According to SharePoint expert Christian Buckley whether you are considering updating your SharePoint platform or implementing one for the first time, your top consideration should be productivity. As he puts it in his piece for CMS Wire, “A common question from executives to the teams and stakeholders who own and manage SharePoint is; how productive are our end users in SharePoint?”
SharePoint is a collaborative platform, perhaps one of the very first, and it is perhaps the most mature. Nonetheless its primary function is to facilitate the work of a team and, as with most things, it is only as good as its weakest end-user.
Buckley goes on to point out that when “I am talking to administrators and executives alike about the need for more focus on SharePoint productivity. Why this focus? I summarize the need as follows:
To simplify the interface into SharePoint
The result of changing your focus to end user productivity means a higher return on investment (ROI) for the platform overall, because it means more users on the platform, getting more out of the platform.”
Now in order to maximize the productivity of your SharePoint system it may mean doing some tweaking, or as SharePoint expert Scott Robinson hopes, maybe Microsoft might just deliver those tweaks yet this year.
One in particular is the fact that he would like to see more Yammer in the mix. As you may recall Yammer was an enterprise social network platform Microsoft acquired recently and as Robinson points out it “was a leap forward for Microsoft, strategically sensible and timely. But today, what we have is only halfway there; with Yammer on the front end and the SharePoint content management system on the back end, we get an ungainly hybrid search result.”
“One of the huge advantages of SharePoint 2013 over its predecessors is the option to include Exchange servers in enterprise search. We want that when the search is initiated through Yammer, and we want it via direct access of Exchange from Yammer. Deepening that integration would be a win on several levels, encouraging greater use of Yammer, improving the quality of enterprise search and delivering a friendlier mobile experience.”
He adds that it is past time for Microsoft to incorporate “responsive design”, which adjusts the user experience to fit the device they are using, into SharePoint. This is a common theme among many older and legacy platforms as increasingly companies want to manage one site not multiple ones geared to specific devices like tablets or smart phones.
SharePoint, as all legacy software, is both aging and evolving to meet new business and technology challenges. How your company goes along with these changes is something that can get costly if you do not stay on top of the trends. For some companies seeking out firms that have solid knowledge of the systems and how best to get them to fit your business needs will be a best practice to follow.