Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Review

Multi-language support allows collaboration using local languages in eight different countries.


What is most valuable?

Document library is the most used part of the portal solution. With the optimized search service, we easily keep all company digital content on SharePoint Server.

Workflow management automation features can be implemented easily without need for software development using SharePoint Designer.

Enhanced user access management features fully integrated with Active Directory allowed us to gain the trust of the users and they use SharePoint to store and share all company digital content created by them.

The multi-language support allows collaboration using local languages in eight different countries.

How has it helped my organization?

Allowing information to be shared across the company using the document library on SharePoint improved the effectiveness of our operations and new projects.

Consolidating all company digital content on SharePoint allowed creating company know how, which is used to improve our operations and new projects.

Implementing business process automation using workflow management improved company efficiency, allowing process transparency and possibility for follow-up at each step of the processes.

Implementing business process automation using workflow management allowed us to stop using paper.

What needs improvement?

There is no feature to show the workflow progress graphically.

Although there are different templates for graphical design, when you need any customization, especially on the main page, you need software development.

The solution requires a lot of hardware capacity for high availability and performance.

There is only one licensing model for the on-premise option and the licensing cost is high.

When you create forms using InfoPath Forms and workflows using SharePoint Designer there is no easy way to move the workflow and the forms from development to test and from test to production environment. The only way is to do the same job twice(if you have development and production environment) or three times(if you have development, test and production environment).

For how long have I used the solution?

We are using SharePoint Server for more than nine years; started with 2007 version and made the upgrade to 2013 version in 2013.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues, but proper capacity planning and management is essential.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues; you can easily add features, hardware capacity, etc.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is a lot of documentation. You can easily find information on the blogs. Microsoft provides support at affordable rates. The implementation project can be a challenge. In Turkey, we have problems finding good architects, not just for SharePoint but for any solution.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn’t previously use another solution.

How was the initial setup?

The planning was a challenge because in Turkey we have problems finding good architects, not just for SharePoint but for any solution. We solved this by asking for support from Microsoft.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Doing proper requirement analysis is essential. At the moment, SharePoint provides a server/call-based licensing model for on-premise implementation, so the number of users is important. The cloud option can be considered if the number of users is below 100. There is a need for database server licenses, too. (We use Microsoft SQL Server.) In my opinion, there is no need for Software Assurance.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn’t evaluate other products because back in 2007, SharePoint Server was the only option.

What other advice do I have?

If you already decided to implement SharePoint Server, plan at least two servers if you are implementing on premise (one for database, one for application services). Adding a third server for only the search service can prevent performance problems. Do Active Directory integration if you decide on the cloud option.

If you are at the research stage of your project, be aware that at the moment, there are a lot of alternate solutions that can provide needed features. After doing a business requirement analysis, do research for alternate solution, so you can have the solution you really need. You might be able to get it free of charge, because some open-source solutions can meet your needs too. Think about implementation consultancy and support if you decide to implement an open-source solution.

Don’t implement different products for different features because integration is a headache.

The solution meets all our needs, including workflow management automation.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
5 Comments
author avatarOrlee Gillis
Consultant

How would the ability to see your workflow progress graphically help your productivity/experience?

author avatarIT Manager at a retailer with 501-1,000 employees
Real User

Hi, we have implemented automation of processes with many steps. So if we can see which steps are allready done and wich steps are still to be done we can decide if we need to aasign extra resources to have finished the job on time for example.

author avatarOrlee Gillis
Consultant

Thanks, Guray. How do you currently compensate for not being able to see (graphically) what steps you've completed?

author avatarIT Manager at a retailer with 501-1,000 employees
Real User

We have created a view where the users can check. But the information is not very user friendly(no graphical view but text only), it takes time to reach the information(more than one click needed)

author avatarOrlee Gillis
Consultant

are there specific changes you would suggest to make the information/text more user friendly?

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