This blog is designed to showcase SharePoint’s progression through the years from the humble beginnings of Microsoft’s flagship collaboration platform all the way to SharePoint 2019. You can read our blogs to see which SharePoint version will best support the success of your business and enhance the productivity of your team and how to plan your migration there.
Is SharePoint just a Document Repository?
I have met many people who think SharePoint is purely used for storage of documents. This common myth can be avoided by displaying the wide range of controls and features that SharePoint has out of the box by showing that it is so much more than just a document storage solution.
With options like folders, metadata and powerful search and navigation features users can find out the various things needed easily than ever before. Built-in documents management tools even add more value to this so-called storage solution.
Certain out of the box features are available to help you further manage the contents:
— Version history
Depending on the SharePoint version you are using be it SharePoint 2010, 2013, 2016, SharePoint stores the e-versions of documents and record items. SharePoint Online currently keeps the 500 versions automatically but this can be manually set up and configures on any versions of SharePoint. These document and versions of record items can be restored anytime. The SharePoint versions also provide a perfect audit control of who has edited the content and when it is done.
Alerts can be set up on any list or libraries in order to notify you of the various changes when they happen.
Views can be written to display content in different ways. As we all look for content and find out the things differently, this really happens with user adoption. When Metadata is used views can be written to group with the help of properties and they can be even filtered with them.
Default permission levels in SharePoint allows for Reading and editing rights. These permissions can be applied on site, App or items level.
On the list, you are also able to specify whether the users can edit or see the other list names. For example, custom permission levels can be built, which allows the various users to contribute, but do not have the permission to delete the list.
— Recycle bin
In SharePoint, the deleted things are kept in the recycle bin. Depending on the various versions SharePoint the items can be restored from the recycle bin within 1 to 3 months after the deletion is performed.
This can be done on the libraries where more than one user may need to edit the same document simultaneously. When check in/ check out is enabled a user needs to check out a document before editing.
When another user wants to edit the document the system will notify them that the document is being checked by someone else and ask them whether they want to be notified soon the check-in is again performed.
This prevents the duplication of the documents via attachments on emails by sharing documents with links (URLs).
Setup approval on libraries to manage who can see draft versions of the documents.
What are the other valuable uses of SharePoint in your Business?
By now, I am sure that you will obviously agree that SharePoint is not just the replacement of File Share. Organizations all over the world use SharePoint for various business challenges. Let’s take a look at how SharePoint can help you improve your current business and transform your business digitally.
Build beautiful intranets with SharePoint whether on-premises or with the new communication templates in SharePoint Online. Promote news articles and announcements, store policies and procedures, make training material available and share information about services and business units in your business. Intranets are not simply about communicating with the employees moreover it should also be the induction and training hub for your organization.
SharePoint has become an ideal place to go for your employees to find what they need and when they need it.
Project management and team collaboration
SharePoint provides team site templates that can be used for collaboration in projects and depts. SharePoint serves as a place to store documents and pictures, conduct discussions, share news, provide links, list the tasks and many more.
With Office 365, you can also access the Microsoft team, which also has a SharePoint team site behind it.
Compliance and regulatory requirements
SharePoint is the perfect platform for managing your compliance requirements. By adding metadata columns in the SharePoint library, you can store the documents and address all the compliance needs mentioned above to add security, transparency auditability of these environments.
Replace Excel Spreadsheets with SharePoint lists
Many processes in various companies are recorded and managed using excel spreadsheets. Convert these to SharePoint custom list and get more benefits from the work you are doing. Alerts, views and version history will help you to manage the data better and save time by surfacing exceptions and bringing this to your attention.
Use SharePoint metadata for Reporting
If you are storing the documents somewhere, you can add one or more filed to help you with reporting. By adding metadata columns for the amount and financial years, reporting is possible on grouping in the views.
Recreate written procedures as SharePoint pages
Instead of the word, documents that are never used consider replacing your processes with SharePoint pages. These are much easier to follow and can be linked to other processes and pages with ease.
SharePoint has so much to offer than most people ever think of It can be useful to create solutions easier than you might think. SharePoint is the perfect environment for citizen developers to optimize and automate various business processes.
With some guidance and SharePoint training the developers will be able to build solutions that solve the business issues, money and time and create an effective employee environment, which leads to happy employees. Therefore, now it’s time to step back for a moment and ask yourself, “is my company utilizing SharePoint to its full potential? How can we enable our power users to achieve more with SharePoint?
And the most important, ‘If I’m still not using SharePoint, then why?’