Why your business needs SharePoint
Did you know that 80 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies are using SharePoint? SharePoint is Microsoft’s widely used document and collaboration-centered platform which has sold over 125 million user licenses since its introduction to the market in 2001. The latest version, Microsoft SharePoint 2013 has evolved to support big data, mobile users and public-facing websites.
SMEs can benefit a lot from this full-featured platform because it addresses key business requirements such as:
- content management
- enterprise social networking
- intranet, extranet and portal creation
- collaboration tools
- project and workflow management
- business intelligence
- enterprise search
What you can do with SharePoint:
- Build a collaborative website/or intranet for individual groups within your organisation. This will allow your staff to communicate, collaborate and synchronise their work in real time, regardless of location, or whatever device they’re using. If you have several remote staff working for you everyday, SharePoint enables them to work with the same level of agility and effectiveness as if they were all working together in your office. Technical skill requirement is minimal. All it takes is a basic knowledge in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and web browsing. If deployed appropriately, IT does not have to deal with updating content, defining account privileges, and maintaining a document repository. Access can be limited to the team and appropriate stakeholders. Document workspaces can be used to jointly develop documents, reports, templates, etc. Users can document lessons learned with wikis, use discussion boards for offline communication and meeting workspaces to support meetings.
- Have a centralised place to store and maintain relevant information. Effectively manage your schedule, documents (check-in/check-out, version control, content approval), change requests, budgets, etc. Appropriate privileges can be defined based on informational needs.
- Generate relevant reports. The Excel Services in Sharepoint make it easy for you to use, share, secure, and manage Microsoft Office Excel workbooks (.xslx, xslb) as interactive reports. You can also do SQL Reporting Services reports, dashboard pages, and key performance indicators (KPIs) using the Report Center. You can browse reports by category, or to view a calendar of upcoming reports and subscribe to ones that are relevant.
- Integrate with existing line-of-business (LOB) systems (i.e. CRM, ERP, PLM). SharePoint enables you to surface and share LOB data within a collaboration platform that everyone uses. Known as Business-Critical SharePoint or BCSP, this approach connects users and multiple LOB systems and helps increase business productivity and performance by sharing business data, allowing users direct access to vital information, streamlining business practices, increasing visibility across teams, and driving higher ROI.
You can purchase SharePoint in the cloud, as an off the shelf boxed software product, or as part of an Office 365 suite where you also get access to Exchange, Lync, the Office clients and web apps. When you sign in to Office 365, or your company’s corporate intranet site, you’ll see links to Newsfeed, OneDrive, and Sites in the global navigation bar. These serve as your entry points into SharePoint. If you’re using Yammer, then you may see a link to Yammer instead of Newsfeed.
SharePoint is much more than just a content management systems or intranet. Take the time to understand the underlying business value SharePoint can provide for your Company.