Interlink Cloud Blog

Interlink Cloud Blog

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.
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.

Continue reading
  5738 Hits
  0 Comments
Stephanie Donahue

Office 365 E1 vs E3 - The SharePoint Online Discussion

Sharepoint Online

So many versions of SharePoint!  If you have seen the licensing chart lately, it’s starting to become a game of Where’s Waldo when it comes to figuring out what features are available in which version of SharePoint.  Are you On-Premises?  Online?  K1, E1, E3, E4?  Bingo anyone?!  The most common question when reviewing Office 365 licensing is whether or not to make the jump from E1 to E3.  But with all 300 of the features detailed in a complicated spreadsheet, how can you make sense of all the noise?  How do you know what your organization needs?  

SharePoint Online (SPO) Licensing Basics for O365 Enterprise Plans

Microsoft labels its Office 365 Enterprise level licensing as E1, E3, and E4.  The different levels designate the Office, Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint features that are available to your organization; where E1 is more basic and E4 is fully featured.  For many companies, the decision between E1, E3 and E4 comes easy based on needs around Exchange and Lync.  However, with growing flexibility around assigning licenses that can be ”mixed and matched” to individuals within an organization, there has been additional conversations popping up about who needs what.

In SharePoint terms, E3 and E4 are pretty much the same.  This leaves us to describe the differences between E1 and E3. For those already familiar with SharePoint, the differences can be summed up by comparing E1 to SharePoint Standard and E3 to SharePoint Enterprise on-premises.  However, while one could say the comparisons are similar, the functionality for SharePoint on-premises is not identical to SharePoint Online and so you cannot make the assumption that all functionality can be matched one for one.

When it comes it understanding why you would need to upgrade from E1 to E3, it’s easiest to look at the key features.  

Continue reading
  64766 Hits
  0 Comments
Matt Scherocman

The Future of Microsoft SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint started out as a collaboration tool designed to help with team sites, and it has come a long way. The evolution of SharePoint includes management layers along with customizable features, and is now focusing on taking things to the cloud for the next generation of business productivity tools. As technology continues to evolve, so do the needs of the modern business. Microsoft is using tools like SharePoint to continue to provide solutions for its enterprise clients.

SharePoint in the Cloud

The cloud is the next level of business productivity. The core areas of SharePoint, experiences, management, and extensibility are evolving in Office 365; as well as other Microsoft Office products, are taken to a new level in the cloud. Many organizations still run much, if not all, of their SharePoint on-premises. Microsoft is making significant investments in a Hybrid SharePoint solution. That’s why with this latest release of SharePoint, security has been at the forefront so that organizations can take advantage of cloud innovation on their terms.

Office Sharepoint

Continue reading
  6203 Hits
  0 Comments
Matt Scherocman

What Are the Improvements to SharePoint Online?


Microsoft recently made improvements to the functionality of SharePoint cloud based version:

 

    • Improved file upload experience: increased file upload limit from 250MB to 2 GB and expanded support for a broader range of file types, specifically .exe and .dll.  These file types can be controlled from SharePoint central administration via the Blocked File Types pages.

 

    • Increased Site collection and list lookup limits: increased site collection limit from 3,000 to 10,000 and list lookup threshold from 8 to 12 lookups. (for Office 365 Enterprise plans only

 

    • Improved self-restoration: increasing recycle bin retention duration and turning versioning on by default for new SkyDrive Pro libraries.
        • Customers will now have 90 days to recover deleted documents, lists, list items, sites, etc. from the recycle bin (was emptied automatically every 30 days).


Related articles

Office 365 technology - SharePoint Online improves limits and makes it easier to restore documents

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.


Continue reading
  6228 Hits
  0 Comments
Matt Scherocman

What Features of SharePoint Are Available Under My 365 Plan?

We use several different resources for our clients.  Here is the link to the official service description from Microsoft:  TechNet


It can be cumbersome to read, so a SharePoint MVP developed excel version that are significantly easier to sort and work with.  http://www.andrewconnell.com/blog/SP2013-and-Office-365-Feature-MatrixAn-Easier-Way-to-View-It
Direct link to management version:
Direct link to the full version:

 

To compare SharePoint On-Premises vs. SharePoint Online click here: http://products.office.com/en-us/SharePoint/compare-sharepoint-plans


This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.
 

Continue reading
  6716 Hits
  0 Comments

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.