If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering SharePoint, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?
My advice for anyone implementing this solution is to first try everything that you want to do in a virtual environment, with people who know how SharePoint is programmed. You need to understand the psychology of business users because most of them omit essential steps when they are creating the business process model. They are used to doing things in their head, but the machine is not aware of everything that they know so some steps are missed. Ideally, you want to buy a bunch of post-it notes and test your processes manually, by playing with different scenarios. You have to tune the business processes. I have seen projects fail because the debug phase of the business process design was not thorough. This solution is useful for optimizing usual business processes, like writing an invoice. For any organization with more than one person in it, if they are trying to organize things to let people in the company know what others are doing, then this solution is good for them. While this workflow operating system is better than others on the market, it is uncomfortable and expensive to really implement what you need. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
Compared with other products, SharePoint is very good. We do not have other products that are as good as SharePoint. SharePoint is definitely richer in features with functionality which helps us to get our work done. I would rate SharePoint a 10 out of 10. The solution is integrated with the entire Microsoft platform, from e-mail to Azure computing, so the solution as a whole is easy to manage and has a central administration that facilitates the view of the entire environment.
Workflow is helpful in the allocation of tasks in any close-knit teams, teams which are not sized beyond 20 to 25 at the most. If the workflow can be made more intelligent, adding value to the information rather than just pinging and cascading and shooting of alerts, that can really help with value-add and to save time. There was one techy who designed and implemented this. Currently he continues looking at what is required, but in terms of continued support I don't have any staff on it. When any fixes are required, he handles them remotely. We don't have anyone on staff to manage it. We expect the scale to go up and more business to pour in so we expect the number of users is going to increase. We would definitely be looking at a little more intelligent implementation of workflows so that we've got better control and better delegation of mandates. I would rate it at seven out of ten. It works for me. I haven't seen anything parallel.
When I am choosing a product, I think of the quality of service, economy of sale, licensing, implementation, the skill set of documentation, SaaS availability, and skill set. These are the constellations in mind when I'm choosing a product. I think SharePoint can definitely look at taking it to the next level of customer experience. It's not about how jazzy it looks and so on but it's more of how intuitive it is and how it can basically enable a user-friendly experience. When downloading a document, ask yourself how can you enable it? How can you enable some kind of a decision tree, and how can you have some kind of a bot in there which can do some assistance for the customer who was supposedly struggling to find the document, or is not able to find what to search. The bot can intervene and help the user with some alternate keywords and to clearly define what the user is looking for. Those kinds of things should be the next addition to SharePoint.
With this product, have a decent skill set in-house. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: support.
My advice would depend on the use case. SharePoint, for us, is the most suitable because we use mainly Microsoft products. So for us, it's the way to go because the integration is solid. If colleagues have other products, it depends on what they're asking. Look at the best option. It's not that I'm saying, "You have to use this product because it's the greatest." Consider what you need, what you want. It's very stable. I don't call it a document management system, I call it a multifunctional document system. You can do a lot of things with it. It's just incredible how much. I really like that we have been able to automate a few steps that people had to do. Also, this process was only possible with SharePoint, because of the integration of other Office products. We're using the basic Microsoft suite and integration was a very big part of it.