So you've invested time and money building a fantastic SharePoint based Intranet or Website. Go live date comes around and everything is going well - high user adoption, great feedback etc. Then over the following weeks a number of things start to happen...
General queries and Issues
Why can't my boss access the HR department's Policy Document library? How do we setup and use a Tasks list? That small office halfway round the world? They're running an older version of IE than the rest of the company which doesn't seem to quite work right with our shiny new site.
Despite having thought of everything, end users will always think of new and innovative ideas after going live. SharePoint is a feature rich product that can be used and adapted for almost any business process and so you could say encourages this.
Over time SharePoint will become a business critical tool to your organisation meaning high availability and performance are essential.
In order to protect your business' investment you need to be able to address all of the above, this can however be difficult to handle in-house. Outsourcing SharePoint support can get you the experience etc you need, bear in mind though not all support partners are created equal.
Reactive SharePoint support is a must. A responsive Help Desk with multiple ways of logging and communicating on support tickets e.g. web portal, phone and email.
Businesses require customisable applications which can expand and evolve over time. Your support partner should have the skills and knowledge to get the most out of SharePoint's built in features. If requirements exceed what can be done out of the box then having a development team available is key.
Organisations should also make sure that their SharePoint support provider offer a proactive service. For example a test environment architecture means they are able to reproduce issues and test changes safely without effecting your live environment. SharePoint Farm and database monitoring keeps you informed on important aspects of your SharePoint instance. Part of this is also keeping the SharePoint application itself up to date with patches and hot fixes.