MS SharePoint in higher education environment
August 03, 2018

MS SharePoint in higher education environment

Timothy Sawah | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with MS SharePoint

We are using MS SharePoint in two main areas at a higher ed institution:
1- We implement student portal on MS SharePoint. A student can log in to his portal to view calendar, library, upcoming events, grades ( through integration with Banner), cafeteria, residence hall. Students can also customize and publish their own profile page which is used for class collaboration.
2- As staff, we use MS SharePoint for procurement workflows. We can add/modify a purchase request which is customized to go through an approval workflow through IT, Finance and Procurement. It provides email notifications and highly customizable.

We have SharePoint servers running on a VMware cluster.
  • It is highly customizable. It can be customized to support most business processes in HR, procurement, and supply chain.
  • It integrates with a single-sign-on system in place, like Active Directory or Tivoli LDAP.
  • It costs way less than Oracle solutions, with special offers for higher education.
  • It's supported on VMWare and HyperV.
  • Runs on SQL databases which are not the best in terms of reliability and security.
  • Runs on Windows servers which requires updates and restarts.
  • the server farm needs to include at least 4 VMs with 24GB RAM each to handle traffic from 2000 users simultaneously.
  • Most solutions were developed in-house which was a major cost saving solution
  • Document management and versioning improved collaboration and increased productivity
Alternative solutions would solve a single aspect of our needs as an enterprise, whereas SharePoint provided more than 4 solutions. Having said this, developers and DBAs who are Microsoft certified were more than enough to work with SharePoint, whereas having more application diversity requires a wide variety of technical backgrounds and knowledge. Not to mention that a large variety of vendors will add more integration burden for IT and increase complexity for end-users.
It is great for schools, higher education, and small to medium businesses. It is an excellent deal for businesses with Microsoft agreements as it will be a major cost saving solution. It can be initially tested for a document management solution. With a strong DBA and dev team, it can be customized in-house for procurement services and staff/customer portals.

I do not recommend using it in banks and financial institutions with sensitive data and complicated workflows.

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