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Microsoft SharePoint is a fantastic collaboration platform that can be integrated with Microsoft Office. Many Businesses (including ours) primarily use SharePoint as a document management system, but there are many other ways that SharePoint can be used to increase productivity, profitability and collaboration within your Organisation.
Creating a Business Case for Microsoft SharePoint.
There are many Commercial and Financial advantages of integrating SharePoint Online into your Business operations. If you need to present a compelling business case for SharePoint to your Boss or your management team, then the following information will give you an advantage.
1. Use SharePoint for Document Management.
SharePoint is a platform that has many uses, but its greatest strength is document management, which makes it the perfect solution for Organisations that manage and share large numbers of documents and files.
Through the user-friendly interface, SharePoint makes it easy to create document libraries that can be organised into single or multiple column layouts on each SharePoint site. Once the document libraries are created, simply upload your documents and files, or drag and drop them into your document libraries.
Microsoft’s highly efficient indexing system makes it quick and easy for you to search and find documents using full or partial search terms. You can also refine the search process by creating specific meta data for every document.
You’ll be able to set permissions at both user and group level, restricting access to SharePoint sites, documents and files. You’ll also be able to set read only access – which is idea for documents such as contracts and policies.
Any changes to documents and files in SharePoint can be tracked and recorded in a breadcrumb trail, providing you with an additional level of security and accountability. This is also very helpful for tracking changes when multiple users are collaborating on the same document, such as a draft contract, or project milestones for example.
Check out and check in documents.
You can prevent other people from amending a document that you’re working on by checking out the document. Once you check out a document, it can only be edited by you until you check the document back in. This process helps avoid conflicts on documents that multiple people can edit.
2. Increase Team Collaboration in the Workplace.
With SharePoint, you’ll keep everything controlled in a single, centralised location.
SharePoint Online is the perfect centralised solution for internal and external teams that need to collaborate on the same projects, or departments that need access to a specific set of documents (such as accounts, HR etc).
Everything you need is shared from the same SharePoint site, which is accessed from any web-browser, or through the Microsoft SharePoint mobile app. Projects and document sets can be segregated into multiple site layers, with different levels of permission, ensuring only permitted users have access to the right documents and files. SharePoint also makes it easier for project managers to oversee specific projects.
Your colleagues can collaborate on the same documents and make changes at the same time. You can also see a record of the changes each person has made to the document. You can also invite external users to edit documents by emailing them a link directly from your SharePoint site.
3. Create a Company Knowledgebase.
SharePoint can be used to create a centralised knowledgebase, which can be accessed and updated by your staff – allowing them to keep up to date with the latest Company processes, procedures and general knowledge. In addition, creating a Company knowledgebase will help your team provide a better customer server experience.
4. Increase data accessibility.
When using SharePoint Online, users can access their SharePoint sites quickly and easily through any Web Browser, or the Microsoft SharePoint mobile app for iOS and Android. This makes SharePoint Online a great choice for Organisations with external users or teams (such as Field Sales Executives for example) that need access to critical files and documents when on the move.
5. Integrate SharePoint with Office 365.
SharePoint Online is part of the Office 365 suite of applications. It is currently included with the Office 365 Business Premium and Essentials subscriptions.
When using SharePoint Online, documents (such as Word documents for example) can be opened in a new browser with a single click. From here, you’ll be able to make changes to your documents online and any changes will be saved automatically.
Do you prefer to work from your local Microsoft application? No problem! Simply open the document locally on your PC or Mac and any changes will then be saved automatically as you work. Simples!
6. Create and maintain your website in SharePoint.
Microsoft has introduced a page model for creating websites that are powered by SharePoint and maintained within a SharePoint publishing site.
SharePoint website examples.
Here’s some nice examples of business Websites that are created and maintained within SharePoint:
- Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena – https://www.mps.it/
- The One Hotel in Barcelona – https://www.hotelstheone.com/en
- Architect 365 – https://www.architect365.co.uk/
You’ll be able to reduce your website hosting and operating costs and centralise another administrative task by consolidating your website management into SharePoint.
7. Provide an improved Customer Service experience.
If you’re using a stand-alone CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application within your Organisation, then you may want to consider reducing your costs and improving your Business efficiency by consolidating your CRM and document management into a single interface by switching to a SharePoint-based CRM solution.
There are many CRM add-ins and Project Management tools that can be seamlessly integrated into SharePoint, including BPA CRM and Dynamics.
8. Improve your Business data security.
By consolidating your Business and client data under one umbrella, you will reduce the chances of becoming a victim of a data security breach that could potentially result in the loss of sensitive, or personally identifiable information.
The all seeing eye.
All individual user activity in SharePoint can be recorded, including document and file downloads and amendments – ensuring that all team members are fully accountable for their actions. You can also mitigate the prospect of data loss and theft by restricting user access to sites and site content through implementing granular group and user permission levels.
There are a number of best practices that can be implemented to maximise SharePoint Security. For example, if you’re using SharePoint Online as part of your Office 365 subscription, then you can setup 2FA (or Multi Factor Authentication) as a second authentication step that’s required before a user can access their account. 2FA authentification is typically a security code received via text message, a code generated by Microsoft Authenticator app, or a code provided by an automated phone call.
9. Reduce your infrastructure operating costs.
Lastly, you can potentially save your business thousands of pounds by consolidating your document, database and website storage/management into SharePoint Online, in addition to using SharePoint as a knowledge base and Customer Relationship Management solution (CRM).
Are you already paying for SharePoint Online?
Many Organisations we speak to have no idea they are already paying for SharePoint Online as part of their Office 365 Business subscription. If you use Office 365 Business Premium and Essentials subscriptions, then you’ve already got your SharePoint application, you just need some help from a SharePoint expert (like us) to setup and configure SharePoint to your Business requirements!