Friday, July 1, 2011

SharePoint Adoption is not an Oxymoron

As many IT professionals know and as many of the partners in the Microsoft SharePoint community know SharePoint is growing like crazy. Sales and Deployments continue at an almost unabated pace. However, as with all things that run at a rapid pace there are challenges that need to be addressed to keep the flow smooth and fast.

SharePoint’s Biggest Risk is Adoption

Adoption is more than just a word. Sure, lots and lots of people use SharePoint sites every day. Sometimes it’s for simple things like File Share Replacement. Other times it’s to address a need to provide easy collaboration. And other times it’s to create a portal or intranet application.

imageThe risk is … People need to use the site (or app) more than once and they need to want to come back. As Paul Galvin said in his Shining Examples blog post … we need to find a few places where SharePoint can shine. Most companies have several potential areas where SharePoint can help drive efficiency and productivity --- most have dozens. I agree with Paul and said so in my reply to his post here – Wanted: Shining Examples

My recommendation: Pick One. Start Small. Create a Shining Example. Repeat!

A few SharePoint Facts:

  • Adding 20,000 users per day (link) for the past 5 years
  • 7.3 million new SharePoint users per year
  • 2009 revenues were $1.3B and trending up … WAY UP!


SharePoint is ideally suited to help companies with FOSH solutions. For those new to the FOSH term it’s an acronym for Finance, Operations, Sales and HR. Every company has to deal with (i.e. manage) FOSH in their business. Whether they are a single person company or one that has hundreds or even thousands of employees. A few examples of FOSH scenarios are listed in the table below. I wrote about these in my post - SharePoint is WIP Smart

Do you see any example areas in your business that you may be able to use SharePoint to address?

imageGoing Vertical

The other area where SharePoint can excel is in vertical applications. A few examples of vertical applications are listed below. Note: These vertical markets also need to address FOSH issues within their organizations too.


The Role of Partners

Partners are the key to the ultimate success of a SharePoint deployment. Sure, there are companies that have deployed SharePoint internally and this number will continue to grow and should grow. The smartest companies will realize that their core competency is (probably) not creating SharePoint sites and applications and will turn those tasks over to partners.

To me Partners are the key to long term SharePoint Adoption. Partners have the subject matter expertise. Partners can spend the time with a wide range of companies to build solutions that exactly meet the needs of the customer --- at a reasonable cost. Partners can build predictable and repeatable solutions across FOSH and Vertical scenarios.

The Ultimate Gauge of Success

Adoption, Adoption, Adoption

A few tips from my perspective:

  • Customers need what SharePoint has to offer – when the need is Document Management, Collaboration and Search.
      • Key Point: SharePoint does NOT do everything.
  • Partners have the skills to develop SharePoint solutions
  • Microsoft needs to listen and let the partners (and customers) lead the way. They are not shy and they will tell Microsoft what they need to success (and what they don’t).

Who wins when SharePoint Adoption
is not an Oxymoron?


What do you think?

  • Is SharePoint Adoption an Oxymoron?
  • Is SharePoint Adoption a worthy goal for a company?
  • Is SharePoint Adoption really all that important?

Drop a comment here of via my social media contact points below. I do want to hear your thoughts.

imageAbout The Author:
I have spent the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with
Kodak as a Director of Business Development. In my past I have spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.


Claire said...

While SharePoint adoption is not an oxymoron, it is a stop-stall process right now. I agree with you that, at least for the moment, partners are necessary. And this is largely because the developers they're working with don't know what they have. Most of the people we talk to--even very experienced .net devs--about SharePoint have very few ideas about sp's out-of-the-box functionality, let alone its extended capabilities. I think that getting some sort of standardized education program would really aid in unassisted adoption.

electronic signatures said...

A very nice post and title is also suitable I am new to SharePoint and I agree with Claire that some kind of standardized education program will really help.