skyscrapers

SharePoint is loaded with out-of-the-box features. If there were just a way to get everyone in your organization to use them ...

SharePoint Shepherd Robert Bogue talked about this challenge in a CMSWire webinar sponsored by Gimmal, “Putting the E back in SharePoint ECM.”

“How do I get people to use these features?” Bogue asked. How do you get people in your organization to add metadata to documents?

“Trick them,” Bogue said. “That’s a little tongue in cheek there, but you can get them to do the right and behaviors accidentally. I trick people into adding metadata entry by pre-filling out forms.”

SharePoint in the Enterprise

SharePoint Shepherd Robert Bogue, Gimmal CTP Brad Teed
Bogue, shown left, and webinar co-presenter Brad Teed, chief technology officer for Houston-based Gimmal, a provider of information management software for Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365, discussed how to leverage SharePoint as a enterprise content management (ECM) system.

The webinar also covered:

  • What “enterprise content management” really means
  • What SharePoint can achieve on its own to manage content within your organization
  • How SharePoint add-ins can help achieve organizational content management objectives and minimize cost

“You need to get away from Post-it notes and make it a little more spectacular,” Bogue said. “A lot of folks implement it, use it and don’t give it any enterprise thought. It does so many things, but you need to get your employees to utilize it as they should.”

Bogue shared some of the out-of-the-box features in SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013:

sharepoint features

“Most of these features have been with us for some time,” Bogue said. “You can integrate things like CRM data as well. There are a plethora of features out of the box."

Having a file retention policy is a must. A good one, Bogue said, has a mixture of what you should be saving vs. discarding.

Focus on Metadata

Heard from the anti-metadata entry crowd lately? Lots of organizations have, Bogue said.

“They know entering metadata is the right thing to do, but they give you a series of responses: ‘I don’t know what to enter. I don’t feel like I have time. I cannot be bothered to enter this information. I get distracted when the phone rings.'"

Some people are simply direct: They don’t care, they say. The outcome of metadata is not important in their world, so why should they care?

Making it easier on them will help them care. Build systems that don’t rely on training people to deal with 1,100 content types.

Extending SharePoint Capabilities

gimmal webinar

What does Gimmal do to help SharePoint adoption? It extends capabilities of the platform by leveraging its native features and solving enterprise-related problems.

Enterprises must ensure they have a strong governance program when creating SharePoint sites. Creating sites out of the box or via a third-party or homegrown solution can be timely and consume IT resources. Further, it takes power out of the business drivers.

Gimmal’s tools help businesses create the definitions and apply their own themes, security and search configurations.

When a user requests a new site, it can integrate things like calendars, project operations, reports, human resources and put locks on certain areas it doesn’t want employees to change.

“This puts business needs in the hands of business in a consistent and controlled way,” Teed said. “We put the ‘E’ back in ECM.”