In my previous post, I did an overview of the new CorasWorks-Fpweb.net service offerings for the Cloud. In this article, I’ll take a look at three core scenarios for the Cloud offering that are ready to go.
Community Extranet in the Cloud (Extension of Intranet)
This is an obvious scenario. Most existing SharePoint customers use it in an Intranet scenario. The challenge is how and where to put an Extranet. Let’s imagine that you want an Extranet Community for your customers and partners around your products. You want a nice community with news, access to resources, and community interaction for articles and comments. And, you want it outside the firewall.
To get there, you would go with the AppServer for MOSS offering. You would drop in the Spirit Community Services Suite and set it up – this is basically a customizable, web-ready community in the box. You then customize the Community and enhance it as you need. The next step would be to integrate your Extranet with you Intranet on premise. This is supported by CorasWorks in a bi-directional way. (See my blog on the X design about the webcast we did with Microsoft)
Project-Oriented Environments in the Cloud
On premise, increasingly we are finding individual business units that want to bring up a project management environment. Some typical uses are Global Product Teams, Proposal Management, IT Project Portfolio management, Idea Management. They are typically adopting our Project Portfolio Management app for the solution. But, they have to blend it into their on-premise SharePoint environment.
The Cloud makes it much easier, technically and politically, to bring up a pure project-oriented environment. Since, it lives in the cloud it is available anywhere, and thus, makes it natural to extend the environment to external parties that they want involved in the work. To get there, you would go with AppServer for MOSS and implement the CorasWorks Project Portfolio Management v1.2 solution. its flexibility allows you to have portfolios of projects sites some of which are for internal folks and some for external folks or both.
Intranets/Departmental Workplace in the Cloud
This is where the larger shift comes. Organizations are starting to look at moving their whole internal SharePoint environment to the Cloud, or, to start with SharePoint in the Cloud. Two key reasons why organizations hesitate to do this are a) cloud offerings typically limit SharePoint server access (you loose control and you can’t install custom code), and b) they want to do integration with on-premise systems and/or other Cloud services.
The CorasWorks offerings address both of these. For this scenario, the AppFoundation for WSS offering is a comprehensive place to start. You start with the CorasWorks Department Solution Set that gives you your centrally managed, integrated, departmental work environment (Intranet/Workplace) out of the box. You add your departments, then, you drop in the business apps you want. leveraging the apps from the App Store. Then, you start to connect the work between the departments and across the environment. If you want the enterprise app and cloud services integration, then, you go with AppServer on MOSS and extend the environment to integrate with these systems/services.
Bringing It All Together
While these are three distinct scenarios, the key is that you can blend them all together to create an integrated work environment in the Cloud. You can have the full environment in the Cloud or integration between your Cloud environment and your on-premise environment. For most of our existing customers, we believe that the first step will be to look at the Cloud for extensions of their internal environment. For new customers, this offering starts to make the Cloud an appealing alternative to on premise implementations. No matter which way you go, at the center is the CorasWorks Community and the App Store. With our consistent app platform, we are supporting both options with the same products, services, support, and applications.