What is SharePoint? Response Listing And Analysis

Initially kicked off from a full day Practical SharePoint Information Architecture workshop facilitated by Ruven and myself this is an exploration into public opinion of what “SharePoint Is” and is perceived to be.

What sounds deceivingly simple can lead to exhaustive minutes or even hour long explanations. When I ask “What is SharePoint?” the answer I receive from every client, colleague, or audience member is always slightly unique.

Contained within this page is the (relatively) up to date set of responses I have been able to collect both physically and virtually. As new responses come in I will both update this with more analysis and will share the results.

Please share this with others so that we can make the sample size larger and more comprehensive which will lead to better results and more advanced analysis options.

What is your answer? Share it with the community and compare it against others!

What is SharePoint Analysis:

“What is SharePoint” Responses

Business Collaboration Platform

Still Not Sure

Mange/Share Data

Enterprise Collaboration Environment, Records Management System, Business Process

Platform To Facilitate: Collaboration, Organization, Standardization, Findability, Business Solutions Galore

SharePoint Is An Application/Development Platform

ECM, Solution Provider, Search Ability, Intranet, Collaboration Space

Workflow To Content Management System

ECM, Collaborative Tool, Customizable And Skinable Web Portal Product, Social Collaboration In 2010 Also

Confusing/Not Intuitive

A Single Point Of Data For Sharing Information

Application Framework For Providing Enterprise Solutions For Collaboration And Documentation Management

Collaborative Platform

Organization Of Metadata

A Versatile Platform For Organizing Information And Making It Findable And Useful. An Application Platform, Both For Coding And Configuration

Collaboration Tool

Web Based Platform For Sharing Items And Information, Bringing Teams, Locations And Information Together

“Swiss Army Knife”, Collaboration Tool, Business Process Automation Tool

A Platform For Collaboration And Knowledge Management

The File Shares Of The Future

A Social Collaboration Platform

Framework For Information Management, Tool To Embrace The Business

A Tool With Many Features That Enhance Collaboration, Document Management, Search, Etc.

Everything To Every Man (Person)

A Collaboration Tool, Server App For Web Development, A Document Management Server App, A Workflow Server Side App, A Powerful Search Server App

Web Based Collaborative Software

Complicated, Easy Repository,. Complicated To Set Up Correctly, Easy To Use For The End User. A Document Repository For Trouble Shooting Solutions And Team Collaboration

A Toolset Supporting Document Management, Collaboration, Web Content, Content Management

A Business Solution To Empower End Users The Ability To Manage Data And Content Through A Web Browser


SharePoint Is Microsoft’s Way Of Bringing Cheap Content Management To The Masses Who Can’t Afford An Expensive ERM/ECM System.

A Collaborative Tool That I Have Yet To Attempt.

Collaborative Content Sharing And Management Website.

SharePoint Is A Platform Which Makes It Easier To Allow End Users To Contribute Content To Our Public Website And Easier For Non-Developer Webmaster To Come Up With Solutions For Our Site.

SharePoint Is A Collaboration Platform


A Complete Business Management Application

It Doesn’t Matter. It Can Be Anything You Need It To Be As Long As You Know What You Need. (And If You Have The Time And Money.)

Awesome Collection Of Collaboration, Document Management, Content Management, Business Process, Search, And Cool Capabilities.

SharePoint Is Many Things To Many People. It Is A Document Repository, It Is A Website. It Is A Workflow And Process Helper, And It Is A Calendar. It Is A Database That Can Hold Many Types Of Things Other Than Just Data. It Is A Picture Library And A Content Manager.

A Business Management Application Platform

A Platform For Communication, Collaboration And Employee Services.

SharePoint Represents The Way Companies Will Function In The Future.

Why Does Your Organization Use SharePoint Analysis:

Why Does Your Organization Use SharePoint?

We Use It For Document Management


Enterprise Content Management Systems, Enterprise Search

File Storage, Functionality Slowly Exposed To Them

To Connect And Prevent Disparate Information And To Allow Collaboration

It Is New, Cool, “Easy” (NOT)

Both For Collaboration Sites And Building An Intranet Publishing Site

Document Repository, Project Lifecycle With TFS, Intranet Portal For All Employees Including Custom Data From Our HR ERP System

Because It Is Easier To Use Then Our Document Management System And Has More Functionality Than A Shared Drive

To Build A Single Portal For Hospitals

To Keep Everyone Consistently Informed And To Maintain One Version Of Truth

Collaborate, Share, Analyze And Protect Data


Contact Management. Project Management, Collaboration, Centralize Information

Common Workplace

Portal, Intranet, Extranet, Information

Share Information

To Make Information Useful, Actionable And Valuable

To Facilitate Team And Project Initiatives And Provide A Single Location To Manage Those Initiatives

Publish Content, Organization, Governance

It Is Microsoft! We Needed A Replacement For Another Portal Product

Intranet Collaboration Portals, Team Sites, Some Internet Sites

To Quickly Create Sites, Forms, Docs, Repositories, To Collaborate, Search

To Manage A Public Internet Site, An Internal Intranet Site, And Many Team Sites

Mostly Document Sharing And Collaboration

Show Information, Post Training Student Support, Document Management

Historically Only Used For Light Document Management. Have Just Made A Commitment To Implement 2010, Portal Use, Collaboration

Because We Thought It Was Free. Turns Out It Was More Like A “Free Puppy.” After Investing In Consulting Hours, Training Hours, Buying Web Parts And Third Party Tools, Servers And Storage Space We Now Realize There Is A Price Tag. But It’s Too Late, We Are Already Addicted.

It Doesn’t. I’m Trying To Learn More To See If It Should Use It.

Document Sharing On Shared Place.

Our Management Asked For It Primarily I Believe Because Some Of Our Customers Said They Were Using It And We Should To. The Vision Was For Collaboration. We’re Not There Yet But IT Is Now More On Board Than Management. I Think Management Saw It As A Fast Silver Bullet But IT Sees It As A Long Term Investment That Will Yield More Opportunities Than Originally Envisioned.

Storing And Sharing Project And Team Information

Better Information Management Processes And Practices Than Shared Drives

For The Power It Gives Users To Collaborate And Manage Their Business

The Power It Gives Users To Collaborate And Manage Their Business.

Enterprise Intranet, Will Be Going To Extranet And Internet As Well.

To Achieve Greater Business Benefit And Improve Productivity Around Content Sharing.

We Have Three Basic Instances, And We Use It As Our Intranet Portal. We Use It As A One-Stop Team Site Hosting Service, And As A One-Stop Project Site Hosting Service.

It’s A De-Facto Standard

To Promote This New Mindset


If you have any special requests for analysis please let me know.

Hope this helps,

Still not sure
Mange/Share data
Enterprise collaboration environment, records management system, business process
Platform to facilitate: collaboration, organization, standardization, findability, business solutions galore
SP is an application/development platform
ECM, Solution provider, search ability, intranet, collaboration space
Workflow to content management system
ECM, collaborative tool, customizable and skinable web portal product, social collaboration in 2010 also
ECM, collaborative tool, customizable and skinable web portal product, social collaboration in 2010 also
A single point of data for sharing information
Application framework for providing enterprise solutions for collaboration and documentation management
Collaborative platform
Organization of metadata
A versatile platform for organizing information and making it findable and useful. An application platform, both for coding and configuration
Collaboration tool
Web based platform for sharing items and information, bringing teams, locations and information together
“Swiss Army knife”, collaboration tool, business process automation tool
A platform for collaboration and knowledge management
A social collaboration platform
Framework for information management, tool to embrace the business
A tool with many features that enhance collaboration, document management, search, etc.
Everything to every man (person)
A collaboration tool, server app for web development, a document management server app, a workflow server side app, a powerful search server app
Web based collaborative software
Complicated, easy repository,. Complicated to set up correctly, easy to use for the end user. A document repository for trouble shooting solutions and team collaboration
A toolset supporting document management, collaboration, web content, content management
A business solution to empower end users the ability to manage data and content through a web browser
SharePoint is Microsoft’s way of bringing cheap content management to the masses who can’t afford an expensive ERM/ECM system.
A collaborative tool that I have yet to attempt.
Collaborative content sharing and management website.
Sharepoint is a platform which makes it easier to allow end users to contribute content to our public website and easier for non-developer Webmaster to come up with solutions for our site.
Sharepoint is a collaboration platform
A complete business management application
A complete business management application
It doesn’t matter. It can be anything you need it to be as long as you know what you need. (And if you have the time and money.)
Awesome collection of collaboration, document management, content management, business process, search, and cool capabilities.
SharePoint is many things to many people. It is a document repository, it is a website. It is a workflow and process helper, and it is a calendar. It is a database that can hold many types of things other than just data. It is a picture library and a content manager.
A platform for communication, collaboration and employee services.
SharePoint represents the way companies will function in the future.

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