SharePoint Review

It has an easy to distribute administration capability. The licensing structures don’t fit the needs of their products.

What is most valuable?

It has an easy to distribute administration capability, and can also scale to meet a large number of future needs. It also has the ability to produce very simple web application development products, freeing up my team’s development activities for more advanced needs.

How has it helped my organization?

We mainly use this product for our intranet and capital projects team. It has allowed each business unit the ability to “own” their portion of the intranet, and allowed our capital projects team the ability to effectively manage projects that require a multitude records request requirements and archival tasks. It is very customizable, and it possesses a very logical architecture.

What needs improvement?

As usual, Microsoft’s licensing structures don’t really seem to fit the needs of their products. This leads to always paying for a project you will never use fully or always be adding to. Also, the product does not perform 100% when used outside of a Microsoft based browser, Chrome, Firefox, etc. It’s getting better, but the architecture is still behind. This is largely the case for mobile as well.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for almost nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the system is fine, so long as you have a well prepared support team for your Windows offerings.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is one of the great strengths of the product, in that it scales very well. As an added benefit, due to the ease of administration, a lead in a business unit can take over such responsibilities.

How are customer service and technical support?

The level of technical support from Microsoft is very little to poor.

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

We did not have a similar solution in place. Our intranet was previously an added product to our hosted CMS. And for Capital Projects, we were using a mixture of standalone Microsoft Project install and file shares.

How was the initial setup?

After getting the infrastructure setup and deployed, installing and rolling out the product was fairly straightforward. A little bit of planning was required to better understand the differences in Web Applications from Site Collections, but that was largely straightforward.

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

Really take your time in planning the needs you are trying to meet. The licensing is very difficult to get right, and not as easy as many other alternative. Add in about a 15% cost to the initial cost estimates. You will find yourself needing to add something.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did a brief overview of the market, and found that 9 years ago, SharePoint was a viable solution. Since then, we’ve settled on using it in very narrow cases, and fill the majority of our needs with custom development.

What other advice do I have?

Invest a lot of time and energy in the planning for your needs. You will find that infrastructure needs are imperative to map out in the finest detail. Otherwise, your system will be continually under-performing. Also, pay special attention to the CAL needs.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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