There’s a lot of biased thinking about SharePoint – some of it probably dating from way back when the app wasn’t quite so developed as it is today. However, you only have to look at the search questions on Google to view the continuing uncertainty many people perhaps feel about Microsoft’s SharePoint solution!
- What’s the purpose of SharePoint?
- How does SharePoint work?
- What’s the best way to use SharePoint?
- What are the benefits of using SharePoint?
- Is SharePoint easy to use?
On the other hand, if you look at people’s search intent (like Google does when giving out answers!), you can almost hear their desire for someone to convince them to adopt it.
So, in the limited space we have here, we’re going to explain the three main things you need to know about SharePoint that will help you feel more confident about using it in your business setup:
- What SharePoint is and how it works
- The best way to get the most from SharePoint
- Benefits of using SharePoint
However, if chatting about it is more your thing, contact us at OneSource, and we’d be more than happy to discuss how we can make SharePoint easy, manageable, and accessible for you.
Otherwise, let’s dive in, because if you’re using Microsoft 365 tools, you should be using SharePoint too!
1 What is SharePoint and How Does it Work?
Generally speaking, SharePoint is one of many Microsoft offerings – a kind of intranet you set up in your business that helps teams collaborate, engage, and manage all types of content that teammates need to share in an organization. The platform is highly configurable and you can integrate it with every Microsoft app. This means its use will vary considerably in different organizations.
Getting started with SharePoint
SharePoint has many functions and your organization’s specific needs will guide exactly how you use the platform. Some popular uses of SharePoint include creating websites, and having a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from any device. As you’re getting started with SharePoint, there are few things that you can do with it straight away:
Simple sharing and collaboration – opening documents, uploading files, and sharing them with other team members. Collaborating with others on a document is now easier. You’ll be able to see the number of people who are currently working on the document with you, and the changes made by the last user.
More than that, in today’s complex world, collaborating is essential. No one person knows it all.
Easy navigation – there are various simple ways to copy and move files between folders. Syncing a library automatically creates a copy to your machine and your SharePoint library, making it easy to get to your files at any time.
Control access – you can easily control who accesses your files by turning on permission settings in SharePoint. Moreover, you can establish SharePoint groups – a set of users with the same permission level.
2 How to Get the Best From SharePoint
It’s important to recognize that this is not a single program, but a suite of server-based and cloud-based tools that come together to operate as a platform for web development, data sharing, and collaboration. Even though it’s a powerful platform, it’s possible that your business is not fully utilizing the tools in order to get the best out of them – because you’re not familiar with them.
Below we suggest some tools to help you collaborate better.
SharePoint has the ability to build websites from scratch. Or – using a library of templates – create sites aimed at team collaboration, communication, or simply a hub site. Examples of the sites you can create include a blog site, project site, community site, etc.
You might find one of the most important uses is to build a knowledge site on the platform where all staff can find the information, insight, and expertise they need in their work.
Create electronic forms
When you need to gather information, either from your vendor list or target customers, you can use SharePoint to create electronic forms that allow you to collect specific data. The forms are accessible online. You can share one with everyone in the shortest time. You can then download data directly to your machine or other integrated system. Having this sort of functionality integrated into your main system saves time.
Use a group calendar
You can also save time and streamline all your team’s meetings with a group calendar for your entire office and/or by department. Each person can view the shared calendar and easily find the best time for scheduling a meeting without all the back-and-forth emails that cause such chaos and time-wasting!
Benefits of SharePoint
As we said, no two organizations are the same and so they might use it differently. But it will still bring expected benefits. This flexibility of use and result is a bonus for you as you can deploy it for your specific business needs and adapt usage when you want to. Some major benefits of using SharePoint in your business include:
1 Increasing productivity
The app is designed to streamline, automate, and empower all of your team’s work. All its features “point” (sorry!) to the usefulness of productive team sites for seamless collaboration. For instance, for amendments, approvals, notifications etc.
When your team communicates and collaborates effortlessly, their productivity increases, work frustrations decrease, and the office atmosphere improves. This is significant in a culture where staff feel free to move on to another company if things aren’t going how they want.
2 Centralizing administration
Managing a team and their set of tasks can be challenging. Even more your team works remotely. With SharePoint, your administrators can easily manage their team using the features of team communication sites, security options, automatic backup, and more. Centralized administration means you always know who is doing what and the state of tasks. Microsoft calls it “your mobile, intelligent intranet ” – with reason!
In each of the app’s features, you can create customizable elements to suit your unique business needs. This clearly gives you the chance to improve your team experience of MS Office 365.
Still Not Sure About SharePoint?
We get it. SharePoint has a vast array of tools and features that can be overwhelming to a user who just got started with Microsoft 365. We are a fully certified Microsoft team and as a managed service provider we want you to get the best from SharePoint. Contact us today for a consultation and we will guide you to become more productive in your business!