Is SharePoint Out of the Box Enough?

With SharePoint 2013, Microsoft offered a significant increase in Search functionality that might suggest that it is the ultimate Enterprise Search solution. Companies like to think about SharePoint 2013 Search as a “working out of the box” solution, rather than a platform.

Considering SharePoint 2013 Search as a ready-to-go solution might seem to be the easy way, but our experience shows that organizations that have the mindset of “Search as a platform” are much more successful with their Search projects. There are many examples that show Search needs are not easily met using SharePoint 2013 out of the box.

We’ve found that there are three key areas where companies find that SharePoint 2013 out of the box does not meet their needs:

  • Content: Your solution needs to connect to it, classify it and make it easily available to users, regardless of where the content resides.
  • Search management and maintenance: SharePoint 2013 Search is complex and advanced Search management or maintenance operations requires writing PowerShell script.
  • User experience: Users want a useful Search experience or they’ll complain. They need the ability to refine search results, they want custom visualizations of the results and they want to be able to save queries to reuse.

SharePoint Search is often considered a “solution” that provides a “ready-to-go” answer to the organization’s search needs. However, it’s more beneficial to think about it as a platform that has some out of the box capabilities, but even more importantly, it can be extended to support and fulfill every organization’s unique needs.

I recently published a whitepaper that demonstrates the most important points where this extension is most commonly needed and confirmed that with proper requirements gathering and planning, the limits of Enterprise Search in SharePoint are endless. However, getting there is a rough path sometimes.

Download the whitepaper to learn more about the challenges companies face when trying to extend the out of the box capabilities of SharePoint.

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