The features that I find most valuable are:
- Custom apps model
- Team sites
- My Site
- Integration with Yammer
SharePoint provides out-of-the-box data indexing and caching. BI is optional and driven by content population as well as external sources import. Custom App model is a platform allowing for a variety of home-grown or enterprise based solutions. We have a local team developing proprietary applications available via an in-house App store that is rolled out either globally across all pages, or individually per team site.
Improvements to My Organization:
With the use of “My Site”, we were able to minimize our data center shared drive footprint and roll most user data into a searchable database. SharePoint provides file level,content security, and shifting data management to the customer.
Room for Improvement:
With version management and recovery options, customers can easily restore files from the recycle bin. However, once files are removed, administrators are forced to turn to third-party tools. Administrative recovery and data management need more attention. File recovery is not made simple. Once files are discarded from within the SharePoint product, recovery turns into a long process of restoration from databases.
Alternatively we use a third party product by AvePoint called DocAve. It allows for an easy point and click recovery preserving original security permissions, which is not possible with direct database restoration. I would like to see a native Microsoft product do this.
Use of Solution:
We have used this product for two years.
With an on-premise, or even a hybrid model, local operations and platform teams are responsible for the uptime of the system. Most common issues are service halt, drive space management, and database corruption. All of this can be resolved easily with an Office 365 infrastructure migration.
Scalability was not an issue for us at the time of deployment. Capacity planning and resource management was done well. However, scalability issues with the current version is done much better than in previous versions
The quality of technical support depended on the support contract and severity of the issue. An enterprise level contract allows us to raise Priority 1 cases which are addressed on a 24/7 basis. Most issues were resolved promptly.
We upgraded from SharePoint 2007 and 2010. Data migration was the biggest culprit. The main reason for an upgrade was to provide easier platform management.
Deploying essential components was fairly straightforward. "MySite" page customization for multi-brand organization was a bit complicated due to the application of custom templates and role-based access control.
Cost and Licensing Advice:
Do your homework and work closely with the vendor during capacity planning. Think a few years ahead.
Other Solutions Considered:
We did not evaluate other products. However, also invested into WordPress and Kentico CMS under the MS Azure PaaS environment.
Make sure the product meets your business needs. Once you make that decision, rollout the proper internal marketing and adoption of the product. Workshops are available by Microsoft along with adoption recommendations.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.