In this article I will be talking about ideas which one can implement in their intranet portals. As I mentioned in my previous articles on intranet portal requirements and where should I begin the various reasons for implementing intranet can include:
o Business Process Automation
o Multilingual Sites/Content
o Enterprise Content Management/document management
o Business Intelligence
o Web 2.0 features like RSS, WIKI, blogs for individuals
o Personalization and content targeting
o Integrated Instant Messaging
o Integration with other systems
We will discuss each of these points in some details.
· Collaboration can happen among a department, project teams or group of people in the organization for various purposes, since the spread of networks like internet virtual collaboration is a reality, which can be achieved through Sharepoint’s collaboration platform.
· Collaboration can be achieved using various out of the box site templates and tools ie. Team sites, blogs, wikis, meeting workspaces, document workspaces etc or custom site templates can be created based on customer need.
· Collaboration sites can give features like Issues management, contacts management, task management, document management, event calendar, meetings, project tasks, surveys, discussions, alerts, document workflows, shared workspaces etc for teams.
Example of collaboration in Microsoft SharePoint Portal Solution:
(Collaboration: HR Team Site)
- Business Process Automation:
· Business Process Automation can be based on workflow solutions provided in SharePoint with custom development and/or InfoPath forms and Forms server.
- Multilingual Sites/Content:
· SharePoint is capable of creating multilingual sites and user can create content in their own language.
· The localization feature of SharePoint is useful in determining which user is from which location and based on that the site built for his language can be shown.
- Content Management/document management:
· Sharepoint has capability of web based content management using Publishing site templates which comes with MOSS 2007. Publishing site template is enhanced version of MS Content Management Server, which now got merged with MOSS 2007.
· Document management is also enhanced in MOSS 2007 using Sharepoint document library and records management site. Also, the features like Information Management Policy are useful in setting up document/content management policies. Workflows also help in managing the document/content lifecycle.
- Business Intelligence:
· One of the real benefits of implementing systems like SharePoint is it’s capability to provide Business Intelligence using various features inbuilt for BI.
· There are features like Excel services which can process data in Excel sheet and can generate instant graphs based on the business logic
· Provision of creating KPIs
· Accessing and reporting on data from external sources using Business Data Catalogs.
(BI: Quarterly revenue dashboard)
- Web 2.0:
- Personalization and content targeting:
· SharePoint since the version 1 supports Personalization.
· In the latest version the personalisation is supported through Mysite which can get created for individual users, where he can manage his own documents/lists, he can see who are his colleague, social networking etc. there is provision of public and private view of mysite.
· Content Targeting, this feature of sharepoint is one of the best for targeting perticular content to individual or group of people based on various criteria, so that only targeted people can see the information intended for them.
- Integrated instant messaging:
· SharePoint can be integrated with Microsoft’s IM product MS Live Communication Server.
· It can allow individuals to chat instantly, see who is online, share document instantly, organize meetings etc using their chat client like Windows Messenger or MS communicator.
· Users can see status of other users in the SharePoint site too.
· Sharepoint enterprise search can search various data sources like file shares, Exchange public folders, lotus notes, websites, databases, Sharepoint repositories etc.
· Sharepoint have 2 searches primarily content search and people/directory search using Active directory.
· Advance Search is based on Mata data provided in the site.
· SharePoint can generate and serve reporting solutions using sharepoint Report center sites and MS SQL Server reporting services.
· Extensive site stats/usage reports
· SharePoint is capable of integrating various systems including MS office 2007/2003(limited) integration, SAP integration, Lotus notes integration and many more.
· Ie. Users can see events calendar of Sharepoint in outlook, or they can create event in sharepoint which can be exported in outlook.
· Users can save documents from their word or excel or powerpoint to sharepoint
(Sharepoint integration with MS Office applications)
These are some of the ideas of how an organisation can leverage sharepoint in their intranet implementation, if you require any more details in terms of sharepoint as an intranet portal solution then feel free to contact me.