Christophe Fiessinger's Blog
Updates on Microsoft's Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) offerings

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Contest: Build your Island

    I love the creativity from France (yes I’m objective) with this new contest targeted a students. You basically have 17 billion to build your own island with its hotels etc.… the goal is to have the best return on investment (ROI) all using Project & Project Server 2010, and you get to speak French. Winning team will get a trip to an exotic destination!

    Student life is good, isn’t it?

    Build your Island

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Exciting week: Developer Preview of Windows 8 & Visual Studio 11

    What a week so far! Yes in case you have missed it, major announcements were made at the developer-focused BUILD conference this week in California, beside watching the keynote here: http://www.buildwindows.com/ it’s exciting to see preliminary releases (Developer Preview) of Windows 8 & Visual Studio 11 & Team Foundation Server 11. Happy download and install!

    More info here:

    //build/ windows

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Celebrating 10 years at Microsoft

    Exactly 10 years ago I joined Microsoft on Monday September 3rd, 2001, in the French office outside Paris. While I could write a lengthy post on what happened during the past decade at MSFT, I wanted instead to mention why I really enjoyed the past ten years and why I looking forward to a continued career at Microsoft. This is my humble opinion so please take it with a grain of salt.

    First let’s start with a bit of background and what I have done this past decade at MSFT from a career perspective. I basically had two role in two groups during that time: first as a consultant in our Services organization (Microsoft Consulting Services France), secondly as a Product Manager in Microsoft Office Division. I started in 2001 as an Application Development consultant helping customers build e-commerce sites with the beta version of the v1 .Net Framework. It was a very exciting time with tons of learning of the MSFT key products at that time: SQL Server 2000; Windows 2000; .Net Framework v1; Visual Studio .Net; Windows XP, Office XP to name a few. Over time, at MCS, I decided to start shifting my expertise from app. Dev. to server products and looked at Commerce Server, BizTalk and Project Server. I will let you guess which one I started focusing more and more on, helping customers deploy and customize it to their needs. After 6 years as a consultant serving large international customer, I decided it was time to get closer to the product group and learn how we build and ship product and more importantly shift from a very technical role to one with a business dimension and that’s what landed me a Technical Product Manager in Redmond in September 2007. The past four years in marketing have been extremely valuable to date. So what keeps me going to work every day after ten years at Microsoft?

    In summary I would say because of its people, products and customers. Let me explain:

    People: people matters, whether back in the French subsidiary or now in Redmond, the people I work with and meet every day are just awesome. Yes, I’m serious, the level of talent whether it’s hard core technical expertise or business acumen (vision, strategy etc...) is just amazing. Did I mention diversity? Historically and still today the brightest, passionate, talented individuals come from all over the world to work here; so it’s amazing to see such diversity at work and that keeps it fun every day! I had a career prior to joining MSFT (yes it happens) and I genuinely believe my peers at MSFT are great to work with from an expertise level, diversity level, and intense passion.

    Products: for a company that has been around as long as us, and the fact that we ship products that covers the full spectrums of users from consumers using Xbox, for instance, to large enterprises using Microsoft 10 year awardProject Server to manage mission critical programs; it is simply amazing to see the number of people we help and reach worldwide. Yes, there are plenty of naysayers that criticize us for not innovating but seriously look at what we achieved and show me someone with our legacy to date (interesting post and video from this week alone)? Yes, we missed a few turns in trends, but I believe we have learned from our mistakes and have leapfrogged key competitors in certain areas. I could name drop lots of products but at this point in time two comes to mind: Windows Phone and Windows 8. I just love my “mango” phone, period! Do I need 100,000 app to be happy and productive? No, since it has all the key capabilities I need and more. To be honest, I only use few apps and I keep smiling every day and I’m not jealous of anyone showing off their collection! For Windows 8, I would only point to this blog you need to start subscribing to. OK, I’ll add two more after all J. Xbox/Xbox Live/Kinect – I am an occasional gamer (with a Halo crush, in particular) and have kids who play in the house and we all just love the experience and the latest innovation. Talking about experience, I did not know I have more than one finger until I got a brand new Microsoft Touch mouse this week; I’m now mastering mouse Jedi movements J…

    Customers: yes again, it’s a true statement that we have amazing customers whether it’s my 4 year old son using Xbox Kinect, my wife using her Windows Phone; or large Fortune 500 customers using their “strong-positive” Project Portfolio Management software suite from Microsoft. I also have to mention the passionate end-user communities and advocates like our beloved Project MVPs for instance that are great to interact and work with. I also consider customers, partners, large and small, worldwide, selling services or products built on our stack. Again similar to my comment about People above, they are a lot of fun to work with and keep you on your toes every day, 365 days a year.

    In summary I learn something, every day, in a fun environment, with great people, products and customers and that’s what keeps me motivated to go to work every day!

    I’m looking forward to the next decade at Microsoft.

    Yours truly,

    Christophe Fiessinger, 10 years after…

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Rugby World Cup 2011 Timeline

    Yes it’s fast approaching, and thanks to Microsoft Project 2010 a nice visualization of the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2011 matches schedule in New Zealand. A lot more information on the official site: http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/home/fixtures/poolstage.html

    And yes I will be cheering for a few teams!

    Rugby World Cup 2011 Timeline

    Task Name

    Duration

    Start

    Finish

    Rugby World Cup 2011

    36 days

    Fri 9/9/11

    Sun 10/23/11

       http://www.rugbyworldcup.com

    36 days

    Fri 9/9/11

    Sun 10/23/11

       Pool A, B, C, D

    16 days

    Fri 9/9/11

    Sun 10/2/11

       Quarter-Final

    2 days

    Sat 10/8/11

    Sun 10/9/11

       Semi-Final

    2 days

    Sat 10/15/11

    Sun 10/16/11

       Bronze Final

    0 days

    Fri 10/21/11

    Fri 10/21/11

       Final

    0 days

    Sun 10/23/11

    Sun 10/23/11

    Rugby World Cup 2011

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Free Microsoft Office 365 eBook and SAP & BizTalk white paper

    Quick note to flag two important reading material we have just released. The first one is a free ebook that provides an overview of Office 365 (you should really try it out!): Free eBook: Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime. The second reading is a recurring topic: how do I integrate Project Server with SAP (wrote this already: Microsoft Project Server 2010 Integration with SAP) and it discusses using Biztalk to bridge SAP with another application: Unleash SAP using the Microsoft Platform: Using BizTalk Server to Bring Two Worlds Together

    This document describes how to integrate, automate, and simplify business processes using Microsoft BizTalk Server and SAP. Business scenarios are presented involving SAP interoperability and technical patterns for how their solutions can be implemented with an integration platform like Microsoft BizTalk Server.

    Happy reading!

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    PerformancePoint Services for Microsoft Project Server 2010 White Paper

    I’m happy to announce the release of the following white paper PerformancePoint Services for Project Server 2010 written by Emmanuel Fadullon, Delivery Architect Microsoft Consulting Services.

    This document provides a detailed guide for Microsoft Project Server 2010 users who want to avail themselves of the Business Intelligence (BI) features and functionality provided in the host platform of Project Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition. Specifically, this document covers PerformancePoint Services, which is an inherent service on SharePoint Server 2010.

    It is important to note that this document is about the mechanics specific to PerformancePoint Services in the context of Project Server data and not about providing sample EPM reports that are written in related BI tools like SQL Server Reporting Services and Excel Services. The use of reports in the document is entirely incidental and used simply to illustrate a PerformancePoint feature or functionality.

    A peek into Microsoft Project Server 2010’s powerful visualization capabilities discussed in the report below.  For additional information on Microsoft Project Server 2010 business intelligence & reporting please check out Business Intelligence in Project Server 2010.

    Overall Scorecard Page with KPI Details
    Overall Scorecard Page with KPI Details
    Work Forecast by Month Page with Decomposition Tree
    Work Forecast by Month Page with Decomposition Tree
  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Attend the dedicated Project pre-event at SharePoint Conference 2011!

    As announced by Jan last week, we will have a dedicated Project/Project Server pre-event ahead of SharePoint Conference 2011 on Sunday October, 2nd, 2011: SharePoint Partners – Interested in growing your business with Project 2010? A great opportunity for SharePoint/non Project Portfolio Managers to learn about our stack. More info here.

    There will also be plenty of Project sessions during SPC11 so don’t wait and register, looking forward to see you in California in early October:

    Project Sessions at SPC11

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Download Microsoft Project Server 2010 SP1 and June 2011 Cumulative Update

    As announced yesterday on the main Project blog: Announcing The Release Of Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft Project and Project Server 2010, two major product updates were launched this week:

    • Service Pack (SP1) for Project Standard, Project Professional, and Project Server 2010 (alongside Office 2010 and SharePoint SP1)
    • June 2011 Cumulative Update (CU) for Project Standard, Project Professional, and Project Server 2010 (alongside Office 2010 and SharePoint SP1)

    Plenty of guidance in the post above (including links to TechNet documentation on how to deploy these updates), my 2 cents is not to forget to run PSCONFIG after installing the binaries to ensure your server/farm is actually updated.

    I’ve just applied the June 2011 CU (had applied SP1 back in May as shown below) in my favorite PPM demo virtual machine and please find below version numbers from the PUBLISHED database (SELECT * FROM VERSIONS):

    • Service Pack 1 – 14.0.6027.1000
    • June 2011 CU -  14.0.6105.5000

    Project Server 2010 Versions Table

    Please note that DLL will have slightly different version number as documented in each KB (knowledge base) articles.

    I also recommend you attend this upcoming webcast from Brian Smith and Andrian Jenkins next week on July 6th, 2011 at 8:00 am Pacific Time to get an overview of SP1 and the June CU (which will be recorded for later viewing): TechNet Webcast: Information about Project 2010 and Project Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (Level 200)

    PS: Exciting Office 365 launch yesterday as well, see this related topic: Microsoft Project Professional 2010 and SharePoint Online in Office 365

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Project Server 2010 Reporting with Excel Services & Creating Dashboards white papers

    I’m thrilled to announce the release of the following two white papers which provide step by step guidance on surfacing key Project Portfolio Management data into insightful reports and dashboards:

    For additional information on Microsoft Project Server 2010 business intelligence & reporting please check out Business Intelligence in Project Server 2010.

    Microsoft Project Server 2010 Reporting with Excel Services, 71 pages

    Overview

    Table Of Content

    The purpose of this document is to provide enough detail to be able to create and deploy reports which will support the deployment of Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution. Microsoft EPM Solution relies on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2, Microsoft Project Server 2010 and Microsoft Project Professional 2010. Although each individual component of the solution is well documented on TechNet and MSDN (for the Business Intelligence), little documentation exists, as of today, which describes a step-by-step approach to building reports specific to Project Server 2010 data with Excel and Excel Services.

    This document is not intended to provide an in-depth description of all the features available in Excel 2007 or 2010 and Excel Services 2010 when building a report but rather provide the building blocks required to ‘be up and running’ quickly.

    • Foreword
    • Introduction
    • Overview
    • Build Your First Excel Report against OLAP Data in 10 Minutes
    • Authoring Reports against Relational Data
    • Use Excel PowerPivot
    • Migrating Reports between Environments
    • Troubleshooting Business Intelligence Features
    • References
    • List of Figures

    Creating Dashboards for Microsoft Project Server 2010, 115 pages

    Overview

    Table Of Content

    The purpose of this document is to provide sufficient detail to fully design and implement Business Intelligence Dashboards that will support an Enterprise Project Management Solution (EPM), which consists primarily of SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010. It also includes detailed steps on how to replicate reports and dashboards included in the Project Server 2010 demonstration and evaluation pack available on the Microsoft Download Center. The purpose is to help you easily create reports and dashboards for your environment with similar characteristics.

    The target audience for this document is the business owner and report developers who are looking for a quick way to develop Dashboards that will support an Enterprise Project Management Solution for their organization.

    • Introduction
    • Understanding Report Types
    • Creating Reports
    • Creating Dashboards using PerformancePoint Services
    • Creating Dashboard using a Web Part Page
    • Conclusion
    • Appendix A – Enterprise Custom Fields
    • Appendix B – IPMO Stored Procedures
    • References
    • List of Figures
    • List of Tables

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project Gets Highest Rating In Gartner 2011 MarketScope

    It’s now official as announced by Arpan Shah on the main Project blog on Monday: Microsoft is Rated in the Gartner Project and Portfolio Applications MarketScope.

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