Our reader survey for Hey, Microsoft!, "Collaborate with Us," September 2004, InstantDoc ID 43567, showed that readers would like Microsoft to help them understand the value of SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services (WSS), demonstrate ROI, and provide materials to train users and inform them about the benefits of collaboration. Microsoft was responsive to those concerns and followed up with information about upcoming content that will help address those needs.

Microsoft sent me a preview of an ROI study and a tool for performing an ROI analysis. These aids will soon be available on Microsoft's Web site-I'll update you when I learn the specific timeframe. The company again encouraged readers who are eager for ROI tools to contact their local Microsoft account rep.

I also learned that a Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies resource kit is now available. You can order the resource kit as a CD at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sppt/reskit/default.mspx and will soon be able to download it. The kit gives IT users a Web site that they can install on their SharePoint portal and points users to a URL at which they'll find an overview, tips and tricks, and an explanation of typical tasks, such as adding a document to a document library.

In response to your concerns about training, Microsoft pointed me to Microsoft's 8009 Web-based Training Course (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/demos/wss/launcher.htm), which my source in Redmond said "is for IT users, and you can run it on your browser." However, Microsoft generally doesn't provide training materials for end users, so this course won't likely cover that need. "Additionally, a number of our partners and MVPs offer training in this space, which can be found in the training section of the SharePoint site on http://www.microsoft.com," my contact told me. "Finally, Microsoft also offers several Webcasts (both new and archived) that are perfect for helping IT and end users alike get up to speed on SharePoint." For a list of Webcasts, go to http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sppt/webcasts/default.mspx.

Are these tools useful? Drop me a line at karen@windowsitpro.com to let me know and to share your experiences and the resources you've found.