In my previous blog entry, I introduced to you to SkyDrive and SkyDrive for Business, and I tried to illustrate the principle differences between them. I also highlighted how OneDrive for Business allows for more flexibility in what we can do thanks to SharePoint, which is the platform behind it. At this point, I believe that it is only fair to dedicate the present article to learn more about SharePoint and the advantages it can provide.
Developed and hosted by Microsoft, SharePoint was first launched in 2001; it is today considered as a mature collaboration platform for millions of organizations worldwide. Over three quarters of the Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint with Office 365, but they are not all using it to complete the same type of task.
The tricky part about explaining what SharePoint does is that it is not any one software program but rather a platform for several different kinds of programs. More specifically, SharePoint is not something that you buy and install on your own desktop but rather a back-end system that ties all your employees’ PCs and mobile devices together, allowing them all to communicate and synchronize their efforts.
SharePoint’s purpose is to make it possible for a company with a two to a hundred employees spread all over the region to work with the same level of agility and coordination as a company with ten people working out of a single office.
In order to do so, SharePoint gives businesses a shared space to store documents so they are not locked away on any one person’s hard drive. Documents stored on SharePoint can be accessed by anyone in the company unless the administrator has limited the access to a smaller group. This means that users will not need to travel to multiple offices, or wait for multiple emails to get all the files they need for a task. SharePoint allows you and your coworkers to work simultaneously on a single document, saving previous versions, and tracking updates. This way, it is possible to avoid creating several different versions of the document by emailing it to all the people whose input are necessary.
However, SharePoint does not only simplify collaboration. It is also an efficiency booster that offers search functionalities. Users can get to apply different search features, including the ability to search within documents across external data sources. SharePoint also offers an internal enterprise blog where team members can share and post valuable information. This is an excellent way to develop ideation and enterprise dialogue.
The most common usage for SharePoint in the enterprise environment is its ability to develop Intranet portals, content and document management, extranet sites, and finally Internet sites.
In fact, SharePoint can also be used as a web application development platform. As a result, SharePoint can be used to build and manage a businesses website as well as the website's Content Management System (CMS).
In conclusion, SharePoint captures and improves business intelligence accessibility for the entire company, it adds simplicity to the enterprise, and it gives businesses a leg up on the competition.
I could not have written this article without the help of the following sources:
See other applications and programs that are available with Microsoft Office 365.