Depending on the customer’s needs, one or more features become more relevant and important. If I were to generalize and extract the most common features that the customers have used, I would say:
- Web\document content management
- Integration with the Office suite
- Collaboration over the content, sites, BI, search, and workflows
- One or two-way integration with other enterprise applications
I see the strength of SharePoint working as an extendable framework/platform for customers of various sizes, on premise as well as on the cloud, but not as an independent niche product/solution around a specific feature.
Improvements to My Organization:
Our Intranet is built using SocialXtend, a SharePoint based product.
It has transformed the way we do our daily tasks and the way the departments collaborate over projects, opportunities, and other operational activities.
Knowledge sharing and access to information has been highly simplified.
Room for Improvement:
Almost all of the areas of the product have room for improvement; some more than others.
- At a high level, mobile, custom development/testing frameworks, BCS, external services integration, and BI may need to catch up more as compared to the other feature sets.
- SharePoint is a combination of multiple products working together. It has come a long way, and the improvements are being pushed at a much faster pace than they used to be earlier. This fail-fast approach of adding features quickly instead of a longer release cycle is a much better way to develop a product in my opinion.
Use of Solution:
I have been using SharePoint since 2001 in multiple capacities, such as a solution host, or as a full-fledged enterprise solution for on premise, as well as on the cloud.
My personal observation is that if the implementations are done in the right way by following the recommended best practices and guidelines, the product works just fine.
To be clear, I am referring to all the underlying products (IIS, SQL Server) as well as to the O/S.
There have been genuine issues. However, we have used SharePoint and CU to address them.
We have not had scalability issues in SharePoint 2010 and onwards.
Technical support is good.
We used solutions from the Java world. Those, as well as this one, are based on the customers' needs.
For simple farms, things are pretty straightforward. But for complex farms, I have not yet had that experience.
To be fair, it’s not SharePoint all the time. It’s a combination of other environmental factors and third-party products as well.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Microsoft Gold Partners.