The last decade has seen a shift in the way businesses and employees work. Gone is the norm that a team will be located in the same office, city or even country. Whilst face-to face working is still important, the ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues in other locations, is vital. In response to this requirement, Microsoft created SharePoint as a web-based application, for document sharing, business intelligence, advanced search, content collaboration, and workflow management, allowing teams to work more effectively. According to Microsoft, more than 200,000 organisations and 190 million people have SharePoint for intranets, team sites, and content management.
In a world where there are many applications that claim to provide similar functionality, why has Microsoft SharePoint proved to be so popular, and what are the benefits for a business of using it? Let’s take a look!
Real-Time Collaboration and Document Sharing
Have you ever tried sharing a document with team members, and watched in horror as multiple versions get saved and propagated, with no-one quite knowing which the latest version is? With SharePoint, all the changes made by the team members are synced automatically, eliminating the issue of multiple versions. There is just one copy of the document with all edits and comments. You can also see the entire version history of the document, allowing you to check who has made alterations, and what those changes were. SharePoint also provides secure online chat and screen sharing, giving real-time collaboration and improving productivity.
Enhanced Cyber Security
As the world has moved increasingly online, the threat and risk of cyber-attacks have increased. Some sectors, such as legal, finance and healthcare, have strict regulations as to how documents and other content should be handled, and who should be allowed to access them. Data loss, either accidental or deliberate, carries significant financial and reputational risk to a company.
SharePoint builds Enterprise level security into every aspect, allowing a company to specify their rules for sharing, storing, accessing, and auditing documents. Authorised personnel can also monitor user behaviour, to help ensure compliance with any internal policies. This can help identify areas where more training is required, as well as potential security risks.
Simple User Experience
There is nothing worse than trying to understand a new application, especially if it has a confusing user interface. Hours of frustration, trying to work out what goes where, or locate a missing function that you know is there somewhere! Microsoft SharePoint offers a simple user interface that you will immediately feel at home with, integrating with the browsers, apps, and email client you already use.
Whilst the default SharePoint settings provide great functionality and user experience for most people, you can easily customise them if you wish. A SharePoint developer can create and add custom elements within SharePoint, meaning team members can always have access to the functionality they need to perform their role. You can also customise the user interface to reflect your company’s logo and branding.
No one likes unnecessary admin, or wasting time searching for documents and files. It’s both annoying and unproductive. Searching for the files, folders, and functions you need is only ever a few clicks, when all your documents are consolidated onto the SharePoint platform.
Similarly, SharePoint makes it quick and easy to communicate effectively with colleagues, and work on group projects, no matter where they are based. The easier it is to do something, the more likely it is to be done well. SharePoint improves productivity by making life easy and productive!
For small and medium sized businesses, the cloud-based SharePoint Online gives all the features and functionality, without the need for dedicated servers and infrastructure. A simple browser-based portal gives you access to SharePoint, and the enterprise class Microsoft Azure cloud does the rest, ensuring your data is safe and secure. A cloud-based solution will grow and adapt as you do, without the need for on premise support.
For larger companies, or those with an existing IT team, SharePoint is available as an on-premises solution too!
SharePoint comes equipped with a central administration console that makes management of users and data a simple task. Administrators can quickly access operational features, such as security settings and user privileges, all from a single dashboard. Sites can be created and managed, and data can be easily backed up, or restored too.
Integration With Existing Apps
Microsoft SharePoint offers near seamless integration with your existing business applications, including ERP and CRM. It is fully integrated with applications and tools such as Microsoft 365, Outlook, Teams, and OneDrive. For example, by syncing Outlook and SharePoint, users can access their SharePoint attachments and documents without the need to leave Outlook. Microsoft Teams includes the ability to add a SharePoint site tab within the app. Integration with existing apps and their data, means fewer new things for the user to learn, and less to go wrong!
How can Mintivo help?
As an accredited Microsoft partner, Mintivo would love the chance to show you what SharePoint can do for your business. Whatever your size, shape and ambitions, Microsoft SharePoint can help improve your business productivity and make life easier for your employees. To find out more, please get in touch.