Reduce Application Development Time and Cost

SharePoint's broad acceptance in the marketplace substantially increases its value. If you're trying to help a bunch of people work together around documents and content, it makes obvious sense to use a tool that is already on everyone's desktop. So then, shouldn't it be equally sensible to use SharePoint for sophisticated collaboration, workflow and content management systems? The short answer is "yes," but unfortunately, three factors seem to inhibit the effective use of SharePoint to create the document workflow and business process automation solutions that content-heavy, knowledge-driven organizations need:

1.  Cost and complexity of SharePoint application development. The result: companies devote increasing time and budget to FTEs just to support their SharePoint-based systems. This creates ongoing challenges for resource-constrained IT departments—and often keeps projects that could have a substantial positive impact on business performance from ever getting off the ground.

2.  Ongoing operational costs. For even a minimal collaboration or automated workflow application, organizations may need to invest tens or hundreds of thousands in additional software, people resources and technologies.

3.  Integrating SharePoint silos. Few organizations implement SharePoint as a single, enterprisewide instance; rather, SharePoint implementations pop up all over the organization. The explosion of SharePoint silos challenges IT and makes workflow, collaboration applications even more difficult to succeed. For example, imagine programming individual APIs to integrate your new workflow application with each SharePoint application that exists in your enterprise.

These factors and others have, until now, limited the ability of IT organizations with constrained resources and multiple conflicting business demands from effectively leveraging SharePoint to meet the needs of business.

Get the roadmap to faster application development-go cloud.
Fortunately, there is a roadmap to a faster, more agile way to deliver content management and workflow applications for existing SharePoint environments, without the cost, complexity and third-party tools of a typical SharePoint development effort. That road relies on cloud ECM applications to supply the missing workflow automation capabilities, while fully leveraging existing SharePoint investments.

True cloud enterprise content management applications offer a way to deliver fast, easy-to-deploy solutions that can integrate with existing SharePoint content in just a few days—even a few hours. Cloud solutions enable IT to quickly and inexpensively design, implement, run and continually modify fully customized workflow/collaboration systems that seamlessly integrate with internally deployed SharePoint instances—no matter how many. Cloud content management and workflow also eliminate the long-term infrastructure ownership burdens associated with the on-site deployment of custom applications.

In this way cloud offers an essential IT relief valve. Organizations can add business process applications quickly and aggressively without losing their investments in SharePoint. With cloud, IT can rapidly implement high-value business process automation solutions and make business users happy without putting undue strain on their limited IT budgets and limited IT staffs. As a result, they can cost-effectively achieve critical business objectives—including time-compression of core processes, better collaboration across geographically dispersed teams, improved process integrity and audit-ready compliance—even as so many other demands compete for IT's finite resources. Users get the applications they need and want fast. IT can focus its time and efforts on major technology initiatives.

Using a cloud enterprise content management platform means you can have robust content management, collaboration, workflow automation and mobility applications for the business without installing, managing and maintaining any additional on-premise hardware or software.

Instead, the organization can quickly and easily access all the ECM functionality they need over a secure Internet connection. A best practice cloud solution will provide on-demand access to a full range of ECM capabilities—including imaging, workflow, records management, email and fax management, e-signature and reporting—enabling developers to rapidly build enriched, high-value business applications that leverage core SharePoint services.

How cloud document workflow leverages existing SharePoint investments.
Cloud can readily connect with both on-site and hosted SharePoint instances, giving users transparent access to enriched systems running in the cloud via their familiar SharePoint interface. Key aspects of this seamless user experience include:

  • Single sign-on/pass-through authentication between SharePoint and cloud systems;
  • The ability to browse and search cloud repositories from within SharePoint;
  • The ability to preview and edit documents in cloud repositories from within SharePoint;
  • The ability to use the Office integration features of SharePoint to edit cloud content;
  • The ability to add documents from SharePoint to cloud document repositories;
  • Notification/assignment of tasks to SharePoint from workflows running in the cloud; and
  • Retrieval of documents from and placement of documents into SharePoint libraries based on business rules in workflow applications running in the cloud.

Cloud enterprise content management solutions become an easily configured extension for an existing SharePoint implementation. In fact, fully functional working applications can be deployed using cloud ECM in 30 days or less... something traditional development and deployment of on-premise software can't match.

As a result, IT teams can deliver sophisticated, fully customized content management, collaboration, workflow automation applications to multiple locations in just a few weeks—rather than months. For a real-life example of adding fax-processing capabilities to an ECM system under a conventional on-premises SharePoint implementation versus a cloud approach, go to springcm.com/sharepoint.

In conclusion, Cloud ECM platforms, like SpringCM, makes it easier than ever for organizations to reap the business benefits offered by SharePoint with easily configured and added enterprise content management applications.

SpringCM is a recognized market leader in cloud content management, sharing, collaboration and workflow automation. We make it easy for businesses to put documents to work so teams can share and collaborate around content with others-inside or outside the organization or from mobile devices. Customers rely on SpringCM to avoid the expense, complexity and risks of traditional on-premise software installations. Sign up for a SpringCM no-obligation, 14-day free trial at www.springcm.com/sharepoint.

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