It's not like Microsoft's SharePoint is new to the cloud market. The web application platform has been a popular business management solution since shortly after its launch in 2001. The biggest change since 2001 is it's no longer primarly used in large busineeses. Microsoft has now made this popular product available to all business by including it with Office 365.
SharePoint was originally developed with three key features:
- Intranet: A network of private websites much like the Internet, but typically shared within an organization only. Perfect for shareing information with employees, partners, or customers.
- Document Management: Track, edit, and store documents from anywhere and any device.
- Content Management: Archive, save, search, share, and secure information, including management of complex excel documents or workflows to automate manual business processes.
SharePoint Facts and Statistics
1. More than 50% of all Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint in some capacity.
2. SharePoint was most popular between 2006 and 2011, when more than 36.5 million licenses were sold to businesses and individuals around the world.
3. But users continue to pour in - at a rate of around 20,000 new users every day.
4. SharePoint was worth about $1.9 billion in 2009. It's value today? $6.44 billion.
5. SharePoint has a premium edition appropriate for most business environments, but users can also use some features for free and there is a robust free trial available.
6. Beginning with SharePoint 2010, Microsoft increased the multilingual capabilities of the software. Users can now switch languages in a few clicks, and can access pages in more than 39 major languages including Serbian, Greek, and Thai.
SharePoint Tips and Tricks
7. SharePoint is a perfect tool for sharing training materials that you want to keep private to your organization, clients, or partners.
8. As a project management tool, SharePoint remains one of the cheapest and most effective options for small to mid-sized businesses, yet it is robust enough to satisfy the needs of major companies.
9. You can use SharePoint to set up a single website that acts as the archive for all company emails. You can use this website to quickly search through emails if you need to find information.
10. SharePoint is already well set up to allow users to access documents, websites, and other content on their mobile devices.
11. A careful attention to setting up alerts for all tasks performed within SharePoint can considerably improve the value of the tool to your organization, including storing notifications in the same archive as other company emails.
12. Set up one page to act as a "bulletin board" for your company where administrators can post events, announcements, and related documents (sign up and waiver forms, for example). This can help you organize large events quickly.