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links for 2009-04-07

April 8, 2009

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  1. April 14, 2009 12:07 pm

    Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Perhaps though, there are times where collaboration in silos is necessary? I worked with a client this winter who was rolling out a SharePoint deployment, the third in the company, intended for teams to have a place for collaboration. They use SharePoint for their external website development platform, their internal intranet and now were rolling it out for team collaboration.

    The nature of their business required silos in teamwork, so SharePoint’s limiting who could see what was beneficial for them. The site administrator merely had to invite additional people, who could have read only, or read/write permissions on the site. SharePoint allows that flexibility.

    If there was a need for collaboration across the company, they could create a site on the intranet platform, though that was still in more of an information sharing web 1.0 state.

    I will agree that SharePoint can be a beast with a steep learning curve for typical non-IT admins and users. It is NOT intuitive as Microsoft would have you believe. New users need training to understand the workings of the system, and once you understand the main structure, things are pretty consistent, but it is a paradigm shift in many areas for the typical user.

    Is it the be-all-end-all answer to social networking? No. It does allow blogs, wikis, surveys,discussion groups, RSS feeds and many of the tools available in social networking tools on the web. The key is that it can be contained within the walls of the enterprise. That’s key for the IT departments who are trying to come up with a compromise. In an enterprise, there is much that is proprietary and confidential, which runs counter to the very nature of social networking. SharePoint is a tool to allow for some of that. It is a solution to the zillion e-mails, meetings and stacks of paper used to accomplish many of the tasks in the enterprise today.

    If we get down to brass tacks, it’s a hammer. As the old story goes, a hammer can do lots of things, and when it’s your only tool, everything begins to look like a nail. We know better, and may need to remind our colleagues that a hammer doesn’t work when you need a screwdriver. However, it does work well for all kinds of nails.

    Jean Marrapodi

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