Leveraging Content and Data – SharePoint & BI Hand in Hand

Mobile Man / Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Many great business successes have come from entrepreneurial individuals seizing the moment. A recent Forbes article picked out a number of carpe-diem moments which resulted in the birth of some of the world’s most successful and exciting companies. Being in the right place at the right time - and acting - played a massive role in Sergey Brin, co-founder of of Google’s riches. An opportunistic coup led the coupon company Groupon’s founder Eric Lefkofsky to become a world leader in his field too.

Now, while spontaneity is great, that’s not to say you should drop out of school and just wait around for the right moment to arrive - those entrepreneurs also help make those moments with effort, education and expertise. So, arming yourself with the right skills and attitudes will certainly boost your chances of spotting opportunities and achieving success. And this doesn’t just go for entrepreneurs; preparation and proactivity are essential needs for success in any walk of life.

In today’s post we’ll be looking at how technology can help you prepare and be ready to grab those key moments when they arise.

Mobile workplace

Technology has opened up so many possibilities for modern workforces. Teams can communicate and collaborate instantaneously over messaging, video and social platforms, and the Cloud means individuals can work remotely more easily than ever before - in fact, telecommuting has increased by over 80% in the US since 2005.

However, while technology can break down barriers, there remains a huge need in many industries for ‘boots on the ground’. In construction, for example, you need people on site, monitoring how work is progressing and feeding this back to head office in real-time. In sales, salespeople and buyers need to meet face to face to build trust, develop relationships and foster a human connection that technology simply cannot replicate.

And it’s here that the tech often breaks down. It’s great that your company has a state of the art content storage environment, but what good is that to colleagues who are away from the office? Well done, your sales figures are through the roof, but what help is that to a salesperson a thousand miles from your server? Having instant access to company content and Business Intelligence (BI) would allow mobile workers to make more of those moments which lead to business success.

SharePlus and ReportPlus from Infragistics are designed with today’s mobile worker in mind. SharePlus offers instant access to company content; all your SharePoint lists and libraries in one place. ReportPlus lets your people securely access your company's latest BI and represent data in interactive charts and graphs. Naturally, these two tools work together perfectly and give your workers a customizable app for their iOS and Android mobiles and tablets.

Leverage content and data - an example

In order to illustrate the power of these tools combined, we’ll compare their impact on two different salespeople’s chances of ‘seizing the moment’.

Ian and Claire work for competing footwear companies. They both have a meeting with a major manufacturer who is considering producing their shoes, but only has resources to work on one of the brands. Both Ian and Claire’s companies have pretty comparable sales figures and both use a SharePoint platform internally. The difference? Claire’s company also uses SharePlus and ReportPlus. Zoom forward to the meeting:

Ian’s sales pitch is going well. He’s described the branding, the costs, and has told the manufacturer that his firm has a healthy sales pipeline. The manufacturer asks to see the latest figures and Ian, being a good salesperson, produces a printout from earlier in the week. Things start to fall apart when the manufacturer wants to see Ian’s company's promotional material so as to gauge how credible their proposition is. “Oh sorry, we do have a TV commercial lined up but it’s back at head office, I couldn’t fit the video on my USB…”

Then Claire’s pitch comes around. When the manufacturer asks to see latest figures, Claire whips her company’s statistics on her tablet screen with ReportPlus to show a chart which is updated hourly. She can also use ReportPlus to bring attention to other exciting sales figures relating to the company’s expected pipeline and this sparks a conversation about estimated production costs. Guess what? Claire can pull all these figures onto her screen at the swipe of a finger. Not only is she informative, the whole performance comes across as slick and smooth, boosting the manufacturer’s confidence in Claire’s firm.

When asked about marketing material, SharePlus saves the day. Claire hasn’t anticipated a question about her firm’s commercials at this stage but SharePlus lets her access SharePoint remotely. She wows her audience with TV commercials, plans for a PPC campaign and other promotional material.

No prizes for who won the contract.

Carpe Diem

Successful business depends on being prepared and proactive, spotting opportunities the moment they arise. As the examples above illustrate, combining Infragistics SharePlus and ReportPlus will pay dividends for your organization and increase the number of opportunities you’re able to seize.