What is Sharepoint ?

Microsoft Sharepoint is an Intranet… which is another name for a website intended for use internally within an organisation.

Sharepoint Online is part of the Office 365 suite of products and included in many of the Microsoft Office 365 licences – which means there are no additional ongoing costs for businesses who are already using Office 365 (which is many) – making it a very attractive solution for businesses to consider.

It is a website you can fully customise yourself, to include all sorts of functionality – but most use it as a way to store, share, and collaborate on documents.  We’ve seen many businesses switch from storing their documents and folders on a server (or local PCs) in their office – to moving them to Sharepoint.  This then allows them to be easily accessible from anywhere – from any device – all you need is an internet connection.  Something that in these days of pandemic lockdown is proving to be very useful.

‘Out of the Box’ Sharepoint is configured with a single site (and not much else) … and looks a lot like this:

Whilst this looks nice aesthetically, the big images on the default site are simply links to other areas – and many people decide to simplify it to make a nice clean looking site that their staff can easily navigate.

So, it is simple to clean the site and get a nice ‘blank canvas’ – the image below shows the default site which has been edited to include the company logo – the site has been renamed (Acme Sharepoint) – and a Document Library has been created and added.

This video shows how you can make these changes:

So – now you have a site with its first Document Library.  Any Files or Folders added to this Doc Library will be accessible to all staff who have a Sharepoint licence (or one of the Office 365 licences which includes Sharepoint).

The above is obviously a very simple setup, and most organisations want to have something more complex – to reflect the structure of the organisation. Sharepoint lets you get as complex as you need.  It allows for multiple sub-sites – and also multiple different pages.  This means you can create areas of your site which are only accessible by certain members of staff.  For instance, you can have a Finance sub site, and HR sub site, – or sub sites for all separate teams.

Or you can simply add additional folders to your single Document Library if you do want to keep it nice and simple – like in the image below.

 

Another great feature of Sharepoint is it’s integration with OneDrive.  This allows you to keep a copy of the files and folders on Sharepoint on your local PC/laptop.  OneDrive lets you do this selectively, so for example, you can have a document library on Sharepoint which contains all your files and folders – but you can configure OneDrive to only keep a copy of certain files on your laptop.  Any work you do on these files will automatically be synchronised back to Sharepoint (assuming you have an internet connection – or if not, will sync the next time you are connected).  It is a really cool feature.

Sharepoint is definitely something which many businesses/organisations should consider, and is something we at Synium can help you with.  Even if you are not yet on Office 365 (for your emails), we can help you with your migration.

A couple of things worth pointing out:

1. It is advisable to configure the permissions for the site (and the various components of the site) unless you want everyone to be able to access everything.

2. It is strongly recommended you activate two factor authentication (2FA) for your Office 365 accounts – without it, if anyone gets your account details (through phishing attacks) they would have access to any data in your Sharepoint. 2FA adds an additional level of security which will keep you safe.

There really is fantastic capabilities which make this a very powerful solution for many businesses.

If you’d like to hear more about Sharepoint, and how we can help you with the setup, and the ongoing support – please get in touch.

 

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