6 Essential Qualities to Look for in a SharePoint Consulting Firm
Finding the best SharePoint support for your business is essential for long-term success
Businesses that have transitioned to SharePoint know that it takes time before employees can get acquainted with the platform and learn how each of the features can help them increase operational efficiency and save time.
That said, without the necessary support during the transition, it might take a while for employees to adjust - if they ever do.
For this reason, it's important for some companies that have taken advantage of SharePoint to seek the help of knowledgeable consultants who can help facilitate a seamless and speedy transition. Businesses should look for several qualities when seeking an effective SharePoint consulting company, and here are just a few:
1. Experience with "soft" SharePoint features
Although configuring SharePoint and making it fully operational should be a priority, businesses need to understand that it's just another piece of application technology. This application will be used by many individuals at different skill levels, which is why it's important to select a consultant who is familiar with "soft" skills such as SharePoint governance and SharePoint user adoption.
Even if a consultant is great with technology, if they can't assist or advise on management and user adoption then the user implementation is doomed to failure.
2. Curiosity about your business operations
When looking for SharePoint consulting services, it's important to find a consultant who makes an effort to understand your business process - especially the aspects of your business that aren't visible to the public.
Although you might have your own ideas, a good consultant should strive to gain a deeper insight into your business process, specifically what your employees do on a daily basis and how your business makes money.
Once they fully comprehend such operations, it should be easy to for them to know how to increase operational efficiency and strengthen your business processes.
3. Gradual implementation methodology
SharePoint implementation is no easy task, and it always takes time. That's why it's important for the consulting services you seek to be familiar with project methodologies such as “agile” vs. “waterfall.” Businesses should consider implementing SharePoint in phases since it allows for feedback and user adoption from the stakeholders.
4. Open to suggestions
Before settling on a consultant, it's important that you hire a firm that’s not only open-minded but will be comfortable making suggestions. They should also put the business project ahead of anything else by trying to come up with solutions that will improve your business performance and experience.
This point is important because it not only gives an indication of how the features function but it also allows the consultants to share their experiences, which shows that they’ve implemented the features before. Consultants who are skeptical about demonstrating a particular feature or don't share their experience shouldn't be considered.
5. Diverse range of experience & knowledge
Understand that no one person is a SharePoint expert in every area since it's such a broad application and nearly impossible to know it all. This is exactly why a consulting firm is preferred, since “groupthink” can be harnessed to benefit your organization.
Some consultants are good with branding, while others are experts in information architecture. It's important to hire a knowledgeable consulting team who is experienced in many different types of SharePoint, especially the problems you wish to solve.
6. Focused on the project's lifespan
A good SharePoint consultant shouldn't just think of your project as a chunk of worked hours but as a platform for a continuous working relationship. Reliable experts will always have questions on training and support, and they should offer the same support once your project goes live.
Look for a consultant who is not only committed to the initial project but will continue to offer assistance, either through support or training, long after the project is complete.
Here at Innovative Architects, we approach each project with fresh eyes while also bringing decades of experience and knowledge to the table.
No matter the platform - WSS, SharePoint 2007 (MOSS), SharePoint 2010, or Office 365/SharePoint Online, or if you are considering a simple implementation, a large enterprise-wide solution, custom applications, dynamic web content management, or an upgrade/migration from to 2010 or Office 365/SharePoint Online - our Microsoft gold-certified consultants can help you architect, develop, implement, test and deploy everything SharePoint.
Contact our SharePoint consultants today for a free quote or to ask us about any of our enterprise IT capabilities.