Paperless offices are now a reality and the rapid transition from physical documents to digital ones has opened up a wealth of new opportunities for Australian businesses. Understandably, taking the plunge and making the transition to a fully digitised document management system is enough to make even the bravest business owners anxious.
However, the world is evolving into a truly digital environment and taking the first step, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. Plus, in a paperless environment, collaborating is more efficient than ever. Cloud applications are making it possible for contributors to work on the same document, at the same time, without the confusion of creating a new file for each document draft.
Now you might have heard of SharePoint, a collaborative platform made by Microsoft. Some partners or employees might have even suggested integrating it into your workplace, but you didn't have time to investigate. At its most basic, SharePoint is a practical tool for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) for three reasons:
- Firstly, it's easy to use so it's easy to deploy, has almost zero learning curve, and doesn't create unnecessary complications
- Secondly, SharePoint is always accessible from remote devices.
- Lastly, it's cost-efficient because it is part of the Microsoft ecosystem, specifically the cloud-based Office 365.
Although the open-ended and customisable nature of SharePoint can make it hard to explain, collaboration is its core feature. If you're curious and want to dig deeper, here's how you can use SharePoint for better collaboration and organisation:
Create internal communities, online
One of the most significant advantages of SharePoint is its collaboration "groupware" or "team site" capabilities (which are integrated with Microsoft's email and project management apps). This enables your team to create smaller communities within communities where they can share files, track changes, and discuss strategies.
Beyond anywhere access and real-time collaboration, SharePoint organises team sites in a way that almost eliminates the need to sort files manually or change their security settings. Think about how easy it would be to manage geographically diverse employees simply by putting them into teams with predefined document permissions and team relationships.
Empower your team to work on more important documents
SharePoint meshes nicely with Microsoft's cloud document platform, OneDrive. From an end-user perspective, this means interacting with SharePoint doesn't require any extra steps or training. Employees create and edit files in OneDrive folders on their desktops, the contents of those folders are automatically uploaded to the team site, and files on the team site are automatically synced to each team member's desktop. And because SharePoint's collaboration ecosystem includes Microsoft's robust security protocols, documents are protected by security-centric plugins and other tools.
Manage your workflow and receive critical updates
Another indispensable feature of SharePoint is its ability to receive critical updates on the progress of your projects. For example, you could be notified the moment a document is marked ready for a client, or any time a business partner make changes to a file. The ability to cut through overflowing inboxes to respond to employees and customers in minutes rather than hours is what sets today's most successful companies apart.
Although many providers prioritise how SharePoint's team-centric organisation simplifies the process of spend searching for documents and files, there are plenty of valuable opportunities for customisation. With this type of support, you can launch knowledge management initiatives, create digital knowledge bases, or establish subject matter expert centers. This could transform everything from employee onboarding and training to annual HR courses and new product orientations.
If you want to improve employee collaboration, SharePoint should be your platform. Once your team is comfortable with that, you can take things to the next level with Valo intranet, which integrates employee schedules, company workflows, and enhanced search features. Call us today and we’ll have our experts assist you in transforming your company into a more collaborative workplace.