The Question You Should Be Asking: What Is SharePoint?

Of all of the available sharing platforms, one that has not received the attention it perhaps deserves is Microsoft’s SharePoint. This sharing software offers a number of features not found in other platforms and integrates it all with Microsoft’s incredibly versatile suite of data management software.

SharePoint Basics

SharePoint is a web-based application platform that was initially launched by Microsoft in 2001. Historically, the program has been linked strictly to intranet and content management, but new versions have opened up further possibilities for this sturdy software, including real-time collaboration and sharing.

Microsoft closely integrated SharePoint with the rest of the Microsoft Office suite, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These programs easily work within the SharePoint framework, enabling users to stretch their document sharing capabilities and instantly upload, download and edit content across a broad spectrum of users.

What Does SharePoint Do?

SharePoint has many practical uses. The web tools are simple, even for non-technical users, and the program can be used to provide portals for an intranet, manage documents and files, allow collaboration between users, manage social networks and websites and perform business intelligence tasks. Users can even integrate systems, processes and workflow.

SharePoint users now make up more than three-quarters of Fortune 500 company employees. The company has sold more than 36.5 million licenses, although there are also two free versions as well as a cloud edition that is part of the Office 365 platform.

Why Do I Want SharePoint?

SharePoint could be one of the easier ways for everyone in an organization to collaborate in both real time and online. Yammer, SharePoint’s social network for enterprises, allows posts and chats, while the SharePoint platform offers app functionality so that users can customize their experience.

SharePoint also features extremely practical and useful organizational software features. Not only can users coordinate calendars and tasks but can also store in-progress work in a central location with controlled access. By posting new versions in real time to this central location, everyone can stay abreast of the latest work on a project instantly. Furthermore, messages can be sent to everyone working on a project at once with or without attachments, images or other additions.

SharePoint even features a blog that can give users the opportunity to read and share experiences and tips on using the program successfully. No matter what your work needs, SharePoint seems to have a facet of the software designed to meet them.