Office 15 and SharePoint 2013 are out - but will they address what the business users really want?
With yesterday's consumer-oriented release of the Office 15 and SharePoint 2013 previews, I wanted to share my findings on what users in the enterprise will expect from these products. Supporting Mahan Khalsa's assertion that "solutions have no inherent value," I'll focus on the worth that people will place on Office 15 and SharePoint 15 based on how well these products address their needs.
Most existing references to content experience describe how to improve an anonymous interaction with a public website. I'm talking about the much more complex interactions around enterprise content within an organization.
You can find plenty of diagrams of content lifecycles, but most of them focus on a piece of content moving through the system, much like good old Bill passing through the House and Senate on Capitol Hill. What I'll discuss here is a more nonlinear approach to content experience, with a user perspective rather than an object perspective.
I'm also not addressing "social" as an entity, or "collaboration." I don't place these concepts on their own, in a vacuum, but include them as they form part of the overall content experience.
I'm focusing on content - the work product we produce. It might be documents, reports, data, comments, annotations, reviews, notes, sketches, diagrams, photos, graphics, audio, video - in short, the artifacts of our work that are being produced at a greater rate today than at any time previously.
WHAT DO USERS WANT?
After ten years working with SharePoint, six of them consulting, I've found that what people want from ANY content management system looks like this:
...which can be expanded to include any number of sub-activities:
...and which supports and relates to the higher-level strategic goals of the user and the organization:
In the coming weeks I'll present a series of articles on how well Office 15 and SharePoint 2013 meet the needs outlined in Figure 1, above. I'm looking forward to seeing how these products address the requests that I hear from my clients every day, and to identifying the gaps for which we'll need to find proactive solutions.