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I have been using SharePoint now for 3 years and I really like it and would really like all employees in our company to move over to SharePoint from our Confluence Wiki.

I want them to have their Team Site and for them to save all their documents there and make use of all the collaboration features such as calendars, announcements, etc.

The problem that I have is getting them over to SharePoint but I cant tell them why they should rather use SharePoint since I know nothing about how the Confluence Wiki work.

What are the main differences between the 2 and how can I try and convince them to rather use SharePoint?

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5 Answers 5

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You can also use the two together. I played around with the SharePoint Connector for Confluence when it was in beta about 3 years ago and it looked pretty solid. I was able to get the benefits of the Confluence wiki from within SharePoint through some web parts (the SharePoint 2007 wiki was horrible) while also being able to use SharePoint for what it is good for (not wikis). Atlassian had also created some macros for use within Confluence that allows you to show SharePoint content within the wiki page. They've clearly done a lot of work. There was no problem at all with authentication either.

Confluence sort of does some document management (ie attachments) but it's not what it's good for. You can't lock a document when you open it for editing for example, although I don't know if the latest update to Confluence does things differently.

In short, Confluence is a great wiki. SharePoint is a great document management / collaboration tool. And from what I've seen, you can use them both harmoniously.

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Cool, we will look into the SharePoint Connector for Confluence. –  Etienne Jun 6 '11 at 7:01

This is a tough one. It's unreasonable to expect that the SharePoint team would be able to build a better wiki than people who only build wikis. They're not going to build a better blog engine than people who specialize in building just a blog. So the "SharePoint wiki is better than XYZOpenWiki" argument is probably one you are going to lose.

I think you have to sell this on the basis that it is a complete solution that integrates all the other amazing stuff in SharePoint, because if you take everything in SharePoint together there is nothing out there that comes close. Look for features like managed metadata and search and Office integration that are going mean that the wiki's will be integrated into a more powerful collaboration platform.

Even when you convince them that SharePoint is a better platform for supporting their wikis for the above reasons, you have another problem. All their content is already on this other system. You are going to have to think about how you can make it easy for them to migrate their content over to SharePoint.

I worked on a SharePoint project where somebody had started a FlexWiki site and I couldn't get them to move over. Once these things get established they are very difficult to dislodge. Good luck.

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Sharepoint wikis are just not enterprise worthy. We gave a lot of feedback to Kevin Davis, the former PM for wikis, about how poor they were. I was excited they were taking feedback about the feature but it seems that none of the suggestions the community made got rolled into the product.

If users need a robust wiki, then trying to pigeon hole them into Sharepoint is going to be a miserable failure. As the good doctor says, content migration is going to be the other problem as well.

Sometimes you have to pick your battles and if the users are doing anything beyond basic wiki functionality in Confluence, you're best bet is going to be linking to that wiki in Sharepoint and pointing search to it to index the content.

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I think you're asking the wrong question, or at least, you need to be able to answer "Why?" or "What's Confluence not giving your users?" before you start planning how to convince them.

Is the technology better? Will faries give you 3 wishes if you move to SharePoint? Do organisations running SharePoint have better Feng Shui?

Calendars, announcements, etc. wont deliver a more efficient organisation unless they adopt the platform. They won't adopt the platform unless you can help them understand why they "need" SharePoint and you won't be able to help them need it unless you understand how they work with Confluence and use it on a daily basis.

What I like to do is go sit with the users, watch how they work & interact with the tool. If their use cases/user scenarios don't match SharePoint very well or are better served by Confluence, maybe SharePoint isn't the answer?

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If you have a bunch of users that are super-geeky Wiki-markup power users, there is nothing in SharePoint your are going to give them that will make them happy. OTOH, if you have people (in my experience there are lots more of these) using Confluence as a basic knowledge management tool, you could probably point to things like a more friendly editor in SharePoint as advantages. Also, if you are on SP2007, don't point to the Wiki capabilities as the way to go. They are woefully limiting. Most of the users I've helped move from one to the other have been happier with a publishing site type of solution, where we make a couple of page layouts, define page fields for some of the things they were tracking as meta-data in Confluence, and then have them just make new pages as they desire. Few if any have ended up missing the "magic" wiki markup.

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