Benefits YOU Can Reap from SharePoint

Does it ever feel as though you are losing time searching for documents you need which are scattered across multiple drives and folders? The lack of unity between various departments and communications are tedious and often involves long chains of emails. How often do documents become duplicated causing confusion on what documents are current? These frustrations become obvious during an average work week, but there is an easier way to access documents and a better way to manage all your content and resources. The answer is Microsoft SharePoint.
SharePoint is a portal that acts as an interface between the user and all company information. SharePoint is more than just a document drive; it can be used as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information electronically from almost any device in a secure, structured environment. All you need is a web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox.

SharePoint will not only solve problems with decentralization, but it will also provide many benefits for your agency or department that includes:
·      Search;
·      Content Management;
·      Collaboration;
·      Integration with Microsoft Office; and
·      Keeping Employees Informed.
All business information is accessible through powerful search tools which can be configured to access information from all relevant locations. This means employees will no longer have to search through multiple drives and folders. This in turn prevents the duplication of data and allows employees to access from anywhere, anytime.

Content Management
SharePoint allows content management which means information can be kept secure and only shared with the relevant parties. This content management also applies to work flows dealing with web content, documents and records. Assuring all aspects of authoring, publishing, and retention follow company standards. The content management feature gives an advantage when handling project management duties. SharePoint gives individuals the ability to track of all their projects including what tasks need to be done, percentage completed and deadlines. Within this feature the manager has ability to assign tasks to people associated to those projects allowing everyone to track the status of the project.
SharePoint is the perfect tool for sharing, editing and collaborating on documents which eliminates the need to constantly email coworkers with the latest versions of documents.  SharePoint also allows document versioning making it clear which version is the most recent.
Other collaborative features allow users to receive updates, share calendars, assign tasks, and share blogs and wikis.

Integration with Microsoft Office
SharePoint works with existing Microsoft Office applications, (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.) meaning seamless integration and ease of use.
Keeping Employees Informed
Employees can open up the portal and get the latest news right away which in turn fosters a sense of community. The use of My Sites is a great tool allowing employees to share information about themselves within the company allowing for a greater sense of community. Personalization features include the ability to customize the content they view and to search for employees based on their skills and experience. Within My Site is the newsfeed. Similar to a newsfeed of Facebook, a user’s newsfeed is where they will see everything that is happening in their environment including all documents, sites, people and blogs they are ‘following’.
SharePoint is a valuable tool that not only saves time, but allows for easy collaboration and secure content management all easily accessed through a user friendly portal interface.
If your agency would like to test SharePoint, please reach out to your BIT Point of Contact to look at setting up a site for you and/or your agency. Be sure to check back in with the BIT blog each month for additional information and tutorials on how SharePoint features can benefit you workload. Next month we will cover how to make your experience more welcoming by personalizing your sites!

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