One of the most powerful business tools available today is Microsoft SharePoint. It helps your organisation create, access, share, store and manage important information securely, through a familiar web browser interface. SharePoint is an extremely versatile solution that can be utilised in many different ways to improve business operations.

As a multifaceted tool, SharePoint can be implemented into virtually any organisation. It can be utilised anywhere from a basic Document Management solution or communications portal, right through to a sophisticated business process automation system.

SharePoint is available to install on your existing servers, or as a cloud solution hosted by Microsoft in Australia. We provide a 365 Accelerator package to fast-track an implementation for a fixed fee, to ensure rapid deployment and certainty over outcomes and costs.

 

 
Information management
Information Management is critical for businesses to be responsive to customers, improve decision-making and leverage corporate data. However, many organisations struggle with “content chaos” and “knowledge loss” through employee turnover. A Document Management System (DMS) and Knowledge Management System (KMS) , together with Information Governance (IG) provide the components necessary for enterprises to manage these risks in a structured and consistent way.

A DMS provides a central repository for storing, tracking and monitoring documents. It encompasses the entire document lifecycle from creation or capture, to publication and distribution, through to archive or disposition. DMS’s typically overcome issues such as:

  • “I can’t find that document”
  • “There are so many versions of this document, I don’t know which is which”
  • “If only we could all edit this document at the same time”
  • “I don’t know who has access to this document”

A KMS provides an easy way for management and employees to store unstructured data together with structured documents. Notes about customers, suppliers, products and administration can be easily updated by all users, from within the organisation or remotely via notebooks, tablets and smartphones. Users can subscribe to alerts, ensuring they are made instantly aware of changes to content that is relevant to them.

IG provides structures, policies, procedures and controls to manage enterprise information to support risk, compliance and operational requirements. It encompasses records management, privacy, electronic discovery, metadata management, access control and legal hold. IG provides assurance to organisations, that information is appropriately managed, retained and leveraged.

Benefits of a SharePoint Information Management System:

  • Uniform way of accessing, managing and sharing documents
  • Centralised storage location for all documents and unstructured knowledge
  • Reduced reliance on email for sharing information
  • Remote access via notebook, tablet or smartphone
  • Advanced search features to ensure content is located quickly
  • Controls over document authoring, access and distribution
  • Ability to monitor and audit document use

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Intranets and Portals
Intranets provide authorised users access to corporate information and systems, via a web interface. Anywhere, anytime access can be provided subject to security provisions. Information can be assembled in different topic areas, as opposed to content types – making it easier for users to view documents, discuss issues, create content, make notes, view dashboards and access related systems all from a single web application.

Portals extend access to information outside the organisation. Employees, customers and partners are able to interact with internal systems to improve responsiveness, reduce data entry costs and collaborate efficiently. Strong security mechanisms ensure only approved users have access to data and controls exist over viewing, editing, publishing and distributing information.

 
Typical scenarios for Portals:

  • Customer Portal – collaborate with customers securely and efficiently by sharing files, accepting compliments and complaints, advertising products and providing technical information
  • Project Portal – create real-time visibility of project resources, schedule, emails, issues and risks
  • Service Portal – enable direct entry of service jobs to streamline and automate support services to customers

 

 

 
Benefits of an intranet portal include:

  • Increased employee engagement
  • Centralised process management
  • Reduced on-boarding costs
  • Ability to capture and share tacit knowledge

Automation
Automation of business processes has the potential to drastically reduce costs within an organisation, while at the same time reducing errors and rework. Real efficiency savings come with developing repeatable standardised processes that can be executed consistently. The SharePoint workflow engine can be used to collect information on electronic forms, create documents, update information, interact with other business applications, keep track of complex processes and send emails and alerts to users.

 

Benefits of Automation

  • Reduced human error
  • Increased efficiency of tasks
  • Improved job satisfaction through elimination of repetitive tasks
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved customer responsiveness

Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) systems are used to analyse and present critical business information to users within an organisation, as an alternative to paper-based reports.

Organisations today collect huge amounts of raw data from their business operations. With the advent of Big Data and the Internet of Things, an explosion of data volume presents real challenges. BI applications take this raw data and transform it to deliver relevant and useful information, via reports, dashboards, graphs and charts that decision makers can easily make sense of to analyse business trends. Interactive reports allow report users to see summarised data, and then to “drill-into” the detail, as and when required. KPI dashboards give the ability to see issues at a glance and provide mechanisms for performance management and employee reward systems.

 

Benefits of BI:

  • Corporate dashboard overview of entire business operations
  • Monitoring of budgets and strategic objectives
  • Real-time interactive reports
  • Integration with existing applications and databases
  • KPI monitoring with automated alerts
  • Remote access via notebooks, tablets and smartphones

Collaboration
Social computing has had an enormous impact on business productivity with new abilities to find information and publish knowledge. New employees are demanding tools for communicating other than phones and email. Customers are engaging by providing immediate feedback on new products. Organisations can leverage these technologies to personalise service delivery and manage reputational risks.

SharePoint helps people communicate and collaborate to work with others on tasks in pursuit of shared goals. Collaboration technologies can be used to drive innovation within an organisation. A structured innovation centre may be developed to harness ideas, nurture suggestions, build business cases, develop prototypes and create new products to take to market.

Communities of practice enable the sharing of information, documents and thoughts around a particular topic with the ability to “follow” content and engage in conversations.

 

Benefits of SharePoint Social:

  • Reduce email traffic
  • Extend information-sharing beyond the organisation
  • Provide a platform for innovation
  • Real-time discussions to solve business problems
  • Integrate with instant messaging, video-conferencing and other enterprise social applications