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We have seen in the past that SharePoint deployment in an enterprise does not necessarily mean that enterprise workers are going to use it. There are a number of possible reasons why this might be the case. In today’s release of AttachThis, Quest is trying to tackle a couple of them.

SharePoint Deployment and Use

The benefits of a fully deployed and fully utilized SharePoint application are obvious if you are coming from an IT perceptive, but from a business user point of view, the advantages may not be all that clear.

If users are not already using SharePoint, then leaving aside issues like usability or familiarity, enterprises are also asking business users to change habits that in some cases are habits of a lifetime by asking them to move across to SharePoint.

Two of the biggest reasons users don't adopt SharePoint is because they're asked to shift away from behaviour they already know, as well as a tool, Outlook, they're already comfortable with,” Chris McNulty, strategic product manager, Quest Software.

And this is where Quest is coming from with the new AttachThis and AttachThis Pro tools.

With AttachThis, McNulty says, users don’t have to change the context of their work while at the same time improving their ability to collaborate in an environment that is monitored and supported by IT.

And because it is built to work with SharePoint, enterprise managers can also rest easy in the knowledge that their workers are working and collaborating in an environment that has compliance, auditing and data security processes already in place.

AttachThis, Outlook and SharePoint

To make the transition from current work tools to other, unfamiliar tools requires a change in the enterprise work culture.

This probably explains why Quest has focused on Outlook in this release. It basically enables users of Outlook to use SharePoint without changing their desktops.

Quest describes AttachThis as an easy-to-use add-in for content collaboration that enables users to:

  • Replace attachments that have been automatically uploaded into SharePoint with a link that is sent to recipients.
  • SharePoint automatically consolidates edits from various team members into a single document
  • Simplifies the location of content to be used in attachments

With the Pro versions that are also a number of interesting functions specifically for administrators. With it, administrators can:

  • Control where email attachments are stored.
  • Can apply smart tags for easy retrieval.
  • Offer better security by limiting access to documents in attachments to recipients only
  • Analytics around use of AttachThis in the organization.

AttachThis is available now from Quest. It will be interesting to see how this actually impacts on SharePoint use and adoption in enterprises. Definitely worth a visit if you spent a gazillion dollars on a SharePoint deployment that workers just won’t use.