Microsoft SharePoint: Secured Cloud Intranet Collaboration for Today’s Businesses
More than a decade ago, Bill Gates introduced Microsoft Office. Since then, Microsoft has experienced tremendous success and a lot of Microsoft software, including web-based and offline software have been introduced to the public. It is quite unfortunate though, that irrespective of the numerous software by Microsoft, only few, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint, are known by the public. Though, these three Microsoft tools seem to be the most popular out there, there are powerful Microsoft tools which are incredibly useful especially to businesses and enterprises. On this note, this article discusses Microsoft Sharepoint, a web based collaborative platform which is indispensable to businesses, corporate enterprises and companies alike.
What is Microsoft SharePoint?
Microsoft SharePoint is a collaborative content management and web-based intranet system which ensures for effective management and streamlining of data. Initially released in 2001, Microsoft SharePoint has grown from just functioning for document management, to a secure platform for collaboration, hosting of files, effective content management and streamlining of data. Currently, Microsoft SharePoint boasts about 190 million users across over 200,000 customer organizations. There are two major versions of Microsoft SharePoint. These are Microsoft SharePoint Server and Microsoft SharePoint Online.
Microsoft SharePoint Server Vs Microsoft SharePoint Online
Both Microsoft SharePoint Server and Microsoft SharePoint Online perform almost similar functions. The major difference is that the former functions in a wider range of operations and is not updated frequently while the later functions in a limited scope and is updated more frequently. Microsoft SharePoint Server is usually offered to large organizations which are in need of a larger control over SharePoint’s design. Before Microsoft SharePoint Server can be used, it has to be installed in the organization’s IT base or infrastructure.
Getting Started on SharePoint
To get started with SharePoint, follow the procedures outlined below.
- First, you have to sign in to Office 365. This is if you are using SharePoint Online. If your organization is using SharePoint Server, you have to sign in to your organization’s SharePoint server site.
- Click SharePoint or Sites in the app launcher navigation or top bar to begin working on the platform.
Now that you have access to the platform, you can carry out a variety of activities.
- Upload Documents: To upload documents, click on upload on the Command bar. The command bar usually appears at the top of the platform. This will upload the document to your SharePoint document library.
- Sharing a Document: To share a document, first, select the document you want to share. When you click the document, an ellipsis appears. Click the ellipsis. When you click the ellipsis, a drop down menu appears. Click share from the menu to share your document.
- Creating a New Site: With Microsoft SharePoint site editor, it is quite easy to open a new internal site via SharePoint. There isn’t any big deal. It works just like the WordPress or Blogger site editor. With the SharePoint site editor, you can add text, videos and images to your site. To add in whatever you want to your site, click the plus symbol which is located at the middle of the blank site template.
Other actions you can make via the SharePoint platform include sharing sites, creating a team site, adding a list or library to your team site and many others. As you navigate through the SharePoint platform, you will get accustomed to these actions.
Applications of Microsoft SharePoint
So, how and why is SharePoint used? how can you boost your business using SharePoint? The benefits of SharePoint will often vary from one organisation to another. But generally, Microsoft SharePoint is beneficial in the following ways:
- Document Management: With Microsoft SharePoint, you can easily keep track of your electronic documents. SharePoint allows for effective archiving, tracking and managing of documents. This is specially important for businesses which require more than one person to be working on a single document.
- File Hosting: SharePoint can also serve as a cloud to store private documents and files.
- Intranet Portal: Microsoft SharePoint’s intranet portal aids organizations to effectively manage their internal system. These include but not limited to internal communications, employee engagement and process management.
- Application Development Services: Developers who create applications for enterprises often use SharePoint as their major application development platform. SharePoint security and information management features makes it stand out from other platforms. Another amazing feature of SharePoint which makes it stand out from other platforms is that it has an enterprise “app store” which has various external resources that can prove beneficial to application developers.
- Collaboration: Important features such as project scheduling, shared mailboxes, social collaboration and document collaboration make Microsoft SharePoint a good collaborative software.
As a businessman running an enterprise or a company owner with a large employee and customer base, you shouldn’t be missing out on the amazing benefits of Microsoft SharePoint.