I’ve noticed a trend when talking to individuals from small to mid-sized businesses: when I mention the word “SharePoint”, I see a glint of fear in their eyes. It would seem that somewhere along the line, SharePoint got the reputation of being a big, intimidating undertaking only feasible for enterprise organizations.
I think that because SharePoint has so much to offer an organization, people tend to view it as a monster with multiple tentacles reaching out to devour their business and their bottom line. I would like to submit a very different visual representation of SharePoint: the Swiss Army Knife.
I can’t take credit for this fitting comparison. Recently on twitter, the folks at @Office365 posed the question, “What is the most valuable piece of technology you own/use?”. While “SharePoint” was a common response, @bryanbolling said, “SharePoint – the swiss army knife of tech.”
Just as a Swiss Army Knife keeps several tools connected so that they are always handy and available to do their individual jobs, SharePoint is a collection of tools that can address a variety of needs you may have in the course of day-to-day business. With SharePoint, you have six possible tools to work with all integrated into a single solution that fits into any business model (just like a Swiss Army Knife fits in anyone’s pocket):
Sites – A single infrastructure for all your business Web sites – intranets, extranets, and internet sites which enable you to share documents with colleagues, manage projects with partners, and publish information to customers.
Communities – A single platform to manage all of your collaboration tools, making it easy for people to share ideas and work together.
Search - Relevance, refinement, and social cues combine to help people find the information and contacts they need to get their jobs done.
Content – Manage content by setting up compliance measures behind the scenes and allowing people to work naturally in Microsoft Office.
Insights – Give people easy access to the information in databases, reports, and business applications so that they can make good business decisions.
Composites – Create do-it-yourself, no-code business solutions to quickly respond to changing needs.
With such powerful tools combined into one solution, SharePoint should empower your business, not intimidate you. Everything from the implementation, to the customization, to the day-to-day usability of SharePoint is designed to be scalable and accessible to organizations of any size.
By Socius, a SharePoint Partner in Ohio, Kansas City, and California