What is our primary use case?
I have been using SharePoint for over twelve years.
It's a big solution comprising many services similar to an active directory installation with connections to Skype, Exchange services, metadata services and stuff like that, it can do basically everything you need in order to deliver something like a Twitter website or similar solutions. So I do not think that anything rivals SharePoint on the market. Maybe if a lot of effort is placed upon some WebLogic solutions, this may happen. But, this would need a lot of customizing.
How has it helped my organization?
So if you want to have something like a business, or if you want to have something like a product catalog and you are selling something like Amazon, you want to uniquely identify your product like Amazon does it with its ASIM numbers and these to be identified with a name. So the service identifying these unique ASIM in numbers with their names which might be localized in English, German, Dutch or other languages. These are being identified by a managed Metadata service. Amazon does something very similar to Metadata and SharePoint. So, that's the basic technology everyone needs for this web service experience and order to identify the same object with different names.
What is most valuable?
The metadata services, the WCF service integration and the Voxel feature are three most valuable elements of this solution. The Voxel feature, for obvious reasons, because you want to implement business processes and you do not want them to stop if the machine stops so they have to be automatically started. This is What the Voxel feature in SharePoint does. The managed Metadata allows you to define your own notions or terms denoting notions within your companies. And I if I want to disarm them, or disarm power supplies of different types, I need something to denote the names pointing to entities, any program can identify.
Perceptively it does what people used to do with the pens and pencils, on paper. For Millennials, by taking a note of what to do on the paper or stone or whatever they have been using and let anyone else read it and execute with it. So what any back flow or business process you have did legal one for King Nebuchadnezzar 2,700 years ago or for any business where you are taking a phone call, we two are doing right now and writing down something or I have to remind myself to do whatever and sent that over to pop and be while having receipts from department A and have to digitally sign it and send out the paper. It streamlines everything for us.
All of this business processes, people have been performing solely within their minds. Maybe automatized with the structural feature, but it depends on all the metadata that has been stored within the managed metadata, service, user profile data or whatever. So you can not just say, "Oh, I want to send a car" to whom do you want to send it to. Which car do you want to send? So, all of these parameters have to be stored somewhere else. This is what drives the business process and SharePoint solution allowing you to automatize them.
What needs improvement?
I would be liking to see the talk features included in SharePoint because Microsoft effectively discontinued this talk and put something like logic apps but only for Azure, and most German companies do not like Windows Azure because they do not want to put that data into a cloud where everyone can see it. So, there's a lot of distrust with Azure environments and you need something to have on premises as a similar solution. And this talk is something like a big playing ground. For instance, if you want to play monopoly and anyone wants to move the pieces but moving the pieces on street A to street B means you are changing your business process from, I have been starting tax declaration, to I've been finding it but not yet sending it out. So, if you wanted to have something like a business process be denoted as a board game, which is what Monopoly did in 1945, effectively.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is very stable if you know what you are doing and make some precautions. Microsoft lists these precautions, but these precautions are not automatized. It would be nice to have precautions such as: disk size, backup checks, or whatever automized that can be integrated with the SCCM team foundations server.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Well, that's one of the strengths because it not just using soap web services where it sends some XML file to different machines, but it's using WCF, which is a version of a web service, web services being used if you have a different machine where you want to call a function. The type of machines we are using now are invented by Alan Turing, a guy from the hacking Enigma code and Robert Dennard, who invented RAM. These types of machines do not allow you to, all functions on the remote machine. If you want to do that, you have to send a hint which is what web services does.
How is customer service and technical support?
I have been using the commercial technical support and they're always professional. It's not cheap, but they are always professional. So if there's problems to be solved, Microsoft tops off as excellent.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was very complex. We had to keep in mind all of the backup solutions. It is kind of like remodeling a kitchen. You must think of all of the parts, the architecture, the electricity, the air flow, etc.
What was our ROI?
I think that SharePoint is the best on the market in terms of stability, quality and capability. I also suggest that if a company has chosen SharePoint, the company must have at least a two day training prior to implementation.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The cost is expensive, but worthwhile.