Over 135 million licenses of SharePoint sold worldwide and thousands of books have been written about SharePoint ranging in focus from the platforms tremendously powerful content management capabilities, document management capabilities, collaborative capabilities… learn more here
Predictably, new marketing terms have been flying around such as “enterprise social” or my favorite, “social collaboration”. To me, it’s still just collaboration. It’s just better now, perhaps a lot better.
Maybe a future post will discuss socializing your members, but it’s late so I’m going to scope this posts’ focus on the pro’s and con’s on using this SharePoint/Yammer combo to achieve social collaboration.
All that before we even add Yammer to the equation.
Yammer, in my opinion, can be described as a discussion forum on steroids. You can follow people, threads, participate online or via email, and form conversations around topics of interest within invitation only groups. The cool factor to me is that it’s designed for collaboration, not spam.
That said, SharePoint is imperfect. If your expectations are firmly set on SharePoint being a “magic bullet” – don’t use SharePoint.
The Con’s of using SharePoint in my opinion are mainly around expectation leveling. Whether you realize it or not, SharePoint is very likely one of the most powerful platforms you will encounter – this is not always a good thing. In fact, by my estimation it’s precisely this vast river of functionality that has derailed more than one unsuspecting project. You just can’t coast through a SharePoint initiative – mainly because there’s too many ways to accomplish the same objective, but usually only one “best right answer”.
SharePoint is big. It can do a lot. You will learn of something it can do and want it now (like using Yammer for example). You cannot manage your SharePoint based solution without careful planning, access to good resources and the discipline to practice sound project management. If you try, you will fail – it’s too big, it offers too much temptation to turn on a feature without planning first.