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Kit Plummer
Software Engineer :: Techitect :: Evangelist
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The elephant in my room is SharePoint. SharePoint is the pervasive document repository that extends across the .mil enterprise(s). But, I’m not sure it is much more than that. Even as a “modular” and “customizable” portal I don’t believe it is being tapped to its potential.

Although I understand the value of documents, I’m starting to wonder if we’re so stuck on solving individual problems with them – that it is hindering a natural collaboration around problem solving. Rather than starting with a search and discovery process (does someone else share my problem, or is there already a solution) we tend to just create a new document. Sure, there is document collaboration – but, that barely extends beyond the editorial context.

What if SharePoint provided you the tools to build a simple website (WebPart) that did the same “calculations on your manually entered data” in an automated fetch and produce workflow. And better yet, that WebPart can be instantiated by anyone on the same SharePoint platform? Well, the bad news is that this is exactly what SharePoint does. The good news is that this is exactly what SharePoint does.

Ultimately I think the problem is that SharePoint, although is a potential answer, doesn’t translate to the domain of problem-solving at the edge. We want solutions that can be deployed to SharePoint (for sure), but also browsers, RIA clients, and mobile platforms.

  • Is SharePoint used in battlespace operations? (I suppose operational briefings count)
  • Is SharePoint really as pervasive as we’re led to believe – even in garrison states?
  • Do warfighters want to solve problems in SharePoint, or are “Docs” it?
  • Do warfighters want to collaborate on problem-solving tasks?

Speaking from a huge enterprise position – these same questions exists here, BTW.

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