The Top 7 Benefits of Using Microsoft SharePoint

Discover the benefits of SharePoint & how you can leverage it to build the success of your business. Need EXPERT IT support for your Orlando business?

Summary: Microsoft SharePoint lets businesses easily share documents and details across several computers and locations. Read more to learn the benefits of SharePoint and how an IT managed service provider can help you unlock its potential.

Are you looking for a way to bridge the gap between work-from-home employees and multiple business locations with an easy-to-use file editing and sharing platform? Microsoft SharePoint could be the solution you need to adapt and enhance workplace cohesiveness.

When you partner with a managed IT service provider, you get instant access to tools like SharePoint and a team of dedicated IT experts on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What is Microsoft SharePoint?

If you have remote workers and multiple offices, MS SharePoint is a secure file repository accessible to authorized employees. You can store important documents, create links to resources, share business information, and more. This information remains accessible anytime, anywhere, at no additional cost. With the integration with other applications and a seamless web page interface, your employees can instantly access and edit documents.

If you like the benefits of SharePoint but aren't sure how to use it, don't worry! This system has user friendliness beyond many other programs, and you can get help from managed IT services in Orlando. A dedicated IT team can help your business best utilize the features and tools in SharePoint.

Seven reasons to use Microsoft SharePoint

What sets Microsoft SharePoint apart from your current outdated file sharing system? Obviously, it's easy to use, but some of the other advantages might surprise you. As you review these SharePoint benefits, keep in mind your business's needs and how this user-friendly platform could be an easy way to streamline processes and grow your business.

#1: Easy-to-use centralization

The main use of SharePoint is to create a space where every employee can access what they need to work. Instead of rummaging through different applications and folders and struggling to find information, they can access SharePoint. From there, they can manage everything from document creation and collaboration to resource storage.

You can use specific pages to store information in an easy-to-access manner. Employees can also favorite pages, documents, and graphics to quickly pull them up when needed.

With everyone connected to the site, you can create a hierarchy tree to detail their skill sets. For example, if a project needs a specific person to sign off on its continuation, they can easily find their name. Instead of having a directory to search through, employees can swiftly identify superior managers and specialist workers.

Your network administrators can also manage all access and operational features from a single dashboard. These tools include, but are not limited to, security settings, backup sites, and software restorations.

#2: Top-quality cyber and data security

Microsoft developers instated top-quality cyber and data security measures into SharePoint. After all, the high amount of centricity and shareability in your business's intranet necessitates complex protection.

SharePoint benefits incorporate advanced security features, including workflow upgrades and authentication measures. These and other factors make it harder for unauthorized personnel to access information.

Some industries require even more thorough protective measures than others. If you work in the healthcare, financial, or legal industries, you must protect PHI and other data. Managed service providers can help you ensure that your information protection exceeds industry standards.

You can also set protections for specific documents. For example, when setting up the user list, you can set permissions for different data. Then, people from other departments or administrative levels cannot alter certain information, even with everyone using SharePoint.

This process makes collaboration between employees easier without everyone being able to edit the same documents. You can also specify documents for specific people to maintain access to protect the editing process.

#3: Multi-purpose flexibility

As a part of the Microsoft family of products, some advantages of SharePoint include extended utility and application integration. SharePoint's intranet platform allows for more than sharing documents. You can also set up scheduling calendars, create a contact directory with hierarchy lists, and other process-easing functions.

SharePoint Server and Online allow you to integrate other Microsoft Office applications directly into the intranet page. You and your employees can create documents, send emails, set up spreadsheets, and more from the same application. From Microsoft's App Catalog and SharePoint Store, you can add additional tools, including:

  • Form Builder
  • Facebook Chat
  • Click to Call
  • Subscription Form
  • Logo Showcase
  • Pricing Table
  • Countdown Timer
  • All-in-One Reviews

These features reduce the amount of money you would otherwise spend on several software applications. Instead, you can use a single platform that stores your business data and provides the access your employees need.

If you prefer to use a specific browser or have an email application you like, SharePoint can integrate other applications and programs. When you merge the systems, you can create a cohesive environment that makes it easier to work.

#4: Increased productivity

One major benefit of SharePoint is that you no longer have to jump between different apps and websites, but it goes further than that. Reducing the time spent searching through pages and documents goes a long way.

Scheduling tasks without SharePoint could mean reading each email before copying the times to the calendar. With the app integration, you can click a button to view and set your schedule in seconds.

A study found that streamlining document and resource access can increase business productivity by up to 25%. When your employees have tools and information in a concise space, they can spend more time on business-critical tasks. Your business can start getting more things done in less time by just adding SharePoint.

#5: Simplified business operations

One of the benefits of SharePoint Online or Server includes the ability to automate some of your most consistent work procedures. Some apps allow you and your employees to create and format forms from presets. This process saves you the time you could spend filling each one out or creating a new one each time.

You can also collect data from reviews or subscriptions to compile accurate customer information. With this data, you can track and trace customer preferences, predict demand and supply fluctuations, and more.

With SharePoint, you can automate simple daily tasks, including:

  • Collecting signatures
  • Collecting feedback
  • Formatting spreadsheets
  • Tracking product completion
  • Routing documents
  • Completing checklists

Spend less time on busy work, and spend more time building your expertise in your field and doing what you do best.

#6: Easy site customization

While building an intranet may sound complicated, SharePoint's easy customization options allow you to make your business space unique. You don't need to have coding knowledge to utilize the benefits of SharePoint. Instead, many features are as simple as dragging and dropping them into place.

You can shape your intranet platform the way you want, placing pertinent or often-used files in easy-to-spot places. It becomes easier for employees to find the tools they need to complete their work by moving apps and documents. Also, brand logos and color schemes are a breeze to integrate into your platform.

#7: User-friendliness

All of these features would be functionally useless without user-friendliness. However, SharePoint, like other Microsoft applications, has proven easy to learn and pick up on.

Users on the platform can easily identify the tools they need to get work done with a well-presented intranet page. You can create a unique yet understandable user experience with the personal customization options available.

Both Server and Online options have application programming interfaces (APIs) to help you develop your platform. You can create search pages, format sections for certain applications, or highlight often-used information. This process allows you to cut the costs you'd pay by hiring someone to design the page for you from scratch.

SharePoint Server vs SharePoint Online

Microsoft offers two different SharePoint experiences: Server and Online. While SharePoint Online benefits match the ones in Server, each system differs in how you store your business data. Let's break down the differences so that you can choose the plan that fits your business needs.

SharePoint Server benefits and potential drawbacks

SharePoint Server requires local server architecture, file storage, and an active directory. Microsoft does not manage any of the server intricacies. As such, you would need a dedicated IT team to manage issues beyond what industry-standard security solutions can handle.

  • Better privacy: Using your own local server means that Microsoft cannot access internal business information. Your company houses its intelligence, and the servers can integrate with many legacy systems. Even SharePoint Server 2019 can still connect with older servers.
  • More hands-on maintenance: SharePoint Server systems do not receive new features or security fixes as quickly as the Online option. Your managed IT provider would need to ensure that the server has proper updates, but with a trusted MSP in charge of consistent server maintenance, you can outsource this work to a dedicated team of experts.
  • Less remote access: The server version does not allow for a wider range of remote access. However, some applications and functions can become accessible with additional coding and configuration. The entire intranet would not be fully available, but employees can complete basic tasks.

An in-house SharePoint license can cost $90 to $180 per client as a one-time purchase, depending on the plan. Virtual machine server costs increase depending on how many you need. Consulting with an MSP for licensing becomes a better option for more accurate pricing at that point.

SharePoint Online benefits and potential drawbacks

SharePoint Online only requires an internet connection and a paid-for subscription. You get the same customizability, automation, and flexibility with the addition of cloud storage management. Employees can access the information from anywhere if they meet login requirements.

  • Enhanced security: Microsoft protections meet industry standards and offer extra two-factor authentication options, like call codes, secondary emails, and more. SharePoint Online runs on the power of Microsoft data centers rather than homebrew servers, so you obtain added security.
  • Consistent upgrades: Some organizations understandably find issues with having Microsoft manage the data. For those who don't have an issue, the Online option includes added perks, including consistent and immediate updates.
  • Integration with Microsoft 365: SharePoint Online also has access to the most recent Microsoft 365 tools and applications. However, integrating Online with legacy systems on older servers can present some problems. Still, the Online platform works well if you want a fresh start or don't have previous servers.

Costs for the SharePoint Online license vary by two yearly subscription plans. Plan 1 costs $5 a month per user, and Plan 2 costs $10 monthly per user. You would sign a contract for a year, costing $60 and $120, respectively, for one user.

You can also consider SharePoint Online as a part of the Microsoft 365 E3 bundle. This plan includes all Microsoft Office applications with additional services. Microsoft 365 E3 with SharePoint Online costs $23 per user per month.

The takeaway

Many businesses opt into SharePoint Online because of its quick updates, industry-standard defenses, and easy remote accommodations. Other businesses value having full control over their data access and already have dedicated servers, making SharePoint Server the better choice.

Whichever plan you choose, you'll still get the benefits of SharePoint. The decision depends on your business needs and current infrastructure. If you need help integrating SharePoint into your existing network, speak with a managed service provider. Our team here at TradeWeb can discuss how much data control and accommodations you need and help you make better choices for your business.

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