A little over a decade ago, we saw some interesting developments occurring in the changing landscape of content management and content management systems (CMS). The IT department was looking for an easy way to build websites that were dynamic in nature and yet provided the marketing team the tools to manage the content. On another front, the challenges around context, ecommerce, and more were already emerging. When SharePoint 2007 (MOSS) launched, it was a great alternative to costly solutions such as Interwoven. But it wasn’t long until the challenges of using SharePoint (MOSS) as platform for public sites began to surface.

Content + Commerce + Context = Challenges in SharePoint

UX and corporate branding challenges. The underlying architecture of MOSS to handle CSS was extremely complex. For the CSS structures alone, MOSS contained more than 4,000 lines. As teams implemented the solutions on SharePoint, they realized that doing so presented significant branding challenges for companies. 

Business tools – content editing experience. The content editing experience in Sitecore is quite extensive. It provides the business tools via a centralized approach known as Launchpad. Within the Launchpad, you have access to Content Editor and Experience Editor, which are two unique ways for managing site content. With SharePoint, you have a collection of lists and libraries that contains the content of your site. For business teams, the experience was more technical than they were accustomed to. Sitecore, on the other hand, provides a very intuitive content management experience via Standard Values, Page Component Configuration, and workflows. 

 

Share Point
 

 

Commerce and user context. In SharePoint, if you needed to build a site that was ecommerce aware or provide personalized content based on user profile or buying history, it would require a lot of customization. The commerce engine would also not be part of the SharePoint stack, which would force you to integrate further to merge the experience. In addition, this merger did not provide the deep analytics required for a reliable 360-degree view of your customer. With a “One Platform” approach, Sitecore reduces the need for integrating different technologies to provide the three pillars of a successful site: Content, Commerce, and Context.

Easing Organizational Processes onto Sitecore

Over the years, organizations have embedded their business processes in SharePoint. Even though SharePoint was not a great solution for public sites, it has been useful in providing robust capabilities around workflow and document storage. 

With the use of SharePoint Connect 2.3, we can ease organizational dependencies on the different SharePoint capabilities that have grown organically over time. SharePoint Connect offers page-, item-, and API-level integration, and provides the tools to harness SharePoint’s document management capabilities within Sitecore. If SharePoint usage is heavy in the applications in the back office, we can provide a modern site without having to update multiple applications simultaneously.

Migration Considerations

As you consider the migration from SharePoint to Sitecore, note the common threads between the two platforms. If you have a sound architecture in your current public-facing SharePoint implementation, we should be able to harness much of the architectural foundation in Sitecore. For example, SharePoint Web Parts would become Sitecore Components & Renderings.

SMITH has a long history of working with both Sitecore and SharePoint. We have built various sites using MOSS and integrating commerce technologies. We also know how to take them apart and migrate them to a platform such as Sitecore. Our deep architectural understanding of both SharePoint and Sitecore gives us the ability to design your successful migration plan. To get in touch, email insight@smith.co. 

Tags: ecommerce, Technology