Taking SharePoint to the next level
Relate Technologies to focus on communicating the benefits of extending SharePoint functionality through integration with third-party products and development of bespoke applications on the SharePoint platform at this year's SharePoint Saturday Cape Town event.
Relate Technologies, a Cape Town-based Microsoft systems integrator with Microsoft Gold Competencies in Portals and Collaboration and CRM, will be exhibiting at SharePoint Saturday in Cape Town, on Saturday, 8 September, as Silver Sponsors of the event. The company will be focusing on meeting with event attendees interested in extending Microsoft SharePoint ROI by integrating their SharePoint solutions with complementary third-party applications or by developing bespoke applications on the SharePoint platform.
"SharePoint is perceived by companies as a product primarily used for intranets and document management," says Geoff Lander, Managing Director of Relate Technologies. "As ideal as it may be for these applications, the real tangible monetary return on investment is derived when you start using SharePoint as a development platform to build enterprise applications." Companies such as Sanlam Structured Solutions, Coronation Fund Managers, Vodafone and JO Hambro Capital Management are using applications developed in SharePoint to increase the efficiency of a range of business processes, from the rapid generation of sales proposals, contracts, fund fact sheets and investment fund policy documents, to the processing and management of new client applications.
"Relate Technologies' SharePoint contract-generation solution simplifies and accelerates the generation and storage of our investment fund policy contracts in SharePoint," says Lionel Vice, Chief Operations Officer at Sanlam Structured Solutions. "Our use of their solution for the generation of these contracts has resulted in a turnaround time of about five minutes per contract in comparison to the previous two hours needed to construct standard documents." The bespoke SharePoint solution incorporates third-party applications from Qorus Software and Nintex to extend document automation and workflow functionality in SharePoint.
To encourage the development of such third-party applications or add-ons for SharePoint by the ISV communities, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Office 365 Marketplace in April 2011. The Marketplace incorporates a SharePoint Marketplace that already lists almost 500 SharePoint applications that can be used to extend or enhance SharePoint functionality.
The increasing trend in building applications in and for SharePoint led AIIM, the global community of information professionals, to conduct a study in June 2012 that investigates why organisations selected SharePoint, how it has performed against expectations, and explores how they are filling functionality gaps with SharePoint add-ons, third-party extensions and cloud services. The report resulting from the study is available on request from the Relate Technologies Web site.
"SharePoint's out-of-the-box functionality and the hundreds of complementary applications available to extend SharePoint's functionality means enterprise solutions can be built faster and at a lower cost, while resulting in a more reliable and extensible solution," concludes Lander.