The Power of SharePoint Is High and the Relative Cost of SharePoint Is Low
Updated August 30, 2019
The Power of SharePoint Is High and the Relative Cost of SharePoint Is Low
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with MS SharePoint
SharePoint is used across the organization. We use it for simple document storage, obviously, but there is so much more it can do. Tagging your documentation with metadata is incredibly useful. It makes finding these documents later much easier and allows for better ways to present documents to the users. And we use SharePoint for various ad-hoc line-of-business applications. Security is solid and also allows sharing with external users outside of our company.
- Document storage, hands down. Online access and storing a synced copy on a hard drive as well. And this is much improved from years ago.
- Ad-hoc, line of business applications. Automation via workflow. Mobile access via PowerApps. All easy to get started with.
- Sharing news to a team or across an organization.
- Sharing documents with external users.
- Document version control is also incredibly useful.
- If you're already paying for Office 365, many of their licensing levels already include SharePoint. So you might as well use it!
- I've found external users occasionally need assistance walking through the process of getting access. But this is much rarer now than even a couple years ago. But it still happens once in a while.
- There is the potential for save-conflicts if multiple people edit a document while offline. Again, rare, but could happen. But that's the price you have to pay for the online availability, the local storage, etc.
- To get the full benefit of SharePoint, you really want someone how is an expert. You can quickly get started using some of the functionality, but it's such a powerful tool, you should have someone dedicated to learning it and managing it internally or use an outside consultant. Again, you can get simple usage on your own, but for full usage of what's there, an expert is recommended. But learning it on your own, internally, is certainly possible. I just recommend making that the person's job, and not just an added responsibility along with a hundred other things.
- I've seen companies completely get rid of an aging File Share server and go to the cloud for all of their file storage.
- Building ad-hoc, line-of-business applications can lead to many efficiency gains. The biggest limitation is your imagination and putting in the effort to build them.
- Document versioning and online accessibility have also saved looking for old versions of a document or mixing up various versions and multiple authors updating multiple email attachment versions.
- Getting a team on a shared calendar and shared document repository is incredibly useful.
- The built-in connection to Office 365 and the Power Platform and the many other tools there (Forms, Outlook, Stream, Planner, Teams, To-Do, PowerApps, Flow, etc.) makes these tools more and more ingrained and useful. Microsoft does a fantastic job interconnecting so many of their features that the lines between each get blurrier and blurrier.
- If you already use Office 365 for Office software (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), then SharePoint is already included in many of their licensing levels. So often the cost for SharePoint is already covered.
I personally haven't seen anything else that compares to SharePoint. There are other tools out there that do a small portion of what SharePoint does, and in some cases, it still makes sense to use some of those, if the requirements are there. For example, the Task list in SharePoint isn't great, but it's also very old. Within Office 365, you have access to Planner and To-Do, which can be related to SharePoint. Or, if there is a specific piece of functionality that isn't there and your organization absolutely needs that, then it makes sense to use Trello or Wunderlist, for example. But there is so much that can be done within SharePoint, you could even embed your 3rd party application inside of a SharePoint team site, and many users wouldn't even realize that some functionality is external from SharePoint and others are ingrained in it. And I haven't even started on the Modern sites, lists, and libraries. The UX is so much better, even over the last couple of years. And the best part is that if you already use Office 365 for your Office software (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), much of your licensing already includes SharePoint.
Again, document storage. I can't say this enough. Online storage for an individual (technically OneDrive, but SharePoint under the covers). But also very useful for a team. Microsoft Teams uses SharePoint under the covers for file storage as well. And so does Office 365 Groups. It just makes that old fashioned file share obsolete in so many instances. Security is handled for you, online access is obviously easy. But even off-line syncing of documents to a local machine is possible. And adding metadata tagging on top of this will really make things hum. And also specific, in-house, ad-hoc, line-of-business applications. SharePoint can handle so many different scenarios. And its built-in connections with Flow and PowerApps makes this process even more powerful.
SharePoint Feature Ratings
Using MS SharePoint
100 - HR, Finance, IT, Sales, Marketing, Lab, Production - basically anyone who touches a document on their computer. Practically everyone. There is also integrated company stats and news that is shared via SharePoint. We also have different groups of users who have specific line-of-business applications built on SharePoint. And then there are cross functional teams that use SharePoint for specific projects managing tasks, their project calendar, project files, etc.
2 - I do recommend a SharePoint expert of some kind. Someone who can take the time to learn the tools and stay on top of the various announcements, improvements, and changes. Whether this is an in-house expert of an external consultant, either can work. It doesn't have to be a "traditional IT" person, but the person has to enjoy creative problem solving (to creatively build line-of-business applications within SharePoint) and should have an analytical, detailed mind (to better understand data architecture for the metadata tagging). A lot of it is also just taking the time to try things. When I do this in SharePoint, what happens? And someone good at asking Google the right questions. The SharePoint community is vast and passionate. MANY problems have been solved and MANY have been written about online. It's the job of your SharePoint expert to find those resources, test solutions, and understand both what the business is trying to accomplish and the vast functionality SharePoint has to offer. Most of that comes by rolling up your sleeves and trying it out. It won't happen overnight, but the value on investing this time is worth it.
- Online document storage - removing the file share server and having secure cloud access to files.
- Line-of-business applications. This can be a complex, automated workflow or very simple request systems.
- Shared documents, calendars, and tasks with cross-functional teams and projects.
- With the built-in connections to PowerApps, we've created simple mobile apps to streamline productivity and requests.
- Using the built-in connection to Flow, you can automate business processes and connect to hundreds of other systems, logically passing data back and forth for multiple line-of-business applications.
- We need to expand on our usage of news. Some groups are sharing announcements this way, but the roll-up functionality to send some news further up the chain for the entire organization needs to be better utilized.
- I think there is even greater capabilities for remote workers. The data is in the cloud, and we should start hiring more and more remote workers, saving on office space and getting the best candidates no matter where they live.
- We need to empower our business users to build their own solutions. You can only come to IT so much, but if we can train up other users to do some of the work themselves, building more and more line-of-business applications can only continue to grow, and we will reap even more business efficiencies as more and more people are comfortable using the tools out there and building their own.
It's integral to our business. It's already included with most of the Office 365 licensing we buy, so the cost is effectively zero. It stores our files, it is the foundation for custom applications, and Microsoft only continues to enhance its functionality and its connections to other Microsoft tools. SharePoint just keeps getting better and better.
Using MS SharePoint
Things can always be easier to use, but the improvements to the user experience and the look and feel over the last few years has made a huge impact. The modern sites, lists, and libraries look very good and using them as a user or using them as a customizer/builder is also very good. And let's not forget all the usability improvements and focus on users with disabilities. Microsoft only continues to build out SharePoint functionality and continues to seamlessly connect SharePoint to other tools, making the power of SharePoint grow and making it simpler to use that power to make a real impact in your company and solve real business problems.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
- Dead simple to get started with a document library. Online storage, access anywhere, file versioning - done.
- Custom lists are also simple, and it's straight forward adding new columns for data and defining what type of data you're storing.
- Posting news is simple and looks very good in the new, modern SharePoint sites.
- Creating a new, modern team site for collaboration is very easy. It gets you rolling on collaboration very quickly.
- There are some features that are still only available in the Classic SharePoint. So I would personally use other Office 365 tools out there that are still relatively easy to connect. One that comes to mind is Tasks. Probably go with Microsoft Planner instead. Or you could also try Microsoft To-Do.
- Microsoft Flow for workflows can be simple and straight forward to start with, but depending on the requirements, can get more complex. Start with one of the hundreds of templates out there, and start right from within your connected SharePoint library or list. And remember the online community. Search is your friend and there are MANY helpful people out there who have built MANY automated tools out there, so see how they've done it and adapt to your scenario as necessary.
- PowerApps is another tool that can be very easy to start with but can become trickier the deeper you get. Again, start simple right from your SharePoint list or library. The button to create the PowerApp is right there. Then as you have to tweak your PowerApp and make various changes, take advantage of the community out there. Don't get scared if things seem too technical. It's a powerful tool, so using it takes some time. But the rewards are well worth the effort.
Yes - It's very good. The mobile user interface for Modern SharePoint sites, lists, and libraries is very clean and responsive. And if you couple this with the related PowerApps and Microsoft Flow, you have even more powerful and complex ways of interacting with your data from a mobile platform. And don't forget the mobile apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Naturally, if you're talking file storage in SharePoint, then viewing those files will use these other apps. But Microsoft has put in a lot of work and effort over the last couple of years, and the mobile user experience is very good right now.