Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Risks of Rolling Out MOSS without Extranet Capability


That's an interesting white paper from Epok

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) is
on its way to becoming as important in enterprise
computing as Microsoft Windows and Office. Kyle
McNabb of Forrester Research describes the results
of his extensive surveys as "current MOSS adoption
is pervasive." Many businesses (more than 60%
according to McNabb) are using MOSS to provide
basic content management services to their users.
This is just the beginning. According to Bill Gates,
"The spectacular growth of SharePoint is the result of
the great combination of collaboration and information
management capabilities it delivers. I believe that the
success we've seen so far is just the beginning for
Indeed, SharePoint use continues to expand within
organizations driven by business users, IT staff, and
information security officers who are all looking for
better ways to collaborate and control information
access and use. Business users striving to create
more agile and cost effective operations are quick to
realize the value of SharePoint for communicating
and collaborating with other divisions, partners and
extranet users. As a result, most MOSS 2007
deployment plans must include some form of extranet
support to meet the demands of business users.
Unfortunately, MOSS is optimized as a workgroup,
single directory collaboration suite, which limits the
utility and value in cross-organizational collaboration.
IT developers charged with deploying MOSS
extranets have struggled to design and implement
such projects. Those responsible often end up using
toolkit technologies like the External Collaboration
Toolkit for SharePoint (ECTS) built on Active
Directory Application Mode (ADAM) to roll their own
“one off” solutions from piece-parts. Faced with
limited product options and complex do-it-yourself
approaches many organizations defer addressing
extranet exposure of SharePoint until “later”. This can
be a costly mistake.
Delayed extranet planning and deployment can be
a serious mistake that leads to excessive license
fees, costly redesign and disruption of your
network, degraded security and compliance, and
more costly management of internal and external
As a result, MOSS 2007 deployment plans need to
include an architecture that can quickly and
seamlessly support extranet needs. When the time
comes to activate extranet use, it should simply be a
matter of turning it on, not redesigning your MOSS

MOSS and Extranets: Planning for the Inevitable


In rolling our MOSS, some best practices to
consider are:
- Segregate extranet users from corporate AD
users to make management of the external
users easier.
- Tie external user access to the business
agreements and regulations that govern access
rights (such as Non-Disclosure Agreements and
other legal documents that outline obligations,
terms and conditions for extranet users).
- Provide a unified view of all your MOSS sites
and how they are exposed to extranet users.
- Foster business manager ownership and
administration of extranet access: MOSS has
business users administering corporate users,
extend that same approach to external users to
optimize agility and to let stretched IT resources
focus on system and security administration, not
business relationships.
- Support your compliance and information
assurance processes by tracking system access
and information use across all external users
In summary, organizations should roll out MOSS
2007 with extranet capabilities ready to go to from
the beginning to avoid the pitfalls of a delayed
implementation. Companies like Epok provide
powerful MOSS solutions for extranet management
with linkage to compliance and security demands
and, provide a ‘walk before you run’ solution that
scales to meet enterprise requirements.
-Author: Kristofer Younger, Chief Technology Officer of Epok, Inc.


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