What is Microsoft SharePoint?
SharePoint is a website-based collaboration system that uses workflow applications, “list” databases, and other web parts and security features to empower business teams to work together. SharePoint also gives the company using the platform the ability to control access to information and automate workflow processes across business units.
What is SharePoint Online?
The Microsoft Cloud version of SharePoint, SharePoint Online, has many additional integration capabilities with other cloud applications. It is paired in functionality with many of the other offerings Microsoft packages with an Office 365 or Microsoft 365 license
What Are the Benefits of Using SharePoint?
SharePoint enables increased productivity and visibility for information workers across all verticals, in businesses large and small. The features of SharePoint are centered around an intranet-based cross collaboration experience that enables secure sharing, content management and workflow collaboration features among many others.
What Is SharePoint Used For?
SharePoint has been integral in the past 17 years in increasing working efficiency in fortune 500 companies as an “Intranet” platform that crosses all business sectors. The many features of the platform make it much easier for people to work together on ad-hoc projects and establish standard business processes for information sharing, document publishing, and recording data.
Features like security controls, co-authoring, versioning, and integration with Exchange (Outlook Email Applications) give business users the capability to do more in less time and maintain the integrity of the work they produce. SharePoint includes the ability to:
- Require an approval on documents before they are visible
- “Check out” documents to prevent any other authoring or editing on them
- Get notifications when documents are uploaded or changes are made
- Make workflows using if/then logic to automate actions such as moving or emailing documents, and recording information
All of these features enhance the productivity of business users, but the thing that SharePoint really does better than prior document collaboration systems is display information about what information/documents are stored and why.
It is extremely easy in SharePoint to require that “metadata,” or information about data (like modified time, created by, etc., but also custom ‘tags’ on documents or items) so that workers can better understand why a document may exist and why it is important without having to open it. SharePoint even allows users to create custom databases in an easy-to-use format, and record thousands of pieces of information that can be integrated into the previously mentioned workflows or other business processes.
How is SharePoint Useful for Collaboration?
SharePoint provides a web-based space where users can upload a document to immediately be shared with other people that need to see it. They can also have their own personal storage space called a OneDrive where no one can see a document or file they upload until they “share” or allow access to that document with other users.
This makes enabling a segment of co-workers to see a published document a one step process–but it doesn’t have to be. The approval and workflow features mentioned above can control how documents are shared and how employees work on information in their organizations.
Links to shared documents or collaboration spaces can also easily be sent via email, making it easy for users to be quickly directed to exactly what they want to see.
Organizations frequently use SharePoint to publish company-wide information such as HR documents, announcements and memos.