What is Microsoft Sharepoint and Why Should You Know About it?

By Ashutosh Jha → Last Updated on Wednesday, March 6, 2019
According to Microsoft, about 78% of Fortune 500 companies use its tool SharePoint. We know that the company offers many software products designed to assist businesses.

But what is Microsoft SharePoint and how does it differ than, say, its Office Suite?

What is Microsoft Sharepoint
SharePoint is for businesses of any size – from small to large enterprises. However, not many know of its benefits to their company, and many find it to be too complex. Nonetheless, it’s a tool that can simplify the daily processes of a business.

Read on to find out what it does, what its features are, and why you need it.

What is Microsoft Sharepoint?

Sharepoint is one of the many software products offered by Microsoft, but this one focuses on helping an organization with its internal processes through its Document Management system.

This system allows for seamless file integration, file sharing, and PDF customization. It also enables multiple employees to access and update important files at once.

It’s also a collaboration platform wherein employees can work on a project together.

Sharepoint itself, though, can mean different Microsoft products. It could be SharePoint Online, SharePoint Server, Sharepoint Foundation, and Sharepoint Designer 2013.

Sharepoint Foundation is the underlying technology for Sharepoint websites. It allows companies to create sites, where employees can collaborate. They can access documents, calendars, lists, webpages, and data.

Sharepoint Server is the one companies deploy on-premises. It’s accessible through the local network, with its intranet sites licensed using a Server/CAL model.

It includes the features of SharePoint Foundation. Yet, it has other features like business intelligence, Enterprise Content Management, and more.

SharePoint Online, on the other hand, is a cloud-based service. It eliminates the need to install and deploy SharePoint Server on-premises. It has all the features of SharePoint, but you access it instead through the Cloud. Companies pay a subscription fee, which may or may not include other products, such as Office 365.

Features of SharePoint for Business

SharePoint allows you to access your documents and collaborate with other employees anytime, anywhere, but what else can it bring to the table? Some of its best features include lists, libraries, workflows, and its search function.

Lists and libraries are SharePoint’s main 2 ways of managing information. A list is something like a spreadsheet, consisting of rows and columns. Libraries have a host of functions, allowing users to create, store, edit, and manage files.

SharePoint also has a search function. It returns a set of results including libraries, lists, documents, web pages, and sites. It first takes into account your context, previous searches, and your permissions.

SharePoint workflows control the execution of business practices according to a flowchart. This simplifies daily tasks, saving you time and effort. To further assist the users, it has a set of templates for generating workflows.

Benefits of Using Microsoft Sharepoint

It sounds pretty useful, but why is it important for a business to have one and why this particular product instead of other collaboration tools?

1. Central Storage and Administration

With this tool, you can store all your documents and information in a central location. This can range from the schedule of important events, like this conference, to important project details.

This information is accessible to all employees. Your staff will be able to find the information they need when they want it.

It also has a Central Administration console. Here, managers can do a variety of tasks from a single location.

They can access the system and security settings, use configuration wizards, and more. They can even perform backups and restorations from the console.

2. Collaboration and Communication

SharePoint is all about getting the whole company to work together in one place. Even if there are remote employees in different locations, they can work on a project using a portal.

One of the best things about Microsoft SharePoint is that it records communications and all the information in a way that’s easy to access. This makes finding data on this platform more efficient than referencing an email.

It also comes with automated workflow for items like sales quotas and support tickets. It streamlines the workflow, allowing the information to get from one place to another with more ease.

3. Content Management

A content often has multiple versions, which can be hard to document in other tools. SharePoint, however, uses a technology that manages the different versions of a document.

It tracks different versions of the file, providing history and context to any viewer. This is important as a traditional set-up doesn’t have a running version history of a file.

4. Customization Features

Companies use the platform for different purposes, even if they’re using the same service. This is because SharePoint is customizable, allowing businesses to use only the features they need and to build their custom applications through the platform. This ensures that your staff will only have the tools they need for more productive tasks.

4. Ease of Use

Modeling Microsoft SharePoint with the features you need sounds like something only experts can do. However, the opposite is true. It allows any businesses to build the solutions they need without the help of a web developer.

Figure out what you want to do and SharePoint will have the tools and programs for you to complete the task. You’ll have to train your employees on how to use it, though. Still, the training time is worth it for the efficiency that will follow.

5. Security

Most of the important data and information of a company are sitting online. It's considered safer than storing it in a file cabinet somewhere in your office. Still, the risks of an outsider getting access to all the files are still present.

This is where SharePoint proves to be advantageous as it has some of the best security practices. It also has protocols that will protect the documents from within. This includes permissions management and checkout systems.

Streamline Your Business Processes

Now you know what is Microsoft SharePoint and how it can benefit your company. It's only a matter of choosing which is the best plan for you.

If you need more tips, check out our other posts today. Learn how to streamline your design flow and collaborate with more efficiency.

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Ashutosh Jha

Ashutosh Jha is a professional blogger, Blog and IT Consultant. He writes about Blogging, SEO, Making Money, Internet Marketing and Web Design.
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