If your business is considering deploying SharePoint, you are not alone. The use of SharePoint across all businesses is increasing all the time. The recent increase in remote working means companies have needed to make it easier for staff to collaborate from different locations and maintain high levels of productivity and consistency.
In some cases, companies turn to their regular IT provider to manage SharePoint, however this is rarely the right choice. The complex nature of SharePoint means that it requires a great deal of specialist knowledge to deliver in a way that allows an organisation to access all its benefits. Without the right experience, your regular IT provider may be able to manage a simple deployment, but it will not necessarily allow you to really take advantage of SharePoint or have full confidence in its stability.
As SharePoint specialists for more than a decade, igroup has regularly been called upon to resolve issues with the platform caused by unqualified or inexperienced IT companies delivering a poorly planned solution that fails to meet the needs of a business.
In the following article, we outline some of the things your business should consider when looking for a partner.
We do “IT” so we can do SharePoint!
The first and probably the most important thing to consider when deciding if your normal IT supplier is the right partner for you is what experience they have in deploying SharePoint.
Many companies will say they can implement SharePoint because they already supply other IT solutions, but the reality is that to implement it effectively a partner needs to have experience of deploying it. Experience of different organisation sizes and sectors will enable them to apply valuable previously learnt knowledge to your solution.
If your current IT supplier cannot show the right levels of experience in SharePoint it may be worth looking at alternatives.
Have they got the right accreditations?
To become a Microsoft Gold Partner is a significant financial investment for any IT provider. There are separate requirements for different Microsoft products such as Microsoft 365, Dynamics, SharePoint and Azure. Just because a supplier is a Gold Partner for Microsoft 365 does not mean that they are qualified to deliver SharePoint too.
Certifications and accreditations show expertise and experience in a range of solutions from Microsoft. They give confidence to customers that a supplier has the right level of skills and keeps up to date with all the latest developments when it comes to applications like SharePoint.
Credibility and experience
There are lots of companies offering SharePoint development and support but before selecting one your business should talk to their existing customers.
Look for case studies on their website that cover similar scenarios to your own. A SharePoint specialist who has previous history in delivering projects for organisations of your size or in your sector will be able to provide evidence to give you confidence in their abilities.
SharePoint needs to be customised
SharePoint is a powerful collaboration tool which can make your business more profitable but out of the box it will need customisation. How your environment is customised will depend on a number of factors including what you do, the demands of staff and the overall business objectives.
Without specific experience in SharePoint, a provider may not have a deep understanding of the implications of using different apps to provide extended functionality, or the hosting requirements for an organisation of your size. Extensive planning is a key part of a successful deployment.
Planning for today and tomorrow
As we have already discussed implementing SharePoint isn’t just about loading up the software and it is ready to go. Any deployment needs to be thoroughly planned and specified taking into consideration your business objectives and goals today as well as tomorrow.
Without a thorough understanding of how SharePoint can benefit your business as well as its potential your normal IT supplier is unlikely to be the right choice. By working with specialists, they bring with them experience from previous deployments that can help reduce the time it takes to launch your solution and quickly see benefits.
Review the market
Like buying a car you would not just get it from the same dealership every time, you look at the options available and what each dealer can offer.
This is the same when you are looking at deploying SharePoint. You may think that going to the same IT supplier you have dealt with for years is best but when you review the alternatives others have more knowledge and experience which is right for your business.
A new IT partner not only brings in fresh knowledge and experience but will take the time to understand how your business works and how it might change and develop over time. This can then be used to build a better SharePoint deployment which ensure quick adoption and ROI.
At igroup we have seen the problems that a poorly implemented SharePoint solution will create. If it is not deployed correctly it can result in additional costs to fix or reduces rather than improves productivity. By reviewing your existing IT supplier against our checklist you will be able to decide if they are the right SharePoint partner for your business.