Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Review

User-friendly, and you can extend the features as required

What is our primary use case?

I am a consultant and this is one of the solutions that I implement for my clients.

I have worked on many projects in my career and the deployment model varies. For some customers, I have used SharePoint online, while others have been on-premises. In some cases, I have used a hybrid configuration where the customer is using it online as well as on-premises.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the Communication Site. In the most recent version, it is much more user-friendly, and any user can maintain it, including changing the content or other small tasks. In the older version, users were dependant on the developers. This dependency can now be avoided.

You can extend the features in this solution however you want.

What needs improvement?

Many of our customers would like to see an OCR feature, so it would be very good to have this in a future release. For example, you have invoices that have been scanned and uploaded into the SharePoint document library. If you are attaching the metadata along with the particular document then it is fine because you can search it well. However, if it is a PDF from an invoice that you scanned, then you will not be able to search for the details. You will only be able to search for it by name. Many of my customers are requesting a feature like this and will go ahead with the product once it is there.

Technical support for this solution can be improved.

Migrating a site to SharePoint online is not recommended, but it should be made smoother because customers demand it. There should be a good solution for this.

SharePoint would benefit from having more plugins available for it.

Microsoft Forms should have more features. The basics are there, but we need to be able to connect directly to the database. Line-level entry should also be there.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution for the end-user is fine. We are seeing some changes in the development side, but generally, it is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have been in contact with technical support several times. Most recently was about eight months ago when I was having trouble migrating to the SharePoint online. Unfortunately, they didn't help me very much and I had to solve the problem myself.

We have FastTrack support tickets, and even with this, it took them too long to look at our issue. We had to first raise a normal support ticket before it was escalated to FastTrack. It was more than fifteen days, so I had to work on it myself. I was able to solve it by looking at the log, but it took time.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is easy, but we have to set up the servers.

The deployment of a basic SharePoint site will take only a few minutes. If we need to do some customization then it will take longer and depend on the requirements.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Some of my customers have opted to purchase OpenText instead, because of the additional features that it has.

What other advice do I have?

The suitability of this solution depends on the customer's requirements. If they have a basic requirement for document management, I feel that SharePoint is not very stable for this. However, the workflow is good and there are many other good things. It is a complete umbrella. If you have a good team then you can easily handle it.

Overall, it is a good product, and I recommend it.

The only complaint we have is about the lack of OCR capability. It is really difficult to convince a customer who wants a document management system that this solution is right for them.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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