I had the pleasure of attending the SharePoint 2012 Conference (SPC12) last week in Vegas. My boss had attended the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and was very excited about the new version of SharePoint and request I attend SPC12.
I have been using SharePoint since 2003. I have always loved the idea of SharePoint but wished the execution was better. Here is how ProModel is using SharePoint 2007 right now:
- Each business unit at ProModel has a SharePoint team site. The marketing team uses it the most to host case studies, PowerPoint presentations, etc. The ability for salesmen to subscribe to a document and receive an email when it has been updated is a great feature of SharePoint.
- The Development SharePoint team site contains child team sites for each product at ProModel. Each team site has
- Document repository for software specifications, assets, etc.
- Links list for good websites relevant to the product.
- Calendar which is rarely used.
- Announcements which is rarely used.
- The development home site has a Developer Time Off request calendar which leverages the workflow feature of SharePoint. When a developer adds a new request, it emails the product managers who can approve or reject the request. This is pretty effective.
So, you might ask, what don’t you like about the execution, sounds like you use it a lot? Last year ProModel had a company meeting in Orlando. The technology group met and one of the agenda items was SharePoint. I expressed my frustration that I was the only one using it. I wanted to openly discuss the good and bad.
Here is my recollection:
- Search just does not work.
- Too many clicks.
- Does not handle large files very well.
- Too many sign-ins. This ended up being a ProModel deployment issue we have since fixed.
After 5+ years championing the “idea” of SharePoint, I put the SP flag down. And now, 1 year later, my boss is requesting I take a fresh look at the new SharePoint 2013 version coming out. Here is where I stand after attending the conference:
- Search was definitely a point of emphasis at SPC13. One key demo that stands out is how the search indexes the words within Office documents such as PowerPoint, etc. Not only will search take you to the PowerPoint but will also take you directly to the correct slide.
- SP13 is definitely faster. The speed reminds me of the new outlook.com which I love.
- Not sure about the “too clicky click” yet, but, speed improvements should minimize the feeling.
- Similar to search, large file was an emphasis. Looked fast but will have to try it myself.
I love the new clean look of SP13. Combined with the improvements in search and speed, it feels more usable. I will reserve final judgment when ProModel stands up SP13 and the developers prefer using SharePoint over “Dan, can you just email me the document?”