When SharePoint was first released in 2001, it had a goal to make business collaboration easier and enable large groups of people to work together. Now in 2012 Microsoft is making a new and innovative leap with SharePoint 365, know as SharePoint Online, which is part of the new Office 365 package. In a bold move for Microsoft it is helping you and your organization make collaboration even easier by moving to a cloud-based environment to improve functionality as part of a larger Office 365 and to make your business teamwork faster and more efficient. As part of Office 365, it gives you flexibility and the ability to access your documents, files and information virtually anywhere, as well as making it easy to work together with colleagues and customers.
Here are some of the benefits of SharePoint online: You can share personal documents and information by creating your own personal Site to share and manage your documents online and the advantage of always being able to access the latest version; Keeping your team in sync and manage important projects through “Team Sites”, giving your team an arena to work together on documents, critical tasks, and events; Keep everyone up to date on your companies latest news and information through “Intranet Sites” where you can easily find important documents and people, participate in discussions and forums, and access routine business processes; and market your business with a simple to use but professional public website with SharePoint Online that keeps small businesses and professionals in mind and making websites easy to set-up and maintain so you can continue focusing on marketing your business.
So why does this matter to you? With the traditional SharePoint, you have to purchase multiple licences, allocate or buy servers to run the server software, have staff on hand to maintain your servers and installations, and not to mention the upgrades in software and hardware, and you can quickly see costs running higher and higher. With the move to cloud, SharePoint 365 means only a per user fee which drastically reduces your software and hardware costs; and with latest versions of SharePoint there is no worry of being behind, you always have the best and latest software at your fingertips. Secondly the user fee makes the administration Microsoft’s responsibility, again with the advantage of not having to upgrade hardware all the time. There are some things of course that you don’t want on cloud or need a local back-up; but even with a local server, it will be smaller and much easier to maintain while the larger workload can be moved to the cloud.
Different offices, different time zones, different systems; these can all effect the efficiency of an office environment. With SharePoint Online, you can be notified immediately if changes are made to documents, instead of sending messages and emails, thus saving valuable time. If you have offices in different time zones, it becomes easier for anyone to access documents at anytime and as it is cloud based, all documents will be updated and current so no one is left behind. Different systems, no problem; as this is cloud based it can be accessed by PC or Mac users allowing for flexibility in using different hardware, especially if your offices are spread worldwide.
With all these innovative changes, with the decrease in overall cost, with the increased ease of use, there is no reason for you not to jump on board. With ability to access documents anywhere, anytime, with the seamless integration into your existing hardware infrastructure, the time is right now to move into SharePoint 365. So what are you waiting for?