Based in the cloud, SharePoint is a software platform from Microsoft designed to manage web-based assets. For your digital workplace, SharePoint can function as a highly effective collaboration tool. It can be used to share files, store files, create workflows and automate tasks.
While SharePoint can be accessed via web browser, it also works in conjunction with Microsoft Office products, including Word, Excel and Outlook, to create a flexible and powerful collaboration platform in the cloud. Users can interact with SharePoint via online websites or intranet team sites. These sites can allow for content control, searchable file storage, data analysis, content creation and social interaction.
What are SharePoint’s benefits?
As an intranet resource, SharePoint can provide a seamless platform because it connects people making use of the tools and resources they already work with every day. For instance: Rather than using Excel for a particular task and having the data remain only within that tool, SharePoint can feed the data into various reports and operations.
SharePoint also has a relatively low barrier for entry as it can create web and intranet sites without having to write code. Using the SharePoint lookbook, experienced users can leverage templates to quickly launch a site.
SharePoint is designed to collapse silos and bring both on-premises and remote workers together through file sharing, collaboration tools and social features. For example, those working in Microsoft Teams can place a SharePoint site tab directly into a chat. This type of integration supports the quick sharing of documents and tracking of contributions.
Collaboration and co-authoring can occur in real-time through SharePoint. In some organizations, several workers might write separate documents, then pass those documents to someone tasked with aggregating and editing a final version. This means of collaboration doesn’t help writers to see what others contributed and the edits that were made.
SharePoint helps clear up miscommunications by establishing singular versions of documents. For instance, a policy document stored on a worker’s hard drive could become out-of-date and inaccurate. In SharePoint, changes to singular policy documents are available for all users to see. Also, SharePoint can let users go back to a previous iteration of a document to help them recognize key changes.
At the end of the day, SharePoint empowers people by giving them substantial transparency, which helps improve their processes and quality of work.
What is SharePoint’s learning curve?
Mastering SharePoint requires a combination of regular use, practice and training. When getting started, understanding a few rudimentary SharePoint tasks can get you acquainted with the platform and allow you to develop some foundational abilities.
The most effective way for a beginner to start learning SharePoint is to dive in by trying out tools and creating beginner sites. Then, newer users can move on to more complex features. Like anything else, the more you use SharePoint, the easier it becomes.
For people ready to move past the initial stages, SharePoint training courses can add to the knowledge gained on the job. Certification and training courses can help shore up rudimentary skills and develop you into a power user.
Is SharePoint Worth It?
Ask some organizations and they’ll say they couldn’t function without SharePoint’s seamless integration, functionality and customizations. Understandably, some are skeptical of the platform’s value, citing costs and low levels of use.
SharePoint’s supports communication and collaboration using established tools with development costs lower than integrating tools from scratch. However, there are substantial costs related to deploying it.
SharePoint licensing fees depend on the model chosen: on-premise, subscription or hybrid. Beyond the licensing cost, there are costs associated with customization of the platform, deployment, training, infrastructure, operation, hardware and administration.
Because of the high level of customization required at the outset, it is easy for a company to experience initial cost overruns. Depending on the company type and size, deployment could take quite a few months. Therefore, achieving positive ROI could be a long journey.
Ultimately, a well-considered framework is needed to get the most from SharePoint.
How Tryane can help organizations make the most of SharePoint?
Our SharePoint analytics solutions are designed to monitor employees’ use of the platform with the goal of identifying organizational metrics for communication and collaboration. Essentially, we can provide you with data indicating the return on your SharePoint investment.
Based on the data we collect, we can also help your company address various SharePoint usage issues. We can boost engagement by detecting low-activity users so they can be coached up to where they need to be. By tracking who reads a page, a document or other piece of content, we can also analyze users’ behaviors to maximize the impact of your internal communications. We can also help you identify the most skilled users of SharePoint and encourage them to assist others.
Our SharePoint solutions incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning to uncover unique insights. For instance, our AI functions allow us to gauge user sentiment so management can react accordingly.
Given the current nature of the workplace, our solutions are available both on-premise and remotely.