So you’ve decided on SharePoint. Maybe you took our quiz or you mulled over the questions in our Choosing the Right Intranet Software blog post and decided Microsoft’s intranet solution is the best fit for your company. Welcome!
As you probably know, the transition to SharePoint may take a bit of getting used to as employees grow accustomed to the platform and learn what new features are available to them and how they can help save time and increase operational efficiency. Without assistance of some sort, this transition period can take a long time and, for some teams, the benefits and competitive advantages of SharePoint may never click.This is why we suggest everyone who wants a speedy, smooth transition to SharePoint use a consultant to take care of much of the heavy lifting and to help your team fall in love with their new intranet software.
What’s the difference between a SharePoint developer and a SharePoint consultant?
You may have seen our blog post from a few weeks ago about making sure you hire the best SharePoint developer for your project. After reading that, and then reading the above paragraph, you might be asking yourself, what’s the difference between a SharePoint developer and a SharePoint consultant, and if I already have one, do I really need the other? In short, a SharePoint developer helps you get your SharePoint site in working order, with all of the features and aesthetic details that you want, whereas a SharePoint consultant helps you migrate to SharePoint from whatever previous service you may have been using, helps you outline the specifics for your SharePoint site, and provides training and support for using your new intranet software.
Now, being a SharePoint developer and being a SharePoint consultant are not mutually exclusive — in fact, many SharePoint consultants have an in-house development team and can perform all of the functions of both roles, and vice versa. Code A Site is an example of a SharePoint consultant that also has the skills and expertise to fully develop your new SharePoint site (some consultants that don’t develop may have existing relationships with local SharePoint developers that they can connect you with).
Though there is no rule stating that your project requires both a SharePoint consultant and a SharePoint developer, it is advantageous to work with someone who has experience in both and can provide any and all support that your project may need.
How to find the best SharePoint consultant
There are many factors to take into consideration when selecting the best SharePoint consultant for your project: price, time frame, a portfolio of previous SharePoint projects, customer testimonies, etc. Though these are all important to the decision making process, they are very project specific and based primarily on your company’s values. We think, in broad terms, that the following are the most important aspects to consider when choosing a SharePoint consultant:
Inquisitive about who your company is and what your business actually does
Finding a SharePoint consultant who makes a point to discover the ins and outs of your business, especially the parts that the public don’t frequently see, should be a top priority. Though you may come into the project with certain ideas and features in mind, the best SharePoint consultants, upon gaining an understanding of how your business makes money what your employees do on a daily basis, can spot areas for improvement and suggest additional features that will strengthen business processes and help increase operational efficiency.
Open to giving suggestions and performing feature demonstrations
When picking a SharePoint consultant, make sure you decide on one that comes into your project with an open mind, but also feels comfortable making suggestions. They should put your project requirements to the forefront, but shouldn’t necessarily stop there with their input. The best SharePoint consultants will be able to find solutions to your problems and be able to include all of your hoped-for features, but will also be able to suggest additional features that may further improve your experience and business performance. They should not simply resign themselves to a basic or passable project execution.
Additionally, your SharePoint consultant should be able to provide demonstrations for each and every feature, both those that you require, and the ones they suggest. This not only gives you a very clear idea of whether the feature functions exactly how you thought it would, but it also allows the SharePoint consultant to share their expertise and to prove they have successfully implemented the feature in the past. A consultant who is wary to show you a demonstration of a specific feature and doesn’t tell you upfront if they have experience with it is a red flag for the success of your project.
Focus on the (entire) lifespan of the project
The best SharePoint consultants think of projects not as a specific chunk of worked hours for a client, but as a continued relationship with said client. Consultants should ask questions regarding support and training for your project, and should be able to provide you with at least suggestions for that (the very best SharePoint consultants can provide you with support and training once your project goes live themselves; they know your project the best and can thus best administer support for it). If it seems like your SharePoint consultant will treat the end of the project as the last time you’ll be in contact with them, you may want to reconsider your selection. You want a SharePoint consultant who is not only proud of the initial project they have implemented for you, but will continue to provide assistance on it (either in a training/support capacity, or by maintaining and updating the software with new features) well into the future.
Code A Site prides itself on the strong relationships it has with clients; many of whom continue to receive long-term support and maintenance of their SharePoint sites long after the initial site was completed.
Are you curious about how to get started on your SharePoint project? Give us a call at 877.228.0901 or send us an inquiry through our contact form and one of our technical specialists will talk through your intranet needs and give your project a free consultation!
Source: New feed