Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What’s the (Share)Point?

If you’ve browsed the Ektron website, you’ve undoubtedly come across content regarding Ektron’s best of breed approach, the Digital Experience Hub, and “Connectors” to several leading technologies like HubSpot and One of the most prominently featured integrations is with Microsoft SharePoint. And while the integration itself is pretty easy to explain, understanding all the potential benefits of this integration provides isn’t always as clear. 

And while Ektron can replace SharePoint altogether, if there is an opportunity to leverage both technologies for the best outcome, that’s really our preference. Therefore, I thought it would be helpful to provide four great examples of leveraging Ektron and SharePoint together:

1. There’s No Way We’re Moving Our Assets
No one denies that SharePoint is at its best when it is being used for asset management and collaboration. It’s what it does and it does it pretty well. Unfortunately, sometimes it does it too well in the sense that an organization becomes so reliant on SharePoint for asset management, that the thought of moving assets away from SharePoint makes IT shudder. 

But, never fear. With Ektron’s SharePoint Connector, this frightening event is eliminated because the Connector provides the ability for content editors in Ektron to reach into SharePoint to grab assets for use on the website. Ektron can run the public website and those assets can either be referenced within SharePoint or duplicated in Ektron, and if it’s the latter, the Connector will create a synchronization relationship with SharePoint so that when either version is updated (via SharePoint or Ektron), both are updated accordingly.

If your assets are stuck in SharePoint, that’s not a problem with Ektron.

2. Our Content Editors Don’t Want to Learn a New System
Similar to the thought of moving a large number of assets out of an existing system, many organizations cringe when the topic of re-training their content editors comes up. You know the old phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – well that applies here. If the majority of your content editors are creating content and completing their tasks as needed, don’t make them change. Instead, allow your power users to learn Ektron so that when enhancement to that content is necessary, a small subset of users can take care of it. It’s not the best scenario to be authoring in multiple systems, but it might be a whole lot less painful.

3. We’re Happy With SharePoint, We Just Need More
Similar to the prior business case, users aren’t always looking to move off of SharePoint because of the user experience (though that’s sometimes the case). In many cases, they just need functionality that SharePoint doesn’t offer. Some of Ektron’s workflow and publishing capabilities, globalization tools, and search engine optimization components are items that SharePoint (and other web content management tools) simply don’t have. Therefore, a hybrid approach also solves this issue in that content editors can continue to use SharePoint as they always have if appropriate, and can now leverage Ektron to take advantage of the benefits it offers.

4. Migration from SharePoint Scares Me
Migrating from one technology to another can be an intimidating proposition. Depending on the format and technology of both systems, sometimes it’s really easy. Other times, not so much. If you want to migrate from SharePoint to Ektron, administrators simply setup the Connector to pull all of the content over from SharePoint automatically. Once this is done, you can re-organize, update, and categorize content as needed. It’s as a clean a migration process as there is.

Look, there are more than 100 million SharePoint users worldwide. It’s not going anywhere and if a vendor tells you that you need to throw out SharePoint entirely (against your will), there’s an ulterior motive there. For Ektron, we’re happy to either work with SharePoint or to replace it, and what that should tell you is that we’re putting your best interests first.

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