Microsoft SharePoint – What It Is and Why You Need It
SharePoint is Microsoft’s industry-leading content management system. It’s a powerful browser-based platform designed to manage documents and facilitate collaboration between employees and departments. According to Microsoft, SharePoint has more than 160 million users around the world. It’s also the platform of choice for over three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies.
Instead of thinking of it as a single application, think of SharePoint as a suite of cloud-based utilities designed for businesses of all types and sizes. It may be delivered either as part of an Office 365 subscription plan or as a standalone service in the form of SharePoint Online. Organizations may also host their own on-premises SharePoint server to handle content management, business intelligence and more.
The most important thing to remember is that, as the name suggests, SharePoint creates points (usually referred to as “sites”), for storing and sharing company content over the web. By assigning labels and tagged keywords, your business can benefit streamlined workflows and improved collaboration.
Why SharePoint Is Important for Your Business
As a web-based platform, SharePoint facilitates collaboration by providing a convenient content database that can be accessed from anywhere. Designed to improve productivity, it allows multiple people to work on the same website or document simultaneously and, best of all, it integrates with the familiar Office 365 product suite.
SharePoint provides a system far more efficient than simply having a folder full of files stored on a server. It also introduces context to your folder structure by tracking document versions and edits. In other words, you’ll be able to see in real time which employees are working on your files and any changes they’ve made. At the same time, you’ll be able to set access rights and restrictions with ease.
As any business owner knows, poor communication between employees and different departments can quickly bring business to a grinding halt. SharePoint ensures that important information never gets ignored by keeping it in a central location. Put simply, it effectively allows you to post important information, such as an incident report, where everyone in your organization can see it.
Like many cloud-based services, SharePoint provides a scalable and flexible solution that may be tailored for use with just about any industry and company of any size. Of course, some industries, such as those dealing with medical records, are subject to special compliance regulations. However, managed services providers — such as Dyrand Systems — provide customized SharePoint solutions that integrate it with third-party solutions to achieve compliance.
How Businesses Implement SharePoint
A successful deployment of Microsoft SharePoint starts with carrying out an analysis of your business and its requirements before determining whether its service model is suitable for your business. You’ll then need to train your staff to use the platform. Nonetheless, implementation is designed to be a straightforward process, particularly when carried out under the tutelage of a consultant who understands the needs of your business.
For a smooth implementation, it’s best to deploy SharePoint in phases rather than as one big project that will no doubt leave your business with no small amount of teething pains. For example, you might have a plan in mind that concerns using SharePoint for managing multiple projects, such as team collaboration sites, individual department sites, and various other company portals. However, to ensure the process goes smoothly, you’ll want to avoid rolling everything out at once.
SharePoint provides a wealth of templates to help you get started, including templates for enterprise, collaboration and publishing sites. It’s generally better to start with one or two sites that define your company’s policies and procedures and provide a dedicated homepage for your employees. You should also manage access rights as soon as you set up your sites to define the content creators and those who should have only read access.
Migrating to SharePoint brings many important benefits, including a far more efficient way to organize your business’s digital content. The way you organize your information forms the backbone of any successful SharePoint implementation.
SharePoint comes with a long list of functions and features delivered in the form of modern user experiences and collaboration-centered compliance. To find out how Microsoft SharePoint can be made to work for your business, contact us today. Dyrand can assist with your migration to the cloud by providing setup, integration with existing systems, and the required training.