– Rob Wilson, Business Unit Director
Since 2005, a few of us at Keller Schroeder have focused a great deal on SharePoint-related projects. No doubt it is a great product – better now even than in 2005. Maybe you have SharePoint installed and are using it for document management or collaboration, but are you using SharePoint to its full potential? One additional area where there is an opportunity to get a return on your investment with SharePoint is business process automation. More local companies are catching the wave for sure, but many, it seems, are not. If this is you, what is holding you back?
One thing that seems to be an obstacle for many is that they view SharePoint as a turnkey solution rather than a platform. There is nothing more frustrating than getting 80, 90, or even 95 percent of a solution completed using SharePoint and its out-of-the-box tools, only to find that there is no simple solution to the final step(s). Then you are faced with the dilemma: do I change my business process or do I find another solution? Sometimes, the best answer is “neither.”
Let us consider the employee on-boarding process for example. With SharePoint, we can create InfoPath forms to gather pertinent information and develop some rudimentary workflows quickly to assign tasks and route the form for approvals. But what if you want to automate the actual tasks themselves? What if you want to create an Active Directory user account for the new employee, rather than assigning that task to the security officer? What if then perhaps you want to create an Exchange mailbox? Maybe you want to allow workflow participants to approve or reject requests from their mobile devices. The out-of-the-box SharePoint tools do not have these features, but with .NET programming or third party products, you can add these features.
I am a firm believer you should never change your business process to accommodate a tool – you change the tool. At Keller Schroeder, we consider ourselves a technology company in the performance improvement business. That is one of the reasons we promote SharePoint, because it provides an opportunity to complement your business processes. If SharePoint is not the right tool for the job, we are the first to let you know. However, sometimes with the help of a little custom code or a third party solution, SharePoint is just what the doctor ordered.
Contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager for more information or a demonstration of Sharepoint and how you, together with Keller Schroeder, can benefit your environment.