Here at Cloud2020, we are often asked: “What can I do with SharePoint Online from Office 365?”
The Official answer:
Well, according to Microsoft, SharePoint is “…a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from almost any device.” Which is true; however, it’s not just about that, let me explain:
You can just use SharePoint as a great document repository – a ‘file server in the Cloud’ – and that is something we see a lot of companies that we work with doing. They can upload documents them into lists and work on them while they’re on the train or in the coffee shop, straight from withing their Office Professional package. It’s that simple, and it allows you to view and edit your files from the browser, iOS, Android or Windows app.
Don’t get me wrong – that’s one of the many powerful things that SharePoint lets you do. But to get the most out of SharePoint, think about it in terms of your business processes, because if you take just about any department or business process you have – you can put it in SharePoint; simplify and streamline it; and deliver it throughout your business.
Here’s an example
As an example, Human Resources (HR) processes fit nicely into SharePoint and can improve productivity and efficiency. Let’s see what happens with a common scenario – a new member of staff.
At the moment, new staff are probably given a printed copy of the company handbook, policy documents and a load of forms that they have to complete. They probably also have to sign and return a form to say they’ve read and agree to all the above. By now you might be thinking ‘Fantastic! I can store all that on SharePoint and anyone can access it any time they need to’, right? Sure you can. But listen to this…
The new team member starts and goes to the “New Employee” site in SharePoint. They will see a nice page with a video message from the head of HR and links to all the policy documents they need to read and sign – as they finish reading each policy document, a dialog box pops-up asking them to sign to confirm they have read, understood and agree to that policy. Below the list of policies they see the forms that you need them to complete, such as Emergency Contact Information, Banking Details etc. As they complete and sign each form, it gets saved away for future reference. Which brings us back to our “…secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from almost any device.”
Straight out of the box, SharePoint doesn’t come with a fully equipped set of business processes that are perfect for your business. In fact, out of the box, it doesn’t come with very much of anything. It’s a blank canvas just waiting for you to realise the art of the possible. How you fill that canvas is very much up to you, although unless you’re a Picasso or Da Vinci, you may need a little help.
Let us know how we might be able to assist by contacting us here or giving one of our SharePoint team a call on (01453) 827899.
Thank you for reading!