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IT Insight: SharePoint & your infrastructure

How does SharePoint, within Microsoft 365, fit your business needs? SharePoint is a cloud-based service, hosted by Microsoft, for businesses of all sizes. Instead of installing and deploying SharePoint Server on-premises, any business can subscribe to a Microsoft 365 plan or to the standalone SharePoint Online service. With this service, your employees can create sites to share documents and information with colleagues, partners, and customers.

Microsoft SharePoint started as a web portal company, an Intraweb product, in the early 2000’s. Back then, it was installed on servers in your server room or data center but has since evolved into a Microsoft 365 feature that comes with all the standard plans from basic through E5. While SharePoint has a web front end that allows users and administrators to interact with the product, its real value in utility is in file sharing and storage abilities. SharePoint comes with an unlimited amount of storage size for files and folders which is built into the cost of your Microsoft 365 licensing.

In fact, SharePoint is often considered the file storage system for all the other features in MS 365 that you are already making use of. For instance, when you save a file in Teams or OneDrive, you are in fact saving it in SharePoint, which is within a prebuilt section for those applications. In addition to the storage space, which is such an excellent value, SharePoints customization as a web front end for so many different file sharing applications is the true highlight of its versatility. It enables sites dedicated to pictures, sites that are list or spreadsheet oriented, and of course visual web-based representations of your standard company file structure.

SharePoint sports a built-in backup that is maintenance free and effectively operates as a file versioning agent that can recover any version of a file immediately. The future of file storage is not in hard drives with mapped drive letters that we see so often in most small businesses these days. There is now and will continue to be a push towards online file sharing structures for their cost effectiveness, security location, and accessibility from anywhere. SharePoint is Microsoft’s file storage solution for your company’s shared data, while OneDrive is the solution for user data, such as the desktop and documents folders. When considered together, these two products offer a secure, easy to use, and highly mobile file solution for which you are already paying.

With SharePoint you can:

  • Build intranet sites and create pages, document libraries, and lists.
  • Add web parts to customize your content.
  • Show important visuals, news, and updates with a team or communication site.
  • Discover, follow, and search for sites, files, and people across your company.
  • Manage your daily routine with workflows, forms, and lists.
  • Sync and store your files in the cloud so anyone can securely collaborate with you.
  • Catch up on news on-the-go with the mobile app.

SharePoint makes sense for your business. Your Managed Service Provider can help you migrate your data structures from hard drives to SharePoint efficiently and effectively.

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JoAnn Hodgdon is vice president and co-founder of Portsmouth Computer Group (PCGiT) with her husband David. PCG provides comprehensive managed IT services, business continuity, security, cloud computing and Virtual CIO services to their clients. You may reach her at joann@pcgit.com or at www.pcgit.com.