by Cary J. Calderone, Esq.
My mission for this conference (link) was to find experts with hands-on experience implementing RIM and governance (i.e., records and file management, legal hold and DRED) via SharePoint 2010. Could it really work? Or, would this be Mission Impossible? Cue the music. Records Center and legal hold management were highly touted feature upgrades to SP 2010 but my research found very little documentation for admins to learn how to effectively implement these features. Further research found that those who did RIM in SP used third party applications to accomplish it. Fortunately, I found a couple of great experts: Amanda Perran and Scott Jamison.
Amanda spoke about key consideration involved in planning and running SharePoint Records Center, and Scott stressed the need for policies, rules, training and consequences, to achieve successful governance in your SP. Scott explained that SP success involved only 20% technology. Much more of the successful deployment depended on setting up rules for governance and training the users.
DREDLaw readers know, I attend many conferences. There are times it feels that finding a speaker with depth of expertise AND the ability to communicate it in an effective and entertaining manner, is far too rare. These two speakers knew the subject, had real-world best practices to share, and were very entertaining to boot. There is more good news for those of you who missed their sessions-they both have authored books on the subject.
Given those highlights, most of the day I found myself questioning Microsoft's ultimate path for SharePoint? In the past, it was something smaller businesses might use to foster collaboration and efficiency in data storage. Or, a larger company might use it for an intranet or extranet. However, SP has evolved and grown bigger and more powerful. This means SP has more options and therefore, it is now far more complex. Is Microsoft chasing after newer and bigger enterprise customers at the risk of losing a great deal of it's smaller company base? What size company, can take the "free" SharePoint and properly deploy it, without a specialized staff including administrators, developers, and IT personnel? In this economy, when lean for most companies means LEAN, the new features and expanded role of SP may give potential adopters reason to reconsider.
My mission for tomorrow will be to determine whether managed Cloud services, with or without SharePoint, might be a more attractive alternative.