What is Microsoft SharePoint?

Microsoft’s SharePoint may have come across some of your readings as the next big solution. The inception of SharePoint 10 years ago came from a simple idea: to simplify sharing documents. During the last 10 years SharePoint has grown and in SharePoint 2010 the capabilities have evolved.

SharePoint 2010 still does a great job in sharing documents. In fact, two users can be editing the same documents from two different locations and have the ability to see each other’s updates in real-time. This can be done with Office Web Apps  via Internet Browser. Although it’s a limited version it can be a great and economic solution for small businesses.

Business applications can be complex and an organization may have one, two, or even three of them in place to run their business. You may have one application that simply runs your accounting, another application to manage you customer relations, and another to track your employees’ projects and their time off.  By using SharePoint you can connect to these databases, produce the reports they want, and publish them in one central and secure place. Subsequently, you can empower your users by educating them to create these reports and charts to display in a dashboard. In doing this they have access to the information they need presented to them in a sensible manner, to make informed and insightful decisions. Most importantly you don’t have to recreate these reports or charts anymore.

As a business, there are multiple processes that run from day-to-day.  SharePoint allows automating and tracking of these processes. With the help of InfoPath forms to create customized forms and SharePoint Designer to build workflows I designed an IT Help Desk solution in SharePoint with no code. This was created due to the IT department’s need to track all internal requests. This solution – which is now in production – tracks the request and history of the ticket, providing our manager with a quick view of who is currently working on what. This solution addressed our department’s challenge of managing our users’ IT requests. SharePoint 2010 alleviates certain pain points in your organization and is a powerful platform where it allows you to create a collaborative environment for your users. By doing so, you can organize and share documents in one central place, provide users with the tools to make insightful decisions, and automate those time consuming business processes.

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