SharePoint for intranets

SharePoint 2010 is an amazingly rich, and powerful platform; it’s also frustratingly simple, and frequently underwhelms.

It’s a testament to the Microsoft organization that SharePoint (in some shape or form, at some level of deployment, often limited to a work group or department) is present and running in more than two-thirds of all medium to large businesses (and many SMBs as well). Microsoft has invested hundreds-of-millions of dollars in this diverse web development platform – no longer marketed as a portal solution or enterprise content management system – and has spent many more millions marketing and selling it to you.

I must disclose that most of our clients use SharePoint; and we at Prescient Digital Media also use SharePoint 2010 for our internal intranet. I’ve come to know it intimately as a user, and reasonably well as an administrator – both its’ strengths and weaknesses. This famous technology has many, many strengths, and many, many weaknesses; a great it for many organizations, and a terrible fit for many others.

I’ll be honest: I wouldn’t choose SP 2010 for our intranet if I didn’t have to. There are many more, better suited, effective enterprise content management system solutions that are a fraction of the price that are better suited to my company. But my company is not every company. This is not a personal opinion or choice, I am a power Microsoft user and owner, and an unrivaled PC, Windows, and MS-Office user as you will find (and not at all a fan of Mac. In fact, I openly dislike Apple). However, SP is used by so many clients, and the platform itself has so much potential, I, as a consultant, have no choice but to not know it intimately.

Here’s the crux of the problem: SharePoint 2010 has so much potential, so many potential benefits, and can deliver so much value for the average organization… but not the basic version, and not out-of-the-box, and not without a multitude of additional costs, hours and frustration. Yes, SharePoint can be customized, and tweaked, enhanced, and built upon – it’s only a function of time and money.
Do you have the dollars? Do you have the patience? I don’t know anyone that uses the basic SP 2010 edition, and no one that hasn’t spent a lot of money customizing and enhancing it.

SP 2010 gets a thumbs-up when compared to MOSS 2007, but given the cost, gets a failing grade or a bare pass in nearly every other category. It’s very revealing to learn 54% of your customers say that it fails to live up to functional expectations; and 46% say it fails to live up to technical expectations.

However, as I’ve said, SP 2010 is a “mile wide and an inch deep” – which is exactly what some organizations need. SP 2010 offers a lot, but it’s more than what many organizations need, and less than what still others demand.

For you and your organization, you need to make careful, informed decisions about SharePoint, and alternatives to SharePoint, and more specifically, you need to know what it can and cannot do, at what cost. Call it the “dos and don’ts” of SharePoint.

Learn more about SharePoint Dos and Don’ts on our webinar – it’s absolutely free, and is not a sales pitch – next week, February 2, at Noon EST. Register now for SharePoint Dos and Don’ts.


SharePoint Dos and Donts webinarSocial Intranet @ Prescient Digital Media using SharePoint 2010

The social intranet @ Prescient Digital Media, using SharePoint 2010