Most of the small businesses we talk to have heard of Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based suite of office productivity services. Office 365 has become incredibly popular and for good reason. The sheer number of features included make it an awesome value. But most of those features go unused, or ignored completely. So I thought it might be helpful to talk about one of the most powerful services that’s probably one of the least used – SharePoint Online.
I usually get one of two reactions when I mention SharePoint to someone. Either they’ve never heard of it at all, or they’ve used it in the past and shudder. SharePoint has been around for a number of years now as an on-premise enterprise intranet solution. Deploying SharePoint has traditionally been a huge project that requires massive resources to do “right”.
Office 365 changed that by including SharePoint Online. Microsoft now takes care of the infrastructure required to run SharePoint and has made it much easier to get started. Now, even the smallest business can take advantage of SharePoint online to make their workflow more efficient. It enables people to collaborate more efficiently.
The most obvious benefit of SharePoint Online is anywhere access. Now your files and data are accessible no matter where you are. As long as you have an internet connection (and sometimes, even if you don’t!), you can get to all of your “stuff”.
Seamless collaboration is another big benefit. SharePoint makes it easy for people both inside and outside your organization to work together – in real time – to get things done.
Intelligence and Insights
SharePoint Home is where you can see activity across all of your sites and groups. You can easily see what’s been updated or added today and who is working on what. Your ‘stuff’ becomes easier to find, saving you time and money.
Enterprise-Grade Security and Compliance
It is more important than ever to make sure your businesses data is secure and protected. SharePoint and Office 365 offers best-in-class security. It’s just not possible for a small business to protect their data to the same level that an enterprise like Microsoft can. From physical security to data encryption and disaster recovery planning, Office 365’s services are a much better option.
So What Can I Do With Sharepoint?
So now we know a little more about what SharePoint is and why we should use it. Now, what can we do with it? At its simplest, SharePoint can be a cloud-based file server. Shared folders can be created and all of your files and documents can be uploaded just as they are now on your PC.
The real power of SharePoint is in business process automation. Simple things like subscribing to a document or folder to receive automatic notifications when a file is updated, to complex workflows that can create documents from a web form submitted by a client, email a sales rep for review and update a spreadsheet with revenue forecast numbers. There is almost no limit to what SharePoint can do for your business given the proper planning and time.
We suggest starting small. A simple document library with a few templates to make it easy for your team to create a daily or weekly report. Use Delve to keep up with what your team is working on at any given moment. Soon, you’ll have an idea for making a specific process more efficient. We can help with advice and guidance along the way.
Want to learn more? Give us a call at 567-429-1776 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to help.