Monday, November 23, 2009

On the Fence with SharePoint, Part Four: Moving beyond a Bad First Impression

In this fourth and final post in the series On the Fence with SharePoint, I will answer to another objection I have heard on occasion. This challenge is usually brought on by well-meaning people who miss the point. Maybe you saw a SharePoint demo by a presenter who did not have a deep understanding of the product or who did not address one of your pain points. Maybe you installed SharePoint on inadequate equipment and were not impressed with performance. In any case, SharePoint is probably not to blame. I have introduced hundreds of people from dozens of organizations to SharePoint. In every presentation I make the point: “Every organization needs SharePoint, some just do not know it yet.” I stand by that statement. SharePoint addresses such a wide range of business needs that you cannot compare it to a single competing product. If you already have competitive products to address all of the features encompassed in SharePoint, then you would likely realize a return on investment by consolidating on the SharePoint platform.
Getting there is another story. If your first impression of SharePoint was a bad one, I would encourage you to take a second look. If that is your situation, consider the following:
  • SharePoint 2007 was much more solid than the 2003 release. The 2010 release will be even better. SharePoint 2010 is in beta now and the majority of our future posts will focus on the 2010 release.
  • SharePoint is often not the problem. Vet your consultants. Educate yourself and your team.
  • SharePoint is an enabler. If you are a careless developer, it will enable you to develop substandard solutions. If you do not govern it properly, it will enable your user community to proliferate bad practices.
Consequently, if you are a good planner, SharePoint can bring about previously unseen efficiencies in your organization through collaboration, content management, search, streamlined business processes and business intelligence. In the past before I began working with SharePoint, I have written from scratch some of the solutions delivered out of the box through SharePoint. I have also done integration with piecemealed open source solutions. I did not cut my teeth on SharePoint, rather I was drawn to it. If you have a particular need that you are curious if SharePoint will address, use our contact form to send us a note.

1 comment:

Christian said...

Great post. My first deployment was WSS in 2005, and all did not go well. I saw the power of SharePoint, but could not get to my vision. Hired a consultant. Fired that consultant, but learned a lot doing it myself. I also complicated things by trying to kick off Project Server at the same time (different, more painful, story). I applied that learning to the next deployment, and that original org is now a MOSS believer.