Help Users Trust & Adopt SharePoint with In-Context Help
An Fpweb.net Partner Post by Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP, MCT, CEO of VisualSP
Thousands of enterprises around the world have implemented SharePoint to support at least some business processes– from simple content repositories for teams to large-scale systems that track business processes. Many of the implementations are still on-premises (in house) or running in a private cloud environment such as the one Fpweb.net provides.
Lots of organizations have started to explore whether they should stay in an on-premises environment, go hybrid or move completely to a public or private cloud.
Regardless of where the SharePoint environment resides, a key challenge remains the same: Effectively supporting and empowering end users so they actually make use of the investments in the SharePoint platform!
A SharePoint implementation is only as successful as the people who use it. This is why it’s of utmost importance to make sure your organization provides training and support so that all users are able to trust and adopt the SharePoint platform effectively.
In many organizations, SharePoint is widely deployed but narrowly adopted
Without the proper on-board support for SharePoint, companies lose productivity and increase the burden on the help desk, requiring IT staff specifically trained in SharePoint support to handle a substantial volume of calls. A solution is to provide SharePoint users with the HELP they need at their fingertips, so they aren’t searching Google for answers or submitting help desk requests every time they need support. They not only find answers, but they become educated in the process.
But empowering SharePoint users across your organization doesn’t happen for free. Your management team has to invest user training and coaching, and encouraging early adopters to help others catch on.
The current “help” that comes with SharePoint is minimal to say the least. Although there is a help feature, Search within the help content is basic, and there is no ability to update it or add custom content….UNTIL NOW!
Solution? In-Context Help via a SharePoint Help Tab
VisualSP provides a SharePoint Help System that is built directly into the SharePoint user experience providing quick and easy support when end users need it. The help documents are delivered via a “help tab” and is context-sensitive (meaning the help documents change depending on where the user is currently working in SharePoint).
The help content can be managed at the site collection/page level and farm/web application level, and is easily customizable by administrators. This is a huge asset as companies are able to add their own training content and then deliver it right in the help tab alongside the general SharePoint “help” documents provided with the VisualSP platform.
Some benefits of the Help System include:
- Comprehensive – Support documents explain a wide variety SharePoint features, functions and issues for users at all levels
- Reliable – Help is provided by a trusted source; all content is created by SharePoint experts (MVPs, MCTs, Authors)
- Up to Date – Training content is regularly updated and controlled at Page & Site collection level as well as Farm & Web Application Level
- Multimedia – Support is delivered via: text, audio, video, images, screen shots, tip sheets and other content making the training effective for all learning styles
- Extensible – Providing the ability to add new, custom content as relevant for each unique organization
- Trackable – System provides analytics on help system usage to know how it’s working, and who is utilizing the training (enterprise version only)
The Bottom Line
The VisualSP Help System exposes short video tutorials, reference documents, tip sheets, links to internal and external resources through the SharePoint Ribbon. It provides help content from a Help tab that blends into the user interface and presents a menu of topics specific to the functional context – e.g., a List, a Discussion Forum, a Document Library – and only those topics most relevant to the user in that setting.
Adoption is truly possible, but like any project, it requires some kind of investment (both time and money) from top management. Your organization has already made a substantial investment in its SharePoint deployment, now your return on that investment will depend on your team’s success in using the platform effectively and affordably!
Together, VisualSP and Fpweb.net can help you accomplish your goals effectively and affordably. By utilizing Fpweb.net’s private cloud in conjunction with VisualSP’s Help System, you can lower support costs and maximize your return on investment in the SharePoint platform.