Having spent years working with business customers who are adept in non-Microsoft enterprise content management systems - and are looking to migrate from it - Proventeq CTO, Rakesh Chenchery, often gets asked if Microsoft’s SharePoint is “the right fit” for an organisation.
In this blog post, he tells you why he thinks SharePoint is just what your organisation needs.
I was talking to a multinational organisation recently and they have been using a document management system (DMS) from Oracle for many years.
Having decided to move out of this legacy platform, their first port of call was to look at SharePoint. Why wouldn't they? The entire organisation already had Office 365 licenses, it seemed like an obvious choice.
However, their first question to me was: "Is SharePoint the right fit?"
I have spent years working with customers who use different enterprise content management systems. I often come across this question and my response to them generally is: "The right fit for what?"
What are organisations looking for?
Every piece of enterprise software under the sun is built to solve one or more specific business need and, as much as we would like this to happen, rarely will this solution prove to be the silver bullet for all business needs.
The very definition of document management is left open for interpretation, especially with the advent of new ways of working, continual market re-segmentation from analysts, and increasingly rich features offered by modern solutions.
When a customer needs a comparison or a recommendation, we need to ensure that we are comparing apples to apples.
In our experience, most organisations are looking for two things in a DMS: 1. Functionality that their workforce needs for daily use 2. A cost-effective solution that enables this functionality
In our experience, we have come across organisations using systems that have basic document management requirements, such as the need to store the content in a central location, version the content, secure the content, and make it searchable to the consumer of this content.
Most DMS platforms provide you with this core DMS functionality, but the more complex functionality offered by these platforms is frequently overkill for most organisations. As the years go by, this creates a desire to work with something more intuitively.
This levels the playing field for all DMS vendors.
So, how does SharePoint Online in Office 365 stand out from other vendor offerings?
Collaboration is the name of the game in today’s modern workplace, requiring users to have the right tools to work together – wherever they are on the planet – effectively and productively.
The introduction of the modern interface in SharePoint and OneDrive - and the proliferation of Microsoft Teams - has given the Office 365 platform a great advantage.
There is an organic relationship between SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams. A dedicate Site is created in SharePoint Online for every Team that is created within Microsoft Teams. A folder within the default Team Site document library is also created for every Channel created in Microsoft Teams. Any files that are shared within a conversation on Teams automatically gets added to the document library with the permissions and file security options that are set in SharePoint.
In OneDrive For Business, private chat files are stored in the sender’s folder and permissions are automatically granted to users when files are shared with them.
The seamless integration of all Office applications with native document management and collaboration features puts users right in the middle of a familiar environment, but they are now also equipped with tools built for the modern workplace.
What’s even more fascinating is how Microsoft puts security and information protection at the heart of all this, by allowing a user to sign in with a credential to their device and automatically authenticate them to all workloads including emails, messaging, conference calling, document management, collaboration, and sharing information.
For those who were hesitant to consider Office 365 on the basis of automation and workflow, Power Automate (formerly known as Flow) has brought automation to the citizen developer of the organisation. Artificial Intelligence enables time-consuming, manual tasks to be automated, thereby freeing up time for users to work on more pressing activities.
We all know that at the heart of any profitable business is good communications.
In this new world, where organisations around the world are working remotely, this could very well become the new normal. Now is the time to leverage the right solutions that enable employees to reach their colleagues to get work done and provide important information whenever needed.
Here’s how your organisation could benefit from using SharePoint:
Scalable, flexible architecture.
The architecture of SharePoint is scalable and supports working with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and event handlers for lists and documents. It has the flexibility to incorporate features from non-Microsoft systems too.
Consistent, streamlined user experience
As SharePoint is closely integrated with the staple applications available in Office 365 as well as the modern ones, such as Teams and OneDrive For Business, it provides a consistent, streamlined user experience. Work can be done from within SharePoint or Teams in real-time by multiple users wherever they happen to be.
Simplified access to business content
Your organisation can store and organise business documents in one central location using managed document repositories. Access permissions to documents can be set in SharePoint too, thereby keeping content secure. This not only means content can be accessed by those who need it, but also ensure confidential documents are not shared externally. Version history of documents can also be retained and accessed, which means if documents are saved, previous versions can be accessed and even reinstated, where permitted of course.
Assistance with regulatory and compliance requirements
Specify storage and auditing policies, security settings and expiration actions for certain business records according to regulatory and compliance requirements. This will ensure that sensitive business information is managed securely and reduce the risk of litigation for your organisation.
Having a centralised location for all business content and information updates can help your organisation take stock of what is happening all at once. SharePoint also makes it easy to generate intelligence from your content using PowerBI that assembles and display business-critical information from disparate sources using integrated capabilities, such as dashboards, Web Parts, scorecards, key performance indicators (KPIs) and business data connectivity technologies.
For all these reasons and for Microsoft Office being used widely across the world, surely the next step in digital transformation for your organisation has to be SharePoint.
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