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What Is SharePoint? Your Questions, Answered

At the time of writing this article, Microsoft SharePoint is used by more than 190 million people globally. It’s by far the most widely recognized collaboration and document management system around the world.

There are, of course, other platforms that attempt to rival the vision of Microsoft foundation, but none of them can match SharePoint’s ability in executing and delivering a complete product. Since its introduction in the market almost two decades ago, SharePoint has consistently been a leader in the market.

So what is SharePoint? More importantly, what is SharePoint used for, and how can it boost your business? These are just some of the questions we’ll be dealing with in this definitive guide.

Read on to learn more.

What is SharePoint?

Microsoft SharePoint is a web-based platform for collaboration and document management. The platform is primarily designed for storing documents and communicating information across an organization.

SharePoint allows you to create an internal internet system (intranet) that works in the same way any other website works. You can also create subsites for different teams or departments within your organization. Users can then access, edit, and share documents through a centralized and secure space.

What Are the Features Found in SharePoint?

Generally, companies use the SharePoint foundation to create new websites. The platform is a safe place to organize, share, access, and store information. All the user needs is a web browser.

Below are some of the features you can expect when using SharePoint:

External Sharing: with SharePoint, you can share content and files with other people within or outside your company.

Content Management: this feature helps you organize and manage your content using lists, libraries, records management, metadata, and so on.

Communication Sites: these help in sharing and communicating messages across your organization.

Team Sites: these are meant to offer a place for specific groups to view content, data, or news and collaborate appropriately.

Mobile Applications: there are apps that allow you to access intranets and content on various devices.

Search Functions: these are meant for surfacing relevant content.

Automation: this feature allows you to automate your business processes by creating workflows and alerts.

Who Is SharePoint Meant For?

Given the wide variety of functionalities offered by SharePoint, the platform is widely used by businesses and organizations of all types and sizes. Currently, over 250,000 organizations, including the vast majority of fortune 500 companies, use SharePoint.

How Can SharePoint Boost Efficiency and Collaboration in Your Organization?

We already mentioned that the core functions of Microsoft SharePoint are:

  • To store documents more in a format that’s more effective than the regular folder system
  • To improve collaboration within an organization

Below, we explain some of the ways you can use SharePoint to take your business to the next level.

  1. Publish Information Swiftly.

In today’s fast-moving economic space, the ability to quickly distribute essential business information to the relevant parties can make a big difference. With SharePoint, you can instantaneously send the same information to every individual in your group. This helps consolidate information and eliminate redundancy.

  1. Communicate Better During Virtual Meetings.

In many businesses across the world, company staff and their bosses have frequent virtual meetings. During these meetings, SharePoint can assist in sharing live documents, which enhances collaboration.

  1. Share Task and Assignment Lists.

With SharePoint, you don’t need to send tasks or assignments directly to your employments. Instead, you can publish them in SharePoint, where all members of a team or everyone in the organization can see them. Doing so enhances transparency and visibility and keeps all members aware of what’s being done.

  1. Avert Interference In Document Sharing.

By making SharePoint the default standard for the storage and sharing of your business documents, you can avert interference and confusion. Multiple members of staff can work simultaneously on documents without worrying that they’ll write over or interfere with each other’s work.

  1. Comply With Regulations.

All industries are continually dealing with rapidly changing issues when it comes to regulatory compliance. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a healthcare organization or provide financial services; you must be able to secure and protect your business documents. SharePoint helps you meet auditing, storage, and security policies.

There are, of course, many other ways Microsoft SharePoint can benefit your business.

How Do You Successfully Implement SharePoint?

Now that you know what SharePoint is and how it can help your business, it’s time to learn how you can implement it. This is usually the easiest step, provided you’ve done enough work before the actual implementation. Take the time to thoroughly assess your needs and determine what you want SharePoint to do for your organization.

You’ll most likely need a reputable Microsoft SharePoint consulting services provider to start you off on the implementation process. Once you’ve done the business analysis, develop a sitemap and determine how it’s going to work. The consultant should provide valuable insights into how the top companies are doing it.

Don’t forget to train all members of staff on how to use SharePoint. The good news is that SharePoint features a design that’s easy for ordinary non-IT people to work with. Ensure that everyone knows and sticks to SharePoint best practices.

Can you Customize SharePoint?

The simple answer is yes. SharePoint is one of the most flexible document management systems. You can always customize it to suit the unique requirements of your organization.

Companies can change the user interface to match their internal branding, for instance. This may include customizing the background image, site layout, colors, fonts, headings, and logos. The best thing about these changes is that they’re easy and quick, so you needn’t worry about hiring a professional developer.

Sharepoint Can Give Your Business an Edge.

Hopefully, this guide has sufficiently answered your question, “What is SharePoint?” With all the benefits that this revolutionary platform brings to an organization, it’s easy to see why the top companies rely on it.  And with new features continually being added on SharePoint, more companies across all industries will continue to implement the system.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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