SoftWatch provides in depth analysis of the actual adoption of a SharePoint implementation, enabling enterprises to rightsize their SharePoint investment or consider low cost cloud based alternatives.

Since it was launched in 2001, SharePoint has become a major platform for intranet portals in enterprises. Its robustness and natural integration with MS Office applications appealed to CIOs and decision makers who saw SharePoint as an opportunity to increase internal communication and sharing of information, drive content management disciplines into their business, improve collaboration within the enterprise and increase overall productivity.

However, the great promise was not fulfilled. It is now clear that the adoption of SharePoint by corporate users is much lower than initially expected.¬† SharePoint implementations tend to be rather complicated and according to a study conducted by AIIM, 26% of SharePoint projects were stalled, and the rest were hardly a success – only 11% of the surveyed 400 enterprises reported that their project has been a clearly recognized success by senior management. The common perception is that SharePoint adoption continues to be a major issue and the platform does not justify the high costs. Some even describe the implementation as a “white elephant”.

The global trend of adoption of cloud infrastructure and applications, along with the growing importance of mobile computing that requires constant accessibility to corporate files and applications, is now translated to new options of sharing corporate information and working in collaboration. Cloud based solutions that can offer an alternative to SharePoint functionality, even a partial one, become more and more popular in the market place, and while these solutions can’t support the full functionality of SharePoint, they are superior to SharePoint in their accessibility, mobile support and collaboration. Microsoft itself acknowledged that, and is now offering a hybrid solution of SharePoint in which the web based “SharePoint Online” is added to the on premise application to improve accessibility and collaboration.

The above changes in IT environment, and the disappointment from SharePoint, presents a new challenge to IT leaders: they now have to consider if they cling to SharePoint, trying to improve adoption and optimize the investment moving forward, or should consider alternative cloud based solutions that will better serve their needs. In some cases this means replacing SharePoint, in others it may mean considering a hybrid solution where a downsized SharePoint implementation and complementary cloud based solution create the optimal solution for their business.

In order to effectively deal with this challenge, and in light of the fact that adoption issues are a major KPI in measuring success of such implementations, decision makers must have insight to the actual usage of SharePoint. By analyzing usage patterns and user behavior they will be much more informed when making decisions on their future solution, on implementation and adoption processes and on how they should manage and monitor the adoption over time.

SoftWatch’s SharePoint’s usage analysis provides enterprises with accurate information about the actual use of SharePoint corporate sites and the use of different organizational entities by company users. The analysis is composed of a set of reports and metrics which are significant to the process of optimizing SharePoint implementations as well as planning and building an alternative intranet solution, including:

  • A complete list of active and non-active SharePoint users for the whole enterprise, and for each organizational entity, department and site
  • Segmentation of active users to light and heavy users for each organizational entity, department and site
  • A list of most active and least active departments according to time spent in SharePoint by their users
  • A complete list of “dead” sites
  • Ongoing measurement of a set of pre-defined KPIs that can monitor the adoption of SharePoint

By obtaining the above information, decision makers and program managers become much more informed when considering what should be their optimal plan moving forward. They  better understand the ROI and operational challenges in each of the different alternatives they consider. Should they decide to stay with SharePoint, they will be able to rightsize the implementation, put in place a plan to increase adoption and monitor its progress, as well as change their licensing scheme and negotiate a better licensing agreement with Microsoft. Should they decide to move to an alternative solution, they can start fresh with designing a program that reflects the actual needs of users and departments, and will have a powerful tool to monitor and manage the adoption of the new solution overtime and optimize their investment.