An ideal SharePoint collaboration solution would provide external users:
- Easy, but secure, access to the files and information they need
- The functionality to accomplish the task, or to collaborate on it effectively
- The ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with other members of the team (internal and external users) in the collaboration environment
- The capability of effectively using the full range of tools that the collaboration solution provides
A SharePoint extranet hosted on-premises makes the full range of SharePoint functionality available to each user, whether internal or external, according to the limitations set in place by the extranet administrator.
The addition of Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint (ExCM), a SharePoint add-on product by PremierPoint Solutions, enables streamlined, powerful, management of SharePoint extranet users, while simplifying access and use for extranet users. It is fully integrated into the SharePoint management interface, and its features are accessible through Site Settings.
These days, however, a growing number of organizations are moving away from SharePoint on premises to Office 365 SharePoint Online, a subscription-based online solution hosted in the cloud by Microsoft. Office 365 provides limited external collaboration capability through its External Sharing feature. But is this scaled-down extranet substitute, with its limited functionality, a worthy replacement for a full-featured extranet? Let’s think about that for a moment.