We're sad to end our SharePoint month today, but at least we're going out with a bang. Read on for expert perspectives on best uses, adoption cycles, and whether or not it's time for an app store.
Pete Iuvara (@peteiuvara): I recently attended and spoke at the SharePoint Saturday: The Conference this August 2011. My presentation was around real world applications on SharePoint: ideas, trends we’re seeing and actually uses. I also had the opportunity to speak with several experts in the field, and some current and future consumers of SharePoint. Here’s what most of the buzz was about.
Derek Weeks (@weekstweets): For those with more knowledge of SharePoint, they know it offers great collaboration features, flexible web parts for designing user experiences, robust search and strong content management features. Although these features can be used out-of-the-box, they are better suited toward applications built on top of the platform. In order to move SharePoint from a user experience that many complain about today to its role as a platform for supporting robust business applications, the idea of an App Store needs to be considered. A SharePoint App Store would dramatically improve end-user adoption, speed delivery of business applications, and give people better productivity applications in order to get their work done.
Mike Ferrara (@mikecferrara): Or maybe the more appropriate question should be: is SharePoint ready for legal? The latter is one that I am constantly asked by my clients. Part of the problem in answering that question is that I tend to be a little biased toward SharePoint as the end all be all for an enterprise platform. I’ve built my career on working with SharePoint, and you could say that I’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid for a while now. But as a consultant, my job is not to tell you what the best product is; it’s to tell you what the best product is for your firm’s needs.
Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet): One of the major benefits of participating in SharePoint events worldwide is the ability to get to know some of the thought leaders in the community and to leverage the collective unconscious. In between sessions, the hallways are usually lined with experts and attendees sharing their experiences, weighing in on the trending topics of the day. At a recent event, I found myself sitting in the lobby of the convention center with a couple fellow presenters discussing SharePoint governance: what it is, why it’s now such a hot topic in the community, and what people need to do about it. Rather than produce an opinion piece on the topic, I thought it would be interesting to share the roundtable dialog.
Susan Yee: For a successful SharePoint implementation, you can’t forget the most important ingredient — getting the platform used.
If you are reading this article, it is likely because you’ve heard whining in your office or you’re tired of repeating the same message over and over to improve user adoption of your SharePoint implementation.
You may be a frustrated project manager or business champion who spent countless hours on budgeting, planning, governance, information architecture, training and timelines, only to find that the last task in your SharePoint project plan that has no due date is USER ADOPTION. And to your horror, no one is taking your words seriously and people don’t care. The bottom line is this: for you to get people to take advantage of your hard work, you have to add one more task assigned to yourself — don’t give up.
I’ll assume that you have a good SharePoint project to begin with and that you really don’t have any valid reason for someone to throw darts at your new processes, and that you aren’t adding 34 more steps to an already efficient way that people work. With that in mind, here’s a process to help break the dead zone across your user community.