We’re happy to introduce of Brandon Bowlin, SharePoint Engineer. Brandon takes a forward-facing view of how SharePoint can help our customers with their key applications and business processes.
Brandon brings to Seitel Systems his 20 years of real-world technical experience, with 10 years focused on implementing SharePoint in government and commercial global enterprise-level environments. He has significant expertise in backend, large-scale infrastructure deployments.
His experience as a Communication officer in the US Marines, focusing on SharePoint deployments, gives him some key insights that he can apply in both smaller government and commercial projects. Most notably, security: the inadvertent, more open-access approach that many businesses use in their collaboration systems is a big concern.
Business users of SharePoint have problems maintaining appropriate security. I could almost call it lackadaisical – it’s not through a desire to leave things open but just due to a lack of education. Security was the number-one focus in my work in the military, so that’s the most critical take-away from my own experience. It’s particularly important when you have companies that want to store proprietary documents, structural designs, any information that needs to stay confidential.
“On the flip side, what I like about the civilian instead of the military side is that you have more freedom with your design. The military is very structured and wants everything to be done the same way. On the civilian side, you have more personalization and freedom of expression.”
Brandon’s technical expertise is coupled with a vision for where the industry is headed and how small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from modern cloud-based collaboration tools. He started working with SharePoint during its initial version and has grown his expertise with each subsequent release, gaining certifications in SharePoint 2007, 2010 and 2013, and now working with the current pre-release version of SharePoint 2016.
I’ve worked with small 30-workstation companies up to very large environments with 120,000 users. In the smaller businesses there’s a kind of stigma around the costs associated with SharePoint that leave the impression it’s only available to enterprise-level organizations. In fact, SharePoint is already integrated with Office 365, so SharePoint can come with very little additional cost.”
With the infrastructure cost-barrier removed, small and medium-size businesses can use SharePoint to improve their workflows and have an effective collaboration resource – they just need some guidance as to how to make it work for them. The challenge then becomes education around what exactly SharePoint can do for their business.
Everyone uses SharePoint differently. Unlike familiar applications like Office, Exchange, or Lync, it’s a platform as opposed to a prepackaged application. The key is showing our clients how to use this tool that can improve their workflows and processes for minimal cost.
“First we look at what the business is currently doing, then we look at what SharePoint could bring. Document management is a primary benefit, but a lot of businesses could actually be entirely run on SharePoint – you can automate forms and processes and greatly decrease your equipment rack footprint. We’ve got some demos that show what it can do.”
If you would like to talk about how SharePoint can work in your organization, contact us at 206.832.2875 or firstname.lastname@example.org.