SharePoint Review

We use the content management features and workflows to create ticketing and document management systems.

What is most valuable?

  • Intranet and extranet: We set up a robust and easily maintained intranet and extranet.
  • Ticketing and documentation management: We use the content management features and workflows to create ticketing and document management systems. We also make good use of the wikis.
  • HR Requests: We built a system within SharePoint that allows you to create a ticket in HR. For example, terminations, job status changes, pay change, and name change. The user opens the form in SharePoint. Depending on what type of action is necessary, the user is given the exact items that need to be completed for the HR action to proceed. After the user completes and sends the form, it copies the department manager for approval. An email is then sent to the various departments to work on it. With terminations, for example, an email is sent to payroll for final pay, to benefits to get the separation paperwork activated, to IT for equipment pick-up, and to others who have a role when someone leaves the company. I know that we can purchase software to do this, but it would have been expensive. Building this within SharePoint took a few weeks and has received many kudos for helping HR actions.
  • Moving from folders to storage: We are moving items from the thousands of Windows folders on storage servers to SharePoint for easy management and retrieval using a SharePoint search. All policies are now on SharePoint and are easy to find and view, even with a smartphone.
  • Wikis: We are turning department standard operating procedures into wikis for easy management and documentation. We use security so that only those who need to see these documents can access and update them as needed on the fly.

How has it helped my organization?

Building workflow systems within SharePoint that allow for corporate tracking of work issues and work items. The intranet was an instant hit with everyone and wikis have been very popular.

What needs improvement?

Little quirks that make it difficult at times to fine-tune some items. The usual Microsoft items where 90% of the product is great, but that 10% makes little things difficult to work with. It is hard to pin down, but Microsoft has you do things their way, when their way is not the best for our needs.

  • Developer code: Some areas of SharePoint require you to have a .NET developer code so that it works correctly.
  • Numbering: We have production support tickets that we wanted to number in a certain way. However, SharePoint could not do it until we got our .NET developer to create a workaround for the numbering system.
  • Sorting: We needed some sorting done, and this required coding. This additional coding is only about 10% of our projects, but it is still there. Thank goodness we can do that when we need to.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used SharePoint for approximately seven years and version 2013 for the last two years. It has been our intranet, extranet, and corporate website for the past year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is VERY stable if you follow the recommended settings and read the SharePoint blogs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 3/5. We had some small issues and called MS tech support, but they were only able to help us 60% of the time before we fixed it ourselves.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We had no other solutions before this one.

How was the initial setup?

With so much online help and blogs, setup was straightforward. We did use a third-party to assist us with best practices. Once the system was up, we were able to support ourselves with no issues.

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

We have an EA. It was easy to get pricing, but it is difficult to manage.

When trying to use it as an extranet, we found issues with how expensive it is per individual user. We have 15,000 contractors who serve as staff at various locations.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We decided on SharePoint early on.

What other advice do I have?

Use a third-party expert who can help with the initial setup and development. You can then manage yourself once you are up and running.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We provide temp staffing to Microsoft.
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