What is SharePoint?
Empowering Collaboration and Streamlining Workflows
In today’s fast-paced and interconnected business environment, efficient collaboration and streamlined workflows are essential for success. To meet these demands, businesses are turning to Sharepoint, a powerful collaboration platform offered by Microsoft.
SharePoint enables teams to work together seamlessly, share information, and automate business processes, ultimately boosting productivity and driving business growth.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the fundamentals of Sharepoint, its benefits, and its various applications.
We will also delve into the latest features and updates in Sharepoint 2019, highlighting its enhanced capabilities and improved user experience.
So, whether you are new to SharePoint or looking to optimise your existing implementation, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to leverage the full potential of Sharepoint in your business.
What is SharePoint?
Sharepoint is a collaboration system that empowers business teams to work together effectively. It utilises workflow applications, “list” databases, and other web parts and security features to facilitate seamless collaboration and information sharing across the organisation.
SharePoint also offers robust access control mechanisms, allowing businesses to control who can access specific information and automate workflow processes across different business units.
Microsoft offers Sharepoint in both on-premises and cloud-based versions. SharePoint Online, the cloud version, is part of the broader Office 365 suite, which integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft applications. This integration provides users with a comprehensive suite of tools to enhance collaboration, communication, and productivity.
Benefits of Using SharePoint
Implementing SharePoint in your organisation brings numerous benefits, empowering your teams and driving efficiency. Some key benefits of Sharepoint include:
Increased Productivity and Visibility
SharePoint provides a centralised platform where employees can access and collaborate on documents, projects, and tasks. With features like document co-authoring, version control, and real-time updates, SharePoint enables teams to work together more efficiently and effectively. It also offers visibility into project progress, facilitating better coordination and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Secure Sharing and Content Management
SharePoint’s robust security features allow businesses to control access to sensitive information and protect their data. It enables secure sharing of documents and files within the business, ensuring that only authorised individuals can access and edit them.
Sharepoint also offers extensive content management capabilities, allowing businesses to organise, categorise, and tag documents for easy retrieval.
SharePoint enables businesses to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks through its workflow capabilities. By defining custom workflows, businesses can automate document approvals, notifications, and other routine processes, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. This automation streamlines business operations and enables employees to focus on more strategic tasks.
Customisability and Scalability
SharePoint is highly customisable, allowing businesses to tailor the platform to their specific needs. It offers a wide range of templates, web parts, and integrations that can be customised to match the organisation’s branding and requirements. Sharepoint is also scalable, accommodating organisations of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises.
Sharepoint Use Cases
Sharepoint has been widely adopted across various industries and sectors, serving as a versatile platform for collaboration and content management. Some common use cases of SharePoint include:
Intranet and Document Management
SharePoint serves as an efficient intranet platform, enabling businesses to create a centralised hub for company-wide communication and information sharing. It allows employees to access important documents, policies, and announcements, facilitating seamless knowledge sharing and improving internal communication.
Project Management and Team Collaboration
SharePoint provides a collaborative environment for project teams, enabling them to share documents, track project progress, and communicate effectively. With features like task lists, shared calendars, and discussion boards, Sharepoint empowers teams to work together efficiently and ensures everyone is aligned towards project goals.
Records Management and Compliance
SharePoint offers robust records management capabilities, allowing organisations to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements. It provides features like document retention policies, version control, and audit trails, ensuring the integrity and security of important records.
Business Process Automation
SharePoint’s workflow capabilities enable organisations to automate business processes, reducing manual effort and improving efficiency. By defining custom workflows, organizations can automate tasks like document approvals, contract management, and employee onboarding, streamlining operations and minimizing errors.
External Collaboration and Client Portals
SharePoint allows businesses to collaborate with external stakeholders, such as clients, partners, and suppliers. It provides secure external sharing capabilities, ensuring that sensitive information is only accessible to authorised individuals. Sharepoint’s client portals enable organisations to provide a personalised and secure platform for clients to access relevant documents and communicate with the organisation.
SharePoint Apps: Extending Functionality
SharePoint offers a wide range of apps that can be integrated with the platform to extend its functionality and cater to specific business needs. These apps can add features and options that are not available in the standard Sharepoint platform. Some popular Sharepoint apps include:
Document Management Apps
Document management apps enhance SharePoint’s document management capabilities by providing additional features like advanced search, metadata tagging, and document analytics. These apps facilitate better organization, retrieval, and analysis of documents, making it easier for employees to find the information they need.
Workflow Automation Apps
Workflow automation apps enable businesses to automate complex business processes and streamline operations. These apps provide intuitive interfaces for designing and deploying workflows, allowing non-technical users to automate tasks without relying on IT support. They can automate processes like document approvals, employee onboarding, and contract management, improving efficiency and reducing manual effort.
Communication and Collaboration Apps
Communication and collaboration apps enhance SharePoint’s collaboration capabilities, enabling teams to communicate and work together seamlessly. These apps provide features like instant messaging, video conferencing, and virtual whiteboards, facilitating real-time collaboration and fostering teamwork.
Custom Development Apps
Custom development apps enable organisations to build custom solutions on top of SharePoint. These apps provide development frameworks, APIs, and tools that allow developers to create tailored solutions that meet specific business requirements. Custom development apps empower businesses to extend Sharepoint’s functionality and integrate it with other systems and applications.
SharePoint 2019: Enhanced Features and Updates
SharePoint 2019 introduces several new features and updates that further enhance its collaboration capabilities and user experience. These updates cater to the evolving needs of modern workplaces, empowering employees to work more efficiently and effectively. Some key features of Sharepoint 2019 include:
Modern Team and Site Pages
SharePoint 2019 introduces modern team and site pages, allowing users to customise their pages with modern web parts. Users can embed videos, incorporate feeds from external sources, and add documents and images to create engaging and interactive pages. These modern pages provide a visually appealing and user-friendly interface for sharing information and collaborating with team members.
Improved Lists and Libraries
Lists and libraries in Sharepoint 2019 have a modern look and feel, providing a faster and more intuitive user experience. Users can easily manage columns, interact with lists and libraries on mobile devices, and gain informative insights from data. The improved lists and libraries also offer advanced features like conditional formatting, making it easier to highlight important information and drive data-driven decision-making.
Enhanced Communication Sites
SharePoint 2019 introduces communication sites, which serve as a platform for sharing news, stories, and announcements within the business. These sites provide a customisable and visually appealing interface for showcasing content and engaging employees. Communication sites can be easily created by users, empowering them to share information and collaborate with colleagues without relying on IT support.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
SharePoint 2019 enhances the mobile experience for users, allowing them to access and engage with the business’s group from anywhere, on any device. The improved Sharepoint mobile app provides a seamless and intuitive interface for accessing documents, sites, and lists on the go. SharePoint 2019 also offers improved sync clients for OneDrive for Business, enabling users to sync files and access them offline.
Expanded Customisation Options
SharePoint 2019 provides expanded customisation options, empowering organisations to tailor the platform to their specific needs. Integration with Power Apps and Power Automate (formerly known as Flow) allows organisations to create custom workflows and automate business processes with ease. Sharepoint 2019 also supports SharePoint Add-Ins, providing a flexible and scalable approach to extending Sharepoint’s functionality.
Hybrid Solutions and Integration
SharePoint 2019 enhances its hybrid capabilities, enabling seamless integration between Sharepoint Online and Sharepoint Server. The improved search function offers an intuitive layout and real-time search results, improving the user experience. Sharepoint 2019 also supports hybrid taxonomy, allowing organisations to maintain a centralised managed metadata term store across both cloud and on-premises deployments.
Compliance and Security Enhancements
SharePoint 2019 extends its compliance capabilities, enabling organisations to effectively manage sensitive content and ensure regulatory compliance. The new version provides automatic content detection, central reporting for incidents, and enhanced sensitive content types. Administrators can search for sensitive information in real-time and apply policy templates to control and monitor content, aligning with industry standards and regulations.
In conclusion, SharePoint is a powerful tool for businesses looking to enhance collaboration, streamline workflows, and improve data management. Its potential is truly transformative. However, realising the full benefits of SharePoint requires expert guidance and support, which is where ATS Connection’s IT Support services come in.
Our team of experienced professionals can help you leverage SharePoint to its maximum potential, ensuring a seamless integration into your business processes.
Whether you’re just starting with SharePoint or looking to optimise your existing setup, ATS Connection is here to provide tailored solutions, ensuring that your technology works for you, not the other way around. Contact us today to explore how we can elevate your business with SharePoint and comprehensive IT Support.