A Question – What are the benefits to upgrade to SharePoint 2010 and a Simple Answer :)

Today I got answer from one of my friends asking about why they should consider an upgrade to SharePoint 2010.  I started writing an answer and I went on and on and on.  I get so excited answer such questions so If someone ask you this question do consider having a look at this article. 

Why we should upgrade and what are the benefits. 

Thanks for your email.  I am not sure where to start counting the benefits for SharePoint 2010.  It is THE Platform for business collaboration for enterprise and the web.  SharePoint 2010 platform has been extended to provide support for hundreds of new and improved features. 

One of the top features for you as a University is the Social Features of SharePoint 2010.  Now students and teachers can get together easily and share information and knowledge using the Facebook like functionality available at MySite.  Tagging has been provide which allows everyone to get connect to what others are doing and see the common interest items.  Search is powerful that ever with FAST Search which allows them to find information and saw preview of search results without even opening the documents. 

Search results provide easier and most flexible filtration and having the ability to include federated search from Google or Bing makes search results efficient.  SharePoint 2010 UI is much more powerful with inclusion of Ribbon and support for Silverlight and AJAX which allows users to reduce learning curve.  SharePoint is more clicks and page post backs.  You will find consistent user interface across all levels.  Microsoft Office Web Applications allows users to work on Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote in the browser with the ability to do co-authoring on the Web and the Client Microsoft Office 2010.  Microsoft Access Services allows users to publish Access databases as website for web based access and later sync the changes back to databases for offline access.  Visio Services Allows users to publish data driven Visio diagrams that can be rendered in the browser and users can interact with them without having Visio on the client.

SharePoint 2010 is completely a WIKI application which allows people to share information and produce knowledge lot easier than before.  Creating WIKI pages on the fly and allowing other people to comment results in fast collaboration and knowledge development.  Blogs have been improved to provide blogging from Office word or Live Writer allows users to publish personal or enterprise blogs very easily. 

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 BI Stack extends the capability to develop BI Dashboards and KPI.  Using Performance Point Services users can easily create dashboards, KPIs, Scorecards, Graphs and many more types of reporting.  Microsoft Power Pivot for Excel enables end users to build rich Pivot tables that can get data from any data source in the company.

SharePoint 2010 Supports Digital Asset Management of Videos, Images etc. and users can simply drag and drop images and videos on the pages and play for others.  Microsoft PowerPoint Services allows users to broadcast PowerPoint presentation from any location with few clicks.   

As far as the maintenance is concerned.  There are many improvements.  The administration is simple and one way which means you don’t have to go to many places to do it.  Backup and restore has been improved which allows us to take backup at any level of SharePoint Implementation.  Configuration, Site, List etc.  The restoration form these backups is also lot easier than before.  Administrator can take backup of SharePoint databases on the fly using the SQL Snapshot and restore it to same SharePoint farm to restore any part of it at any time.  

There are so many improvements in SharePoint 2010 that you can use at *.  The biggest selling point is the social networking, Office Web Apps, PowerPoint and Visio services, wikis and blogging areas.  People would love to have Face book like functionality  within their working and studying environment. 

I would strongly suggest that you should upgrade and launch your portal to your students.  But some tweaking in UI and deployment should be in High available mode before you make it available to everyone.  E.g You should have at least 2 front end Servers and 2 SQL Servers.

For more information please visit http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/en-us/Pages/default.aspx

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