5 Things Every Manager Should Know about Microsoft SharePoint 关于微软SharePoint每个经理应该知道的五件事

5 Things Every Manager Should Know about Microsoft SharePoint


        Would you like to quickly find information that you know your company has in its files... somewhere? You can do that with Microsoft® SharePoint®. 


        Would you like to work closely with teams in different locations, always keeping on top of who’s doing what? You can do that with SharePoint.


        Would you like to set up an extranet to securely share documents with major customers? You can do that with SharePoint.


        If you’re thinking of adopting SharePoint in your enterprise, here are five key concepts that every manager should know.


#1: SharePoint is mega-popular

        Microsoft says SharePoint is one of the fastest-growing applications in the company’s history. In 2009, SharePoint generated $1.3 billion in revenues from an installed base of 100+ million users.


        Microsoft no longer breaks out SharePoint sales, but analysts say it has continued to surge. For example, a recent Gartner report calls SharePoint “the most widely used document- and collaboration-centered platform.”


        “Last year, Microsoft leapfrogged Oracle and moved ahead of IBM, so they’re now leading that space decisively,” says Jeff DeVerter, SharePoint Architect at Rackspace® Hosting. “Many vendors that were competitors in the past are now expecting SharePoint to be there in every enterprise.”


        In other words, SharePoint has won the battle for the enterprise.


        What this means for managers: SharePoint is a top-rated product that will be around for many years to come. If you’re thinking of adopting it, you’re backing the right horse.


#2: SharePoint is many things to many people

        Far beyond one application, SharePoint is a full-featured suite of many different apps. These include:


  • content management。内容管理。
  • enterprise social networking。企业社交网络。
  • intranet, extranet and portal creation。内联网、外联网和门户创建。
  • collaboration tools。 协作工具。
  • project and workflow management。项目和工作流管理。
  • business intelligence。商务智能。
  • enterprise search。企业搜索。

        Companies use SharePoint to do many different things, or to do the same thing in many different ways. For example, one team may set up an online portal with SharePoint’s out-of-the-box look and feel, while another puts the effort into making that portal match the rest of the company’s web presence.


        What this means for managers: SharePoint contains many applications that can be set up in many ways. Managers need to define how the platform will be used.


#3: Before adopting SharePoint, make a plan

        Before jumping into SharePoint, it makes sense to develop a plan for how your team can best use it.


        As a minimum, this plan should cover:


  • A “taxonomy” (set of classes and naming conventions) for data stored in SharePoint。SharePoint中储存的数据分类(类和命名规范的集合)。
  • Which pieces of SharePoint will be used and by whom。使用SharePoint哪些部分,谁来使用?
  • Who will support each group of SharePoint users。谁来支持每组的SharePoint用户。

        “In the end, SharePoint is a tool, and tools alone don’t solve problems,” says DeVerter. “A tool should be used as part of a plan to solve a problem.”


        What this means for managers: Managers must ensure that a sensible plan is in place for setting up SharePoint and storing information with it.


#4: SharePoint relies on many technologies

        “The biggest challenge in troubleshooting SharePoint problems,” says Shane Young,  – SharePoint MVP, “is you have to be an expert with both the underlying technologies and SharePoint itself because the problem is rarely very clear. Finding people with both skill sets has proven to be very challenging.”

        “解决SharePoint问题最大的挑战,”Young,SharePoint MVP说,“是你必须是基础技术和SharePoint本身的专家。因为问题很少是明显的。照这样两种技能兼具的人也非常困难。”

        For SharePoint to work properly, all these other technologies must be running perfectly:


  • Windows。视窗系统。
  • Structured Query Language (SQL) database(s)。SQL数据库。
  • Internet Information Server (IIS)。
  • Active Directory。AD域。
  • Domain Name System (DNS)。
  • enterprise networking。企业网络。
  • incoming and outgoing e-mail servers收发邮件服务器。
  • and more。还有很多。

        Any misconfiguration, glitch or failure in any of these components can cause SharePoint to fail. When that happens, all that an end user may see is that a portal they want to access has gone offline. The actual cause will likely be hidden deep in the company’s IT infrastructure.


        What this means for managers: SharePoint technical support and system administration cannot be an afterthought; these should be part of the initial planning.


#5: Supporting SharePoint takes special expertise

        It’s no surprise that SharePoint system administration is a big challenge.


        “SharePoint has frequently been deployed in a bottom-up or distributed fashion, often outside of the scrutiny or guidance of strategic IT. This is changing as companies realize its potential and its risks,” reports Gartner.


        For example, business users can install the software piecemeal, choosing only the bits and pieces they plan to start with. Years later, IT may have to “clean up” the platform by re-installing and reconfiguring SharePoint in a more organized, enterprise way.


        Business users can draw on SharePoint’s tools to develop mini-apps for team members. But these users are not likely trained in best practices in software development, so these homegrown apps may be riddled with unpredictable bugs.


        Troubleshooting any SharePoint outage takes time. And meanwhile, mission-critical work may grind to a halt. Without SharePoint, users may not be able to finish proposals, send out invoices, or interact with customers.


        It’s fair to say that maintaining SharePoint takes special expertise. But not every IT team has this expertise or can keep up-to-date with such a sprawling application.


        “By the time a system engineer in an enterprise has to go back and do something in a SharePoint environment, three, six or nine months may have gone by since they last touched it,” says DeVerter. “What you don’t use, you lose—whether it’s SharePoint or anything else.”


        What this means for managers: It may not be realistic to expect your IT team to support such a major application by themselves. In fact, analysts say these unrealistic expectations create a considerable amount of pain among enterprises using SharePoint. 


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