One of the most of common questions we get here at Purenetworking is “What can I actually do with SharePoint and Office 365?”. Its quite a strange question really because a lot of our customers have already purchased the product and many have been using it for many years.
What we find is that most people are happily running there email system through Office 365 but not really sure what they can do with SharePoint.
I searched through the internet to see if there was a top 5 things to do with SharePoint and was quite surprised how vague many of the answers were to this question. Commonly you get blogs by consultancy firms, who are obviously trying to sell their services, saying “SharePoint can be used to do anything” or “Streamline your business processes using SharePoint”. This type of answer is one of the reasons for the confusion over practically what you can do with the product.
So this is what we are finding our customer are using or want to use SharePoint to do for them:
1) Internal Document Storage
By far the most common request is for an area to be setup were users/departments can centrally store there files and folders that can be accessed both online and offline (Onedrive Pro)
2) External Document Sharing
A very close second to internal document storage is having the facility to share either a document folder or dedicate website with a supplier
3) Intranet Site
Customer that are say 100 users+ and have a number of departments want to use SharePoint as there Intranet. Each department will have its own page and have on there any policies/procedures they have, a list of people in there department and a overview of what that department does. Some departments say HR will have a form on there for say a new starter or leaver.
4) Workflow Approval
Once people get used to sharing documents and having basic forms on SharePoint, the next thing they want is some kind of approval system setting up. Typically the three areas were workflow is looked at are:
- Purchase Orders were a PO will be raised and then it goes to someone who can approve the order
- Expenses – Again expense claim raised and then goes for approval
- Holiday Approval – You request a holiday and it goes to your manager to say yes/no
5) Case Management/CRM
Finally we would say that customers then want to use SharePoint to store all correspondence with a certain customer, be that emails, documents, pictures, contacts, notes, tasks etc…
It is true that SharePoint if developed can do almost any task you want it to do but to get the most out of the product we recommend doing it one step at time. Get used to using SharePoint by doing basic document handling then build on this.
If you want help in getting the most out of SharePoint on Office 365 why not contact us for a friendly chat