How do I know if SharePoint is the right solution for my SMB?

It seems I keep having the same conversation with prospect after prospect – and sometimes existing clients too. Just what is SharePoint and should my organization consider using it? Often, these conversations are prompted by talking with other executives or reading success stories of organizations claiming to be using SharePoint for content management, document management, web portals, corporate intranets, collaboration, and the list goes on and on. So how does that fit with your organization’s needs and just how expensive will it be to implement? Let’s look at a specific (and likely common) scenario:
I was recently talking with a prospect who admitted that although they have a sophisticated system to manage their membership and billing, their internal business information is scattered and near impossible to track. It feels like they keep duplicating work because they can’t keep track of who’s done what and where they saved it when they last did it. This is all too common. Small to medium size organizations are in a real tough spot when it comes to managing their information. You can’t afford buying the enterprise grade systems so you have to settle for often poorly conceived and under supported systems built by second grade vendors – who ironically usually overcharge for their services. These systems are not capable of addressing the full spectrum of your information management requirements so naturally you focus your priorities on the parts of the business that drive revenue. The well usually runs dry before you ever make it to your business information.

So can SharePoint help?
Let’s start by defining the SharePoint paradigm. SharePoint is built on the paradigm that everything can be distilled down to a list of items that share common properties. These items can be almost anything: documents, images, calendar entries, tasks, contacts, or something totally custom. You’re probably thinking: “But don’t Outlook and my shared network drive already handle all of these things?” Sure they do; but how easily can you share this information? How easily can you group, organize and report against it? How successful are you at searching and finding it?

SharePoint can really help small to medium size organizations be more efficient, improve their processes, and better collaborate. The overall cost, risk and time to implement can be controlled by taking an incremental project approach.

At the end of the day, this could be the highest-value low-cost systems implementation you’ve ever done!



One Comment

  1. Posted June 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really good sharing this.

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