SharePoint has many uses but what is it?
In short, SharePoint makes it easy to store and share data. 200,000 companies use the platform to get the right information to the right people.
Here are six things SharePoint can do for your business.
1. Store your content
SharePoint is most used as a company-wide document – or content – management system. In the noughties, large organisations started adopting it to pre-empt the data explosion. Its familiar Microsoft interface replaced clunky outdated portals with their slow and unreliable check-in processes. The look and feel hasn’t changed much since, but Microsoft have added function after function to make storing, sharing and locating files easier.
Document management systems such as SharePoint changed the way colleagues shared content. Business stopped emailing versions of the same document and started collaborating on the same file. As a platform, SharePoint now hosts OneDrive for Business which you can add to your file explorer and use like a normal folder on your desktop. Remember how you used to add drives to your work desktop to get access to certain files? You can do this with your company’s SharePoint folders, and use your own OneDrive folder as a personal cloud.
3. Find files
Document search has moved on a lot since you had to type the exact file name or get the exact tag. Microsoft has ploughed resources into SharePoint Search to help you find and access your content with ease. Organise it through tagging or use its API sets to make advanced customisations. SharePoint’s search architecture, crawl and content processing, and search ranking options are customisable to meet your specific business needs. Even across a global company, with the right file permissions, it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for.
4. Work anywhere
SharePoint lets you access sites, share documents and edit them all within your web browser. Its integration with all your office tools means that no matter where you are or what device you’re using, you can access your files and keep working. Depending on your settings, edits will autosave and sync across your devices. SharePoint is also the backend to your Teams workspace, so files in specific channels will link to your groups in SharePoint. In Teams, click on the three dots next to a file and select ‘open online’. You’ll see the full SharePoint URL in your web browser. (If it all gets too complicated, Search is your friend.)
5. Present information
What we used to call portals and company intranets, we now know as ‘sites’ on SharePoint. SharePoint is a giant site builder, helping you share information in a more appealing and intuitive way. Use images and icons to grab your colleagues’ attention and direct them to relevant information. Sites make it easy to share files and update your team.
The two main types of sites are published sites, which have a closer look and feel to a website, and team sites, that are specific to your team. You don’t have to be a programmer to build a SharePoint site as it guides you through the process step by step. Once you get the hang of lists, document libraries, web parts and pages you can present your information how you want. SharePoint does the hard work for you, but if you can code, you can do more to customise your sites.
6. Stay secure and compliant
SharePoint as a platform is secure, but you’ll still need to meet your industry and location governance and guidelines. You can configure SharePoint to add checks and measures to different sets of data, from classifying sensitive documents to deleting files after a certain amount of time. You can also change your external sharing settings depending on how you want to share information with external users.
Is your company data a bit of a mess?
We can take you through your options with SharePoint, and show you the best way to get your content management on the right track. Fill in the contact form below and we’ll be in touch right away.