SharePoint On-Premise and SharePoint Online are Microsoft's fastest growing products. SharePoint is a business platform that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office. It is used to pull knowledge workers together, automate manual business processes, and give you a dashboard of critical business information. Unless you are saying that you cannot make it through the workday without SharePoint, then it is being underutilized in your organization.

KEY FEATURES THAT MAKE SHAREPOINT INDISPENSABLE

As knowledge workers, we all have “stuff” to handle.  Whether it is project plans, financial spreadsheets, PowerPoint, or Visio diagrams, we need a place to store information. In the past, it's been file shares or maybe that renegade Dropbox account. Many of us still save our documents to our local drive. In a time where productivity is both critical and measured, we cannot waste our time hunting for information.

IDC indicates that “The knowledge worker spends about 2.5 hours per day, or roughly 30% of the workday, searching for information” (Feldman & Sherman, 2001).  And when the company executives were surveyed, 60% stated that “Time constraints and lack of understanding of how to find information were preventing their employees from finding the information they needed” (Felmand & Sherman, 2001).

Access to good search results will improve our productivity and increase employee satisfaction.  Whether you're using SharePoint On-Premise or utilizing SharePoint in the Microsoft 365 Office, you have search available to you. SharePoint can be very effective with little configuration right out-of-the-box, but with some care and feeding, it can transform your work environment. The search application crawls the content within SharePoint whether it is a list, library, or web page.  When the application presents its results to the user, it includes refiners to narrow the search results. The refiners save valuable time when looking for content. Further, the crawl indexes every page of the document to present the user with the most relevant results first, de-duplicating the results. Searches can be saved, and the users can have the search application alert them if the results of a previous search have changed.

SharePoint can be very effective with little configuration right out-of-the-box, but with some care and feeding, it can transform your work environment.
— Rob Niles | Director of SharePoint Services at AfidenceIT

It’s not just search that makes SharePoint indispensable. Below are a few other reasons you should be using SharePoint:

  • DOCUMENT STORAGE – A real step up from the shared drives that we all know.  You can add additional metadata to your documents as well as easily sort and filter.
  • VERSIONING – If you make a mistake in a document, you can roll back to the previous version very easily without involving your IT department.  It takes a couple clicks of the mouse, and you are back in business.
  • CO-AUTHORING – You know that large document that your team needs and you never seem to have enough time? No more waiting your turn in line.  Co-authoring allows your whole team to edit the same document simultaneously, locking the paragraphs that are in progress by one of your teammates so that no one steps on anyone else’s toes.
  • ONE DRIVE – Your data when and where you need it.  With a terabyte of space, you don’t have to skimp on what you put in your OneDrive for business.  Your data is easily available to you when you’re mobile, regardless of what tablet or phone you are using. It just works.
  • MY PROFILE – Within seconds, you can update your contact information, which is then accessible to your team. You can update what projects you have in progress, and this information is shared with your colleagues.
  • VIEWS – Seeing the data you want to see, the way you want to see it.  Views allow you to slice and dice your data to make sound decisions at the speed of business.

SharePoint is much more than a place to store your documents. It is a business platform that can help propel your business to meet your goals. From executive dashboards to automating repetitive tasks, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what SharePoint can do.

Are you using SharePoint for more than document storage and e-mail?  If not, you are missing the point.

ROB NILES

Director of SharePoint Services | AfidenceIT

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