The exact number of companies that use Sharepoint is hard to come by. However, the fact that Office 365 for Business, the environment in which Sharepoint is increasingly deployed, now was 180 Million users, indicates that it is probably the largest player in the online collaboration space.
However, Sharepoint is not perfect for everyone, and an ever increasing number of organizations is looking for “Sharepoint alternatives“. This article seeks to broadly lists out the good and the bad for Sharepoint, helping you decide whether it is the right fit for you.
Sharepoint is entangled in a complex web of Microsoft products. In recent years, Sharepoint has been pushing hard to get its users to adopt Sharepoint Online, some studies indicating that as many as 72% of Sharepoint seats are online. However, Sharepoint Online is part of the umbrella of products called Office 365 for business, which includes a plethora of other products like One Drive, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Exchange Online, Flow, Powerapps, Outlook – an endless list.
Navigating this confusion, where it is not clear where Sharepoint starts, and where other tools begin, which plans are appropriate – is not for the faint of heart. It sometimes feels akin to trying to purchase a financial instrument. I encourage you to look at the Office 365 website to get a taste for this.
Sharepoint can be too much. Sharepoint has tremendous depth, which allows it to be used for Content Management, Enterprise search, Intranets, Business Intelligence, or Social Networking. Implementing it can mean hiring or engaging “Sharepoint experts”. The fact that Microsoft issues “Sharepoint certifications” makes it clear that it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
A lot of companies considering Sharepoint are simply looking at a plug and play solution that would allow them to share documents amongst teams, partners and clients. Or a simple intranet solution that would allow them to display information like documents, articles, announcements and calendars for internal and external teams. Sharepoint can be overkill for these requirements.
Sharepoint has tremendous depth. For organizations which are looking for expansive capabilities across solution areas – a solution that can double up as a content management system, allows for search across their information assets, allows them to set up custom workflows, allows them to extract business intelligence from their information – and are not constrained by budgets – would be well served by Sharepoint. It is for this reason that large organizations with complex requirements often go with Sharepoint.
Sharepoint is highly customizable. Companies which require is reasonable degree of customization – like the ability to set up custom intranet pages – are served well by cloud based “Sharepoint alternatives”. However, companies that have intricate workflows will hit a roadblock. Sharepoint has multiple layers of capabilities that meet almost any requirement. Moreover, Sharepoint can also double up as a development environment that allows for custom scripting.
Sharepoint is ideal for Microsoft shops. As mentioned before, Sharepoint plays really well with other Microsoft products. It has deep integrations with Microsoft’s Office Suite, Active directory, Microsoft Teams, Dynamics, Flow etc. Companies which are deeply invested in Microsoft and are looking for touch points across their tools are well served by Sharepoint.
Ultimately, it is you who most understands your requirements and business goals. Hopefully, this article helps inform your choice – Sharepoint or other cloud alternatives. As a Sharepoint alternative ourselves, we would be super happy for you to take a look at our solutions and see if they are a good fit.