I've had the pleasure of being at the Henry Stewarts Digital Asset Management conference in New York for the last few days. It's very impressive to see what major broadcasting and publishing companies are doing about the explosion of digital assets and metadata. From point solutions to full end to end digital production & delivery methods the array of technology is staggering.
Like all good conferences this is sponsored by vendors who continue to drive forward innovation, standards and delivery expertise. Though I'm always annoyed at the plethora of voicemails that I get from vendors there is no ignoring that they (in response to customer demand) are driving innovation forward in our digital age.
However, if there's one thing that I can clearly see from listening to the case studies and customer presentations it's that a clear and present strategy is a key element in the successful delivery of these solutions. In multiple cases I listened to executives talking about monetization models, rights management and other strategies that were the driving force behind the herculean task of standing up a DAM system.
That is never more true than in the case of SharePoint. When I asked my crowd this morning how many had it and then how many hated it the hands that shot up for the latter was a good deal of the audience. I'm disappointed at our industry for allowing so many failed implementations and dissatisfied customers. In case you haven't heard:
SharePoint isn't the problem - your strategy & information architecture are.
Whether you are implementing SharePoint for DAM, collaboration, business process enhancement or other tasks don't settle for a substandard installation. The depth of the bench of MVP's and consultants who actually understand the technology from a business perspective is getting deeper every day. Find someone who can assist you from the business side in architecting SharePoint to meet the needs of your user community. I’m not referring to the server or services architecture but the architecture of your information, user experience and solutions. Sorry, but this person usually does not live in the IT Department. I don't care if they can write a stitch of code. A true solution architect will save you more money, time and frustration than you know!
Here's to architecting SharePoint 2010 in a way that brings greater satisfaction to the end user community! I've uploaded my presentation over in the Resource Materials section. Enjoy!