I couldn't help but post this article I saw the other day. In class we discussed how the automobile industry is getting connected, but this - I fear - takes things too far. For those people that don't wish to wait to purchase a new vehicle with cruise control, use an app?! I would like to dub this app "crazy app," how about you? Would YOU use this app???
Yesterday's class discussion around SharePoint and its capabilities was great to learn about all the potential benefits of the software. However, I did want to share my real-world experience as a reminder to always ground higher-level conversations with the challenges of actual successful implementation.
I have several years of experience with SharePoint 2007 and 2010 while working at the nonprofit Citizen Schools. SharePoint is an enterprise-grade product, and through their partnership with Microsoft, Citizen Schools was able to get SharePoint for free. Looking at the glossy marketing material for the product, it looked like a great solution for our organization's intranet needs. Soon after launching SharePoint, however, we realized how severely we underestimated the need to invest in proper configuration of the software itself. After a few years of use, SharePoint was a disorganized mess of documents and pages with half-working features, and some features not working at all. (The intranet was referred to as "WOWspace", the WOW being a reference to an element of our youth program. The graphic posted with this blog entry was made as a tongue-in-cheek joke about the state of the SharePoint intranet system.)
The takeaway I learned here was simple enough: successful implementation of a business collaboration platform must include the cost of the product, the cost of configuration, and the cost of ongoing support. This may feel like common sense, but what I think catches most people off-guard is the sheer scale of potential impact from poor setup and support: A half-baked launch of a new system is easily worse than no new system at all!