Sharepoint, the wildly popular online document creation, sharing, and management program put out by Microsoft in 2001, now has over 190 million users worldwide and is put to use by over 200,000 businesses and other organizations.
Originally introduced as primarily a document storage/management system, it has expanded, deepened, and gradually morphed into one of the most powerful online tools commonly used in the business world today.
To use SharePoint at its optimal level, you’ll need to do a little homework on the basics of SharePoint categories so you understand the content types and how to organize them and how you can quickly recall the data you need at a later date.
But here, we want to focus on 5 key SharePoint applications, to give you an idea of the way this powerful business tool can be put to good use:
1) Corporate File Server:
Businesses with large enough file stashes which require a full-fledged enterprise content management system, Sharepoint often serves as the basis for one integral part of that architecture: the corporate file server.
Sharepoint’s ability to store, retrieve, search for, archive, track, manage, and report on e-docs makes it fit to replace an existing file server. Its graph function and compliance-focused design add to its value. Throw in the fact that Sharepoint is integrated with Microsoft Windows and Office, it offers real-time team-based editing and encryption of information rights, and it can easily outshine in-house or other Web-based file server options.
2) Intranet Portal:
Another key job that Sharepoint performs for companies is its role as an intranet or intranet portal for employees.
An intranet can be an important business tool because it can give convenient, centralized access to relevant data and apps. It can also organize your business’ internal communications, boost employee engagement levels, and reduce the costs of processing and training new hires.
3) Teamwork Software:
One of the major features of Sharepoint, unsurprisingly, is its ability to be instantaneously “shared” between multiple users across remote geographic locales all working on the same project simultaneously.
When you have, at least in part, a remote, work-from-home staff or some of your most important staff members travel a lot, this kind of Groupware application of Sharepoint is invaluable.
4) Personal Clouds:
In conjunction with Microsoft Exchange, OneDrive For Business, and/or other tools, many businesses use Sharepoint to build their own personal cloud (file-hosting service).
Both public and private documents can be stored, synchronized, and shared with ease. A personal cloud may not be necessary for everyone, but those who do feel the need for one find Sharepoint an ideal way to customize their cloud to their business’ exact expectations.
5) Building Customized Web Apps:
Sharepoint does have an app store with some helpful enterprise apps in it, and that’s another point in their favor, but what is really exciting is the ability to rapidly prototype and integrate your own customized Web apps using Sharepoint.
Integration into your business directories and data stashes via such tools as REST or OData, and utilization of security and data-management capabilities of Sharepoint are especially helpful to app development teams.