SharePoint is not your ordinary content storage system

Kiefer has been working with SharePoint since 2003. Our team has deep expertise in SharePoint planning, deployment, management, and infrastructure. We have fully embraced SharePoint as more than just hey content storage system. We see SharePoint as a platform.

When we meet with clients, we often ask to see their current SharePoint environment. This gives us a good idea on how they are leveraging SharePoint. In addition, we also ask for clients to show us enterprise communication platforms like the organization’s intranet.

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When we discover that clients are only using SharePoint as a glorified file share, we are inclined to point out that SharePoint is so much more than just a place to store enterprise content. Once information has been saved to SharePoint, the opportunities to do more with that information are boundless. Many of our clients are shocked to find out that they can create workflows in SharePoint or surface data stored in SharePoint on a Power BI dashboard. We have discovered that many organizations have not been leveraging SharePoint to its full potential. There are many reasons for that.

Why is SharePoint only being used to store content?

SharePoint is responsible for replacing many shared network drives. Organizations have recognized that SharePoint is a better way to store content that has enterprise value. Many organizations have been left wanting more when it comes to SharePoint’s out-of-the-box user interface. The fact that earlier versions of SharePoint look like a basic file share (or were set up that way) have stood in the way of organization’s making a bigger investment in SharePoint.

Some organizations lock down permissions in SharePoint. If you are new to SharePoint, you may be disappointed when you find out that certain files you are trying to access are not available to you. When users can’t get to information they need in SharePoint, they lose confidence in the system and that experience sticks with them. We have talked with users that have had very different experiences with SharePoint. In some organizations, the deployment and adoption is good. In some, the deployment is poor, and the users will tell you how much they hate SharePoint.

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What is next for SharePoint?

Microsoft continues to work on SharePoint image. Users will be excited to see the new SharePoint Lists application which leverages SharePoint graph API. Microsoft has also depended heavily on SharePoint to support file sharing in Microsoft Teams. The bottom line is this, SharePoint is at the core a many of the applications that Microsoft continues to invest in.

Microsoft Lists being used in Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Lists may deliver a SharePoint experience for non-SharePoint users.

At Kiefer, we continue to work with customers to help them better understand what is possible with SharePoint. We take into consideration that some experiences with SharePoint may have been sub-optimal, but we also demonstrate how good deployments of SharePoint result and better business outcomes. In our SharePoint engagements, we tend to focus on helping organizations better organize content stored in SharePoint and we help them find ways to integrate SharePoint with other applications in Microsoft 365. Helping clients understand what else is possible with SharePoint and demonstrating how SharePoint can solve business problems are important to helping them see the enterprise value of SharePoint.

Also, Microsoft recently announced Project Nucleus, which will improve the performance and reliability of web apps and SharePoint. Microsoft Lists will leverage Project Nucleus and it is currently in private preview. According to Microsoft, “Project Nucleus will allow you to work with lists offline: it will take care of all of the merging and synchronization of changes behind the scenes”. This is big news for organizations that have large SharePoint lists that require sorting, grouping, filtering… and even more exciting news for those that need to do it very fast!

Kiefer Consulting is ready to help you get more out of SharePoint. If you are already using SharePoint, let us help you do more with it. If you haven’t looked at SharePoint, let us show you what is possible. If your previous experiences with SharePoint left you wanting more… maybe it’s time to talk to the experts. SharePoint is here to stay and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

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