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The traditional conference room takes on a new meaning

The evolution of employee collaboration has had a significant impact on the workforce, and how people build relationships and deliver results.

For years, it had been confined to the office. The modern nine-to-five workday meant that coworkers would gather in a conference room, brainstorm, and create a strategic, tangible plan. On occasion, you might have to put an “outside-the-office” employee on speakerphone to let him/her in on the action.

However, in 2018, employee collaboration has taken on a new meaning; today, many companies hire remote employees who never set foot in the office, requiring innovation, convenience and flexibility when it comes to collaboration.

As this evolution continues and companies are forced to adapt (if they don’t, they won’t survive), the question on people’s mind is: Where can I access a digital shared space for information and collaboration?

The future of digital collaboration  

Multiple systems for content management, intranet, and business intelligence makes operating in a virtual space time consuming and difficult for employees, and it leads to increased time, money and resources spent without finding a real solution; not to mention it takes the focus away from running your business and the day-to-day operations. Deadlines aren’t met, files can’t be located, and the overall strategy falls through the cracks. In 2012, a colleague introduced me to Microsoft’s SharePoint, and my understanding of efficient, convenient and remote collaboration has never been the same.

SharePoint, an application within Office 365, is a web-based platform that connects everyone in your company so that they’re able to access information, communicate with others, and manage projects. It is fully integrated with the other Microsoft products your employees use every day, such as Word, Excel, and Outlook. SharePoint is accessible via any device, from laptops to smartphones.

If you’re thinking, “Isn’t this the same as Google Drive?” I don’t blame you. But I do ask that you continue reading to find out how the five advantages outlined below makes SharePoint the better solution for your business, offering unique collaboration components you won’t get with Google Drive.

Five Advantages of SharePoint for Your Business

1. Engaging company intranet

SharePoint offers everything you need to create a vibrant company intranet. No more piecemeal companywide communication through email or memo. It can all be in one place on the SharePoint-created intranet. From company news to HR policies and procedures to training, it’s easily accessible to your employees. SharePoint also has options for discussion boards and Facebook-like internal social media to encourage conversation and collaboration.

2. Versatile content management

SharePoint doesn’t just allow for sharing of files, it offers a complete selection of content management options. Because the application is web-based, there’s no need for a cumbersome VPN. Employees can access the documents or media assets they need in an efficient manner in a secure space. SharePoint allows for multiple users to access the same document and has tools for document approval and security. It also includes features that allow users to create rules for how documents are routed into document libraries, automating and streamlining the document storage process

3. Team sites

Collaboration is vital to any business, and with SharePoint, you can create team-specific websites accessible only to the members of the team. This creates a virtual office for that team with access to documents and information they need to be successful and deliver the final product. With options to share news and track projects, collaboration is easy and seamless.

4. Customer-specific sites and portals

Like the team sites, SharePoint allows you to create customer-specific sites that will give a single customer all the information they need that is relevant only to their business. Your customers can communicate with you through a site that is tailored to their specific business. You’re able to see customer’s activities and interactions on the site and how often they use the site, anticipating their needs and interpret their behavior; this feature makes you smarter about your partnership that can lead to customer retention and cross or up-selling applicable services.

5. Native business intelligence options

In addition to seeing your customer’s activity, SharePoint also has a native business intelligence feature that allows you to create a site dedicated to business intelligence. Your site can include data connections, reports, scorecards, dashboards, and documents. Having access to all this information in one place can help your company respond to trends and problems quickly.

As companies continue to consider collaboration solutions, we can make sure you’re up to speed using the right tools today’s modern work setting requires.

Cody Evans is a technology specialist for AdamsGabbert (AG), a catalyst for growth, a spark for innovation, and a facilitator of progress. Founded in 1999 and based in Overland Park, Kan., AG focuses on staffing + recruiting, technology services, and consulting—all designed to make business better for their clients. Share your thoughts on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter!