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Knowledge Compass Customer SharePoint ECM Experiences

It is estimated that over 70% of leading US businesses currently use or are planning to deploy SharePoint over the next few years, but few have formal content and information management strategies and plans in place! The introduction of SharePoint is providing many of these companies a rare opportunity to take ‘a time-out’ to formally re-examine their core business processes, fully understand and redesign ECM and knowledge-centric systems, and streamline the use of content at the convergence of customer touch points, employees, and corporate IT systems.

Knowledge Compass offers strategic and business and technical level consulting services to assist customers assess their content requirements, design, develop (or customize), and implement ECM solutions in alignment with their corporate business and technical strategies.

Over the last year, Knowledge Compass customers are increasingly selecting SharePoint for their ECM business activities throughout the enterprise in situations where they formally selected ECM point solutions.

A recent review of customer projects identifies that the majority of our SharePoint development customers believe that SharePoint will result in a more effective, efficient, and flexible business environment managed through a familiar Microsoft desktop environment and built on a trusted and extendible platform.

The three benefits reported by our customer’s business and technology leaders with the highest value from SharePoint ECM deployments include:

  1. Improve User ECM Acceptance & Participation
  2. Avoid Content Handling Risk
  3. Increase IT Productivity

Improve User ECM Acceptance & Participation

It is typically understood that ECM project success relies heavily on user acceptance and participation as key critical success factors (CSFs). Briefly, employees who are expected to use an ECM application within their work processes should be able to accept without reservation the new ECM solution as a practical and valuable tool that supports and not restricts their work activities.

SharePoint is a unique solution that provides genuine ECM capabilities to users where they do their content creation and collaboration – inside customized SharePoint group-centric sites that is familiar to all who have used Microsoft desktop solutions. This addresses the challenge that users will not need to learn and identify with a totally dissimilar user interface, navigation, and other content-handling activities.

Our customers report that their ECM project’s user acceptance and participation were improved significantly by SharePoint’s capabilities including:

  • Uncomplicated use, integrated tools and rich capabilities to manage, find, and share mission-critical documents and information
  • Straightforward to add and identify document meta data to track, find, and share documents and information throughout the enterprise
  • Improve decision-making; easily find the right business document or information—regardless of who created it, what format it’s in, or where it lives.

Avoid Content Handling Risk

A dilemma facing most ECM projects is how to successfully design and implement a fully integrated enterprise governance framework that eliminates inefficiencies and waste that have been institutionalized over many years within the enterprise’s content (and information) handling policies, processes and activities.

Our customers identified the below SharePoint capabilities as having the largest impact on the successful alleviation of content-handling problems and risks.

  • Information Architecture (IA): defines and categorizes SharePoint site content and format, including Web pages, documents, and lists within a formal IA; provides users a more productive work experience organized within a consistent information framework.
  • Taxonomies (& Folksonomies): allows users and groups to craft and manage global and local customized Taxonomies and Folksonomies; provides improved content categorization and quicker access to required decision-making content.
  • Metadata Management: supports improved refined and filtered searches for more effective and efficient navigation of SharePoint lists and document libraries content.

Increase IT Productivity

Customers are enthralled by the IT productivity improvements typically realized with use of SharePoint’s comprehensive out-of-the-box capabilities such as:

  • SharePoint 2010 works seamlessly with technologies currently used including Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Microsoft Unified Communications
  • Use of Microsoft .NET Framework object models to reduce learning curves and development timeframes
  • End user management of their own SharePoint sites without having to contact the IT Team, thus saving time and cost of software expenses.
  • Integrate with legacy systems with reduced work effort and fewer difficulties generally experienced in integration activities
  • Interoperability through SharePoint Business Connectivity Services provides a standardized method of accessing, displaying, and editing content in legacy system environments
  • SharePoint 2010 provides a simple installation and configuration process, including a smooth upgrade from SharePoint 2007

Summary

  • SharePoint’s provides our customers a pragmatic user-friendly front-end to their ECM solutions. Users and work teams can easily navigate to a recognizable SharePoint site to collaborate, innovate, create content, and make decisions.
  • SharePoint allows our customers to save and redirect their centralized IT Team’s technical resources for other mission-critical enterprise developments and support activities.
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