Custom Software Apps & SharePoint Consulting

SharePoint Consulting Prescribes Solutions to Fit Your Business

SharePoint consulting is often not unlike being a doctor. When a patient visits their doctor, she doesn’t assume that penicillin is the fix for everyone who walks in the door. Instead, a cure is recommended based on specific symptoms.

The same goes for our customers. When we first engage with a new company, the SharePoint team spends some time understanding how the business process is lacking. We’ll also ask questions about specific business goals, long term plans, the number of users, and more.

Only after these first steps are complete can we help our customers make an informed decisions. It may be that SharePoint isn’t the right platform at all. Or perhaps we’ll prescribe a customized SharePoint implementation that leverages the power of third-party tool to provide the required functionality.

SharePoint and InfoPath

It is from this unique perspective that the Entrance SharePoint consulting team has approached the news that InfoPath 2013 and InfoPath Forms Services for SharePoint Server 2013 will be the last versions.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, InfoPath has been widely used as a forms solution for organizations small and large since Office 2007. Whether those forms were formal documents for gathering data or informal methods of collecting information, InfoPath was a relatively easy to use application for business users as well as IT professionals. InfoPath’s integration with SharePoint helped to drive its adoption and to increase its functionality.

This may be seen as a loss for some organizations that have taken the time to implement InfoPath. However, the solution will be supported until 2023. For the immediate future, Entrance supports Microsoft’s recommendation to continue using InfoPath.

Other Options for SharePoint Forms

For those businesses that are implementing forms for the first time, reports so far say that Microsoft is “investing in new forms technology across SharePoint, Access, and Word.” There are also a number of mature third party SharePoint solutions that are worth considering.

More importantly, the focus should never be on the specific tool. Instead, companies should make solving business problems the main goal. IT, business leaders, and consultants alike should take a cue from any good doctor and assess why the organization is “sick” before ever thinking about specific products.

At the SharePoint Conference in March, Microsoft will offer a sneak preview of the new forms technology. Entrance will have several members of the SharePoint consulting team on-hand at the conference to learn about and to bring home information about the future forms technology.

When your organization is ready to explore the options beyond SharePoint, you may want to consider signing up for a SharePoint audit!

For more on diagnosing problems and choosing solutions that fit your company, try this post on software selection.

Carol Donnelly
Director of Consulting @ Entrance
Carol has close to a decade of experience leveraging software technologies to create enterprise content management, bi & analytics, collaboration, and need-specific software solutions that help businesses transform into a modern digital enterprise. She has helped clients address challenges related to contract and records management, contract and AFE approval workflow, lease digitization, and offshore extranets.
Carol Entrance Software Consulting making software better