Microsoft SharePoint – Creating Your Own Collaboration Portal

May 12 2017
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Last week, we spoke about Microsoft’s new Teams platform and how it can assist with internal communications in a workforce. Continuing our focus on key Office 365 programs, we wanted to talk today about SharePoint. In the last few years, Comunet has been able to help several organisations setup their own SharePoint portals and the results have been very positive. In this post, we wanted to cover some of the benefits that SharePoint can deliver to your organisation, and how it may be able to work for you.

What is Microsoft SharePoint?

Primarily, SharePoint is a content management system. It is a platform where your team can upload documents and other files in order to collaborate on them regardless of where they are or what device they are using. SharePoint can be deployed at your workplace on your local servers, or you can utilise SharePoint Online, which is available with an Office 365 subscription. The real value in SharePoint, however, lies in its customisation. SharePoint provides a broad range of tools and features that allow an organisation to create their own unique portal, which stores all the information and files that employees need to perform their work. As such, a company’s SharePoint portal can serve as keystone in an organisation’s internal intranet.

Components of a SharePoint Portal

SharePoint provides a range of choices when structuring your portal and adding components to it. For example, a single SharePoint portal could be divided into multiple SharePoint Sites. For example, a company-wide portal could have separate Sites created for their operations, marketing and administration teams. Within each of these Sites, you can create SharePoint pages. These pages are akin to webpages in that you can design each page to host relevant content. For example, a marketing department’s SharePoint Site may have separate pages for events, social media and analytics.

In addition to hosting documents and other files, these SharePoint pages can also include a broad range of apps to enhance their functionality. For example, you could choose to add an announcements board to your page, a photo slideshow or a contact list. Furthermore, Microsoft’s Office Store provides a broad range of third-party applications that can be embedded into your SharePoint page. To name a few, these applications cover expense management systems, organisation charts and news feeds.

Integration with Microsoft Office

One of the great features of SharePoint is that it seamlessly integrates with other applications in Microsoft’s Office suite. Not only can your team collaborate on Word, Excel and PowerPoint files in a SharePoint portal, but you can also make use of other integrations with OneNote, Access and Visio. This allows your team to easily benefit from a broad range of Office functionalities, all within the one centralised and accessible portal.

In conclusion, we would encourage all organisations to consider Microsoft SharePoint. The level of customisation with this platform is such that it really can be tailored to suit different businesses and their unique requirements. Having a centralised and accessible portal for your employees provides them with a gateway through which they can collaborate easily and benefit from the range of features available with Microsoft Office. If you are keen to create a SharePoint Portal, or want to ensure that your established Portal is optimised for your needs, we look forward to speaking to you.