60 Second Briefing: What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is right at the heart of Office 365. Storing files, creating tasks, sharing news, recording data – SharePoint gives you a bag of tools to help you get your company better organised.

First launched in 2001, SharePoint often gets a mixed press. Seen by come as clunky, other companies base their whole business around it. Like most things in life, the more you put in, the more you get out…

Say goodbye to your shared drive.

Fundamentally, SharePoint lets you build a structured set of web sites that you can store ‘stuff’ in: documents, photos, calendars, plans, contacts, lists and so on. You can organise this however you like – project sites, team sites, department sites – it depends on how your organisation is structured. Permissions are easy to apply using groups, so you can quickly make sure that people only have access to things they should have.

Once the structure is set up and documents are stored, you can start to add more tools. SharePoint has a powerful Forms and Workflow Engine that can be used to build business processes. You can make sure that policies are being updated in a timely way. You can record actions from meetings and assign tasks to people, with reminders when they are overdue. Another thing you can do, is record outputs from risk assessments and track the progress of key items. All without writing any code.

SharePoint 2016 can be installed on your own servers, or simply use SharePoint Online which comes with Office 365. They both work the same way: on premise can perform better and you have more control over how it is configured; online is easier to setup and manage, and integrates with Microsoft Teams, Groups and Yammer.

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