SharePoint Spotlight On – Brett Kinmont (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Brett and I met at an ECM Conference last year, and months later I got a call from them to come and help out. That was 6 months ago and I’m a regular at Nedbank these days.

Where do you work?
Nedbank, eBusiness Channels.

What is your job title?
Head of eBusiness Channels.

How many SharePoint users in the company and how many are you responsible for?
Currently approx 5000 users, potentially will be 27000 users. I am responsible at a channel level, and have been consulting to divisional teams to establish administrative structures in each division.

What version of SharePoint are you using and how long has your company been using SharePoint?
Using MOSS 2007 Standard edition. The company has been using Sharepoint for approx 7-8 years.

How did you learn SharePoint and how long have you been using it?
Learnt though playing with the functionality, certain amount of trial & error, and then going on training with Lets Collaborate. The training was excellent as it contextualized the functionality as it applied to our business, it focused on understanding the basics and it placed us in a position where we could assist other users in the business.

What is the biggest challenge you face with user adoption?
The perception that the SharePoint rollout would imply extra workload and that users would require a programming /web development background in order to use the system.

How are you handling governance?
We have set up a governance committee to define an monitor brand identity, process definitions and Information Architecture/data taxonomy.

Do you have a dedicated SharePoint team and Executive buy-in and is it helping?
We are building up a dedicated user group, executive buy-in has been established in most of the divisional areas which helps extensively in driving a cultural change top-down.

If you had unlimited resources in your company and could design the ideal SharePoint dream team, what would it consist of?
Expert users and people who really understand the strategic value of the platform as it relates to portal development, systems integration and knowledge management.

Have you built anything cool (out of box) in SharePoint that your users loved, and if so what was it?
Still at early stages, so not yet, although we expect to do so soon!

What functionality do you use the most on a day to day basis?
All the document management features, web part management, lists, surveys, polls and discussion forums, search.

How has SharePoint changed your life?
Its change the way that people see knowledge management in the organization. Users are seeing true value in making their day easier as far as access to relevant information is concerned.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Implementing a cultural change as it relates to sharing and management of information is concerned. Convincing users that the platform is a safe and reliable environment onto which they can move information relevant to their businesses.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Seeing users realize that the sharepoint platform really is critical to their daily jobs and the tangible take-up of the platform across the organization.

What do you know about SharePoint 2010 and are you planning to upgrade?
Not too much at this stage – focusing on the effective implementation of MOSS 2007 first. Upgrades are driven through Group Technology, however our organization policy is to let the market test new releases for at least a year before implementing internally.

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