So why use SharePoint?

Some more SharePoint links to help clarify my thinking on any upcoming implementation project that might be starting at work.

First of all, rather than concentrating on what it can do, let’s look instead at what our expectations of SharePoint might be. What kind of users are we?​

Different SharePoint users and definitions
The vastness of SharePoint creates areas of specialization. The result is that a person’s view of SharePoint is greatly affected by how that person uses the product. It’s important to keep this in mind when talking with people about SharePoint. If you ask ten people to define SharePoint, you’re likely to get ten different answers.​

That article goes on to list half a dozen roles people might fall into, from anonymous visitors and casual users to power users and administrators. Perhaps any implementation needs to acknowledge these differences and recognise that some staff would be more comfortable in one role than another? Would we give them the choice?

For any introduction of new software/platform/process to be successful, we need to know why we’re doing it. Are we wanting to make better use of SharePoint just because we have the licences? Is this an answer in search of a problem? Or is there a real business need?

I think we’ve got two. I’d like a better staff intranet (I’m so desperate to get my hands on that) and IT colleagues here would like a better file store setup. But as these next links show, simply introducing SharePoint in itself won’t solve all our problems.

Design a Brilliant SharePoint Intranet
Some Microsoft SharePoint intranets are nothing short of marvelous — rich with features that support the business and engage employees, anchored by predictable navigation, supported by a smart search, and with page layouts that make employees want to scan all the content. But it was not always this way.​

Leveraging your office intranet for employee connection & collaboration
But in spite of this, many companies’ intranets are still being used the same way they were 10-15 years ago, even though they are capable of being so much more than a document storage system. Here are some features of intranets you can review to check whether your office intranet is being used at its full potential and better leverage it if it’s not.​

Should SharePoint replace file servers?
Many in the SharePoint market claim that SharePoint can and should replace your file servers. Is this a best practice? Should you plan to move all of your files that currently exist into SharePoint? There are pros and cons to this debate, each of which we’ll outline below. However, if you don’t want to read this entire section, then you should know that our simple answer is no.

Onwards.