Key Considerations for Selecting a Reliable SharePoint Consultancy

With over two decades of existence, SharePoint has amassed a wealth of collective expertise and experience. This abundance of knowledge offers a wide array of SharePoint consultancies to choose from, ranging from global consulting firms to specialised smaller firms and individual consultants. However, the extensive options can make it challenging to identify the right SharePoint consultancy for your project.

In this post, we will delve into the essential qualities to look for in a reputable SharePoint consultancy. While we hope you consider us as a potential partner, it is vital to ensure that any consultancy you choose possesses a solid understanding of SharePoint and a proven track record. While pricing is an important factor, there are several other crucial elements to consider.

The Importance of Strong Technical Expertise in a SharePoint Consultancy

A fundamental requirement for a top-tier SharePoint consultancy is possessing exceptional technical knowledge of SharePoint. SharePoint is a complex platform that offers extensive configuration options, where decisions regarding setup and structure can significantly impact user experience and future scalability. Therefore, an excellent consultancy should exhibit profound technical expertise in areas such as SharePoint administration, governance, development, customisations, integrations, and implementation.

Furthermore, it is essential for their technical prowess to extend beyond SharePoint itself. A comprehensive understanding of Azure, Microsoft 365, and Active Directory is crucial. SharePoint consultants should stay updated on the capabilities of SharePoint out of the box, as well as its limitations. This knowledge is vital in determining when development and customisation are necessary. When evaluating SharePoint consultancies, it is advisable to request assurances and evidence of their technical expertise.

Business and Strategic Acumen

A proficient SharePoint consultancy not only possesses technical expertise but also demonstrates a deep understanding of business strategy. They must possess the acumen to align SharePoint capabilities with strategic objectives and effectively deliver SharePoint projects and environments.

SharePoint, being an incredibly versatile platform, can be leveraged to achieve a wide range of outcomes. A reliable SharePoint consultancy approaches projects with a strategic mindset, identifying how SharePoint can contribute to digital transformation, process efficiency, productivity enhancement, collaboration, employee engagement, knowledge management, internal communications, automation, and more. They also comprehend the importance of implementing the right adoption and change management practices to ensure project success.

Moreover, a competent SharePoint consultancy engages in user and stakeholder research to accurately define project requirements. They also address crucial aspects like design, information architecture, and more.

By combining technical proficiency with business and strategic expertise, a SharePoint consultancy can effectively leverage SharePoint’s capabilities to drive organisational success and deliver tailored solutions that align with specific business objectives.

Proficiency in SharePoint Variants

SharePoint boasts a diverse landscape with various versions, encompassing classic and modern, online and on-premises deployments, among others. In certain complex organisations, multiple SharePoint versions may coexist simultaneously, and there are even instances where customised SharePoint 2007 intranets continue to operate.

If your organisation utilises multiple SharePoint versions, it is crucial to engage a consultancy that possesses a comprehensive understanding and hands-on experience with all these different variants, particularly with classic SharePoint. While newer SharePoint consultancies may excel in modern SharePoint or SharePoint Online projects, they may have limited experience in working with classic SharePoint.

Hence, it is important to select a consultancy that demonstrates expertise in classic SharePoint, ensuring they can effectively navigate and address the unique challenges and requirements associated with this version. By doing so, you can ensure that your consultancy is well-equipped to provide comprehensive support and guidance across all SharePoint variants, maximising the value and functionality of your SharePoint environment.

Comprehensive Understanding of the Azure Platform and the Microsoft 365 Ecosystem in its Entirety

SharePoint projects extend beyond the realm of SharePoint itself, often involving various components of Azure, Active Directory, and the broader Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Integration with other Microsoft tools is also commonplace. Furthermore, the inclusion of the Power Platform allows for workflow determination and the creation of custom applications.

Microsoft is increasingly emphasising the digital workplace experience through Microsoft Teams, with substantial investments in Microsoft Viva. A proficient SharePoint consultancy must possess a thorough comprehension of the wider Microsoft and Azure ecosystem to leverage SharePoint to its fullest potential. They should remain fully updated on Microsoft’s roadmap, including the advancements in Microsoft Viva. Awareness of the strategic direction enables them to align the implementation details of SharePoint accordingly.

By embracing a holistic understanding of Azure, Microsoft 365, and related technologies, a competent SharePoint consultancy can unlock the maximum benefits from SharePoint projects. Their expertise allows for seamless integration, optimal utilisation of Microsoft’s ecosystem, and the ability to align SharePoint implementations with long-term strategic objectives.

Extensive Expertise in the Employee Experience Domain

If your SharePoint project focuses on enhancing the employee experience, such as developing an intranet or contributing to your digital workplace, it is highly advantageous to engage a SharePoint consultancy with a proven track record in delivering employee-centric projects and guidance. Constructing an intranet or digital workplace solution differs significantly from building a customer-facing website or external solution. There are various intricacies involved, including the need to accommodate a wider range of stakeholders and incorporate user feedback, the requirement for a long-term perspective on the digital workplace, and considerations related to adoption and change management.

Engaging an inexperienced SharePoint consultancy or agency that treats the project like an external website build can lead to inevitable complications. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your chosen consultancy possesses a deep understanding of delivering projects within the employee experience space. Validating their expertise through case studies and client testimonials can provide valuable insights into their track record.

By selecting a SharePoint consultancy with extensive experience in the employee experience domain, you can ensure that your project is approached with the necessary nuances, expertise, and considerations that cater to the unique requirements of fostering a productive and engaging digital workplace for your employees.

Affiliation with Microsoft as a Trusted Partner

When considering a digital agency for your SharePoint project, it is crucial to ascertain their status as a Microsoft Partner. This partnership serves as a validation of their expertise and dedication to SharePoint and the broader Microsoft stack. By partnering with Microsoft, the agency demonstrates their deep understanding of Microsoft technologies and their commitment to delivering quality solutions within the SharePoint ecosystem.

SERVICE AND SOLUTIONS CATALOGUE

SharePoint consultancies offer an extensive range of services, solutions, and advisory options. Whether you seek general guidance, custom development, SharePoint estate integration, SharePoint intranet implementation, or any other specific requirement, consultancies typically cater to your needs. However, it is important to assess their specialisation or areas of expertise based on the services they provide. Take the time to explore their offerings thoroughly. Does the consultancy offer the particular service you require as a standard offering? This assessment will help you gauge their proficiency and suitability in meeting your specific SharePoint needs.

Alignment in People and Culture

When selecting a consultancy or digital agency, it is essential to ensure a strong fit in terms of people and culture. Take the opportunity to meet the team, including the consultants and developers who will be directly involved in your project. In some cases, larger consultancies may showcase their top talent during initial pitch meetings but assign different team members once the work begins. Therefore, establishing good chemistry with your agency is vital. This connection should be built on open communication and a collaborative partnership approach. Investing in a shared spirit of teamwork and understanding will undoubtedly result in enhanced project outcomes.

How can Vantage 365 help you?

If you’d like to explore how our team can assist you with your SharePoint project or discuss your specific needs, don’t hesitate to reach out! Get in touch with us today to initiate a conversation and embark on a successful SharePoint journey together.

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