The Enterprise Content Management war is over. It couldn’t have been foreseen. But it wasn’t won by Opentext or Documentum or Filenet, or any of the companies that defined the space originally. As the dust settles, it’s Microsoft SharePoint that’s left standing. All the other players now have to figure out how to fit themselves into the adjacencies and spaces left unfilled by SharePoint itself. Of course there are challengers, but none of the old guard. It’s vendors like Huddle. SharePoint isn’t perfect, far from it. But it’s a giant leap in usability over the competition and unless you care deeply about records management and compliance, or agonize over the inefficiency of sticking large chunks of content in SQL Server, it’s going be good enough.
I was in meetings with some SharePoint users recently. And reminded again of how, despite the great usability and flexibility of SharePoint in so many regards, it remains a painful experience to interact with it unless you’re on the same LAN. Too much data is being moved around in an inefficient manner. And too much of the activity blocks a user from doing anything else while it’s going on.
It doesn’t have to be like this. Replify Syncstor users can link to SharePoint document (and other) libraries with a click of a button. And have that content cached on their PC and made available to them through the familiar Outlook user interface as another folder. Access to read, update or add new documents is instantaneous. Whether on the LAN, on a constraint WAN connection, or totally disconnected. All changes are propagated in both directions between the local cache and the SharePoint library, and activities like check-out and check-in can be handled automatically.
To show just how dramatically this improves the user experience I’ve created a little demo video. I took the common use case of a user wanting to make a small update to a controlled document. For a Replify Syncstor user, the entire process takes 20 seconds. For a regular user, it’s 2 minutes and 40 seconds. That’s an incredible difference, and the poor user doesn’t really have the option to do anything else other than watch while the document is downloaded and opened, and then saved back to SharePoint. Check it out.