Selling SharePoint to a Training Department

It’s been about a month since I’ve fully delved into MS SharePoint as a site admin. The company where I’ve been consulting has a very structured and very responsive IT department, including our SharePoint administrator.  He’s gotten me set up with our training site, and an administrative subsite.  My first goal is to get our records moved over from our antiquated LAN server over to the SharePoint server.  I’m learning SharePoint, planning moves, and documenting everything like a champ.

There are so many positive things that can be used in SharePoint that we could never do on the LAN!

  1. We don’t have to sign in twice, and the authentication makes things more seamless.
  2. SharePoint can help us organize our files.
  3. We can use it to archive our records and eventually automate the process.
  4. The SharePoint server is newer and faster than the LAN server.
  5. I think IT would be happy if we got off the LAN.

I was so excited that I shared all this news with the department.  They were not as thrilled, and since then, I’ve been met with unenthusiastic attempts at adjusting to the upcoming changes.  Where did I go wrong?  What is so bad about automating and connecting and showcasing?

This article called “Stop calling it SharePoint!” may have some insight:

The article recommends NOT using the word SharePoint when referring to SharePoint; however, some of our personnel are equally leery of the tech term “web site”.  They have become comfortable with the term “our department LAN” over the last ten or so years.  Though I believe there are a few more psychological factors involved, I think I get the article’s point:

If our department personnel don’t know how the LAN works, why am I trying to explain how SharePoint works?  

I am going to really try to scale back the tech terminology during the SharePoint implementation – errr, I mean the LAN migration.  There are tons of things that I want to take advantage of in SharePoint, but for now, SharePoint is simply our new LAN server for all [but mine] intents and purposes.

In the meantime, all of the cool stuff I see getting out of SharePoint in our future needs to be sold to our Manager.  If he isn’t a first adopter, it will be difficult to get anyone to agree there’s even potential.

Do you have any tricks or tips to get people charged up about tech changes?  How do you get folks to trust change?





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