It’s rare to come across an organization (typically mid or enterprise size) that doesn’t have Sharepoint deployed. In fact out of all of the large organizations I have worked with or talked with I can’t think of a single one that doesn’t have an instance of Sharepoint deployed. Many collaboration vendors today all claim that they are being used by all the Fortune 100 (and they are), Yammer recently announced that they had over 800,000 paid users. Compare this to Sharepoint which over the past 5-6 years has sold over 36 million user licenses!

So it appears that Sharepoint is widely popular among many companies yet when I talk to employees at these companies it’s rare for me to hear anything positive said about the platform. It’s a bit of a conundrum, Sharepoint is everywhere yet it appears that many people hate it, well, if they hate it then why are companies deploying it?

There are a few major reasons for why companies end up going with Sharepoint:

  • they get it a very low cost (oftentimes free) because they are Microsoft partners
  • they are already so dependent on Microsoft products that Sharepoint seems to be the logical choice
  • a proper vendor evaluation never takes place and instead the company goes with the apparently easiest and lowest cost alternative
  • enterprise security from a reliable vendor
  • companies know that Microsoft isn’t going anywhere whereas some of the other collaboration vendors in the space might not be around the long
  • it was one of the earlier collaboration platforms available (initial release was actually in 2001)
  • they focus on what Microsoft says it can do and is good vs what it can really do and is good at (marketing vs reality)


– People skills
– Training skills
– Deep understanding of SharePoint out of the box
– Deep understanding of SharePoint architecture
– Deep understanding of how and when to customize SharePoint
– Power user skills
– A programming background
– Strong information architecture ( and probably database design) skills
– User Interface Design skills
– Some lightweight graphic design skills
– Business Process Design
– Technical Documentation
– Meeting Facilitation
– Enough technical prowess to work directly with development teams
– Enough communication expertise to work directly with senior non-technical stakeholders

User adoption is easy. Just give them what they want. Automate a process, make something less repetitive, put an Access database in a list so everyone can use it. Do one thing for each department. It’s instant adoption. Training is important, but it doesn’t drive adoption.

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