Posted by Indusa Admin on August 19, 2015 4:48 am
Most people have heard of SharePoint. In fact, in 2013, Midsize Enterprise Summit’s survey of 100 CIOs rated SharePoint as the top collaboration tool. But not everyone knows the full potential of what SharePoint can do for them and their organization. From creating an intranet or extranet site, to using it as a content management system – there are countless possibilities available in SharePoint, depending on your business needs. Designing, developing, and implementing SharePoint, however, is no small task. It can be a complicated and time-consuming process, putting strain on your internal IT structure and staff.
That’s where SharePoint consultants come in.
A SharePoint consultant can fall under many categories – they can specialize in design or development, work as part of a SharePoint development company, or work independently. But most of all, SharePoint consultants know the ins and outs of this diverse platform. There are many nuances to SharePoint that can be tricky to navigate, and hiring a SharePoint consultant can be seen as a strategic business decision to ensure your company is getting the most out of an implementation.
Despite the numerous possibilities for SharePoint, not every solution will be right for your organization. It is important to have some basic ideas or goals in mind when consulting with a SharePoint development company in order to make sure you’re on the right track. When meeting with a SharePoint consultant, be prepared to interview and assess capabilities as they align with your organization. Several discussions to have with any SharePoint development company include:
Skills: Be prepared to ask what sort of training, credentials, or experience your potential SharePoint consultant has and how they can help achieve your overall SharePoint business goals. Inquire about their team – how many consultants do they have on staff and what are their specialties? There are several different skillsets to look for when hiring a SharePoint consultant, but the most important three are the architect, the designer, and the developer.
- Architect – This position is the glue that holds everything together. They will have a mastery of the technical side of SharePoint, as well as a solid understanding of its many functionalities. The SharePoint architect acts as a leader throughout the entire process and is responsible for the overall structure of the SharePoint solution.
- Designer – Just as the name suggests, this role is dedicated to the appearance and user experience aspects of the project. While many consider it superfluous for a SharePoint site to look pretty, the designer can play a pivotal role in user engagement and how easily the site is adopted after implementation.
- Developer – This role handles the technical specifications and the nitty-gritty coding of the project. Due to the numerous intricacies of SharePoint, the developer is one of the most critical aspects of a SharePoint development company. This person should be well-versed in SharePoint code and have the intuitive nature needed to develop it according to the project requirements.
Experience: Any good SharePoint development company should be able to provide customer testimonials, examples of their previous work, and demo presentations. A great SharePoint development company however, should be able to provide industry-specific examples of their work. They should also be able to expand and build on your initial goals, provide a solid roadmap of the development and implementation process, and be able to give a detailed cost assessment.
Compatibility: When meeting with a SharePoint consultant, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions – and neither should they. Regardless of how many similar organizations they’ve worked with, the SharePoint consultant is still relying on you to drive the “big picture” of your business needs. They should ask about any third party tools or software you’re already using or looking to integrate with SharePoint, and be able to deliver relevant approaches without trying to oversell their products and services.
The possibilities are practically endless when it comes to SharePoint, but if you don’t know how to properly leverage the system, it makes sound business sense to seek external support. The fact that there is an entire industry dedicated to designing, developing, and implementing SharePoint projects should be enough to tell you that this is no easy task. If your internal IT department already has its own projects they’re undertaking, it can be incredibly time consuming and stressful to try and implement SharePoint using only in-house resources – which makes hiring a SharePoint consultant a convenient solution.
About the Author – Sarah Van Wambeke
Sarah is an avid writer and digital media enthusiast. Here at Indusa, she primarily focuses on content creation and social media management.