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Is Your Business Ready for SharePoint?

When your business grows, more tasks will need to be accomplished. As this list of tasks continues to grow, you are faced with a dilemma: do you continue handling it like you always have, hire new people, or do you consolidate some parts and keep a small team dedicated to those tasks? When it comes to intra­ and extranet, content, document, and workflow management, cloud storage, as well as entrepreneurial social networking and web searches,

SharePoint helps you consolidate all of these crucial business management tools together in an easy to use portal that can be handled by a single person or a small team. SharePoint is integrated into Microsoft’s Office 365 line of products, and can be accessed through Office 365 or your company’s intranet site. Inside, you’ll find a Newsfeed, OneDrive, and Sites in your navigational toolbar. SharePoint can be invaluable when it comes to managing a company website or group of websites, as it allows for cloud storage through OneDrive and a content management system (CMS). The information stored and accessed through SharePoint can be accessed from nearly any device, from desktop computers and laptops to phones and tablets.

Like other social media platforms, your newsfeed connects you to people you are connected to. Unlike social media like Twitter and Facebook, this newsfeed connects you to people within your business who are active on SharePoint. These people could be other coworkers, project managers, IT departments, or independent contractors. This connection allows you to see conversations and activity from employees, check progress on various projects, and post company wide memoranda. You can also tailor the newsfeed’s features to fit your company’s needs, such as locking conversations or following certain conversations. You can post to the whole company (public newsfeed) or just a small team (on a separate team site). This can make it easier to break up projects between project managers, as well as IT departments. Posts and comments in the newsfeed can also include tags, links, videos, documents, mentions, and photos.

Microsoft’s OneDrive is an online digital storage platform (cloud storage) that allows you to store, sync, and share files. When using OneDrive through Office 365, you’ll get 1 terabyte (TB) of storage for your business. If your OneDrive library is hosted on a server within your business, your IT team or network administrator will determine the size of the storage. Through OneDrive, you can share files between project managers and their team, with the company as a whole, or with specific people. If you use Outlook for email, you can send files as a link via OneDrive, rather than sending an attachment. This will save space in email boxes, and anyone with the link will have access to and ability to edit the document, which will be persistently updated any time someone makes a change. This helps keep the document up to date at all times, so there’s no confusion about which version someone has.

Under Sites, you can create sites within your business. These sites aren’t really any different from a website you’d visit on the web, except that they are unique to your business. These sites can be dedicated to specific branches of your business, certain projects, or certain people. You can also create sites within sites, called subsites. This way, you can create one site for each branch of your business, say Financial, IT, and Sales, and under Sales, create a subsite called Projects. Here, all projects can be listed, with their own subsite if you desire. This keeps it organized by relegating key personnel to specific sites they are involved in. Personnel can interact on other sites, such as on the IT branch should they require technical assistance with a particular project.

SharePoint is designed to organize the connectivity of your business, allowing people to coordinate on projects, even if they are away from the office. All they need to do is login to SharePoint from just about any web browser like Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome, or Firefox, and connect to their business’ relevant site. They’ll have access to relevant files through OneDrive, be able to communicate through the Newsfeed, and collaborate in specific zones through Sites.

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