You Can’t Start with SharePoint

By DANIEL ANTION posted 11-16-2011 16:23


I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of people at the University of Connecticut about ECM and SharePoint. One of the things people tell me that they like about my presentations, and my SharePoint Stories blog, is that I include the things that didn’t go according to plan. That’s easy for me, I don’t sell SharePoint and I don’t sell my services so I don’t have to give you the impression that I always know what I’m doing. That said, if I do know one thing about building an ECM solution on SharePoint, it is that you don’t start with SharePoint, you start with AIIM. When I mentioned that to the organizer of the event at UConn, I was asked if I could “tell us a little about AIIM”, and I was happy to comply.

I am convinced that SharePoint can support all the necessary functions of an ECM solution. I am also convinced that SharePoint offers enough in the way of configuration options to help you build a really bad ECM solution. What SharePoint doesn’t offer is any insight or direction as to how you should be deploying its myriad features – that’s why you need AIIM. When I say you need AIIM, I’m not just talking about a bookmark to, I’m talking about the benefits of a professional membership. Specifically, I want to point out two major benefits:

Chapter events – I know, we live in an on-line, virtual world driven by 140 character conversations with people we have never actually met. As much as that might be true, there is still an amazing amount of benefit to be gained from attending a live event. Real people who can respond to questions, gestures, facial expressions, laughter and groans are simply a better user experience than that found during a webinar. Chapter events are optimized for a local audience. Even though our chapter defines “local” as the six New England states, there is a geographic element to the choices we make. We know the industries in our market area, we know the schools, the employers and, hopefully, we know what our members are interested in hearing.

Networking – Between Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Flickr, I follow and am followed by over 1,000 people, so it may not seem like I need a broader network. On the other hand, the 50 or so people I have met through the AIIM NE chapter are people I would actually recognize in a bar. I have had the opportunity to share stories, complaints, questions, answers and dreams with some of these people. Without exception, these are people I think I can count on to help me if I need help. Several of them have proven that, including Jane Zupanof Nuxeo. When I told her that the people at UConn were also interested in learning more about Open Source solutions, she volunteered to join me in a combined presentation. I have directed new business this year to two vendors who are members of our chapter and I have received assistance from two others – networking at the chapter level works, that’s a fact.

AIIM offers a ton (well, if you printed it) of material across its website and social media outlets, but don’t stop there. Join AIIM and meet the people who make it a fantastic organization. 

#Networking #Nuxeo #SharePoint #AIIMNE #sharepoint #UConn #AIIM #ECM