Conference Notes

Notes from the Sydney ILF Chapter Meeting on "SharePoint: An Independent Business and Technical Analysis" (April 2008, Australia)

Yesterday’s afternoon session with the Sydney chapter of the Intranet Leadership Forum on SharePoint went great. About 15 people attended from member organizations of the ILF, and in addition to my prepared comments, there was really great peer-to-peer sharing about what each organization was facing or experiencing in regards to SharePoint. We were hosted by one of the member organizations, and the meeting room that they supplied was brilliant — the ceiling mounted projector worked with both of my computers, and I was able to switch back and forth between my Mac for the slides and my Tablet for using OneNote to mind map during Q&A. It was a presenter’s dream! Thanks Peter!

Here’s some of the comments that attendees offered during Q&A:

Management has been told by Microsoft that SharePoint can do everything, and can be the platform to ‘rule them all’. But it can’t be out-of-the-box.

SharePoint is not as easy as we initially thought [to get up and running]. It’s a journey.

It seems difficult [to get up-and-running], but our people are loving it.

Be wary of custom development of Web parts.” (for reasons of cost, supportability, feature divergence)

(On licensing) “We have a Standard licensing agreement with Microsoft for SharePoint, and although we’d like the Enterprise features (like workflow and forms), it would cost us another $1 million and force us to deploy Office 2007. Management said ‘no way’.

(On the need for skilled people to help) “We know we need skilled technical people to help with SharePoint, but we just can’t find them. It’s almost impossible.

Some of the comments on the feedback and evaluation forms were very interesting:

Great session — we are soon to be under siege from SharePoint disciples — good to know the down sides and reasons why it is not the simple answer it is sold as.

Was great to understand the limits and real potential.

Good range of topics. Looked at positives and negatives. Good to hear others opinions and uses of SharePoint.

Provided a useful balanced appraisal of SharePoint’s capabilities.

This morning I will be presenting the same session to the Canberra chapter of the ILF.

Categories: Conference Notes