You’ve been tasked with bringing some order to the chaos of your various organizations’ file shares, e-mail servers, and externally facing websites. After all the research and analysis you’ve done you’ve decided that MOSS 2007 is the optimal solution to solve the problem. The problem? Selling it to management. You can demo MOSS with all its fantastic features and Office integration, but your management needs some “bullet point” reasons why they should invest in MOSS.
In Essential SharePoint 2007* the authors lay out the “four C’s” of company portals that MOSS can satisfy. These can be used as a good starting point to sell them and bring MOSS into your organization.
Communication is a fantastic reason to bring MOSS into your organization’s processes. Many companies are plagued with disseminating important information both to internal and external individuals, and MOSS can aid in delivering timely, relevant, and accurate information to your target audience. Through the use of MOSS sites geared for news, announcement web parts, blogs, and audience targetingâ€”MOSS can greatly help your organization accomplish this much-needed functionality.
Collaboration is the strong point of MOSS and also the easiest to sell. Your organization struggles from discerning which document is the most recent, and people in your organization realize that e-mailing around a document is not an effective way to collaborate. Here is a great time to talk about the workflow capabilities in MOSS. Demonstrate an approval workflow which engages the management instantly by showing them how the whole process can be automated, contained in one area, and management can see what’s holding up the workflow. Add onto this team sites with robust document management capability with an extensible security model, and you’re well on your way to convincing them.
Consolidation is probably the reason you were tasked to find a better solution than file shares. There is no way anymore to know where to get what and if it’s even accurate. With enterprise search you can ensure that your users can always find the document (with a good metadata structure/information architecture). You can also sell the Business Data Catalog (BDC) which can crawl those old file shares and bring them into the same search interface. You’ll also see eyebrows rise when you show them the business intelligence capabilities in MOSS such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which will help your management make the best decision on the most up-to-date information.
Consistency is something that we all long for in our IT applications. Right now your public facing website, other marketing materials, and even standard company documentation can’t look the same for any length of time. With the use of master pages you can be sure that the interface changes you make will be reflected across your entire MOSS installation. Having problems keeping that PowerPoint template up to date? Creating a content type will ensure that your users will always have the latest version of the companies template.
These are four great selling points of MOSS to bring your management on board. When partnered with some simple demonstrations that will create a strong case for MOSS.
*Jamison, S., Cardarelli, M., & Hanley, S. (2007). Essential Sharepoint 2007. Reading: Addison-Wesley Professional.