Sometimes the work platforms currently enjoying widespread usage are simply insufficient to contain and manage the volume of work a team or campaign produces. Beyond time management apps and work messaging platforms, comes Microsoft SharePoint. Essentially software that enables organisations to build detailed websites, it shares, organises and stores all relevant information around ongoing projects. A step beyond teamwork facilitation, SharePoint builds a home for collaborating teams.

Both intranet and content management system, SharePoint has found uptake by large corporations. Still, smaller concerns often overlook its most elastic benefit – the ability to allow small business to develop projects of a greater size. Stepping up from small to medium ambitions can be a costly learning curve. Far more malleable than mere document storage, SharePoint eliminates the frequent missed updates by email, limited or closed conversation decisions, and many other costly hassles associated with any team taking on a growing workload.

While bringing teammates together is usually the beginning of any collaborative project, it’s worth noting that project management or admin can often quickly become not just an unwelcome percentage of effort expended, but – when poorly executed – can significantly detract from the overall outcome. This reality informed the release of SharePoint, as it’s a compilation of technologies that presents as a multipurpose tool, one that ties in seamlessly with Office 365.

Not only the volume, but the complexity of project management is streamlined with SharePoint, a subtle yet invaluable aspect of the system and one that goes directly towards the bottom line.

Options on SharePoint to suit the business scale

The core of SharePoint’s effectivity lies in its construct. Able to store documents in a more effective format than a regular folder system, it’s a responsive system able to pace relevance and maintain connectivity between all players in a team, as well as their inputs. The last point is an important one, as the platform eliminates the need for excessive back-and-forth checking and confirmation between parties.

Dozens of modern apps dot the business landscape, with dozens more vying for attention each year. Utilising SharePoint for small business makes a lot of sense when time, effectiveness and results matter. Although performance is the same, companies can choose between several options when utilising SharePoint, as best suits their preferences. Like any platform, it may limit certain businesses (see below), but the vast majority of users never leave.

There’s SharePoint Online, which is a cloud option, very often the default choice of small and medium businesses because of its flexibility. Hosted by Microsoft, businesses are able to tap into SharePoint through an Office 365 subscription or elect to utilise SharePoint as a standalone offer. Especially for smaller concerns fishing for bigger fish, the platform enables enhanced collaborative work and crucial, professional development sharing with clients.

SharePoint Server can be run on-site and most usually suits established medium-sized concerns with an Office 365 Enterprise subscription. The alternative to the cloud-based option, SharePoint Server is full of the latest capabilities and useful features and has a modern look and feel.

The business benefits of SharePoint

It’s often intimidating catching up with the rest of the team when all that awaits is a series of folders and files. Staff might need to check dates and times to confirm the currency of file versions, but this and other contextual information is presented by SharePoint, one of the reasons it’s so enabling.

Files are presented “in context,” in other words, with all historical data on display, eliminating any guesswork as to where things currently are, especially for intermittent contributors to teamwork. Those lengthy, all-inclusive mails copied to everyone (which some of the course scan or ignore) are replaced by a visible “leader board” display on SharePoint. There’s no need to scratch for information – all of the key decisions and confirmations are easily accessible – probably one of the most compelling reasons those who try it are loathed to do without it.

If collaboration is key to growth, then successful collaboration axiomatically enhances growth even more. This, at least, is a premise upon which SharePoint was built. Particularly with more modern remote work and gig economy workers pitching into projects, a successful “staff canteen” like SharePoint has become a logical choice for businesses. Even for established corporates, the endless diaries and meetings to ensure oversight are often dramatically simplified on SharePoint.

The platform really comes into its own when regional or international branches of an organisation need to collaborate. Many tools punt crossing geographic divides, but more than video conferencing or message platform work teams, SharePoint typically succeeds in making everyone feel like they’re right up to date no matter where in the world they’re collaborating from – a difficult trick to pull off, as many previous flops from others have shown.

If you are looking for SharePoint migration to Office 365, get a certified SharePoint migration provider such as Apps4Rent which can provide a comprehensive white-glove approach to resolve any migration issues.

Some considerations around SharePoint in 2020

SharePoint is very effective at enabling a comprehensive or diverse team to work and collaborate efficiently. For those companies that have realised that walking the company culture talk and allowing for true creativity in collaboration, the platform is a thoroughly welcome aid to that process. With renewed concerns (and regulation) around privacy, particularly in the EU, employing SharePoint in certain industries needs to be done intelligently.

The GDPR regulatory framework has greatly enhanced the individual right to control personal data, and with certain industries, the platform’s records management storage needs to be in compliance with current legislation. Sometimes, this is a major challenge. Financial and medical information, for example, needs to be stored in a certain fashion and for certain reasons, something Microsoft SharePoint may or may not be able to effect out of the box.

Notwithstanding highly specific industry concerns of this nature, the platform remains a highly enabling resource for collaborative growth. With several dozen million licenses issued, the market reviews are good. Typically easiest to try through an Office 365 subscription, smaller businesses are catching on to what corporates are always searching for – truly sleek tools that add value, rather than costly trial time. SharePoint is one of Microsoft’s better all-rounders and hits a sweet spot for its clients a few other platforms approach.