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Small to Mid-Size Business Solutions for Microsoft SharePoint

Small to Mid-Size Business Solutions for Microsoft SharePoint

Small & Mid-Size Business

Small Business, Mighty Challenges

Microsoft® SharePoint® has become a vital enterprise collaboration and social platform tool for many small-and-midsized businesses (SMBs). With agile operations and streamlined budgets, these companies cannot afford to have SharePoint deliver less than optimal results and reliability.

Gartner, Inc. Research Results1 :
Less than 100
Number of employees that define "small businesses" (SBs).
Up to 999
Number of employees that define "mid-size businesses" (MBs).
44% or 900 Billion
Representation of the total IT spending worldwide in 2012 by SMBs as compared to large enterprises.

With a fraction of the capital expenditure, dedicated IT staffing, and IT skills maintained by larger enterprises, the biggest challenge faced by SMBs is ensuring that IT services are delivered according to increasing business demands and regardless of their organization's size.

Whether it's a five-employee start-up or established company with 500 employees, there are several common SharePoint concerns shared among SMBs:

Migration and Deployment Burdens Transferring mission-critical content from legacy repositories into SharePoint can be challenging due to:
  • Lack of out-of the box migration capabilities
  • Abundance of legacy data with no easy way to determine what content is relevant
  • Large amount of resources necessary to properly assess, execute, and validate migration and deployment projects
  • Business disruptions caused over the course of the migration or deployment projects
Marginal Adoption and Performance Users must be confident that SharePoint is reliable, and the platform must perform up to its specifications. Anything less will lead to a decline in user adoption and a hesitation to adapt to the new platform. Challenges for ensuring reliability include providing:
  • Fast global access times to SharePoint content
  • Decreased SharePoint response times
  • Business continuity
  • Platform stability
Insufficient Data Protection In order to provide business users with uninterrupted access to SharePoint content and instill confidence in platform reliability, SMBs face the following challenges:
  • Demand for 24-hour access to mission-critical SharePoint content hosted on cost and resource expensive stand-by or fail-over environments
  • Inability to quickly and efficiently recover lost or corrupt content to satisfy robust Service Level Agreements (SLAs), stringent recovery time objectives (RTOs), and recovery point objectives (RPOs)
Inefficient Platform Management Without a proper education or understanding of SharePoint's capabilities, it is extremely difficult to extend SharePoint's performance and potential.
  • Over-extended IT resources with limited SharePoint experience or knowledge
  • Limited resources and capabilities to manage "out-of-the-box" or PowerShell solutions
  • Limited capital expenditures to afford third-party tools and solutions

The operational resources and capital expenditures required to alleviate such burdens can threaten the viability of many SMBs. Therefore, it is critical to properly plan, architect, and deploy solutions to ensure the platform performs at its peak levels, is well protected, and efficiently managed.

How Do SMBs Utilize SharePoint?

If your organization has adopted, or is thinking about adopting SharePoint, a well-defined road map is critical to your success of deploying SharePoint. To help get started on the journey, below are scenarios and recommendations for developing deployment strategies catered to SMBs.

  • Start with portal and collaboration to see immediate Return on Investment (ROI)

  • Embrace SharePoint for Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

  • Expand externally with SharePoint for Web Content Management (WCM)

  • Adopt Cloud Computing for SharePoint environments

1. Start with portal and collaboration.

To some companies, collaboration means that information is freely available to everyone that needs or wants access to it. In others, it means that people are working together in a way that never could before. Still others define collaboration as being able to more easily socialize the content that they produce as part of their job, such as providing reports or other documents2 . It's no surprise, then, that 44% of SMBs will expand or initially invest in collaboration software this year3 .

Portal and collaboration are the first workloads that most organizations deploy with SharePoint for three reasons:4

  • SMB RedButton

    Portals offer rapid return on investment by replacing potentially inefficient and expensive existing solutions.

  • SMB RedButton

    Workspaces provide information workers with far more effective document collaboration than file shares and email attachments.

  • SMB RedButton

    Both workloads are low-risk and do not introduce complex variables to the environment as with custom application development.

SharePoint is a feature-rich product, so it's important to implement its numerous functions in stages and to develop a governance plan before contemplating more complex deployment scenarios. Make sure your governance plan aligns with your business goals for utilizing SharePoint as a portal and collaboration tool in order to maintain an operationally sound environment.

2. Embrace SharePoint for enterprise content management

The main goal of an enterprise content management (ECM) system is to connect organizations' people, processes, and information. The information overload problem is not exclusive to large enterprises, as 45% of SMBs indicate that they are interested in implementing information access software in a year or more5 .

A successful ECM system doesn't merely organize and store content. Instead, it is a fully integrated platform and architectural framework that enables unfettered collaboration and stewards content through its entire lifecycle, subsequently enabling greater productivity.

Forrester Research Results: SharePoint as ECM
SMB respondents say they will expand or invest in ECM software.
ECM decision-makers indicated they were using SharePoint to address some or all of their ECM requirements.

3. Expand externally with web content management

Interest in web content management (WCM) software is increasing among businesses of all sizes, but particularly noteworthy for SMBs.

Forrester Research Results: SharePoint as WCM6
Small businesses are interested in adopting content management software in 2012.
Small businesses are interested in adopting content management software in 2011.

SharePoint 2010 provides new, richer sets of WCM functionality primed to enable SMBs to use SharePoint for their customer-facing websites. As reliance on web content increases, the ultimate goal for SMBs is to consolidate both the internal and external presence of an organization on one platform – including security settings, processes, and governance – via SharePoint.

4. Adopt cloud computing

Organizations worldwide are quickly turning to the "Cloud" in order to stay ahead of a hyper-competitive business landscape. Here are a few benefits of cloud computing to lower total cost of ownership for SMBs:

Service & Infrastructure Deployment and Management: Rapidly spin up SharePoint environments, eliminating resource-intensive migration and enabling the completion of deployment tasks with less hardware for IT administrators to maintain.
Scalability: Pay-per-user cloud services are less expensive for most types of SMB workloads because on-premise deployments as well as traditional hosting require SMBs to overprovision resources in order to cater to peak demand.
Service Level Agreements: Most cloud offerings target a 99.9% uptime; maintaining such high levels of service for most SMB on-premise scenarios can be extremely cost and resource intensive.
Infrastructure Disaster Recovery: Most cloud offerings already have disaster recovery plans, which makes the planning and management aspects transparent to SMBs. Planning and maintaining a secondary data center can be prohibitively expensive and extremely challenging on premises.

However, you can't easily apply apples-to-apples cost comparisons between traditional on-site infrastructure, cloud deployments, and traditional SharePoint hosting. Your results will vary dramatically based on your administrative maturity, SharePoint usage patterns, the types of cloud computing instances you buy, and the duration of your commitment.

To learn more about evaluating cloud computing options, please read our:

For more information on what AvePoint offers organizations adopting cloud computing, visit our Cloud Integration Solution Page

AvePoint Solutions for SMBs

Developing an IT solution that fits SharePoint deployment and overall business needs at an affordable price is the first step to success. Solutions must be easy to deploy, use, and support.

Portal & Collaboration:

AvePoint's DocAve Software Platform: Designed to streamline SharePoint management efficiency; possessing flexible sourcing and development options; easy and affordable purchasing options; and offering global, live 24/7 support, the award-winning DocAve Software Platform is the ideal solution for SMBs using SharePoint.

With virtually all the features of the enterprise-strength DocAve Software Platform, and priced to meet your budget – DocAve is the ideal solution to unleash SharePoint's full potential while improving your bottom line.

DocAve 6 is the culmination of AvePoint's decade of experience helping more than 10,000 customers in 63 countries realize SharePoint success. Select any number and combination of DocAve modules to tailor the perfect solution for your SharePoint deployment today. Click here to view all the products available in the DocAve 6 Software Platform.

Read our customer case studies to see how we've made an impact.

Enterprise Content Management Solutions:

DocAve Software Platform: DocAve extends SharePoint's ability to capture, store, deliver, preserve, and manage content, enabling SMBs to successfully use SharePoint as an ECM platform.

To learn more please, visit our ECM solution page and read our ECM Solution Brief.

Learn more about semi-automated governance enforcement with the DocAve Software Platform.

Web Content Management Solutions:

DocAve Software Platform: DocAve enhances SharePoint's WCM features to distribute, automate, scale, ensure, and archive global SharePoint deployments while providing reliable SharePoint access, availability, and collaboration.

To learn more about how AvePoint enhances SharePoint's WCM features to help SMBs utilize SharePoint's WCM capabilities, please visit our WCM solution page and read our WCM solution brief.

Cloud Computing Solutions for SharePoint:

DocAve Software Platform: DocAve empowers organizations to integrate cloud computing as their specific business needs dictate. With DocAve, organizations can seamlessly manage and integrate their on-premises and cloud SharePoint investments, while continuing to evolve their use of the platform.

To learn more about DocAve's ability to help SMBs embrace cloud computing for SharePoint, please visit our Cloud Integration solution page and read our solution brief.

DocAve Online for Microsoft SharePoint: A pioneering technology adoption program for organizations utilizing Office 365 SharePoint Online, offering powerful backup, administration, and management capabilities as a service with DocAve software hosted on Windows Azure.

To learn more about how DocAve Online for Microsoft SharePoint allows organizations to maintain control over cloud assets in order to extend cloud computing as business needs evolve, please visit our DocAve Online solution page and read our solution brief.

Unique challenges, diverse community.

AvePoint's Partner Network: There is no "one-size-fits-all" SharePoint management and governance solution for SMBs. With a multitude of vendors and options, AvePoint is proud of its multichannel partner network that offers a variety of direct and indirect options for building the correct SharePoint solution. With our Worldwide Partner Program, AvePoint utilizes its partners' strengths, core competencies, and technology skills to meet unique, stringent SharePoint deployment needs.

Please visit our AvePoint Partner Program website page for more information about AvePoint's network of authorized partners and resellers to expand your SharePoint deployment and accelerate growth.

*Every module within the DocAve Software Platform can be purchased and deployed independently in order to customize a SharePoint management and protection solution for your specific needs.

Next Steps

  1. To learn more about how the DocAve Software Platform can help your SMB, please click here to view our platform overview. For more information, please visit our Resources page for customer success stories, white papers, product brochures, and more.
  2. For more information about how DocAve adds significant capability to SharePoint and enable you to successfully utilize SharePoint as a true ECM platform, please, visit our ECM solution page and read our ECM Solution Brief.
  3. To learn more about how DocAve Online for Microsoft SharePoint allows organizations to maintain control over cloud assets in order to extend cloud computing as business needs evolve, please visit our DocAve Online solution page and read our solution brief.
  4. To try out AvePoint's solutions for SharePoint governance free for 30 days, please visit our downloads page.
Small & Mid-Size Business