The function of SharePoint is difficult to explain, as it isn’t any one software programme, but instead a platform for different software programmes. It’s a back-end system that can join the PCs and mobile devices of your team, connecting and synchronising your organisation’s work, as opposed to a system that you install individually to a computer. Its two main functions are to store documents in a more effective manner than a typical folder system, and to facilitate the spread of information so that each team member receives the relevant information for them. SharePoint’s one broad goal is to allow companies of any size to work with the same dexterity as a small enterprise working out of a single office, but it achieves this through a wide variety of features, and there are therefore a wide variety of uses that SharePoint can offer a business. This means that the process of SharePoint implementation, and the associated planning, is complex and requires a lot of thought. This article will tell you the benefits of the solution, and explain everything you need to know about SharePoint implementation.
What are the Benefits of Microsoft SharePoint Implementation?
Before you install SharePoint, it’s a good idea to be familiar with what the system can offer you, so you know how to leverage the solution to accommodate your needs. These are just a few of the benefits that SharePoint can provide:
SharePoint contains a Centralised Administration console, which allows managers to uphold control of the entire platform. The console lets users access application management features, system settings, monitor SharePoint farms, perform backups and restorations, manage security settings, upgrade SharePoint, change general application settings and use configuration wizards all from a single system.
Through SharePoint, your teams can have access to the specific set of tools they require to carry out their tasks. You can either keep features as they come or you can have your development team easily build custom applications and components. Administrators can also customise SharePoint with the branding of your company.
SharePoint allows employees to stay informed and connected through every stage of the lifecycle of a project. SharePoint’s streamlined approach to team-based work means that information can travel more easily throughout the business. More collaboration can lead to better decision-making.
With SharePoint, all sites can be combined under one platform whilst reducing the costs associated with each. The platform can incorporate intranet, extranet and internet sites. As well as saving a significant amount of money, SharePoint offers a more resourceful method for accessing your sites. SharePoint also integrates with other Microsoft products that your business probably already uses, such as Office, Unified Communications and Exchange Server.
Security can be delivered by SharePoint on both a broad and single item level. The integrity of data can be protected from unauthorised use. This includes managing permissions to sites, lists, folders, documents and web applications. SharePoint’s settings include requiring users to checkout documents before editing, letting users view all revisions made to a document and return a document to its original state.
Ease of Use
SharePoint contains features and tools that facilitate building solutions without the assistance of a web developer, letting businesses respond quickly to business requirements. You can create exclusive online tools for your team, or building or updating your website.
The Steps of SharePoint Implementation
In order for SharePoint to be successful with your business, you need to take care when planning the implementation of your system. You will get more out of SharePoint if you have evaluated your needs and what features of SharePoint would benefit you from the outset.
Initially, you should put together a sitemap and figure out how it will work. This will be easier if you work with expert consultants, preferably with experience with SharePoint. Try to find out what other businesses are doing, and try to learn from their success as well as their mistakes. After SharePoint has been implemented, your staff need to be trained so that the system can continue to be managed.
1. Perform a business analysis and assess your needs
In order to find out what you need from SharePoint, you need to undertake a business analysis to evaluate your requirements. Think about your current shared documents drive, and assess what you need and don’t need. Think about whether your drive sufficiently facilitates collaboration, or whether you would profit from a forum or CEO Newsfeed.
2. Select a SharePoint service model
You might be dead set on implementing SharePoint, but you still have to choose which kind would suit your organisation the best.
There is a free version of SharePoint, which you will already have if you’re running a Windows server. As you might imagine, it is fairly limited.
Alternatively, you can leverage Office365, which is Microsoft’s Cloud SharePoint solution. With 100GB per site allocation, this option offers a lot of storage.
You can also have SharePoint hosted with a third-party provider. Third-party hosting provides better flexibility, reliability and value. However, the Office 365 version of SharePoint is your cheapest option.
3. Train your staff
SharePoint is designed simply enough to allow even non-IT people to administrate, upgrade and change it with the necessary training. The design is based on WYSIWYG, a point-and-click system where content can be edited in a form closely resembling the finished product. There are also training courses available for SharePoint, which can be obtained through the Microsoft website.
Even if you’re decided on implementing SharePoint, there are a lot of steps to take before it can be implemented. Your needs have to be assessed, your organisation needs to prepare, and you have to select a service model. Organising this can cost your business a lot of time, money and resources.
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