What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is an enterprise content management platform from Microsoft. In other words, SharePoint is the single platform to store all the organisation’s data and knowledge — documents, presentations, media, internal web pages, and more.

SharePoint can be installed on your own server, and it can also be used online. We prefer SharePoint Online. It can be accessed from any device, and from any location. There is also the added benefit of not having to manage your own server.

SharePoint Online is one of the several apps and services that make up Microsoft Office 365.

Why should I use SharePoint?

Without an enterprise content management system, your organisation’s data can be scattered between various computers. If multiple people are working with the same set of files, then you may even have several versions of the files floating around. In such a situation, it becomes difficult to ensure which is the latest version of a file, or if the file that you plan to work on is indeed the latest one!

SharePoint helps solve these problems. Instead of the data being stored on several computers, the data can be stored in one common place, where all team members can access it. Therefore, you can be sure that the file you see in front of you is the latest version.

SharePoint Online also supports real-time collaboration. Therefore, two or more people can work on the same file at the same time. All the changes are synced in real-time, and are instantly visible.

SharePoint has several useful features that make it an effective enterprise content management platform. In addition to out-of-the-box features, new features can be added by installing third-party add-ins.

Some salient features of SharePoint Online are listed below:

1. It can be accessed from any device or any physical location.

2. It supports real-time collaboration.

3. Being a part of Office 365, it integrates wonderfully with apps you would already be familiar with: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

4. It has enterprise-grade security, and supports permissions. Therefore, only people who have the permission to view or edit a document can do so.

5. It supports file versioning. Therefore, multiple older versions of a file are stored in the file’s version history, and they can be restored, if required.

6. You can create multiple workspaces, known as SharePoint sites, for different use cases. For example, you could create different SharePoint sites for the organisation and its various departments, teams and projects.

7. Each workspace allows you to manage its own set of tasks, calendars, files, media and more. You can choose to receive email notifications for changes to any or all items.