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SharePoint Is Not Part Of Your Microsoft Office Suite

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Sharepoint-2010_logoAccording to the Association for Information and Image Management, nearly 80% of all enterprise-class companies are running SharePoint; due to a massive misunderstanding of the platform and what it does, many companies are either not using it to its full extent or not using at all. This is largely because most people don’t understand SharePoint’s potential in their company. The biggest challenge for CTOs and other IT professionals is clearly demonstrating SharePoint’s value to everyone within the organization. The good news is that all you really need to do to demonstrate this value is to get potential users to see it in action. If you do this, your team will see the benefits of collaboration and data management in SharePoint.

Tips for demonstrating SharePoint’s value to your organization

  • Standardize usage across the entire company. Gather your team together and come up with a basic standard of usage across all departments and divisions within your company. One of the quickest ways to demonstrate SharePoint’s value is by showing your team how easy it is to implement the platform across multiple departments.
  • Provide free web training resources. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is the learning curve. Users may be intimidated by learning a new platform. While there are many free, online resources for learning SharePoint, it will be helpful to translate those resources into easy to digest tutorials. If you don’t have the time or resources to do this, simply direct team members to the proper resources.
  • Don’t force users to drop existing platforms. The temptation is to simply force SharePoint on your team, hoping they will adapt. However, this will result in poor work performance throughout your organization. Again, the best way to handle this is through clear demonstration. Show your team that SharePoint is the best platform for managing content, sharing and collaborating on massive projects.
  • Ease users into the platform. Even when you have the bulk of your team on board with the whole SharePoint thing, it will take some getting used to. It’s best to give your more reluctant team members time and space to get used to the new tool. The more time you allow, the more successful your SharePoint adoption process will be. Slowly introduce new features like versioning, workflow processes and metadata as competency grows.

The great thing about SharePoint is that you can get it up and running with very little preparation. If your IT department is swamped or you run a small business, you can hire a third party, like Rackspace Hosting to take care of your SharePoint needs. You’ll need to prepare your team for the switch, though. The good news is that as your team becomes more comfortable with the platform, they will quickly begin to see its intrinsic value without much of a sales pitch from your IT staff. You may need a little help in the infrastructure department. You’ll have some pushback, but as long as you are persistent in demonstrating real-world value, most users will fall in line sooner or later.

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