Adoption & Effective Use

Gartner: "Don't Deploy Collaboration Software Out of the Box" – I Disagree

Mark Gilbert from Gartner spoke at the Gartner BI summit in Sydney recently. He said that firms shouldn’t deploy collaboration software “out of the box” – I disagree, but I disagree because I’m being pedantic, although I think it is important to be so given this is a Gartner person speaking.

Here’s the opening from CIO Australia:

IT managers implementing collaborative software such as SharePoint have been warned that simply installing applications out of the box will put strain on relationships throughout the business.

Speaking at the Gartner BI summit in Sydney, analyst Mark Gilbert said social software must be adapted to suit the needs of business functions across the enterprise.

“People are starting to change their perception of how they perceive their market, and SharePoint is a great example of one vendor’s offering of driving change through software,” Gilbert said.

“If you try to deploy something out of a box, you probably won’t have a good result. It’s all about teaming the project up with the business to see what they need.”

Gilbert said that using SharePoint as a flexible and agile tool is necessary if collaboration is to take place across the enterprise.

I think what Mark should have said instead was don’t deploy collaboration software without engaging with the business to understand their needs and requirements and how you will encourage user adoption, even though the technology might be out-of-the-box plain vanilla. My concern with the way that Mark used the phrase “out-of-the-box” is that it signals that custom development may be required – but that’s entirely context-dependent. Blogs – out-of-the-box is fine, if you choose the right tool. Ditto with wikis. Ditto with Yammer.

With my own statement I fully agree – hey, I wrote two books address the need for that – SharePoint Roadmap for Collaboration and User Adoption Strategies.

Read more: Collaboration software shouldn’t be deployed out of the box: Gartner

2 replies »

  1. I agree with you Michael. I think his statement is offsides and alludes to the fact that you have to have custom development to make SP work. Nonsense.
    Microsoft didn’t spend $17billion on R&D to not have it be useful out of box. I would say easily 80% of business end user requirements can be addressed using OOB.
    And you’re right again in saying don’t deploy without engaging the business. And besides, it also depends what companies bought SP for in the first place. Not everyone needs custom dev’d solutions. It’s about understanding what business’s pain points are and asking how SP can address them.
    I think his opening statement shows that he has little understanding of the scope and complexity of what SP can offer across the many audiences. It just made me mad! 🙂