SharePoint has been considered the de-facto platform for enterprise intranets and document management for close to a decade. SharePoint has allowed companies to build a combination of managed pages for the organization such as the main landing page of the intranet, official pages for HR, Sales and all other departments in the organization.
SharePoint has also allowed teams to create their team’s intranet sites where they could share documents and content for the entire team to consume.
I had the honor to be part of the SharePoint product team for several years while I worked for Microsoft and must admit it was exciting to see this product thrive.
The biggest challenge SharePoint is facing today is user engagement. While it is the place to go to consume data, it has not managed to become the place where people engage. Engagement in my view is when you spend more than 1 minute on a page where all you do is try to find and download a file. Engagement is where you actually do proactive collaboration, discussion, share ideas and comment on other people’s ideas.
So when we joined Jive right after the OffiSync acquisition, my team and I decided to take on a project where we would make the intranet a more engaging solution for the enterprise, fully realizing that a big part of realizing this vision would be to make SharePoint a more engaging platform. The main tool at our disposal as new Jivers was of course the Jive platform. So we embarked on this journey to take a social platform and combine it with the best of SharePoint and through that deliver a new kind of Intranet, an engaging one.
So what did we do? We take any existing SharePoint site and inject Social engaging capabilities in it. Every document can now be discussed, calendar items can be socialized, shared, discussed and liked, every site has an engaging micro-blogging capabilities that let people share ideas and comment on others.
What I’m mostly proud of is the fact that I believe we have something special here, something that will let customers keep SharePoint if they wish to do so, make that the de-facto document management system, keep that as the intranet platform, yet make it engaging, make it a destination where users will spend most of their time to collaborate, share and express themselves.
Can’t wait to get this to the hands of users, I know they will love it. I am also thinking about all the IT folks that run SharePoint with whom I’ve engaged over the years trying to find ways to make SharePoint really become the main collaboration platform and widely adopted. I’m sure it will be a fun ride and a fun way to make SharePoint great.
What's your take? What has your experience with SharePoint been like? Is it currently your intranet? Are you trying to socialize it?