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The new guy and Ford Motor Company

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 12/6/2010

(From the mind of Peter Serzo, Previously VP of Consulting Services at High Monkey)

My name is Peter Serzo I am introducing myself to the readers of this blog as the newest High Monkey Consulting employee.  Yup, low man on the totem pole.  I have been at HMC about a month and in this post I want to let you know a bit about me since I will be posting here.  First, I have to start with the name:

You are going where?  What the heck is a high monkey? My friends asked with a touch of apprehension, a small bit of heckling, after I told them the name.

Worry not I reply.  High Monkey consulting is operated by Virgil Carroll.  I have known Virgil for roughly two years speaking at some of the same conferences, getting him into a Pistons suite at the Michigan SharePoint Saturday, and we have some mutual SharePoint acquaintances.   High Monkey is about vision and a whole lot more.

Virgil and I share some of the same core beliefs:

  1. If it does it out of the box (SharePoint or otherwise), use it.
  2. Be business centric and focus on making each and every customer successful.
  3. Be transparent.
  4. SharePoint is a GREAT tool.  But it is a tool, make it work for your customers, not the other way around.

These are just some of our shared thoughts.  A little bit about me:

The last two years (almost exclusively) I have been the leading a team of SharePoint developers at Ford Motor Company.  Check out to see one of the websites I was responsible for.  It is the first divisional portal stood up at Ford.  Very high profile.  We lived by the mantra, do it out of the box and as a result jQuery, Silverlight, and web services became very good friends with me and my team.  A great experience with a great team and a company that gets it (Buy a Ford).  We also stood up other kinds of critical sites such as plant floor.

I also worked with the Engineering group which gave me a deep dive into issues/resolutions facing a global, large, enterprise.  We implemented many different facets of SharePoint including B2E.  Understanding those business challenges and focusing on how technology can solve those pains was a pleasure.

Ford’s mantra is One Ford and SharePoint is doing its part to deliver on that vision.  My last task at Ford was creating an enterprise social application.  Yup, Ford is very social, very forward thinking.  The social application was for one of Ford’s key groups and revolved around image management, comments, and ratings and more!  If you would like to know more, call me.  I would love to discuss how we can assist your company using SharePoint's social features.

This past year I also had the opportunity to work in Redmond for Microsoft on a couple of initiatives.  One, as one of the designer of the 2010 exams.  Yes, those exams.  This was a great experience as I got to work with several MVPs, one of whom I very much admire after working with him.  Let’s just say, this guy knows PowerShell and Stsadm.

I also worked as one of the authors of Microsoft’s 2010 Administration Course.  I worked in Redmond and remotely with a global team putting this together.  Also some amazing talent.

In total, I have been working with SharePoint since 2003 as an Architect working for companies of all sizes.  My background goes back to the 90’s working for EDS as a developer.  I can say no better training has there ever been.   My focus is always on business first and that is what I bring to my engagements.  While my roots are true dev, technology is an enabler for business.  It should be transparent to the users.

I am excited as I see that Virgil has put together a fantastic team of folks who do deliver.  Of course, working with Virgil was high on my bucket list so now I can check that off (not really but don’t tell him).  I hope to be speaking at some event with the man soon and doing my best to try and raise even higher, High Monkey Consulting.

Thanks for reading and speak to you soon.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 12/6/2010 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments