Staying Informed with Sharepoint Online
For businesses of any size it is important to have a way of sharing information quickly and easily. In most small to medium sized businesses, this is achieved through the use of a file share on the company server, coupled with Exchange to keep track of appointments and messages.
But what if all your important information could be shared in one place? Well now it can with SharePoint Online.
What is SharePoint Online?
SharePoint has existed as a product for several years, even being included at no extra cost with the old Small Business Server product. SharePoint Online uses the same technology and principles, but instead of being installed on your company server, it is made available via the Internet from your Cloud solutions provider.
SharePoint looks and behaves like a company intranet, providing a central place to:
- Store company documents centrally so that there are no duplicated documents or queries about file versions.
- Create file repositories for all the information relating to your projects.
- Create shared calendars, or access those of other team members to check availability, organise meetings and to book events.
- Create discussion areas for projects and clients, keeping a record of internal meetings and queries.
But because SharePoint Online is hosted in the Cloud outside your company network, it does not technically class as an intranet.
But what if I already have SharePoint?
As mentioned above, if your business still uses Microsoft Small Business Server, there is a chance you are also already using SharePoint. There are still some good reasons to consider moving towards hosted SharePoint however:
- Moving to a hosted SharePoint system reduces the load on your company server, helping improve the performance of your other applications.
- A hosted solution will grow as your data storage needs do without any impact in your other network resources.
- Hosted SharePoint is easier to access outside the company network, for remote worker or a distributed workforce.
- By moving your SharePoint data into the Cloud, that information will be protected by enterprise class security systems and you can then improve your own network security by reducing the amount of data that needs to be accessed remotely.
All of the existing functionality remains the same once you have moved to a SharePoint Online system. Access rights and permissions are unaffected by the transition so that you can accurately control which of your employees can access specific data.
SharePoint Online is the ideal solution for your business if:
- You need a central store for company data that can be accessed anywhere via a browser or you can download Office for iOS, Android and Windows phones and Tablet devices.
- You need access to company data any place, any time.
- You have a distributed workforce who need a space to collaborate on projects.
- Your existing SharePoint installation is causing problems with other applications on your company server, or you are running out of disk space.