CMS Fridays: Do End Users Really Care It’s SharePoint?

That’s a question I always ask when dealing with the clients: do they really care it’s a content management system?

The answer is no.

They’re looking for something that saves them time, backs up their data, makes it easier to share information with their co-workers, and that will work. They don’t necessarily care about the name of it, all they really want it to do is work, and for it to make their life easier.

That’s one of the points information technology departments miss in dealing with end users: the users at the end don’t really care what the name of the software is, because whatever they get, it’s imposed on them. From the email software they use to the word processing software they write up reports in, almost every piece of software is selected and standardized on across departments. Very few end users get to pick what their software is, and if they do get to pick, the information technology departments don’t support it.

So what’s my point?

To the information technology departments, specifically: whatever you do, make sure it doesn’t impose extra restrictions or demands on the end users. Whatever you build into SharePoint, take in consideration that the easier to use it is, the more users that will use it. Imposing extra governance and workflows to it doesn’t make sense.

For example, Groove is a great tool when paired with SharePoint, because you can have files on your local system sync with SharePoint document libraries automatically and seamlessly. What that meant for me is I lost a bunch of files in a system crash, but all of the files were backed up to SharePoint. I didn’t lose anything.

And it was so easy to use, I didn’t even know I was using it.

Can you say the same about your SharePoint implementation?

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