Thursday, May 30, 2013

Is SharePoint just a Glorified Intranet?

SharePoint is very often used almost solely as an intranet management tool. This powerful software, already used by many companies is however, severely under-utilised. In a slow economy where business leaders are looking to save costs while boosting overall work efficiencies - it makes sense to capitalise on existing infrastructure.

[Anthony Simons] Tagging, News Feeds, Status Updates, Personal Profiles, App Building and Deployment, Development, Usage Analytics and Reporting - these terms are usually associated with Social Media, however now they are also associated with how employees interact in the workplace.

Closely aligned to the Social Networking revolution, SharePoint offers so much more than just a glorified intranet. In its most recent release (SharePoint 2013) this software is now more affordable and accessible to small businesses, while it integrates an incredible range of practical business tools.

In an economy where saving money is a key objective - it is well worth the minimal outlay in time to integrate all the features of your existing software such as SharePoint into the business.  

Here are some reasons why:- 

As an Advanced Intranet 

Individual Information 

Employees are each given a personal profile which they can populate with their Title, Role, Work Experience, Education, Interests, Capabilities, as well as keep their profile up to date with status updates.

Why? This helps colleagues collaborate more efficiently and find the information they need from the most suitable person.

Project / Workflow and Collaboration

Using a central location to house all work information including documents, task schedules and communication (such as email) - SharePoint enables efficient document version control, as well as enabling live updates and simultaneous document collaboration between colleagues.

Why? You can now eliminate the confusion associated with the sending multiple emails, using the cloud to upload and re-upload various versions of the same document, or trying to collaborate on task schedules.

Structured Data 

SharePoint 2013 enables the secure, centralized, structured storage of and access to business data and documentation. 

Why? Reduce storage space wastage and worker confusion through the elimination of duplicate document versions while enhancing security through true document access control.

Employer Branding  

Here the intranet capability of SharePoint comes into its own. Companies can develop a fully customised, branded interface for their employees to use. Company information can be distributed easily to employees, while information regarding company policies and business priorities can be highlighted seamlessly throughout the organisation. Employees also have easier access to company information.  

Why? Creates a central location for data to help reduce enquiries to and pressure on HR and management, as well as promote engagement with the company brand through this professional facility. 

As a Powerful, Secure Extranet...  

In addition to being a fantastic tool for the team to use inside your business, SharePoint 2013 enables enhanced collaboration with your customers and suppliers too. 
Provide a centralised place for customers to see updated product information
Let customers order products & services, plus view order status and update their details online
Enable customers to extract reports and invoices securely
Share project updates and calendars with suppliers and customers

SharePoint Integration is Easy  

When an IT company starts showing a client what they could do with a software programme - from the clients perspective it all very often looks like hard work. All the fantastic features that the IT company is enthusiastically showing the client, need to be set-up and populated with data and in many cases, people are resistant to change from how they are accustomed to working. 

With SharePoint the initial set-up of your system can be managed by MMC or your IT team. One of the most attractive aspects of SharePoint 2013 is that Microsoft has enabled easy future updates to product features negating the need to redeploy new software across the network. 

In enticing teams to embrace the powerful features of SharePoint 2013, companies will be pleased to know that the look and feel of the software is entirely familiar to existing users of Microsoft Outlook and Office, as well as those who make use of social media platforms, making the transition to an improved way of working more attractive. 

The benefits of SharePoint 2013 to business productivity and potential savings in time and money far outweigh the seemingly onerous on boarding process. 

Established in 1991, MMC provides organisations within the small to medium business sector with a variety of flexible, outsourced IT services. With solid implementation experience across a wide range of leading IT products, we provide robust, reliable solutions that are tailored specifically to the individual needs of our clients.

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