Skandia Team GBR

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Why Facebook and not SharePoint 2010 could become your Intranet for 2010?


Don’t panic, I don’t believe this!

I came across this article on Twitter:

I have to admit, I don’t particularly agree with the premise for the article. Ignoring the fact that a lot of companies don’t trust their employees to access FaceBook in work (so they turn to accessing anyway over their mobile devices!), what I don’t like is that it makes the assumption that SharePoint isn’t a good platform for an Intranet which of course it is.. it’s awesome and with the launch of SharePoint 2010 in May, the Intranet features, including a heap of social features which I feel are key in bringing context into our everyday activities, are immensely strong.

The article states that FaceBook (obviously) doesn’t support integration into your back-end systems and probably isn’t the right location for confidential documents… Right so you’re telling me that I should have an external FaceBook Intranet for news, information and connections (internal and external) and then separate systems for all the other stuff I do each and every day??

I don’t think so guys… maybe in the “old days” with SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007 that may be a credible approach as the social/connections focussed elements were weak, but SharePoint 2010 is a totally different beast.

What I do agree with in the post is that for Intranets:

  • Adoption is key
  • Building engagement with business partners is a key differentiator in business (Extranet AND other social tools)
  • Utilise platforms rather than custom build

With FaceBook not being a good platform from a security perspective, then why not consider SharePoint Online, that platform certainly meets the needs of this requirement that they state at the end of the article:

Save money, thrive adoption. Not every successful solution has to start inside your firewall or should be custom build. Use the tools your colleagues already know, use the tools that they already selected as the tools they prefer to use.

Finally, an interestingly, what they also say is:

“…If that holds you back to go full fledge into Facebook, just use your Facebook group as a portal to get your colleagues to the news on the Intranet (which could be based on SharePoint 2010)…”

Now that is a more sensible idea…

  • Build a social presence as a portal…
  • Use the social features of a decent platform such as FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Ning etc to engage with new customers
  • Use this as a launch pad for employees to an Internal Intranet (SharePoint 2010)
  • Use this as a launch pad for partner/clients to an extranet (SharePoint 2010)

Sorted! This approach give you a great transparent presence, and as much relevant content and business processes that the platform can deliver, and hands you off neatly to internal systems such as SharePoint 2010 for the really rich, contextual intranet (or extranet) functionality you need…

Make sense?

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