Microsoft has its fair share of detractors, but every now and then it produces a product that hits the sweet spot for many users across the board.
SharePoint is just such an offer and has enjoyed good uptake in the marketplace at large – yes, even from some detractors.
You might not want to take the man’s vaccines, but Bill Gates produced a genuine business tool in SharePoint.
As a web-based collaboration and content management platform, SharePoint excels.
It’s a capable competitor to Zoho and Slack, being very easily employed for a simple collaboration, but can also be used as the platform for something far more ambitious, like a corporate global intranet. When you include the Flow component, it becomes a process management tool. And with PowerApps, SharePoint becomes a document management solution and mobile platform.
SharePoint is an internal data tool, and – to be fair to Microsoft – it’s a pretty tidy collection of jingles and bells, too.
Uptake has been largely on the back of utility, no matter the current or historical usage any company has had with Microsoft products. That tells you SharePoint ticks almost all the boxes for most businesses. When purchasing SharePoint for your business, it’s loaded onto an on-site local server, or, with SharePoint Online, it’s a platform in the cloud managed by a reliable IT team like Computers In The City.
Notwithstanding today’s diversity of choices, history might indeed play a role in terms of the Windows familiarity users find, which certainly aids uptake, but there can be no denying that Microsoft read the market well and made a product genuinely beneficial to business.
The benefits of SharePoint for business
That’s the why – why use SharePoint?
Facilitates meaningful collaboration and project management.
Because it’s a tidy offering that truly does facilitate collaboration and project management. The CMS touch is beguiling, pushing the boundaries between website and file storage system, and SharePoint encourages gig-style collaboration.
It’s as fluid and more familiar than Slack or one of the other prominent collaboration platforms, and as simple as needs are. Global collaboration might no longer be a concern, but truly good collaborative tools are still evolving – there’s still room for much improvement, and SharePoint is a step on that journey.
SharePoint allows staff to connect and effectively collaborate in one place, a place that allows for a myriad of inputs, formats, and which also stores all the collaborative data. More than that, it can facilitate an easy extrapolation of that data into charts and graphs for display, while also allowing for supplier and other inputs to be factored into the development of the data that builds those charts and graphs.
Put simply, the platform allows meaningful collaboration and more accurate collation of data in the process. It then presents this accumulated data in simple yet effective visual ways, further enhancing collaborative understanding and, ultimately, success.
Provides a single source for all data and extrapolation.
As a hub with very detailed capabilities, SharePoint allows any company’s data to be extrapolated into meaningful presentations to differing departments while allowing for subsequent discussion in forums or via discussion boards. Rather than having to toggle between mail and mobile device notifications or half-conversations, a single source for all data, extrapolation, and communication is much simpler, and a definite time-saver.
Tight integration with Office 365, consistent performance, seamless and fast UX.
Tightly integrated with Office 365, SharePoint Online is a gateway to the office, no matter if you’re working from home or anywhere else, for that matter. While other platforms do too, it does offer consistent performance across devices – something that pushes it out front of many competitors – and user experience is seamless and fast.
Offers Enterprise-grade security.
SharePoint has enterprise-grade security; by including such, Microsoft made the effort to speak to current fears around the increase in cybercrime – and it’s wholly scalable, too.
In terms of corporate compliance obligations, again Microsoft has ensured that the broad construct and subtle features facilitate compliance, another rising tide incorporates consciousness.
SharePoint as an aid to Business Intelligence
It might seem corny to say that SharePoint lets staff as individuals – and as a whole – make better-informed decisions, but part of the value Microsoft pitches with SharePoint is just that: Business Intelligence goes up.
Helps users make informed decisions with Business Intelligence.
Whether by design or luck, SharePoint is a greater or lesser salve to clients that are staring into a highly unknown future, as business redoubles its focus on strategy informed by Business Intelligence. Now more than ever, the data needs to not slow things down, but rather enable an acceleration in the right direction – something often harder today to predict than ever it was before.
Facilitates greater diversity of users through UX.
Having everyone make better decisions based on available data is a current ideal for commerce and industry-facing huge disruptions.
In tough times, tools like SharePoint need to be collating and presenting data in quick and effective ways. Perhaps insignificant – yet likely also responsible for – the uptake the platform has seen, is the fact that SharePoint allows for a great degree of personalization. This might seem a moot point, except that it facilitates a great diversity of users while still presenting them with identical data.
If anything, SharePoint is an attempt at balancing UX and personal ownership of the platform, with the business dictates of clear data and unambiguous outcomes.
We see it so often we might think it unremarkable, but therein lies a platform’s popularity and ultimate effectiveness.
Provides comprehensive UX and cloud encrypted data.
The platform has integrated validation in play, which means that there is flagging of inconsistent or inaccurate data, eliminating the risk of human error in data capture, another great feature that drives utility.
Access is controlled, and data is encrypted in the cloud, while SharePoint can also enable extranets, customer-facing websites, and internal social networking apps, even wikis.
Unlike a Microsoft app like Excel – where a huge contingent of its’ features remains obscure to many users – SharePoint is more encouraging of comprehensive usage.
Why should you consider SharePoint for your business?
Taken as a whole, the platform is sleek and professional, without being difficult.
Its value to the business can be best seen in its employment by business, and the platform does indeed today play host to a great many of the world’s prominent corporate entities.