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February 2, 2011 / red1s

As a Company Should We Choose SharePoint and what is It?…a brief synopsis


 

With a large number of companies providing ECM solutions Microsoft was lagging a little in the overall race; however its collaboration functionality is giving SharePoint 2010 the leverage required to now manage unorganized documents, files, records and reports.

Microsoft’s technology introduced to enable content management, file sharing, web publishing and collaboration which is more famously know as SharePoint, a web server technology that can be used by companies to efficiently handle the task of building portals and document management strategies within an organization. Which furthermore in web scenarios can be used to build web applications within its framework.

The success of this ECM methodology usually fails to attract employees as they are far more reluctant to change within current working practices. In this situation SharePoint provides an opportunity for better content management through its viral adoption. One department of the business attempting this (usually in my experience IT) and test SharePoint and then further introduced slowly to others. This would hopefully make the complete scenario a tried and tested one moving further throughout the organization.

 

 

SharePoint 2007 served the enterprise on six core areas of collaboration, portal, business forms, business intelligence, content management and search. But many enterprises simply used it as the enhanced mode of file sharing. With the advent of Microsoft’s SharePoint 2010, the sole overall solution centre of SharePoint is coming into existence, I would think. The software acts as a platform to carry out informational work at various levels. It can basically prove as a central point of all your informational organization searches and collaboration within your organization. SharePoint 2010 shows impressive improvements such as an easy user interface, enhanced business intelligence my personal favourite with the integration of SQL Reporting Services and performance Point, advance records and data management.

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Although with the emerging crowd of companies providing ECM suites, as a company, Microsoft seems to have solved many of its issues related to Web Content Management (WCM) as well. The most important feature I’ve noticed is that SharePoint has a very light footprint and its business and persuasive content functionality is working greatly for not only the corporate masses, but with advent of SFIS (SharePoint for Internet Sites) general websites too- Case in point Ferraris public facing – Ferrari – website . This can be used to run your complete intranet or public facing websites. This version will provide better and easier WCM tools such as seamless editing, multiple languages, web standard compliance and integration of web analytics which can be seen in the plethora of presentations currently out on the product and demonstrated by many individuals all over the web.

The vendor companies have come up with lucrative current offerings. Competitor companies are launching ECM tools with extended functionalities with content involving business processes and employee collaboration. These tools devised by Alfresco Software, Oracle, IBM take care of the information needs of the company in a broader perspective. Whereas enterprises seem to be asking vendors for complete ECM functionality and elaborate information management, that does seem to be responded to with much overall intrinsic success. SharePoint 2010 offers comfortable ECM support however lacks in some areas of depth and breadth that other vendors are offering. However completely makes up for by using the ISV (Independent Solution Vendor) system that has already seen many a previous success in its previous version of MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) 2007. Allowing further tightly integrated vertical functions for corporates focusing on high end key elements within their environment that would not generally be SharePoint core focus.

For companies operating at a smaller level, social media marketing and social collaboration has become the essential tool. This social media stuff has become the important constituent on the worker’s desktop. SharePoint 2010 targets to this technology by creating detailed user profiles, making the sharing and collaboration through blogs, RSS and wiki much easier. You can make use of the tools like common interests, commenting and dashboards to interact with the industry counterparts at various levels directly.

Organizations typically have documents, information and records to be managed for any present or future reference. It ensures a wide spectrum collaborative environment. Search is another critical tool which is essentially required by organizations. You should be able to get the file when you search for it. With advanced and added Search functionalities, organizations are becoming more and more dependent on the SharePoint 2010.

 

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Companies like Sony Electronics have employed the use of SharePoint by large. The company wanted a power packed solution to search and organize documents on their intranet and also enable effective employee interaction across the globe. With the use of SharePoint 2010, it has improved upon its social networking, search and document sharing. Earlier the company was using only five SharePoint sites and has now moved up to 400 sites accounting to its performance and efficiency.

 

Another example is Cognizant; the company was in search of creating a more developed application interface and greater usage. Its aim was to develop deeper inter employee connections and improve content management. The company used SharePoint 2010 to prototype its intranet. This step lead the company to deliver more collaborated and standardized business applications, improved employee interaction and access to the information. Cognizant has now confirmed that they will gain in productivity, lower their development cost, and increase customers. All this in turn leads to the generation of higher revenues.

Over the years SharePoint has continued to be a good performer if the enterprise is looking for an effective collaboration and content management tool. With its close integration with MS Office (especially of late) which is interesting as the adoption rate has not only increased but almost doubled according to the latest Gartner reports by enterprises, at a fast rate. It provides cost effective and dedicated efforts for ECM users. The 2010 version of SharePoint has also resolved most of the earlier shortcomings of imaging, archiving which it has taken into consideration with this launch in collaboration with its partners and ISV’s.

Reviewing the above two case studies and considering the above mentioned advantages of using SharePoint as a platform to carry out important organizational tasks, employing SharePoint for your company is probably one of the best productive ideas you could have. (sales talk Hot smile) The main drawing factor I’ve always had with the product especially with the advent of SharePoint 2010 is it more than ever seems to be able to deliver on its promise to serve as a one stop shop (taking into account the ISV program) providing all information worker needs and being able to be easily adopted by the enterprises owing to its viral adoption technique

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