Microsoft SharePoint for Business

MS SharePointMicrosoft SharePoint Logo is a portal-based, collaboration platform that allows businesses to work more efficiently by letting users create, share, and manage documents, and customise their own websites.

It is made up of 4 key components: SharePoint Server, SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Online and SharePoint Designer – all of which can be accessed on any device, in any location, as long as internet connection is available.

Many businesses worldwide have come to realise the benefits of SharePoint for synchronising work efforts and improving collaboration between teams. The tool is particularly handy for businesses operating in different locations, as it delivers the same level of coordination and productivity that can be achieved in a single office.

Benefits of Microsoft Sharepoint

At LeadingEdge, SharePoint is one of our most popular tools, and we have seen first-hand just how effective it can be for improving operational efficiency and business performance. Microsoft’s portal-based platform is a very powerful and reliable collaborative tool, and is a cost-effective solution to a range of business needs. Every aspect of the platform is customisable and can be tailored to meet specific user requirements and long-term goals.

Simplifies Business Operations

The simplicity of the SharePoint design means it’s easy for users to build and add the business tools and services you need, even if they’re not very IT savvy. Everyday business tasks such as document review and approval and issue tracking can be completed without any coding. This can have significant benefits in terms of cost and time saved.

Familiar & Consistent User Experience

The tight integration of SharePoint with familiar client desktop applications, web browsers and email provides a consistent user experience. This enables users to easily share and manage content, processes and business data, which in turn facilitates enhanced productivity and collaboration.

Streamlined Document Management

SharePoint provides a central location to save your documents from different applications, which makes it easier for several people to access and share information. Specific tools also allow you to coordinate documents and user activity.

Flexibility & Enhanced Control

The customisable element of SharePoint allows you to equip your business with the unique set of tools needed to improve productivity and drive growth. It also allows you to customise the entire SharePoint experience so it meets your business’s specific branding, security settings, storage and auditing policies.

Site Consolidation

Through SharePoint you can incorporate all sites – extranet, intranet and internet – under one platform. This can create significant cost savings and efficiencies.

Office worker using Microsoft SharePoint on laptopWhat to Expect With Sharepoint

SharePoint is Microsoft’s top performing product, but also one of the most complex to understand. Many people consider it to be a specific product or technology, but the term ‘SharePoint’ actually refers to several aspects of web-based collaborative solutions. The platform gives businesses the ability to create several different ‘SharePoint Portals’. These include shared workspaces, blogs, applications and other tools – all of which are accessible over the internet.

Key Components of SharePoint

There are 4 main components that comprise Microsoft SharePoint. Businesses can select which ones to use based on their specific requirements.

SharePoint Online

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from this cloud-based service, which can be easily subscribed to as part of an Office 365 plan or as a standalone service. SharePoint Online allows users to create sites to share information and documents with colleagues, partners and customers.

SharePoint Foundation

Formerly known as Windows SharePoint Services, this is the underlying technology that powers SharePoint websites. It’s free for businesses to deploy on-site and contains the basic collaboration features of SharePoint. Users can create many different types of team sites that offer full collaboration on lists, documents, calendars and data.

SharePoint Server

This is a server product that can be deployed by businesses on-site, or as part of a cloud-based service offering (similar to Microsoft Office 365). It includes all the features of SharePoint Foundation, which provides a consistent framework for site administration, customisation, lists and libraries.

SharePoint Server also offers additional capabilities such as:

  • Social computing – Allows users to rate, tag and bookmark content. My Sites and user profiles offer social networking opportunities, whilst the Community Site feature acts as a forum for users to communicate through topic discussions.
  • Web content management – Businesses can use structured templates to publish and manage branded websites. Editorial content can be added and revised without having to go through IT.
  • Enterprise search – This is a specific search component (included as part of the SharePoint search engine) that allows users to index sources of content so it’s searchable.
  • Business Intelligence Solutions – These can be implemented through a variety of Sharepoint services. Dashboards of data and information can be created through reports, MS Excel Workbooks, performance indicators and views.

SharePoint Designer

A free programme provided by Microsoft which allows users to design, build and customise websites that run on SharePoint Server and SharePoint Foundation. The type of websites that can be created range from small project management team sites to portal solutions powered by dashboards. The latter tends to be the best option for large businesses.

At LeadingEdge we’ve gained significant insight and expertise in SharePoint as it has evolved, and are expert in using this tools to aid your business productivity.

Contact us today to discuss the benefits of Sharepoint for your business.