Improving User Adoption of SharePoint By Streamlining Essential Tasks – the Harmon.ie Study Findings

Harmon.ie shared the results of its recent challenge about making SharePoint easier to use for business users, and the impact of this on adoption and uptake:

Business users can complete Microsoft SharePoint document sharing and other collaboration tasks six times faster when accessing SharePoint directly from Microsoft Outlook or IBM Lotus Notes, based on the results of the SharePoint User Challenge conducted by social email vendor harmon.ie at three separate industry conferences, including the recent AIIM 2011 info360 Conference in Washington, D.C. The challenge – designed to illustrate why 66% of end users refuse to use SharePoint for daily document exchange – showed how harmon.ie’s ability to bring SharePoint into the corporate email interface can remove barriers to user adoption.

Tasks that took 40 to 61 seconds using the native SharePoint interface required only 8 to 15 seconds in harmon.ie for SharePoint, a social email solution that provides SharePoint functionality in an Outlook or Notes sidebar. harmon.ie’s speed and ease of use have increased usage of SharePoint and other collaboration tools such as Google Docs from an average of 30 percent to as high as 80 percent in just a few months in enterprises worldwide.

My Comments
1. Cutting the time required to do essential tasks by 4-6 times is impressive. Great work by harmon.ie on capturing and sharing the data in a meaningful way. By fixing the execution of these essential tasks, harmon.ie is seeing much better adoption rates of SharePoint among their organizational clients. You could make a strong argument that by offering a product that fails to simplify and streamline essential tasks, users will reject using it for wider and more interesting things.

2. I was talking with a SharePoint MVP a few weeks back, and one of his main bugbears with SharePoint – that he hoped Microsoft will fix in SharePoint 2014 – is ease of sharing documents. “It’s too complex today,” he said, “and needs to be as easy or easier than other products on the market.” We talked about SugarSync and Dropbox as comparatives.

3. It stuns me that the integration between SharePoint and Outlook, even in the 2010 wave, is so bad. For example, why can you not drag-and-drop an email from Outlook to a SharePoint document library? Why is this not standard functionality from Microsoft?

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