Business success is increasingly dependent on sharing and collaboration. In a world packed with data and defined by connectivity, the ways in which we work together has become more important than ever before. Microsoft SharePoint leads the way as a dynamic and productive collaboration solution. As an increasingly web-based platform, SharePoint integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365 and other cloud-based services.
What is SharePoint?
SharePoint is marketed as a document management and storage system and is primarily used to empower teamwork across disciplines and industry sectors. Since its introduction in 2001, multiple editions and versions of SharePoint have been developed, many of which have different functions. This product is now mature and highly configurable, with usage scenarios varying considerably between organizations.
SharePoint is available as a server product in Standard or Enterprise form, or as an online product through Microsoft’s Office 365 platform. SharePoint Server involves one or multiple dedicated computers for storage at an onsite or offsite location, while SharePoint Online involves cloud-based collaboration and document management. While both solutions offer advantages, SharePoint Online provides greater accessibility and collaboration potential.
How does SharePoint work?
Microsoft SharePoint is a versatile and dynamic productivity solution that allows you to share content, knowledge, and applications between people and devices. SharePoint is the equivalent to having a connected and highly intelligent intranet in the palm of your hand, with individuals able to find information, connect with different teams, and collaborate based on the needs of specific projects.
SharePoint is a fantastic solution for any organization that relies on teamwork and efficient workflow solutions between multiple parties. MS SharePoint Online has emerged as a major component of Office 365, with users able to store files, share files from anywhere, and collaborate and co-author between applications and devices.
SharePoint is a platform that allows you to design and build your own unique solutions. More than a software suite and much more than an application, SharePoint combines sites, lists, and libraries for the following scenarios:
Collaboration and co-authoring
- Teamwork and group projects
- Internet websites
- Intranets and extranets
- Process sites
- Workflow solutions
Why should you Use SharePoint?
There are multiple ways to use SharePoint, and many reasons to do so. As a web platform, you can access it from anywhere and collaborate using any of Microsoft’s existing tools. From Word and Excel documents through to Microsoft Teams, SharePoint enables configurable Office365 integration from any device and location. Mobility and accessibility are huge issues in the modern world, with SharePoint decoupling hardware and software for the ultimate in file access and data control.
Cloud-based storage is another huge benefit, and SharePoint offers all the benefits of OneDrive for Business with deep collaboration potential. While Microsoft OneDrive offers simple file sharing as well as secure access and file storage, SharePoint adds the benefit of seamless collaboration and better work outcomes by bringing people together. SharePoint Online adds teamwork to OneDrive and collaboration to Office 365 to take productivity to the next level.
As SharePoint evolves as a mature productivity solution, it will become increasingly recognized as the standard collaboration tool. Rather than investing in multiple applications and dealing with their associated learning curves, SharePoint offers a complete and tightly integrated modern solution. As a web platform, SharePoint is easy to access from any browser, with improved accessibility capable of democratizing information, enabling greater personalization, and providing greater control.
What are the benefits of using SharePoint?
SharePoint is a complex and robust collection of software components designed to simplify workflow practices and processes. Due to the decoupling of hardware and software services, the capabilities of SharePoint are almost limitless. MS SharePoint is used by companies for intranets, extranets, team co-authoring projects, websites, document management, employee collaboration, process automation, and much more.
With so many possible applications, the benefits of using this software are almost entirely dependent on the implementation. As an open-ended platform that changes according to your needs, SharePoint can be configured and personalized to your exact requirements. Despite the flexible nature of SharePoint, however, many of the benefits are shared between use cases and project scenarios.
- Enhanced Security – SharePoint enables tighter security controls, continual updates, and more efficient backup protocols.
- Effortless Collaboration – SharePoint helps team members to communicate and share information across devices and applications.
- Simplified Information Exchange – SharePoint provides access to a centralized and common data exchange.
- Cost Savings – Sharepoint Online or SharePoint in Office 365 are easier and much cheaper to manage due to the complete lack of onsite infrastructure.
- Better Productivity – SharePoint enables efficient data management and better productivity through information sharing.
Tips for implementing SharePoint
Introducing SharePoint to your business makes sense for most organizations. However, while the benefits of this platform are almost impossible to ignore, many people don’t know where to start.
The open-ended nature of SharePoint can seem complex and confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing, and expert guidance and considered implementation are key. Depending on your goals, it often makes sense to look into specific business processes and implement SharePoint in separate phases based on need.
- Analyze business processes – SharePoint works best when you have specific goals in mind. Analyze your processes, look at your existing inefficiencies, and work out how you can do things better.
- Divide and conquer – SharePoint is potentially large and complex, with implementation often more successful when it’s broken down into manageable mini-projects. If you think big but start small, you can create a sustainable transition.
- Documentation and governance – Planning and documentation is critical both before and after you move services to SharePoint. Keep your governance plan simple and enforceable, and train your team to enable an easy transition.
- Enlist expert help – Regardless of your industry success or experience, SharePoint and cloud migration can be almost impossible without some help from the experts.
Softlanding provides professional and managed IT services for demanding businesses. We are a Microsoft gold partner specializing in the direct implementation of leading Microsoft solutions. From Office 365 and Azure through to Teams and SharePoint, we can analyze your current workflow and find smart new solutions that work for your organization.
Contact us now to learn more.