Open TextIt's no secret that SharePoint (news, site) is one of the most widely used platforms for collaborative document management. It has enjoyed an impressive grassroots growth pattern that has pleased Microsoft, but made many IT managers a little nervous -- especially in light of ongoing regulatory compliance pressures.

Open Text (news, site) has spent a great deal of time looking at how SharePoint functions in typical Enterprise CMS scenarios. Understanding both its strengths and weaknesses, their Microsoft Solutions Team focuses on differentiating fact from fiction when it comes to what SharePoint can do.

In a conversation with Lynn Elwood, Open Text's Microsoft Solutions Product Manager, we picked up some insights worth sharing.


Elwood says that SharePoint adoption has brought document management to the desktops of far more users that every before. It's easy to install, easy to use and offers users a level of collaboration that they may not otherwise have had.

This ease of accessibility is why we see SharePoint installed so often at the team or departmental level within organizations. Out of the box it's a good solution for managing documents and other content related to small and medium sized projects.

Many organizations start using SharePoint as its most basic level, but grow it as their needs evolve.


Many organizations implement SharePoint as their enterprise content management system and believe it is the full Enterprise CMS Monty. This is often not the case.

Elwood says that frequently SharePoint use is not in-line with enterprise policy because it has grown in such an organic -- or grassroots -- manner.

What is common, is that organizations choose SharePoint for document management, but implement it more like a series of disconnected file shares -- there are no disposition, destruction or eDiscovery policies.

According to Elwood, what you often find with SharePoint implementations is multiple copies of documents, stored in different SharePoint installs and no way to manage them in a cohesive fashion.

What to Learn More?

This is the tip of the iceberg. Open Text will be getting into more detail this Thursday May 14, 2009 at 12pm EDT (9am Pacific). They're hosting a webinar called "SharePoint as an ECM Platform – Truth or Fiction?".

You can register here.