If you have implemented Microsoft SharePoint as one of your technology solutions at work, then you already know the advantages that it has to offer—improved collaboration, document and file management, social networks, website organization, secured data, and more.
Well now Microsoft has introduced a new version of SharePoint that offers improved features to better serve organizations and collaboration.
Whether you are a SharePoint newbie, or a current user considering the 2013 upgrade, here are five reasons how this year’s version can benefit your organization:
5. Integrated Searching
One of the most important features of collaboration and document management is the ability to find that digital nail in the haystack of files. In previous versions of SharePoint, a super search engine called FAST has been used to locate files, but it is sold separately.
With SharePoint 2013, FAST is now embedded in the platform itself, rather than an add on, and it comes with features targeted specifically to make the searching process more efficient, such as thumbnails preview which allows you to browse through documents before opening them up.
4. Incremental Storage
Before discussing incremental storage, it is beneficial to review how SharePoint stores documents. Let’s say you create a 4 MB document. SharePoint has one copy (the original) securely saved. Then collaboration happens. Two coworkers made edits and changes, so now SharePoint has three total versions of the document: the original plus two edits. The edited documents are copies or duplicates of the original file, meaning the file now takes up 12 MB of storage space (3 files that are 4 MB each).
What SharePoint 2013 does differently than other versions is store documents incrementally through a process called “shredding.” The document is stored as XML and only the changes to the original file are stored with it, rather than the entire file. This new feature means much lesser storage requirements. So instead of 12 MB of storage space, you may only need 5 or 6 MB.
3. Mobile Computing
A weakness in prior SharePoint systems is its shortcomings in handling mobile devices. The updated SharePoint is now designed to accommodate mobile web browsing, and even render sites differently depending on the device. The 2013 platform is also able to send alert notifications directly to apps on your smartphone, so you can easily stay connected with a job on-the-go. As mobile computing becomes increasingly more prevalent, this new feature will make a world of difference.
2. Social Computing
Social sites play a fundamental role in SharePoint collaboration. SharePoint 2013 has added features to improve Community sites without charge, including discussion threads, reputation building based on community contributions, and much more.
1. User Licensing
Microsoft has provided a cheaper alternative for organizations that have various uses for SharePoint. In older versions, a business had to buy the most advanced licensing they needed for their entire operation, even if half of their organization only required a basic model. But with the 2013 update, developers have made it possible for different levels of SharePoint to work together, so organizations can buy advanced platforms when needed, and the basic (and less costly) platform for the remainder of their user base.
Talk to a SharePoint consultant today at Innovative Architects to learn more about how SharePoint 2013 can help you.