Interlink Cloud Blog

facebooktwitterlinkedin

Stephanie Donahue

Microsoft SharePoint - Proving a Return on Investment

microsoft sharepoint proving roi

Every day I speak to clients about how we can solve their communication and content challenges with Microsoft SharePoint. However, no matter how obvious it is that SharePoint can solve their issues, we still run into scenarios where we hear, “We think your team is great and we love your ideas, but we just don’t have the budget this year.” What do you do when you don’t have a budget? You prove the return on investment of Microsoft SharePoint.

No Budget

The challenging thing -- okay one of the challenging things -- about SharePoint is that it too often starts out in the IT budget because it’s considered company-wide software that everyone uses. In addition to not being allocated as part of everyone’s budget, SharePoint also has the issue of being tough to measure in terms of return on investment (ROI). Those of us who have been around SharePoint long enough know the value of what SharePoint can do, but we struggle to communicate how that translates into real money saved. Being frustrated with the no budget answer, I’ve been racking my brain on what the answer is to showing SharePoint’s true ROI. So, I decided to run through a series of recent scenarios I’ve heard about from clients, friends, and even personal experiences. What has been obvious is that it all comes back to communication. Problems stem from communication issues, and conveniently, SharePoint (and Yammer) fix those communication issues.

The ROI Challenge

You can’t estimate SharePoint ROI, or any content management system, in terms of dollars gained during a more efficient process. People are not a manufacturing plant where stats are kept on how much content or value is derived from a single action from a single person. However, what you can measure is the cost of mistakes. People are human and while some mistakes can be contributed to inexperience or a lapse in judgment, it’s more often related to a lack of communication. In some cases, communication can even overcome inexperience and bad judgment.

Think back through the last time your organization lost money on a deal, a new partnership, or a new product. How would effective communication have changed the situation?

Communication Issues Plague Organizations

Scenario 1: A client has a proposal sent out with unclear terms of engagement with a vendor. This client is now ‘on the hook’ for far more work than they should’ve been. Not to mention the initial projected time-frames for the work are now completely irrelevant. Had this proposal been put through a formal review process where the entire team knew about it (rather than it ‘hiding’ in email and file shares), the ambiguity could’ve been caught. Not simply because of a formal approval process being in place, but because of the visibility of the document to someone who may not be directly involved.

The cost: Extra time negotiating what can be accomplished in the contract, lower profit margin on the work, if there is a profit at all, and potential loss of client due to the possibility of expectations not being met.

Scenario 2: A survey was sent out to all users and the number one complaint was a lack of company-wide communication. Employees did not feel properly informed. This same client doesn’t have the budget for SharePoint this year. So they continue to use a home grown intranet application where a developer must provide announcement updates. This slows the time to share those updates and will likely prevent many from being shared in the first place.

The cost: Unlimited and depends on the organization

What is the cost of the lack of rapid communication across the organization?

  • What is the turnover cost of an employee who doesn’t feel engaged or informed and leaves the organization?
  • What is the cost of waiting on an email response only to find out after the person you’ve been waiting on for 3 days is the wrong person?
  • What is the cost of not properly communicating new safety procedures to field engineers on remote sites? Have you dealt with law suits this year?
  • What about health care benefits to those sitting at headquarters? How much time does HR spend explaining things that could be available in a forum or Q&A section?
  • What about new compliance policies to content managers? Have you been through a painful audit recently?

The visibility provided by the social communication channels provided in SharePoint (and also in Yammer) can transform the way an organization works. The speed at which information is communicated is directly tied to an organizations ability to adjust to rapid changes in the market, to the amount of income that can be generated with the same number of people, and most importantly tied to defining an efficient and effective corporate culture that spans many remote locations.

The next time you are faced with the ‘no budget for SharePoint’ problem, it may be time to start discussing the cost of poor communication. From there you should be able to start defining what your return on investment looks like.

Matt Scherocman

Do Not Go To The Cloud, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

My last article talked about the benefits of heading to the cloud.  The cloud is not for everyone.  Prospects frequently ask us why they should avoid the cloud – or delay their cloud purchase.  Here are some thoughts on when Office 365 migrations may not be a fit.

·         Control – you wouldn’t have control of the environment- it would be configurable, but not customizable.

·         Integration with other systems in the environment – may need to add hybrid ability.

 ·         99.9% uptime is not 100%; some clients can achieve better performance in their own environment.  Or at least want to be responsible themselves for trying. 

 ·         Loss of visibility – unsure of when issues will be resolved, limited ability to escalate outside of Microsoft’s predefined structure.

 ·         Office upgrade- Microsoft will require the current version or one previous one for access to the platform which will require a regular investment in licensing.             

 ·         Loss of functionality –  for example – mail enabled folders in SharePoint; Public Folders in Exchange are both not supported.  Business intelligence features of SharePoint are more robust for the on premise version. 

 ·         Dealing with Level I support in a foreign country – it is horrible. 

 

 

Matt Scherocman

What are long- and short-term cost benefits of the cloud?

It varies for each client that we work with.  Some are bursting at the seams in their data center, some need the speed of adding new users, and with others it is just a cost savings play.  Here are some overview ideas on the areas that we are seeing customer savings. 

·         The elimination of a workload within their environment - Physical server support for Exchange

·         Hardware costs associated with the Exchange Server – Virtual machine processor and memory / SAN storage usage / Tape or Disk Backup / DR Setup / Maintenance Contracts

·         Software costs associated with Exchange Server – Exchange Server licenses / Windows Server Licenses / Backup Agents / Blackberry Server

·         Trade costs of migrating to an online platform versus upgrading to a new version

·         Services Costs – Email archiving, Email filtering, Antivirus Enterprise Plans, Tape offsite storage

·         Facilities Cost – Power / Cooling / Space

·         Reduction in future version upgrade costs / faster speed to deployment

·         Tiered workforce takes advantage of K plan economics

·        Economics of scale in setup – Example: Lync for mobile clients takes time to setup and software to ensure that it is deployed securely.  Lync in the cloud is as simple as downloading from the app store and entering a user’s email and password.

Matt Scherocman

What Is the Most Noticeable Impact to Our Users?

The most noticeable impact occurs when sending a large file from one user to another in the same office, while they are waiting for it.  This large file needs to traverse out to the Office 365 servers and back.  Now, realistically in most cases we are talking seconds here for this process.  Sometimes you can’t wait – when you need instant speed to collaborate on a document, we typically recommending using Lync and sharing screens for access in real-time.

Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.

Blog Categories

Interlink Cloud
Interlink Cloud
5 post(s)
Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks
1 post(s)
Outlook
Outlook
2 post(s)
Reporting
Reporting
1 post(s)
Cloud Storage
Cloud Storage
1 post(s)
Webinars
Webinars
9 post(s)
OneDrive
OneDrive
5 post(s)
Yammer
Yammer
3 post(s)
Azure
Azure
11 post(s)
SharePoint
SharePoint
9 post(s)
Microsoft
Microsoft
5 post(s)
Lync
Lync
8 post(s)
Office 365
Office 365
47 post(s)

Blog Archive