11:28 AM

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Workflow User's Guide

Office 2010 can act as the front-end to a full-featured enterprise content management solution using the metadata and workflow capabilities of SharePoint 2010.

Microsoft Office 2010 In Pictures
(click image to view gallery)
Microsoft Office 2010 In Pictures
Learn to love lock-in. If you stay up nights wondering whether you can figure out a way to avoid the licensing fees associated with the upgrade to Office 2010 by switching to StarOffice or Google Docs, you may indeed hesitate to embed your fundamental workflows and business logic into the Microsoft platform. That's because once your core business processes are embedded into a SharePoint workflow, it'll take more than just a document converter to switch software suppliers. On the other hand, with Microsoft you can be fairly certain that there'll be an upgrade path, an active developer community and support resources for a long time to come. While you may be able to build an equivalent solution using non-Microsoft technologies, your ability to maintain it over the long-haul is a question worth asking.

Build a business case. The purchase decision is predominately a function of the maturity of the business processes within your organization. If you have already have a well-defined, automated and leak-proof system for managing documents within your organization, the business benefit from ECM may only be incremental. However, SMBs tend to fall on the opposite end of the spectrum, with proposals and contracts bouncing around several times before someone wrangles them into shape, with customer service suffering due to delays in finding the right documents, and with incorrect information sometimes leading to costly mistakes.

As with other automation projects, a business case for ECM can be built on the pillars of higher throughput, faster service delivery, lower training and on-boarding costs, lower project management expense, and greater productivity for higher-value employees. In addition, with carefully defined and vetted business processes, you can provide risk and compliance managers with greater assurance of data accuracy and approvals, which in a litigious society can drive budget approval for an ECM solution.

Investments in automation and productivity never go out of style, and the capabilities of SharePoint 2010 put powerful capabilities within reach of virtually any SMB. It may not be for everyone, but it's definitely worth a look.


-- Microsoft Office 2010 Collaboration User's Guide

-- Sharepoint Deployments Arise In An Ad-Hoc Manner

-- 12+ New Microsoft Office 2010 Features

-- 7 Biggest Microsoft Flops Ever

-- Review: Microsoft Office Web Apps

5 of 5
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of July 17, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.