SharePoint in Plain English
BY: EMMANUEL URIAS
What is SharePoint?
SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that provides your company with a secure place to store, access and share information across different devices. The only requirement is a web browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.
Organizations use SharePoint due to the reduced security risks associated with IT and also to cut-down expenses. Another reason why companies use this platform is that it facilitates collaboration among teams and provides seamless access to vital information.
Common SharePoint products
SharePoint can refer to either of the following products:
- SharePoint Online
This is a cloud-based service available to all businesses. It mitigates the need for installing SharePoint Server on-premises. Instead, a business subscribes to an Office 365 plan. It allows your employees to create sites where they can share and modify information.
- SharePoint Foundation
Formerly referred to as Windows SharePoint Services, is free for on-premises deployment. It can be used to create several sites for collaboration on documents, data, calendars and web pages.
- SharePoint Server
Ideal for the on-premise server. It is similar to SharePoint foundation but it is loaded with extra features such as business intelligence, Newsfeed, personal sites and enterprise search.
Features of SharePoint
- SharePoint lists
SharePoint provides two ways of managing information; libraries and lists. Lists resemble a spreadsheet. They contain columns and rows. The main advantage is that they are easily accessible by all team members as they reside in SharePoint. Mitigating the need of emailing.
- SharePoint workflows
SharePoint provides templates for your business that reduce time wastage hence facilitating efficiency and consistency in your daily tasks.
- SharePoint search
The search feature allows your employees to execute a search query that lets the search application to return a set of results that match the search query. The results can be documents, list items, web pages or libraries.
- SharePoint libraries
These libraries allow your employees to store, modify, group and filter data that is stored in the library. This enhances search, therefore, presenting the desired return when a search query is executed.
Benefits of using SharePoint in your business
The above features and many more allow your business to cut down on cost and reduce save time without compromising on quality. Some of the benefits include:
- Effective control of the entire platform
The Central Administration console allows managers to access applications features, monitor SharePoint farms, conduct upgrades and perform backup and restoration in a single location.
- Fosters collaboration
It brings about effective collaboration among team players in your organization. Through features such as discussions, tasks, calendars, contacts, etc. users are in a position to share and modify data effortlessly. Collaboration leads to better decision making and facilitates productivity.
- Ease of use
SharePoint enhances you to create business solutions without the need of consulting a developer. Its features and tools are straightforward, facilitating the effective creation of solutions tailored to your business needs. Whether performing an upgrade or a backup, you are able to do this in a cost-effective and quick manner.
- Enhanced security and integrity
The SharePoint platform provides the much-needed security of information that is not to be accessed by unauthorized persons. It integrates the use of passwords to access files, documents, sites, etc. Additionally, the platform enables all team members to revise an updated document before publishing.
Regardless of the industry your business falls, you need a tool that enhances productivity, mitigates time wastage and is cost-effective. SharePoint is that tool that your business needs. It leads to increase in collaboration in your business hence facilitating productivity.
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