Monday, 18 May 2009

SharePoint Has Talent

Let me start with an apology for the lack of SharePoint posts recently. This has been due to a sudden explosion in SharePoint projects in the UK. Suddenly everyone seems to be looking at SharePoint and how they can use it. It's almost as talked about as Susan Boyle at the moment, although I wonder what Simon Cowell would make of SharePoint. As fast as my beloved Villa have been dropping in the last two months (best wishes to Martin Laursen on your enforced retirement) Officetalk have been getting busier and busier as SharePoint sweeps the country. It seems to be spreading faster then Swine Flu at the moment. In the last month alone I personally have been involved in SharePoint Projects for Local Government (reminds me I must submit my expenses), a Health Service, a secondary school, an Energy firm and the Fire Service. So why is SharePoint becoming so popular? Microsoft are certainly doing their bit by offering it a very discounted prices to the Public Sector and also more people are becoming aware of the fact that Windows SharePoint Services is free if you have Windows Server 2003. Maybe with the current credit crunch many organisations are looking at how they can make savings and MD’s are all hearing about the impressive feature list of SharePoint and seeing it as a quick win. Of course, this isn’t really the case for although it will produce many long term savings in the short term it needs a budget and a great deal of commitment from the business. A Project Team is vital for any SharePoint implementation. So if I was Simon Cowell (I’ll just pull my trousers up higher) and I was judging SharePoint what would I be saying; Firstly, it looks great and has considerable potential perhaps slightly concerned which area it really fits in. I mean, is it a document management system, an intranet or a Business Process Management tool? It really needs a bit of fine tuning by a SharePoint expert to really bring the best out of it. Perhaps it’s appearance can be updated a bit as it seems to have a limited wardrobe with only a few relatively boring themes. But as it uses basic html and CSS it is fairly easy to do this. Look what has already been done for Susan Boyle. It is one of the best Microsoft products I have seen is recent years (although with recent flops like Vista that isn’t saying a lot) and I can see it has a very bright future. This it is definitely a ‘yes’ a through to the next round. Yes, it would definitely be a thumbs up for SharePoint and even though as a SharePoint Consultant I am biased I would recommend SharePoint to any size organisation. If you haven’t really seen SharePoint take a look at this quick demo. SharePoint Tip of the Week : Make sure any links in SharePoint (ie hyperlinks, picture properties, Quick Link bar etc) do include the name of the web Application (eg http://servername:Port Number). This way they will still work if you move server or create Site Templates.

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

Nice post, Andy!

I also like SharePoint very much. A number of departments at my site use it as a central point for communication, training, and "on-line help". Based on analysis, those departments have seen a 25-75% increase in productivity, and the customer service team noticed an increase in customer satisfaction since the agents now have information readily at their fingertips.

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