Packaged SharePoint Deployment Planning Services

This article was originally posted on May 20, 2008.

I was thrilled today to see the long-awaited announcement of some packaged service offerings for SharePoint rolled out by Microsoft. The program is called SDPS, or SharePoint Deployment Planning Services, and it is being offered only by Microsoft Consulting Services and select partners who meet strict eligibility requirements (e.g., certifications in SharePoint and competencies in portals, collaboration, content management, search, etc.).

What does it mean to you as a Microsoft customer? If you license your products under Microsoft’s Software Assurance program (SA), you are eligible to use services dollars you receive as a benefit under SA to fund structured SharePoint planning engagements of 1, 3, 5, 10, or 15 days in length to do things like build proofs of concept, conduct architectural design sessions, etc. It also means you get to select among a small group of highly qualified services organizations, armed with best practices and well-vetted tools available only to SDPS partners, to deliver these engagements.

If you’re considering going down the SharePoint path and you license your Microsoft products under SA, you may find the SDPS program highly worthwhile. It is designed to take risk and friction out of the process of deploying SharePoint. However, this is only part of the equation and no substitute for actually knowing what you intend to do with all these wonderful SharePoint technologies. :-)

A few starting points I’d recommend to help clarify and prioritize your objectives if commencing a SharePoint project:

  1. Clever Workarounds’ excellent recent series on “Why SharePoint Projects Fail.” Paul touches on, among a million other good points, the importance of having a well-defined set of business goals before launching a SharePoint project. (He also mixes in some snark and makes it fun)
  2. Microsoft’s Infrastructure Optimization tools, which you and your partner can use to ascertain your level of optimization around functional areas such as Unified Communications, Business Intelligence, or Search. To the classicists among you, think “Capability Maturity Model” as applied to business productivity tools. While not a “cure-all,” it provides a structured way of assessing and prioritizing many of the options you have as an IT professional or knowledge worker regarding where to spend your time and resources.

Our firm aggressively pursued this program and became (I was told at the time, in November 2007) the second partner in the world signed up to provide these services, but the program itself was just officially rolled out this week. We’ve invested heavily in these areas and have been champing at the bit to execute against this!

Originally published at



Project management, financial management, and knowledge management. Microsoft 365 aficionado. Opinions and Philly attytood are my own.

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Mike Gilronan

Project management, financial management, and knowledge management. Microsoft 365 aficionado. Opinions and Philly attytood are my own.