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Microsoft SharePoint: A guide for business professionals

Originally Published:
Mar 2018

Employee collaboration is increasingly critical for business success, and SharePoint is one of the tools that makes it possible. This ebook offers an overview of SharePoint's features, common use cases, a few caveats for enterprise deployment, and practical tips for customizing and managing a SharePoint site.

From the ebook:

For many enterprises, team collaboration is the engine that powers innovation. Bringing together different perspectives and a diversity of experiences, collaboration can spark new products, new services, and new ways to drive revenues and increase profits. Not only that, cooperation and collaboration can be a force in motivating workforce productivity—in general, a win-win for all concerned.

However, effective and efficient collaboration requires the deployment of tools, platforms, and systems that make working together for a common goal easy and effective. Over the past few years, Microsoft Office 365 has been redesigned to emphasize team collaboration by incorporating cloud computing into every application. Perhaps no other application epitomizes this philosophy more than Microsoft SharePoint.

Easy collaboration
Microsoft SharePoint, especially when deployed as part of Office 365, creates a virtual workspace where teams can meet, collaborate, and complete tasks. The key to SharePoint’s success within an enterprise is that any employee can create and maintain a SharePoint instance and then designate which team members can join. The busy enterprise IT department doesn’t have to get involved.

To illustrate some of the benefits of SharePoint in a modern enterprise setting, here are five ways the application can help teams collaborate.

Team-only access
One of the primary features of Microsoft SharePoint is its exclusivity. In general, unless purposely restricted by an admin, any employee can create a SharePoint instance. Once it’s created, that employee becomes the admin of that instance, deciding who can participate, what access each participant will be allowed, and how long the SharePoint instance will exist.

Only members specifically designated and authorized can access the documents located on their particular SharePoint server. This gives employees the flexibility to have SharePoint instances for teams, departments, divisions, the entire enterprise, or even just for themselves as an individual. It also allows team leaders to adjust access to the server depending on the ebb and flow of the work.

Central location
Once an instance is created, SharePoint becomes the central virtual location where team members can meet. Not only are shared documents stored there, but team members can chat, video conference with Skype, set up and complete tasks, and compare calendars. Members can even exchange email that’s exclusive to the SharePoint server. With the addition of the updated mobile app, SharePoint’s collaboration team meeting space is available to members as they travel. The shared space means that team members are never that far away, regardless of where they are currently located.

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