t matter. Whether my husband is listening on his iPhone, me on my Lumia or my son on his laptop, we all have our own playlists and can access our tunes from our preferred devices.

For entertainment, we’re an Xbox family!  We gave up cable when we moved to North Carolina over two years ago and embraced the cloud for entertainment.  Whether it’s Hulu Plus, Netflix or Amazon Prime via the Xbox or we switch to live TV via the Leaf Ultimate digital antennae (this serves my Downton Abbey addiction), we are a Cloud family!  Not only that but my son tells me that he loves how he can just switch from a show to Minecraft on the Xbox, and doesn’t have to keep track of the disk or worry about it getting scratched… another benefit of Cloud based storage – always on, always available (with wifi of course).  Once again, the device doesn’t matter, we can start watching something via the Xbox and switch to another device in another room.  Multiple people can even be on different devices, accessing Cloud based shows at the same time. You are limited only by what each service allows and we rarely run into issues.

Phone calls? Skype of course! With Viber filling on from time to time.  Again, the device doesn’t matter.  There’s a Skype app available for all of our different devices and platforms.  So on Christmas Day we can Skype with family members in Ireland, Germany, Spain, Dubai and Ohio and celebrate together.

Once you start considering always on, always available for home, you very quickly start to consider how to get there for work.  Whether its mirroring tools you use at home, like Facebook for social collaboration or Yammer to connect with colleagues.  Or moving to Office 365 or SkyDrive Pro.  Devices start to become access points rather than storage units.  The devices cease to matter and become more easily (hopefully) upgradable.

What’s your Cloud story?  Are you hoping for a Cloud related gift this Holiday season?

Office 365; Beyond email, Innovating for the Future (infographic)

This interesting Office 365 infograpic was recently shared with me.  It contains some pretty impressive numbers

  • 1 billion people on the planet are using Microsoft Word
  • 2 out of 3 information workers are using SharePoint
  • 90 out of 100 Fortune 100 companies are using Lync
  • One in four of Microsoft’s Enterprise customers – Microsoft’s largest customers – are now using Office 365.

Of those Enterprise customers using Office 365, more that 75% of them are using it for more than one workload.  If you consider email as the primary workload, this means that the majority of Microsoft’s largest Office 365 customers are also using Office 365 to address other aspects of their business. Increasingly we are seeing more and more customers interested in leveraging SharePoint Online and SkyDrive Pro to enable collaboration.  Yammer driving social engagement and of course Lync Online – can you spot a communication and collaboration trend here?  Leveraging Office 365 to break down silos, enable colleagues, regardless of where they are located to work together seamlessly.  Office 365 is so much more than email and Microsoft continues to innovate bringing additional services to Office 365 – who else is looking forward to Power BI?! Check out the infographic below.  You can click on it for a larger version.

8030_infographic-value-O365-1

0880_infographic-value-O365-2

How Lamar Increased Web Engagement, Conversions with Sitecore CMS

Perficient’s Sitecore team recently worked with Lamar Advertising to transform Lamar’s web presence resulting in increased customer awareness, allowing Lamar to address customer needs on both a local and national level. In addition, Lamar has experienced increased conversions, has the ability to reach, engage and educate potential customers about out-of-home advertising, and has reduced time-to-market for new content and communications, enabling continuous improvement of the website.

On Wednesday October 16th at 1pm CST Perficient and Lamar will host a webinar “How Lamar Created an Engaging and Mobile Website” During the webinar, Perficient’s Lead Sitecore Consultant Candace Hoeksema and Lamar’s Creative Director Mendi Robinson will discuss how by implementing Sitecore CMS Lamar can better serve its customers through more personalized and engaging content and a powerful user experience.

From today’s news release which can be read here

As emerging technologies continue to shape how consumers interact with brands, seamless, user-friendly experiences across all touch points have become an imperative. Lamar Advertising Company (NASDAQ: LAMR), the nation’s leading out-of-home advertising company, needed to improve and modernize its existing web presence – www.lamar.com – to deliver a better user experience. The company partnered with Perficient, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRFT), a leading information technology consulting firm serving Global 2000 and other large enterprise customers,  to transform Lamar’s web experience. Together, Lamar and Perficient created a fully responsive website that is accessible on any device, and enhanced the quality and availability of information to visitors.

With more than 200 locations across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, Lamar provides clients with outdoor advertising solutions in the form of billboards, digital, transit and highway logo signs. Lamar has grown significantly in the past 20 years and continues to diversify its offerings as technologies enter the market. However, the company’s website didn’t fully reflect that growth and diversification. Each of Lamar’s locations had individual marketing websites, which lacked continuity and resulted in a disconnected approach to engaging customers and providing localized content to the public.

“Organizations often look to marketing and advertising firms for help in adapting their current strategies to become more digital and social,” said Mike Gersten, vice president of Perficient’s Microsoft National Business Group. “Lamar understands how as a leading advertising company its brand needs to reflect this fast-paced, digital, and information-driven marketing industry. I’m thrilled to see the work we’ve done with Lamar has helped enhance the interface and user experience of their website to meet this market demand.”

Lamar and Perficient embarked on a strategic website redesign project, which required selecting a web content management system that would accommodate a corporate website as well as office-specific content management for its numerous locations. The company also needed a platform that could scale to engage customers how and when they wanted to engage. Given its requirements, Lamar selected Sitecore CMS as its content management system, which is based on Microsoft’s .NET platform.

“Our goal was to create a user-centric experience and to give our individual offices more visibility on the web,” said Michael Kulivan, AVP, director, Process Control at Lamar Advertising Company. “Perficient had the expertise to design, architect and implement a site that met our objectives. The platform allows us to scale for continued business growth and provides our customers with the kind of user experience they expect from a leading advertising company.”

As a result of implementing the Sitecore CMS platform, Lamar’s website has increased customer awareness, allowing the company to address customer needs on both a local and national level. In addition, Lamar has experienced increased conversions, has the ability to reach, engage and educate potential customers about out-of-home advertising, and has reduced time-to-market for new content and communications, enabling continuous improvement of the website.

Lamar website

Congrats to Marshfield Clinic on their Healthcare WebAward!

The Marshfield Clinic team is in the winners circle once again!  In April,  Marshfield Clinic’s website was named Site of the Month for March by TopSharePoint.com and now the Perficient & Marshfield teams have been recognized by the Web Marketing Association for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development!

The Web Marketing Association‘s annual WebAward competition has been setting the standard of excellence for website development since 1997. Independent expert judges from around the world review sites in 96 industries. The best are recognized with a WebAward. The WebAward Competition is the premier award recognition program for Web developers and marketers worldwide. The first WebAward was given in 2007.

Marshfield clinic decided to invest in SharePoint for its internal and external collaboration and content management needs, and chose to implement SharePoint 2013 as the engine for its new website. The new site better promotes brand awareness and fidelity, and drives specific user behavior and engagement with the Clinic through surfaced content. Responsive design allows the Clinic to effectively engage mobile users and deliver content to a wide range of devices. Launched earlier this year as the first phase of a multi-part project, the new Marshfield Clinic website is dynamic, engaging and offers an improved experience for patients and prospective patients. Congratulations to our friends at Marshfield Clinic and Perficient’s SharePoint , Healthcare and  XD teams who worked on the site!

Marshfield clinic webaward site

Congrats to Disney Consumer Products on Best Intranet WebAward!

Huge congrats to Perficient client Disney Consumer Products on their 2013 Web Award for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development for Best Intranet Website.  The Web Marketing Association‘s annual WebAward competition has been setting the standard of excellence for website development since 1997. Independent expert judges from around the world review sites in 96 industries. The best are recognized with a WebAward. The WebAward Competition is the premier award recognition program for Web developers and marketers worldwide. The first WebAward was given in 2007.

web award Disney

Preparing for BI in the Cloud with Windows Azure Webinar Replay

On Wednesday we hosted a webinar on BI in the Cloud with Windows Azure and Office 365.  During the webinar Andy Tegethoff, a Microsoft BI architect in Perficient’s dedicated Microsoft BI practice, shared key point on taking advantage of the cost savings, scalability and speed of implementation benefits offered by Cloud based implementations.

Andy offered specific examples of Cloud BI and related service models, and then drilled down to shed some light on what’s possible with SharePoint BI, Cloud BI using Microsoft Windows Azure,  SQL Server 2012 and Office 365 BI including Power BI.

For example, did you know you can migrate your SharePoint BI solution to Azure and drive down total cost of ownership?

You can see the webinar replay here

Cloud BI webinar image

and review the webinar slides here

SharePoint 2013, Responsive Design & Mobility Webinar Replay

On Wednesday we hosted a webinar that highlighted how you can use responsive design to better engage your mobile audience. Rich Wood, Director of Perficient’s Microsoft web and social collaboration practice shared why using responsive design is an excellent solution to address the explosion of  mobile devices that differ tremendously, from screen size to functionality and usability, making it impossible to optimize a website for a single device. Rich addressed specific scenarios and examples of how Perficient has helped organizations looking to develop and execute on strategies that provide a first-class experience for all devices while winning some recognition along the way!

During the webinar, Rich discussed what can be accomplished using SharePoint 2013 and responsive web design. He also covered

  • What is responsive web design?
  • SharePoint 2013’s WCM features
  • Responsive web design & SharePoint
  • Responsive SharePoint website examples

You can see the replay here

and review the slides here

ZDNet Highlights Perficient’s Cloud and Healthcare Expertise

It was exciting to read Heather Clancy‘s post on ZDNet.com this morning, ‘Perficient’s Cloud Prescription for Healthcare Companies‘ highlighting Perficient’s Cloud & Healthcare expertise.  From Heather’s post, which can be read here

[Perficient] was named in July as both the software developer’s U.S. Partner of the Year and also as [Microsoft's] top provider for delivering healthcare solutions. Its capabilities center on Microsoft’s cloud computing technologies including Office 365, Azure, Lync, Yammer, SharePoint Online, Intune and Dynamics CRM.

Examples of some of Perficient’s recent deployments including a massive project with one of the largest healthcare providers to integrate Office365 services with Active Directory; optimizing an electronic healthcare records system from Epic with a business intelligence solution using SQL Server and SharePoint; and developing a SharePoint 2013 portal that allows healthcare providers to communicate with patients using Web access methods or mobile devices.

“Perficient’s dedicated national health practice delivers innovative and intelligent solutions for hospitals and health systems deployed on familiar Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint, Lync, SQL Server and Dynamics CRM,” said Steve Aylward, general manager of U.S. Health & Life Sciences, Strategies and Solutions, Microsoft. “These solutions allow healthcare organizations to leverage their investments in the Microsoft platform that provide instant access to patient and clinical information, streamline core business processes such as eligibility, referrals and claims, and significantly improve interactions with patients/members, physicians and administrators.”

When I spoke with Eric Roch, Perficient’s principal executive for service-oriented architecture (SOA), Cloud and Mobile solutions, he said the St. Louis-based integrator’s long-time experience with data compliance and security issues has helped it carve out a large vertical practice in this area. “We are focused on how companies can use technology to continuously improve their processes,” Roch said.

As such, Perficient becomes closely aligned with overall business strategy of its clients, not just the IT plan, which makes for long-term relationships. “Your CFO really wants these economies of scale, the agility that cloud brings and the cost-savings,” he noted.

Microsoft Cloud based solutions can be a great fit in the Healthcare space, in large part thanks to the fact that a BAA is available for several Microsoft Cloud based products including Windows Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM.  In addition Office 365 can be used in connection with the Direct Project to enable secure, verified messaging.

How do you plan to leverage Microsoft Cloud based solutions in your environment?

SXSW Panel Picker:Vote for Choice…The Gateway to Engagement

My colleague Brad Nunnally from our XD practice has an interesting talk submitted for SXSW focused on the complexity of making choices and how it can drive customer engagement. Brad speaks extensively at conferences and events on UX related topics and is one of the authors of ‘Designing the Conversation: Techniques for Successful Facilitation (Voices that Matter)’. You can vote for Brad’s talk here and learn more about his proposed topic below.

Our lives’ are full of choices, and the number of choices we get slammed with every day is overwhelming. Especially as the human experience increasingly moves into the digital space – e.g. digital ads heralding four different must-have services. The days of having a small set of options have gone the way of the dodo, and sadly, this isn’t for the betterment of mankind. Modern products need to pull out every trick to get their product in front of consumers, and getting their attention isn’t the hard part. It’s what follows that gets challenging…getting someone to buy a product? Understanding the anatomy of a choice is crucial to surviving the new world of product design. If designers, developers and product owners can better understand how choices are made and, more importantly, why they get made, they will be better equipped to disrupt the market.

This talk explores the complexity of making choices and how an environment built for choice leads to a better customer experience.

Questions Answered

Where is the tipping point between too few and too many choices?

How do you grab a customers’ attention and get them to a state of mind so they can make a choice?

How do you create an environment that facilitates an easy and meaningful choice?

How to encourage engagement through choice?

How is the changing of technology impairing our ability to make better choices?

SXSW panel PickerI think this is an interesting topic, especially when you think of choice as it related to any design effort.  How will you design your web presence, intranet or extranet to give your customers the information they need where they need it without overwhelming them?

For another side of customer engagement if you are interested in learning about SharePoint 2013, Responsive Design and engaging a mobile audience, check out this webinar on August 28th at 1pm CST.

What do you think?  Is Choice the gateway to engagement?  How do you engage your customers? Did you vote for Brad’s SXSW Submission? :-)