SharePoint out of the box features: The best business management and collaborative platform available

Many of the businesses have realized after working closely with Microsoft's SharePoint platform that it is an easily scalable application which is not only reliable but also has a quick turnaround time. Besides these benefits, the SharePoint out of the box features also enabled to share the benefits with the clients which reflected in the deliveries of enterprises building strong client relationship bonds and their commitment to the particular technology.

What is important is to understand that the Windows SharePoint services, built on the Windows server provides the necessary framework for building all kinds of dynamic web based applications. These applications allows the users across the organization to collaborate and share information and knowledge and work in tandem with one another. Various SharePoint out of the box features like extensive document management, storage and collaboration capabilities and tools included makes it an easy application that is adaptable and even scalable. The users can modify the applications to cater to their needs of the business or even the project. Furthermore, since it integrates all the Microsoft Office applications, it is an easy to use and deploy application.

Microsoft introduced the SharePoint platform in 2001 and since then, it has grown to become one of the top business collaborative resources that are available today. But it was only with the release of SharePoint 2007 that enterprises actually started to notice its immense power and harness the same into online collaboration of the businesses. With the latest version of SharePoint, Microsoft has attained excellence in providing collaborative solutions to all kinds of businesses. Below are the top ten benefits of using SharePoint platform:

Sharepoint out of the box features - Provides a simple and interactive user interface

One of the SharePoint out of the box features is that it is tightly integrated with the familiar features that are available and used in the client desktop applications, emails and web browsers. This integration completely simplifies the way people interact with the content of the project, processes and business data. This integration with the available facilities, coupled with the out-of-the-box features helps the enterprise improve their productivity and service themselves if any need arises facilitating faster product adoption.

Eases everyday business activities

With the recent SharePoint out of the box features, now enterprises can take advantage of the workflows for starting, tracking, monitoring and reporting common business activities especially data or document reviewing and approval, issue tracking and signature collection. All these activities can be attained without any need for coding. Furthermore, tighter integration capabilities even from client side, emails and web browsers ensure that the experience is consistent throughout the organization.

Addresses all the regulatory requirements

With this platform, the users can designate their own security settings, storage policies, auditing policies and expiration actions for business records in accordance with their compliance needs and regulations. The users, moreover, can ensure that sensitive business information is controlled and managed in a more effective manner. All this capabilities reduces the litigation risks for any organization.

Sharepoint out of the box features - Effectively manage and repurpose content

One of the excellent SharePoint out of the box features is the capability that it renders its users regarding creation and submission of content for approval for publishing or deployment in various intranet or internet sites. The new platform even enables management of multilingual content. The process has been furthermore, simplified wherein new document library templates designed to maintain relationships between originals and different translations already been integrated within the platform.

Simplifies access to available business data

The SharePoint features enables users to access data through common line of business systems for example, Microsoft CRM through SharePoint. Various users can also create customized view and interactions with business systems with the help of a browser just by dragging configurable back-end connections. The enterprise wide management document repositories help the organizations to store and organize business documents in one central location.

Connecting employees with information and skills

One of the SharePoint out of the box features is Enterprise search. It actually integrates data along with the necessary information about documents, people and the associate web pages to produce comprehensive and related results. Features like duplicate collapsing, alerts and spelling correction furthermore improves the results so one can easily find the necessary results that one needs.

Accelerate all shared business processes

Without the need for any coding for customizing applications, the users can simply use smart, electronic forms driven solutions to collect all critical and relevant information from customers, stakeholders and suppliers by a web browser. There are various built in data validation rules that helps one to collate accurate and consistent data that can be directly integrated into various back-end systems to avoid all redundancy and errors that can occur due to manual re-entry.

Sharing without divulging sensitive data

With all the various features available in SharePoint out of the box features, now enterprises can provide their employees access to real-time and interactive Microsoft Excel spreadsheets from a web browsers because of SharePoint platform supporting the excel services. These spreadsheets can then be used to maintain efficiency and share data through a single, centralized version. This on the other hand, also protects any kind of proprietary information that may be integrated within the data or the document such as financial models.

Improved decision making by employees

With the help of SharePoint platform, it is easy to create live and interactive business intelligence portals that would assemble and display business related critical information collated from disparate sources. This would be done by using integrated BI capabilities like the dashboard in the platform. Web parts, scoreboards, key performance indicators and business data connectivity technologies all helps in BI. The Centralized Report Center in the SharePoint platform gives the users the ability to locate all latest reports and spreadsheets from a single location.

Providing a single and integrated platform

One of the SharePoint out of the box features is that it is built on an open, and scalable architecture with rich support from web services and interoperability standards that includes XML and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). This means that the service in the SharePoint platform has a rich, open application programming interface (APIs) and event handlers for lists and documents. These features allows integration with the available existing systems and flexibility to include all kinds of non-Microsoft IT investments.

SharePoint features makes it perfect for small businesses

The SharePoint online platform has lot to offer to small to mid-size businesses. What must be remembered is that it's a great information management and collaboration tool for larger organizations. Most of the people have a common belief that large enterprises, owing to its strength and requirements may need different solutions that would be able to cope and store data and manage its users, but with SharePoint online, that is not the case as it offers same solutions despite of the organization's strength.

Whenever an enterprise deploys a platform, it becomes more about managing user licenses than about scalability; therefore, SharePoint offers just that scaling itself whenever and wherever needed. In terms of storage, Microsoft further allows individual site collections to hold a terabyte of information and the variety of licensing options further eases large organizations in managing their costs. The following are some of the benefits that large organizations benefit from the SharePoint out of the box features:

Outsourcing everyday work

The online version of SharePoint takes backup and recovery duties whenever required as compared to using on-premises solution. This SharePoint out of the box feature helps in reducing the dependency of enterprises on third party solutions for most routine tasks especially tracking and auditing server performance. Once the service level agreements for the SharePoint platform has been signed, the problems is something that Microsoft looks into directly.

Scheduling upgrades according to need

The recent version of SharePoint allows the users to customize how their enterprise receives updates and new features. The company's busiest month might not be suitable for the upgrade for the SharePoint out of the box features. Before, Microsoft would implement the change as per their schedule, throwing off the work revolving around the platform and causing inconvenience. Currently, a dashboard for these changes allows the users to schedule according to their convenience.

Integrating mobility without compromising security

The SharePoint online version is available on the cloud. Inspite of this, the users can chose the option of keeping the enterprise information management behind VPN (virtual private network). This configuration would allow the content to be accessed only the company's network while providing mobility and flexibility for the users all without creation of any additional infrastructure for authentication.

Hybrid deployments

There are multiple large organizations that choose to use a hybrid model, in which sensitive data still remains on premises, while everyday collaborations needs access from the cloud. This SharePoint out of the box feature enables storage of personal files, network drives and personal profiles in the Cloud only through One Drive. To search for content, the users have to take help of the SharePoint's enterprise search that would look across content in both on premises and cloud environments.

What is important is to understand that the SharePoint service pack 1 allows the users additional control over the hybrid environment including choosing whether One Drive is on premises or on the cloud. The connections is expected to be more robust as soon as Microsoft pushes to further unite these two, the on premises and cloud experience.

Cost control

Lastly, all organizations strive to bring down the cost involved in the building and integration of collaborative solutions. The idea is of a solution that functions more towards the workforce and less towards increasing costs of infrastructure. The license paid model helps in the management of all extra costs but this too completely depends on the arrangements made by the enterprise with the Microsoft vendor. One can always choose the inexpensive, limited licenses for some roles in the organization to ensure that infrastructure costs are brought down.

Regardless of the industry or the size of the enterprise, nothing can beat SharePoint when talking about collaboration. With all enterprises striving towards increasing productivity and having a tool to do the same, SharePoint's out of the box features makes it an adept one. The collaborative feature quickly turns to mean increased productivity and cost savings for any enterprise.

The above mentioned benefits were included in SharePoint's online version, but the following are some of the benefits of using SharePoint 2010. Besides the knowledge sharing capabilities included in SharePoint, it is a high level of portal customization that makes SharePoint 2010 one of the best options to be included in the business. One would be able to work with web parts and quick launch tabs that are more organized and which increases efficiency on real time basis. The biggest benefit available to users from this version is its capability to personalize the home page wherein the users can include hot links. This way, the user can access all the necessary documents through a single click. This is something quite similar to the quick launch button available in the desktop. However, the difference is that the files are all web based.

One of the other SharePoint out of the box features include its ability to receive alerts as soon as some document is altered by another user. This helps the process in two ways, one is that all information regarding upgrades are updated and secondly there are no security issues due to data leaks. Moreover, if completely integrated within the organization, SharePoint 2010 can also be used an effective management tool. SharePoint 2010 in all enhances social computing capabilities, business intelligence capabilities, collective intelligence garnered from the data collaboration, etc.

All in all, all the SharePoint versions provides the basic benefits inspite of having different features. The biggest benefit of using the platform is that the enterprise is able to minimize all extra costs and reduce the total time involved for any project to implement. By far, it has been agreed by all, that the SharePoint's out of the box features make it one of the best business collaboration and communication platform.