Over the past decade, SharePoint has become the collaboration tool of choice for both large and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) worldwide. SharePoint's intelligent and secure services are the main reasons why it currently has more than 100 million active users. It allows you and your employees to access shared documents and internal custom sites even if you work outside the office premises.
Unfortunately, not all SMBs using SharePoint are able to harness its true potential. Here are some ways to maximize SharePoint.
Use it as an intranet portal
There are many ways your business can take advantage of SharePoint, but using it as an intranet portal should be on the top of your list. SharePoint's flexibility allows you to create document libraries housing various resources that your employees can access even if they're working from a remote location. These resources include:
- Company announcements
- Organizational policies
- Branded landing pages and other brand assets
- HR procedures
To create a new site or intranet portal, all you have to do is click on the plus (+) icon located on the top menu. SharePoint’s site editor will help you add images, videos, texts, and other custom content to your new site.
SharePoint can also be used to enhance your organization's internal communication system. By utilizing the existing functions found in SharePoint, you can:
- Create a discussion board or chat group where employees can talk about existing tasks and assignments
- Create a wiki library where you can store existing and new pages
- Create a list of announcements each with its own expiry date
- Use the SharePoint community site to create an online community where ideas can be shared and discussed
Use it for collaboration and content management
Another way your business can take advantage of SharePoint is by using it as a centralized content management system (CMS). This will allow your employees and clients to collaborate and work together on Excel files, Word documents, and PowerPoint presentations in real time.
To allow others to work on a specific document, you need to create a document library where all the necessary files will be stored. Below is a quick and easy way to create a document library in SharePoint:
- Open SharePoint.
- Click on Site Settings or the cogwheel icon then click on Add an App.
- Go to Site Contents > Your App Screen > Document Library.
A pop-up menu that says "Add Document Library" will appear. This is where you can provide a unique name for your library. After assigning a name, click on the Create button.
SharePoint also lets you customize the new document library. To do this, simply click on the Advanced Options link found at the lower-left corner of the pop-up menu. This will take you to the Site Contents > New screen. On this screen you can do the following:
- Type a name and short description of the new library.
- Choose if a version of a file is created every time someone edits it. It's recommended to choose “Yes” for this option.
- Choose a default library template.
Once you're done, just click on Create. This will close the current screen and you'll be taken to your new document library.
Use it for business intelligence
Your business can also use SharePoint as a centralized business intelligence (BI) tool. Thanks to its integration with Excel, Office Web Apps, SQL Server, Microsoft Office, Access Services, as well as its ability to identify connections from external data centers, SharePoint can be used to transform raw data into useful information that can help you build an effective business strategy for your organization. Other SharePoint tools you can use to enhance BI includes:
- PerformancePoint – This lets you create customized dashboards, scorecards, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you monitor and analyze your organization's performance. This can allow you to make smart business decisions that can help push your organization ahead of its competitors.
- PowerPivot – This helps expand the native abilities of Excel, allowing you to gather important business data from various sources and turn them into easy-to-understand PivotTables and charts. This is particularly useful for creating accurate business reports.
SharePoint is not rocket science, though it does take patience to learn how to use it properly. XBASE’s Exponentially Better™ IT services can definitely help you maximize its full potential. Call us to learn how online document sharing programs can improve your company’s visibility and productivity.
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