Monday, 20 July 2009

SharePoint Wow Factor

SharePoint might be a sound business solution with great Document Management skills, impressive Search capabilities and features easy to configure Workflow, but does it really have the ‘wow factor’? These days a lot of End Users have the internet at home and are experts in the use of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. So can you really excite them with this business looking SharePoint? The answer is very much ‘yes, yes, yes’, SharePoint can have the ‘Wow Factor’. This week Martin O’Neill finally spent some of the Villa's money on England international Stewart Downing. A signing that pleased Martin but it didn’t really have the ‘wow factor’, probably because Downing arrived for his medical on crutches with a broken foot (which he injured in a game against the Villa last May). Downing will not play until October which really won’t excite the Villa crowd. So again lack of ‘wow’ in the same way that a SharePoint Project Team try and sell SharePoint to End Users and then announce it doesn’t Go Live for another three months. So how can we give SharePoint this extra ‘Wow Factor’? I have put together my Top Ten ways to achieve the ‘Wow’ with very little cost; 1. Add video. We live in a video age so make sure some of your sites contain embedded video. Short clips are great and you can even copy code straight for YouTube using the Content Editor Webpart. Why not add a bit of humour, as somebody said about my blogs the other week. 2. Add Audio and sound clips Users now expect to hear their PC as well as see it (many teenagers like to hear it very LOUD). So if you have audio clips add them to a Document Library and they can be run straight away using Windows Media Player. 3. Add Flash Users seems to like animation and you can easily add flash (swf) files to SharePoint. Click here to find a very useful article on how to get a flash movie into SharePoint. 4. More Exciting Themes The out of the box SharePoint themes are quite bland and in March of this year Microsoft released an additional ten themes that are slightly more exciting. You can download these by clicking here. 5. Live Chat Many users chat away at night with instant messaging packages like MSN Messenger. Some of them are chatting with more than one person at a time and occasionally sending the wrong message to the wrong person (yes, we have all done that!) A webpart called Chatterbox helps you to put a chat box onto your SharePoint Site. If you have a Communication SIP Server, online chat is also available. With a SIP server you can keep the chat inside your network. 6. Mobile Devices SharePoint can be accessed from PDAs and mobile phones. It is worth showing End Uses how superb SharePoint is when accessed from iPhones. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/29262 7. Link to other systems Demonstrate SharePoint very much as a front end to other systems. Let users access your ERP (Finance etc) systems from a SharePoint site. Use snazzy looking dashboards to present data from other SQL Systems onto the SharePoint site. Many managers can be easily impressed by a colourful dynamic pie chart. 8. Clever Workflow All of us like things that make our lives easier whether it is self-defrosting freezers or Hot Dog Toasters. So use the Workflow in SharePoint to automate any routine tasks that a number of users have to do. This could be submitting expenses or booking a training room. 9. Live Feeds RSS feeds for latest news can be fed straight into SharePoint using the XML webpart. Just as I am hearing that England have won the second test you could add a feed to your website to keep the End Users up-to-date with the latest cricket score. Click to find out how to link the cricket scores to SharePoint. 10. High Quality Photographs Nothing makes SharePoint look more appealing than glossy pictures of people the End Users actually know. So why not include pictures of members of staff maybe at social events. I mean after all embarrassing photographs is what Facebook is built on. Hopefully now you can get the Wow Factor in your SharePoint, but if your End Users are still not showing their excitement then I think you need to add my popular ‘My Team’s Performance Season 2009/10’ football Site Template. With this they can enter their team’s football performances over the next eight months. Just click below to send me an email but please let me know the team you support. Send Me 'My Team’s Performance Template Season 2009/10'

19 comments:

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Well… I visit your website first time and found this site very useful and interesting.

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Yes that is a nice idea but have you ever thought of going up to the biggest guy on the subway and telling him your thoughts on this. I wonder what he might do, or would you even do it.
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