Employee collaboration is not a new concept. Businesses of all sizes do it every day and with the proliferation of online tools, collaboration has become easier and more effective. One of the misconceptions many small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs) have is that collaboration software is only for large organizations because of their size and the costs involved. This is not true.
Companies with as few as 5 employees can greatly benefit from using MS SharePoint. With SharePoint you can:
- Create a company intranet, providing a single platform for increasing productivity within your firm. Company information is easily accessible to those who need it no matter where they are located. Once created, an intranet will quickly become the central information hub for your business.
- Create workspaces and specific project-related sites so employees working together can share documents, calendars, and information related to a specific topic from anywhere there is an internet connection.
- Manage critical documents. SharePoint saves previous versions of documents giving you automatic version control. This can be very important when creating contracts, etc. SharePoint can also help you manage your document compliance and retention programs.
- Easy-to-use collaboration tools such as wikis and workflows to facilitate the sharing of ideas and information. Imagine having a central place for easily accessing policies, procedures, internal calendars and announcements, etc.
- Enhanced search capabilities enabling employees to quickly find people and information.
From the short list above, I’m sure you can see how this tool can help increase the productivity of employees within your company.
In my opinion, the real gem in SharePoint lies in the ability to create specific internal sites for collaborating on projects. No matter what industry you’re in, having a central online location where versions of documents, calendars, meeting notes, agreements, and supporting data are kept for a specific project will greatly shorten the completion timeline and keep everyone up-to-date.
One of the critical things that owners and company executives are concerned with is productivity and the proper flow of information to the people that need it. Microsoft SharePoint fills this need and as mentioned above, comes as a benefit with MS Office 365.
An added benefit is that MS Office 365 falls nicely in line with Business Continuity planning. Having critical operations and data in the cloud will mitigate issues when disaster strikes and allow employees access wherever they have an internet connection.