SharePoint is web-based document management and collaboration platform. It uses workflow applications to enable teams to work together. It is very flexible, and is mainly used to store documents, and communicate information across organisations. Basically, SharePoint allows users to create an intranet for their organisation, from which sub-sites can be created for specific teams, projects, departments, subject matter etc. Because this intranet is a controlled, centralised and secure space, all users can access, share, and edit documents (depending on permissions).
From an organisational standpoint, SharePoint gives the company using the platform the ability to control access to information, automate workflow processes across business units, and empower collaboration and decision making within the various teams. And for those organisations using the Cloud version of SharePoint (SharePoint Online), many integration capabilities with other Cloud based applications are available.
Despite the numerous advantages that SharePoint has to offer, many organisations still find it to be somewhat of a “mystery,” so Labyrinth Technology has listed 12 advantages that SharePoint can offer your company.
SharePoint has extensive integration opportunities with Microsoft 365 applications such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Teams, Power BI, Microsoft Project and Exchange.
Although primarily a benefit for the developers, SharePoint allows simple integration of technologies such as XML and SOAP due to its open architecture. It also provides numerous robust API’s, as well as many event handlers for documents and lists. With the help of an expert developer, SharePoint can allow easy integration with any pre-existing systems as well the inclusion of new applications in the future.
The most obvious and demonstrable benefit of SharePoint is that multiple employees can be viewing and updating SharePoint simultaneously. There is no need to play a game of “pass the parcel” with documents, with Person A making their changes, then Person B, C and so on, with the final version having removed most, if not all of Person A’s input! Arrange a meeting in Microsoft Teams, open the document in SharePoint and make all the changes in a totally collaborative fashion.
A soft yet very important benefit, since the apps are all online and centrally controlled, providing a uniform and consistent user experience. No more “this version here, that version there”, with documents having to be converted for the newer version.
Research shows that the average worker spends 28% of the workday reading and responding to emails. With SharePoint they can do this from anywhere and at any time using all of the Microsoft Office Suite solutions that integrate with SharePoint.
SharePoint is included with the vast majority of Microsoft 365 licenses starting from the Business Basic edition at only £4.50/month/user which also includes Email, Microsoft Office Online and Microsoft Teams.
Many of the common and mundane day-to-day tasks such as signature approvals, document approvals, and the tracking of business issues can all be commenced, monitored, and reported on with simple features within SharePoint.
Even if you only employ a handful of people, it’s essential that these team members all communicate and collaborate. Person A might create a document and expect Person B to review it. However, while Person B has the document open, Person A remembers a few changes he wanted to make and opens it back up before resaving it. Suddenly, neither person knows which version is the most accurate, as neither document is complete. SharePoint features version controls that track every single edit made to a document, along with the time it occurred and the person responsible.
Users are able to create simplified views of complex data in SharePoint. Whatever level of information that users are comfortable with can be delivered in a bespoke fashion for their specific requirements to make their jobs easier.
Form completion-driven solutions can be used to collect business information from external stakeholders such as suppliers, customers, and partners directly from a web browser. Accurate data delivered by these 3rd parties can be input to systems at the back end, and because the necessary data validation rules are built-in this avoids unnecessary duplication.
With potentially unlimited scalability, you might expect adjusts to the configuration of SharePoint to be problematic. However, SharePoint comes equipped with a central administration console that makes this process simplistic. Administrators make changes in a central location, allowing the ability to monitor and update application management.
Employees can create business intelligence portals within SharePoint, set up to gather information from a wide variety of sources, which can then be disseminated and displayed in dashboards, scorecards, web pages, and other places to allow collaboration and cooperation in the decision-making process, making it more efficient and much easier.
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