Just because you can find some version of SharePoint in almost every organization doesn’t mean it is used correctly, or even entirely understood. In fact, there are few who have a full understanding of the many capabilities that SharePoint offers.
Simply put, SharePoint is a Web application platform from Microsoft and has a wide range of uses within businesses, including intranet, content and document management, collaboration, social networking, enterprise search, business intelligence, and much more.
Microsoft breaks down the available features into a handy little tool called the “SharePoint Wheel.” The wheel encompasses these six outcomes:
- Sites. SharePoint can create contextual work environments without any specialized knowledge.
- Communities. A community refers to any place where communication and understanding occurs. SharePoint promotes this collaboration by supplying a platform for shared knowledge and activities.
- Content. SharePoint provides management for documents and files that need to be stored, found, shared, and updated securely and in line with government policies.
- Search. You can look for applicable communities, content, people, or sites based on keywords and refinement tools.
- Insights. Information from all parts of an organization can be placed in a useful context that helps improve effectiveness.
- Composites. SharePoint facilitates “mash-ups” based on internal data, which is the integration of data, documents, and processes for composite applications.
Although such diversity makes SharePoint an invaluable asset to organizations in all kinds of different industries, it doesn’t make it an easy software solution to get your head around. To more easily understand SharePoint from a non-technical viewpoint, think of it as a pizza.
The Pizza Analogy
When you order a pizza, you have a number of decisions to make. For instance, do you want thin or stuffed crust? What kind of toppings? For pick-up or delivery?
If you compare this decision making process with the process of matching suitable SharePoint functions with your organization’s needs, then you can begin to get a picture of how migrating to SharePoint looks like.
For instance, let’s say a business needs an advanced Business Intelligence application, paired with a basic enterprise search system. Though SharePoint, the business can invest in these needed features, and leave out the costly “toppings.”
It’s worth mentioning that while analogies can be useful tools in understanding the basics of new technologies, it is only one representation of what a solution does and how it works. Especially when discussing such a multi-faceted solution like SharePoint, limiting your understanding of the program to just one example is like hiring someone without an interview based on their resume alone.
If you are interested in learning more about how SharePoint can benefit your company, or want to find out if you are fully utilizing all of the solution’s features, consider talking to one of our professional SharePoint consultants.
We can help you migrate from your existing server to a more efficient SharePoint, and provide detailed training on how to implement the software seamlessly into your organization.
Contact us today!