SharePoint Workflow | Content Management Systems: Build vs Buy

I want to tell you a story, and how it relates to SharePoint workflow and why it is important to think about buying a turnkey solution or building a totally customized solution yourself.

One afternoon Bill is standing on his driveway admiring the beautiful day and down the street he noticed that his neighbor Carol had this gorgeous, sleek and shimmering new sports car sitting in her driveway.  Bill’s eyes lit up and he had to go ask Carol about it!  Carol told Bill it had everything she ever wanted in a car.  It had power, elegance, convenience, durability, and best of all that she got a terrific deal on it! Carol could see that Bill wanted one too.  Especially after she told him the price. So Carol gave Bill the contact information on where to get a perfect sports car of his own.

The next morning Bill ordered the sports car of his dreams, completely customized, exactly the way he always wanted.  He got his confirmation and was told he would have delivery in a week.  Days pass and then a large delivery van arrives.  Bill rushes out to his driveway and the delivery van driver asks him, “Are you Bill?”

Ecstatically Bill says, “Yes!”

And the delivery van driver and his crew start to unload hundreds and hundreds of boxes out of the van and stack them up in Bill’s driveway.  Surprised Bill stops the delivery van driver and asks him, “what’s going on, what are all these boxes for?”

The van driver stops, looks at Bill, and says, “it’s your new car.”

Not understanding what is going on Bill goes down to Carol’s house and knocks on her door and asks her, “what the heck is happening?”

Shaking her head, she said “Well Bill, didn’t you know that you had to put it together?”


SharePoint Workflow | To Build

Workflow especially is a hotly talked about subject in companies and organizations today because of the benefits intelligent automation and content management systems deliver.

Read more about the benefits of:

I bring up SharePoint workflow because for one thing, everybody knows about SharePoint and it is widely adopted by organizations all over the world.  It is a great product and for the price, it can be hard to resist when picking your organizations ECM.   With SharePoint having a very flexible framework and application-level environment that can be configured for data collaboration in many different ways it allows you to do so much. But is not itself configured or optimized for anything specific. What this means is to make SharePoint usable for a company’s specific application, the software needs to be configured from scratch.  All the containers, folders, user permissions, options, and the GUI look and feel, screen layout, query and data entry screens. Basically everything the users interact with done by people who are well trained in SharePoint, not the general systems administrator or user.

This means additional functionality such as

  • Engines for working with images or documents
  • External Integrations with business software

will require the installation and configuration of separate software packages since none of those features are built in.  Also because the system is built and customized for a specific company. Only that company and the SharePoint designer knows how it was built.  So ongoing maintenance and modification to SharePoint workflow will be in the hands of those who built it.  Not with the software development company (Microsoft).  Which leaves HUGE knowledge gaps when personnel turnover occurs.

DocStar ECM Workflow | To Buy

DocStar ECM is a dedicated enterprise content management system (ECM), that is a ready-to-use and optimized for the purpose of intelligent content management.  With all of the modern features related to intelligent content management including; versioning, tracking and auditing, workflow, classification and security, and document retention rules.  The end user is able to intuitively set up these items in easy to navigate menus and wizards. Guiding users through each step in a very organized fashion.

The genius of the system is that it uses specific engines designed for working with scanned images and native electronic documents with built-in high speed processing. The ECM is able to integrate with many other business software packages with very minimal modification or custom programming in the ECM itself.


What does this all mean for you?  Well if you are looking at buying or upgrading your current ECM to take advantages of the benefits of workflow automation can deliver to your organization, remember the story I told at the beginning when making your choice.  And if you would like to see a demo of the DocStar ECM system and workflow automation to see how it will benefit your organization give us a call at 800.731.6334 or send us a message at