Sharepoint: Out-Of-The-Box or a Third Party Solution?

The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) defines document management as “the use of a computer system and software to store, manage, and track electronic documents and electronic images of paper-based information”. Sharepoint is a document management solution.

What is “out of the box”?

The term “out of the box” implies that the product does not require any further installation or add-ons, but can be installed “off the shelf”, and is therefore ready to use straight away without any modification or customisation.

Sharepoint can be used in this way, but only if the organisation’s information needs are simple. Most organizations which went down the path of using Sharepoint to develop their content management strategy faced certain problems. Some of them experienced the feeling of losing control over finding a document among multiple folders. Sometimes the documents are attached to a discussion thread ore are linked to from aforementioned folders. It’s hard to define which discussion has already been read etc. Thus, basic out of the box Sharepoint makes document and version control difficult.

Further problems can occur with compliance and governance issues, since workflows used in Sharepoint must accommodate them and be adapted as and when legal requirements change.

In addition, as an out of the box solution, the organisation must maintain the system, incorporate future releases, and redesign the system and/or workflows when new practices and processes are developed. This requires long-term commitment and organisational expertise, and can therefore prove to be expensive.

Using a third party solution

When an organisation thinks about what they want a document management system to do, the logical answer includes making the system easy for the end user. A secure and robust system which complies with legal requirements is essential, together with inclusion of a method of version control, searchability for easy retrieval, the facility to annotate documents, and archiving or deletion capabilities.

A third party solution may be the most appropriate option to accommodate all these needs. Initially, it may cost more than an out of the box solution, but it could save money in the long run. It would certainly save hard work and time in future, since the onus is on the provider to maintain and upgrade the system and workflows where necessary.

Hardpoint can provide the whole end-to-end service, from business analysis, through architecture and design, to deployment, integration, migration, and training. Such a service provider would also ensure that the system is robust and can monitor performance, incorporates appropriate security audit processes, and provides backup and restore procedures.

You can also check out Olindra – ECM solution developed by Hardpoint on SharePoint platform. This solution can be customized to meet requirements of any business taking onto account specific needs and peculiarities.
If you require any Sharepoint services or consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us.