Using Soutron Alongside SharePoint to Store Intellectual Capital 

Stop Hunting, Gathering, and Stressing 

Soutron and SharePoint are both options for organisations to store and manage their intellectual capital, but they have different strengths and weaknesses that may make one more suitable than the other depending on the specific needs and goals of the organisation. 

Soutron is designed specifically for managing collections of intellectual capital, such as research papers, patents, technical reports, architectural drawings, and other specialised documents. Soutron includes features such as metadata tagging, taxonomy management, collection management, and integration with other systems. Organisations that use Soutron provide their users a controlled visibility into trusted information and other information at the users point of need & consumption, resulting in increased intellectual capital reuse, increased collaboration, and new knowledge development, ensuring competitive advantages, reduced time to market, and increased awareness. 

On the other hand, SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform developed by Microsoft that allows teams to create and manage unstructured content, such as documents, lists, and web pages, and share them with others in the organisation. SharePoint provides one-size-fits-all generalised tools for version control, document management, workflow automation, and search capabilities that make it easy to organise, find, and access information.

SharePoint can be used for a wide range of purposes, from intranet portals and project management sites to business intelligence dashboards and public-facing websites.  However, SharePoint does not provide controlled visibility into curated, trusted data and information the way an information management system like Soutron does.  

Reasons for using SharePoint and Soutron

There are several reasons why an organisation might choose to use a knowledge curator, archivist, or librarian and specialised software such as Soutron to organise data, information, and knowledge assets alongside SharePoint and IT policies such as: 

  1. Specialised expertise: Librarians, Archivists, and Knowledge Curators are trained professionals who specialise in information management and organisation. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the task of organising and categorising information, which can result in more effective and efficient information management, unlike SharePoint, which is dependent on users voluntarily making their work materials available to others.
  2. Tailored solutions: Soutron is designed for organising and managing information resources. It provides more advanced features and capabilities than general-purpose software such as SharePoint and can be customised to meet the specific needs of the organisation.
  3. Intellectual capital governance: If an organisation’s focus is managing large volumes of research papers, patents, or technical reports, special library software is the better option, since Soutron provides many specialised features for intellectual capital
  4. Advanced Metadata Management: SharePoint offers basic metadata management capabilities, but it may not be sufficient for organisations that require more advanced metadata management. A specialised library system can offer more robust metadata management capabilities, including the ability to enforce consistent metadata values, manage controlled vocabularies, and facilitate advanced search and retrieval.
  5. Specialised Information Needs: Some organisations may have specialised information needs that are not easily met by SharePoint’s generic document management capabilities. For example, a library system designed for scientific research may offer specialised features for managing datasets, while a library system designed for legal firms may offer specialised features for managing case files and court documents.
  6. User experience: Soutron was designed with the user experience in mind, making it easier and more intuitive for users to submit, review, find and access the information they need. This can result in increased productivity and reduced frustration compared to using an unstructured system such as SharePoint, where end-users determine how to classify and limit access to their materials, resulting in confusing and inconsistent sharing and security permissions, along with poor search results and loss of productivity.
  7. Search experience: Extensive, facet search filters, date sliders, tabbed content types, customizable saved searches, sub-collection creation, reading lists, filter by record types are just a few of the enhanced advanced search options available to end-users that helps Soutron meet the needs of users at their point of information consumption.
  8. Speed of search: According to this report from IBM, McKinsey reports that ‘workers took up to 1.8 hours every day’ to find the information they are looking for, and per the same report, according to IDC, ‘knowledge workers spend about 2.5 hours per day’ searching for information. Soutron is known for its speed of search.
  9. Compliance and Regulation: Many industries are subject to strict compliance and regulatory requirements that dictate how information should be managed, stored, and accessed. A specialised library system can help organisations meet these requirements by providing tools to manage and track compliance-related activities, such as document retention policies, access controls, and audit trails.
  10. Centralised storage: Soutron stores knowledge assets in a secure centralised database using a controlled metadata taxonomy, as opposed to in an unstructured distributed database SharePoint network.
  11. Enhanced Collaboration: While SharePoint provides basic collaboration features, a specialised library system can offer more advanced collaboration capabilities, such as end-user material submission, document review, check-in/check-out, and workflow automation. These features can help teams work more efficiently and effectively together, particularly when managing large volumes of complex information.
  12. Minimises risks associated with unstructured data: Non-compliance with legal and internal company information compliance; data privacy compliance; inability to leverage unknown dark data; inefficient access to the right information; underutilisation of information for informed business decisions; increased storage and operational costs; overlapping classification categories.
  13. Security: Soutron offers robust security features, such as encryption and access controls, that are important for protecting sensitive information, above what SharePoint offers.
  14. Cultural fit: Finally, some organisations may simply prefer the approach of using a knowledge curator or librarian along with specialised library software like Soutron to manage their knowledge assets, either due to organisational culture or personal preference. This can result in greater adoption and engagement with Soutron, as well as a more positive overall experience for users.

The choice between using a knowledge curator such as a librarian or archivist and Soutron in addition to SharePoint, distributed databases and IT policies will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the organisation. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. Organisations should consider their options before deciding.  

SharePoint Drawbacks?

The singular problem with SharePoint is that it is a complex, multifunctional tool, that is highly customisable, which requires a significant amount of training and technical expertise to implement and maintain. This can be overwhelming for some organisations, especially those with limited IT resources.

SharePoint does provide access to multiple databases of information, but that access can also grow into an unsupportable monster, and after a certain point, companies need to ask themselves if they aren’t just reinventing the wheel when it comes to classifying information (creating a library), and if they are, they should ask themselves if what are they creating provides value over what a specialised product like Soutron would do.  

From a historical perspective, generalised software is great – look at Excel – the product has a lot of accounting and financial functionality, but isn’t it better to use a purpose-built financial product from a company like Intuit than a generalised one that you must maintain?  

In Summary

Overall, the use of Soutron in addition to SharePoint to store your knowledge assets will ensure employees stop hunting, gathering, and stressing, because Soutron information management enables organisations to meet their users at their point of need and consumption, resulting in increased business advantages and competitiveness. 

View our Latest Press Release on Marshall Breeding: Soutron Global announces enhanced support for SharePoint

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