WinCenter v3.0 Launched at APMP 2014 and Hits on Best Practice Shifts


Earlier this month, our partner Lohfeld Consulting Group launched WinCenter v3.0 at the APMP 2014 conference in Chicago. It was big news for practitioners of complex business development.  I was there to support Lohfeld.  In this article, I’ll talk about how the product was received and how it reflects the changes in the best practices of practitioners.

WinCenter Background

WinCenter is a software system for integrated capture and proposal management.  It is built using CorasWorks and runs on Microsoft SharePoint.  It is purpose-built for Federal Government Contractors, but, can also be applied to complex commercial business development.  Unlike database systems or document management systems, it is process-centric reflecting the phase-based process used by Federal Contractors or commercial organizations.

Up until now, the activities of capture and proposal development have been served by separate tools – largely, CRM for capture and document management for proposal development.  With WinCenter, these activities become part of one system, driving and reinforcing the well known process of business development.  The benefits in productivity and win effectiveness are dramatic.

APMP Practitioner Experience

The majority of APMP practitioners work with the Federal government.  However, this year there was about 30% of participants that manage complex RFP responses for commercial organizations.  For both groups, WinCenter is the first off-the-shelf product that provides integrated capture and proposal management.  The best practice (on paper) is a phase-based process that integrates the two activities.  So, practitioners were very interested to see how it all comes together in a software system.

The experience differed depending on the role of person that we were demoing.  If the person was a BD exec, they quickly got the value of an integrated tool. They fully know the pain and loss in productivity of having separate teams and tools with little visibility.  If they were a capture person or a proposal person they would initially come from their perspective.  Importantly, they didn’t necessarily know what the other group did or how they impact their work or are impacted.  Through the demo they started to get a feel for the full process, their role within it, and, how they could work better.

An important part of WinCenter’s design is that while it is one process, it is role based.  So, users can see the full picture, but, their work is presented to them in an optimized way.

APMP and Increased Capture Emphasis

Historically, APMP has focused on proposal work which is why APMP stands for Association of Proposal Management Professionals.  Yet, this year there was an increased emphasis on capture.  This is being reflected (or some say driven) by the local APMP Chapters.  This evolution is simply the industry recognition that winning is the real driver and winning requires both capture and proposal activities that are good and coordinated. Clearly, WinCenter addresses this situation.

Phased-Based Process for Commercial

In addition, there are changes in the commercial world.  Much of commercial business is now complex solution selling.  The practitioners in the Federal space have a well defined phase-based process.  Increasingly, this phase-based approach is being adopted by those pursuing commercial business.  A phased-based approach to business development is very different from using a CRM like Salesforce in a classic database, transactional mode.  It is about guiding, driving and automating the work that drives an opportunity through the phases of the process.  WinCenter addresses this also.

Old and Young – Old School and New School

The APMP practitioner crowed has many older people and a whole new crop of young people.  It is good to see the younger people coming into the profession.  And, APMP does an excellent job of promoting mentoring relationships between people and companies.

The “old school” folks still see BD as a people game.  The “new school” sees winning as the results of a defined process that is optimized.  They are looking at software tools to drive efficiency and competitiveness.  BTW, just because some people are older age-wise doesn’t mean they are old school.  Some of the most enthusiastic people driving new school change are older people who have spent years wanting to drive towards a more automated, integrated system and fully know the pain of the old way.  The younger people are very quick to pick up on the next generation of tools like WinCenter, so there is an army to work with.


Application Delivery Therapy for IT and Business


With our v11.3.2 wave, Application Designer, the Design Canvas and our 6 pack of sample apps we are in the process of providing a new service – Application Delivery Therapy - to IT and Business Groups within our customers.  Well, not really.  But, these simple additions to our product line have enabled our customers to rethink how they get the job done.  We are now often engaging pretty much as a therapist to help both IT and Business readjust to a better way to work together.  Let’s talk about it.

Should be easy and painless – right?

The vast majority of the business applications we address on SharePoint are what I would call “business critical” vs. mission critical.  They are departmental level apps, generally around work management, involve some business process vs. just content, and would seem to be rather tightly scoped.  So, you think the work would be easy and painless.  Yet, in most cases, if both IT and Business have to get involved, the situation devolves into a classic battle filled with tension.

Regular SharePoint – normal IT and Business misalignment

In a normal SharePoint world, IT and business are coming from two different places.  IT is looking to bring up and deliver an infrastructure service within a particular SLA.  Business is after unique, business applications that can drive better results.  When the two meet it is usually in a situation where IT is being asked to deliver a custom application on top of SharePoint for business.  The conversation quickly becomes about IT’s needs for the detailed requirements (like all good custom app shops), budget allocations, a long lead time, and business pushing back.  The tension mounts.  Business tries to get around IT…

CorasWorks changing the dynamic of delivering apps

CorasWorks has always had a play here to simply make it faster and easier for IT or Business IT to get the job done in a more agile manner.  However, the new wave of App add-ons actually changes the dynamics of the work.  It goes like this:

  1. With the 6 pack of Apps, IT is able to have instances of a bunch of apps that cover a common spectrum of application cases.  These aren’t necessarily the exact app but close enough for business to “get it and see how they would apply it.”   Seeing is a big piece of believing.
  2. They can then do what we call “walkthroughs” and talk about which is the most relevant app and design for the business need.  This gets them on the same page very quickly.  It allows them to specify their joint approach.
  3. Armed with the CorasWorks Design Canvas, IT is able to quickly make changes – usually in real time as they discuss things. They can ask what Business wants and talk options.  Requirements details come out of the process – naturally and relatively reasonably.
  4. Then, they can do what we call “workouts” to workout the app, both IT and Business hands on.  Through the workout, business refines their requirements and IT has the attention to figure out the best way.
  5. Gradually, working side by side, the apps take form.  Usually, rather quickly, business is ready to begin using it, knowing that it can be changed.
  6. Advanced enhancements can now be dropped in with a bit more lead time as a phase 2.
  7. The new app can then be added to IT’s catalog of sample apps to serve the next business group.

Some Comments

  • Initially, business thinks their app is completely unique.  It isn’t – 80% is the same as others.  It is very odd to see how quickly business folks will “apply” an existing app to their needs – once they see it.  What they need is the extra 20% that is unique – which we support.
  • The above flow eliminates that upfront confrontation around requirements and business’s lack of confidence that IT can deliver.  Often, the battle happens before IT and Business have even engaged.  To make this really work well, the desired app needs to fit into the “wheelhouse” of what IT already has at its fingertips.  The 6 pack of apps is a starter.
  • You don’t even talk budgets until you reach step 3 above.
  • It is a virtuous cycle.  The more apps you do this way, the bigger the catalog of apps in IT and more skilled they are at the process – so the more business needs fall into the “wheelhouse,” the quicker the success.
  • The best results are achieved when you can make someone from IT and someone from Business jointly accountable in real time for the results.  It is side by side and collaborative.  It is about the shared objective.  It is Joint Application Building.
  • Force as much real time changes as you can.  Sometimes it is best to have two people from IT involved – one talking and taking notes and one building (“the person behind the curtain”).  Real time makes a difference.
  • In this way you are building up a new Application Delivery capability.  It is not just ITs job but also the job of business to leverage the capability to deliver improved results.
  • IT should be willing to empower Business to use the Design Canvas to make certain changes in the application.

Application Delivery Therapy

We are helping customers change.  We help you get set up with CorasWorks v11.3.2, things IT needs to know, and your catalog of apps.  We help you get your approach for working with business in place.  We often help with getting business to try it out.  We often support your team on the first few apps.

Like any good therapy our approach is to seek alignment, remove distractions, and put in place positive tools and behavior to reinforce success.



CorasWorks v11.3.2 wave includes Application Designer v4.0 and new Six Pack of Apps


In the beginning of June, we launched our v11.3.2 wave of products.  This includes new builds of CorasWorks for SharePoint 2010 and 2013 with a bunch of new features – somewhat unusual for a minor (x.x.x) release.  In addition, we also released two key add-ons that make it easier for power users to build business applications with CorasWorks.  I’ll focus on the latter in this article.  They are free to CorasWorks customers.

The Objective

The objective of these two add-ons to v11.3.2 is to make it easier for power users/builders to create finished business applications.  It takes too much knowledge, too much skill, and too much time to try and use native SharePoint to deliver finished business applications.  With these tools and the CorasWorks platform it is much easier, more straight forward, and much more re-useable.

Application Designer v4.0

The core add-on is Application Designer (version 4.0).  I introduced v2.0 of this visual design and build tool in a previous article.  This v4.0 release has a host of new features for the builder/power user.  A key changeup is how we have changed the “widget” toolset of the Design Canvas to follow the logical order that people go through to “build up” a business application.  These are shown on the left in the screenshot below.


So, what is logical as you build any business application:

  1. Create your content (lists and libraries)
  2. Lay out your navigation tabs, buttons, and pages
  3. Drop your displays on pages of different types
  4. Add your users forms
  5. Add your user actions and business rules
  6. Create your reports and add them to dashboards
  7. Set your role-based security.

Accordingly, this is now how we’ve organized the features.

Of all the new features, I believe the most powerful is the ability to make your application role-based using the Design Canvas.  You can apply roles for users or Groups to any tabs and buttons.  This removes the need to go down into the messy SharePoint content-based permissions to apply security.

You also now have a great new simple Report Designer with automatic two- level drill downs (chart sections to item listing and item details) along with drag and drop to add reports to dashboards.

Six pack of Apps

With the v11.3.2 wave, we have released a set of 6 sample applications.  These were all built using Application Designer v4.0.  They are easy to modify, enhance, and reuse leveraging the Design Canvas that is part of each.  The applications are:

  • Knowledge Base
  • Help Desk
  • Expense Management
  • Job & Interview Management
  • Time Clock Management
  • Work Order Approval.

You can leverage these applications as follows:

  1. Use them as-is out of the box
  2. Customize them and enhance them to meet specific needs using the Design Canvas
  3. Re-purpose them to similar but different applications, again leveraging the Design Canvas
  4. Use them to learn how a business application is designed using CorasWorks and then go off and create completely new applications.

Unlike sample apps of old like CorasWorks apps or the Fab 40 from Microsoft, the on-board Design Canvas makes it easy to a) visually understand how the applications are laid out, and b) customize and enhance using the wizards of the Design Canvas.

Getting them

These add-ons are free to CorasWorks customers on Premier Support.  They are available for download, by your administrator, via the CorasWorks Customer Center (



WinCenter Business Case: Embed your business acquisition process within an integrated capture and proposal management system

It’s been a very busy couple of months since the release of WinCenter in January.  With this next generation solution we are addressing a business-critical problem of Federal Government Contractors in their business acquisition process.  This article is written to support those that are re-evaluating their business situation and presenting our solution to their executive management.  At the end, I have a list of questions you can use to validate the strength of your current business case.

Very Good, Industry Standard, Business Acquisition Process (“BAP”)

Over the last 10 years, I’ve worked within a lot of industries dealing with many different business processes.  The Federal Government Contractor community has a very well defined, well understood, and, well supported end-to-end business acquisition process (“BAP”) – at a conceptual level.  Every leading FGC organization I’ve worked with has adopted a “flavor” of the core process and modified it to their needs.

The standard BAP looks like the diagram below. (Click on image to see full size)

lohfeld bap3

The core aspects of a BAP are:

  • a Phase-Gate based process
  • standard set of Federal customer milestones
  • use of a standard set of Decision Gate reviews
  • use of structured Color team reviews as milestones for process activities
  • a standard set of Capture, Proposal, and Supporting Departmental activities that drive the above process

The leading FGC’s know the standard BAP above very well.  Their experience has shown that IF and WHEN they can get their team and organization to understand their flavor of the process and follow it (varying the details to the opportunity) then they are more effective at winning business.

The Problem: Cost of Legacy and Lacking Tools

The business acquisition process is in good shape – conceptually.  The problem is that that the legacy tools available to most organizations are lacking to make this an efficient and effective process.  Below is a schematic of what we typically find in most organizations.  These tools are siloed, disconnected, often old and/or proprietary software, missing key elements, not process-driven, and thus, require a great deal of manual effort and activity to augment them in order to follow the business acquisition process.  The result is that getting people to do what is best to win business is too costly.  So, often what should be done, is not.


The most obvious deficiency is that the existing tools are usually not process-oriented.  They are document oriented, databases, or manual.  But, the industry has a well understood end-to-end process.  Where is it?  What tool is used to drive the success of the process?

In addition, most organizations have a vast separation between the Business Development/Capture people and their tools (usually an opportunity/CRM database) and the Proposal practitioners using document management systems. They live and work in different worlds.  The supporting departmental processes (HR, Finance, Legal, Engineering, Pricing, etc.) are also separate and disconnected.  But, the documented business acquisition process is an integrated end-to-end process where users can benefit greatly by visibility and collaboration with others throughout the process.  The means to make this occur is simply not reflected in the set of tools available to the organization.

WinCenter: Integrated Capture and Proposal Management

The solution?  Rather simply, WinCenter is a process-oriented system where we have embedded an industry standard BAP framework into an integrated capture and proposal management system.  In summary, it brings all of the participants together, to work in an integrated system, that is designed to work in accordance with the organizations’ standardized business acquisition process.

WinCenter was created from the ground up through the partnership of Lohfeld Consulting Group, a leading capture and proposal business consulting firm, and CorasWorks, with our flexible, Work Management System.  So, it reflects the process that is the standard of practitioners.

With WinCenter you get:

  • an integrated capture and proposal management system
  • supporting the industry standard business acquisition process
  • that provides the visibility and collaboration amongst all process participants
  • that automates the users work and provides consistency and efficiency
  • and that runs on the Microsoft SharePoint platform.

This solution addresses the need of the market.

And, it goes a step further.  Because it is designed and built using CorasWorks, it is uniquely flexible. This means that organizations are able to customize, enhance, and extend the solution on their own using our industry leading Work Management platform (in version 11) and our business user friendly Application Configuration Wizards.  This next generation capability drives a completely different result from the two legacy options of a) relying on proprietary, custom coded software vendors for changes or upgrades  and b) relying on costly and risky and untimely internal or external custom development.

Validating your Business Case

Here are some business and technical questions to answer to validate the current strength of your business case for WinCenter:

  • Do you, your team and execs believe that if your organization follows a standard business acquisition process you will win more business at lower cost?
  • Do you have a standard business acquisition process in your organization (on paper, whiteboard, documented)?  If not, do you want to?
  • Does your existing toolset look like the one above? Or even less?  What is the cost of supporting that toolset?
  • Do you see the benefit of embedding your BAP within your software system to drive your process?
  • Do you believe in the benefit of an integrated capture and proposal management system? Do your capture and proposal managers also believe in the benefits of this visibility and collaboration?
  • If you had the system to use to drive your team to follow the process how would it impact your Win rate?
  • How would it reduce your costs by increasing your efficiency and visibility?
  • How would it eliminate your risks of missing key elements of your business acquisition process?
  • Do you use Microsoft SharePoint as a platform within your organization?
  • Will you need to integrate with some legacy systems such as a corporate CRM or custom system?
  • Will you need to change your system, innovate, and do you want control over your pace and requirements for system changes?
  • How much will you reduce direct costs in legacy software maintenance and IT (internal or external) support people by investing in an off-the-shelf but flexible system?  How quickly?

Of course, we welcome the opportunity to work with you to answer the questions above.


IT at Your Service


A revolution is happening within the enterprise where IT is rapidly becoming much more focused on the business users as customers. The shift has been more than just philosophical. IT’s processes and systems are shifting to support this new focus and best practices have emerged to support this shift. For example, ITIL v3 is helping facilitate the shift through its inclusion of IT Request Management/Fulfillment.

The idea of IT Request Management is pretty straightforward. Make it easy for business users to find and access the various services offered by IT. Then, make it easy for them to request the service, track the request, get status updates, and finally get their request fulfilled to their satisfaction.

But what about IT?

This makes it easy for the business user, but what about IT? How do they benefit from IT Request Management? Well, there are several ways beyond the customer satisfaction you’ll get from your happy business users.

First, if done right, IT now has a much more efficient way to route the right request through the right process, and have the correct teams notified. No more having to route everything through the “help desk” and then forwarding it on. This streamlines the response times. Also each team can manage their own knowledge base to prevent users from asking the same things, over and over again.

Second, it sets expectations. When business users are requesting services, the service descriptions include an SLA and also a cost of the service. This way, business users know what they’re asking for and what the response time should be. No more miscommunications.

But these are not the biggest benefits to IT. Since each service is being tracked, there is transparency, and IT can run reports on the costs per business unit, and even per-person within the units. It makes it easy to show the business function leaders what their units are consuming from IT and why IT needs resources to make things happen. Now that is a really big benefit for anyone who has sat in front of the business functions and tried to explain why they should ante up to fund next year’s IT budget.

So how does an IT department get there?

One way is to purchase an ITSM system and implement it, along with all of the costly process consultants, and per-seat licensing fees. At CorasWorks, we saw this as a great use for SharePoint. Most companies already have SharePoint running internally so that makes it a good candidate for an IT Request Management solution. So we designed a purpose-built Request Management solution. What makes this unique? Well, to start with, it’s built on the CorasWorks platform and as such it not only comes out of the box addressing the specific scenario, but it’s built to be customized. Each company is different, so our solution allows you to define your service categories, service areas, and individual service processes to match your needs. And since it’s built on CorasWorks, it can grow with you.

So what are the feature of the CorasWorks Solution?

There are several key features of the CorasWorks IT Request Management Solution. You can see a complete list of the features here.

But what about people who already have existing ITSM systems but could really use a better front end?

It’s possible. You could leverage our really nice, user-friendly front-end for the business user and even for IT to use to manage the service catalog and requests, then populate the ITSM system at the appropriate time. This is not an out of the box feature, but it is something our services team can do. We’ll take a look at your current ITSM system, determine the best integration points, and using the tools that are part of the system, we will not only build the connections but show you how we did it so you can maintain it. It will also be far quicker and less expensive than you would expect when hear “integration.”

Just ask and we’ll be happy to work with you.

Welcome to “IT at your service.”


CorasWorks Application Designer – The “Just Right” Way to Create Business Applications on SharePoint

justright We just released the CorasWorks Application Designer.  It is a tool that you use to rapidly build the most common types of work management business applications.  In this article, I’ll provide you with an overview and explain why it should become the “Just Right” tool for a lot of your business applications.

Getting Started and Building Momentum

It is available for free to all CorasWorks customers on active Premier Support and Maintenance.  You’ll find it in the Download section of the new Customer Center.  It is available for download by any employees that have been given access to the Learning Centers of the Customer Center (see this article for information on the Customer Center).  It requires that you are running v11.3.1 of CorasWorks or greater.

To get going, read the rest of the article, download the tool, upload it to a site collection, create a site with it, and then, build your first app.

When done, templatize that first app, make 10 changes in 30 minutes, and then, deliver your second app for a similar but different need.

Repeat, to create more apps.

Why “Just Right”?

February 13th was our 11th anniversary.  For 11 years, we have been committed to helping our customers deliver business applications on SharePoint.  Principally, we have done this by offering a powerful Work Management platform and COTS purpose-built solutions.  It has worked for many.  However, we think there is a large group of people out there that still haven’t been enabled to add business value.  We believe that there is a “just right” spot that we haven’t tackled yet.

Let me explain.  Our platform requires that you know CorasWorks technology, some SharePoint, and that, you can design a business application.  Our off-the-shelf applications deliver the value quickly — if it is the application you need.

So, for some the platform is Too Cold – they can’t get that deep, don’t have the app design skills, not enough time, just not enough there to get over the hump…

For others, the purpose built apps are too much or just don’t apply – let us say Too Hot.

What we’ve done with the CorasWorks Application Designer is to build a “generic” tool that lets you build very quickly and within a well defined application framework to meet that middle majority of application needs.  The tool is not overbuilt so that it applies only to a narrow application need.  Nor, does it require you to learn much technology to deliver robust apps.  It is in the middle – just the right place to start.

All of the elements are there for you to quickly create work management applications.  And, whatever you build is a) polished and ready to be put to work, b) very easy to modify and c) even quicker and easier to re-configure to deliver for the next similar, but different, application.

So, not too hot, not too cold, just right.

A Sample Application

What does it looks like? What kind of apps are just right?  Here is an example.

I do a lot of work with Federal Government Contractors.  They have a department– Contract Administration–that manages their government contracts.  They get a huge volume of requests, normally by email, from all parts of the organization.  The application is to funnel the requests into a work management application to be centrally managed, assigned, tracked, and reported on.  Below is a sample page, All Open Requests, from the application.


How You Get There with Application Designer

You start by creating a new site using Application Designer (or re-using an app already delivered based upon Application Designer). The Application Designer is packaged as a SharePoint template, so it’s as simple as creating a new site using the Application Designer template. Once you create the site, you’re ready to start creating.  The Application Designer design canvas shown below is what you use to layout your application.image

This easy-to-use designer allows you to lay out your navigation and drop “widgets” into it that provide the functionality.  Widgets are navigation items (tabs, buttons), web part pages, displays, actions, and links that build out the user interface.  It is rather amazing how productive people can be just because it is easy to visually lay out the application with pre-built functionality.

You can reuse web part pages with web parts as features.  So, you can create your first one, and populate it with CorasWorks displays and actions and then clone it for use for other similar pages.  For instance, each page above in the “Manage Requests” tab is a clone of New Requests showing different information and with different user work actions.

Each page can be managed here via the Application Designer design canvas.  A key feature is the ability to secure each feature/page to a SharePoint Group or one or more users.  This enables you to easily design a robust role-based UI within a single app.

You then leverage the CorasWorks Application Wizards (Display Wizard, Action Wizard, Activation Wizard, etc.) to get into details for each feature you’ve added to the app such as custom tailoring the user actions or notifications or reports.

Branding.  Yes, people want it to look their way.  The Options feature of the Application Designer console allows you to control the look and feel.  We’ve incorporated ThemeRoller into the solution.  As it sounds, it lets you “roll your own” theme for branding or use one of the default options.

Quick Answers

How do I get it?  Go to the CorasWorks Customer Center, Download link at the top.  You need to be a user that has access to the Learning Centers of the CorasWorks Customer Center.  If you are an employee of a customer and don’t have access, just request access from the home page of the Customer Center.

How to learn to get started?  See the Application Designer video in the Platform Learning Center.  You need to have access to that Learning Center.

How to learn to build with CorasWorks?  See the “Essentials” videos in the Platform Learning Center.

Who can help me at CorasWorks?  Contact us at  We’ll also set up 1-on-1 sessions with our solution consultants to help you get started.



New CorasWorks Customer Center – the Details to Get You Going

This month we released our new CorasWorks Customer Center ( It replaces the CorasWorks Community as the primary place for customers to go to access resources.  Over the years our customer resources got spread out to multiple sites – it happens.  The new Customer Center brings them back together and raises the bar to make it easier for you to add value.  In this article I’ll walk you through what I think are important details to leverage it – why and how.

Before getting into details, I am going to give you one solid reason to access the Customer Center and go into the Platform Learning Center – we now have 20+ self-service videos with more than 6 hours of learning content that will save you time and money, and help you add value to your organization.  Use it for yourself and share them with others in your organization.

The Customer Center Tour

When you first visit the site, you will be taken on a tour of key features of the Customer Center. If you don’t have time to explore it now, no problem, you can launch the tour at any time from the main menu at to top of the screen.

The Home Page

Please go there and scan the contents of the page and look at the links.  Most key resources are just one click away. From this home page you can access:

  • Self-registration
  • Base information about our software and solutions
  • Download our software
  • All CorasWorks events
  • Access Requests to Learning Centers
  • Support contact information
  • Our blogs
  • The Learning Centers (Platform and CAPS).


The first thing to do is register for the Customer Center.  It is a self-service system, so when you forget your username or password you can request them from the system.  To register, click the dropdown arrow next to Login. A Customer Success advocate will respond promptly and ensure that you are linked to your company account. This will allow you to access all of the great content in the Learning Centers.


Accessing the Learning Centers

We have two Learning Centers that are part of our Customer Center:

  • Platform Learning Center (for all audiences)
  • CAPS Learning Center (for web developers).

To have access to a Learning Center you must be an employee of a customer on active Premier Annual Support and Maintenance.

To request access, from the home page, click on the Request Access link for the Learning Center you want to access as shown below in red below.  We will verify that you are part of an active PASM account and provide you with access.


Platform Learning Center and Self-Service Videos

The Platform Learning Center has gotten simpler.  The primary contents are a number of self-service videos (the #1 reason to go here as above). We have found videos to be the easiest thing to consume and the fastest to broaden the base of usage.

Request access and access the videos.  You’ll see the menu of options on the left as shown below.  Share the links and content with others in your organization.


CAPS Learning Center

The CAPS (CorasWorks Application Service) API is designed for web developers.  This Learning Center is web developer oriented with examples, code snippets, and configuration code generators.  Note that when we talk code in the CAPS world, we really mean a low code approach, it is for the web developer, no compiled C# here.  You just don’t need it anymore to do really cool stuff. For example, the entire Customer Center is built using CAPS, Bootstrap, and classic web developer tools. You just don’t need hard-core code anymore to do cool things on SharePoint.

Say, you are working on a solution and need to know how make a request to our API. You simply go to the Learning Center, find a comparable example, use the request builder and generate the code, and paste it into your app, updating the URL to match your own site.

Below is an example of just such as case.



Quick Facts

What is the URL for the Customer Center?

What do I do when I forget my username and password? Go to the home page and click the down arrow next to Log in at the top and make your request.  Takes 30 seconds.

Where do I go to watch self-service videos?  Platform Learning Center

Where do I go to get CAPS help? CAPS Learning Center

How do I download CorasWorks software? Click Downloads at the top of the home page (you must be specified as the active Download user).

If I just need help?  Email support at



Lohfeld WinCenter(TM) – integrated Capture and Proposal Management software for Federal Contractors

Bringing the best together.

Yesterday, we announced our partnership with Lohfeld Consulting Group and the new Lohfeld WinCenter(TM) software product.  WinCenter provides Federal Government Contractors (GovCon) with an integrated system to manage opportunities across the capture and proposal life-cycle.  It is integrated in a number of ways.  In this article, I’ll talk about the integration of process and technology and how it came together.  And, I’ll provide you with other resources.

As you all know, CorasWorks provides its own CorasWorks Capture and Proposal Management solution as part of its Federal Government Contractor solution set.  Over the last year, we have supported customers that were using CorasWorks on SharePoint and that also had adopted a Lohfeld based capture and proposal methodology (or similar model such as Shipley).  We started embedding their process into our solution during implementations.  It was kind of a “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup moment”.  You take the process methodology, best practices, artifacts, guidance etc. and embed it in the software and automate the work.  The result is a system that works the way C&P professionals think about their work, that automates their work, that literally guides them through the process and the activities, and that provides exceptional visibility across the full life-cycle for all participants.

You’d think that this would already be a no brainer.  But, there is a big chasm between consultants/professionals that have the deep process knowledge and the software vendors providing the tools.  So, normally that great process is in people’s heads, on the wall, in 300 page manuals, and in some documents somewhere and users have to figure out how to use various tools to do different parts of the work. The potential productivity and effectiveness just gets lost.

So, working together, we’ve developed WinCenter.  It combines the standardized best practices of the industry for the Capture & Proposal process with the power of the CorasWorks work management platform on SharePoint.  It is an enhanced version of our Capture and Proposal Management solution.  Its seamless integration of all aspects of the process sets a new bar to drive productivity and win effectiveness.  It is available from Lohfeld and from CorasWorks.  And, it is designed to be very customizable to fit your particular modified C&P process and way of working.

I’ll leave the product details to the following resources and future articles and information.  Here are some resources to get you going:


CorasWorks Work Management vs. CRM Database System (3 Part Series)

apples and oranges

This month I wrote a 3-part series that provides a comparison and discussion of CorasWorks Work Management system vs. a CRM database system.  This discussion was triggered by a Federal Government Contractor customer demonstration I attended and the discussions between IT and the Business Users of our customer.

The point of these articles is not an argument for why you should buy a CorasWorks Work Management system vs. a CRM database system.  It is about explaining how they are different and play different roles in your enterprise work environment.

In sum, the CorasWorks work management system provides you with a flexible, business user friendly way to optimize your productivity while the CRM system is an enterprise system of record.  Knowing their proper roles, which is best for what purpose and having them work together can yield you big dividends without the pain of unmet expectations and needs.

The articles are as follows:


CorasWorks Today (November 2013) in 3 minutes


What does CorasWorks offer?  Over the last 10 years, I’ve gotten this question more than a few times.  The answer has changed a bit as we’ve continued to innovate and refine our offerings.  Yet, we still remain focused on enabling organizations to create a flexible, cost effective work environment on SharePoint that meets their needs today and in the future.

Today, the CorasWorks Solution Platform is in version 11.  We have versions for SP2007, SP2010 and SP2013.  We have a rich set of off-the-shelf work management solutions to get you going quickly.  And, we enable you to have it your way through the industry leading flexibility of our platform and leveraging your internal people, our partners, or CorasWorks services.

Click here to see our current 3 minute pitch overview.