7 Tips for Getting the Most Out of SharePoint Usage

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Just how valuable can SharePoint be to your organization? It all depends.

When utilized to the fullest extent of its capabilities, SharePoint can transform the way your company conducts business operations. SharePoint usage by companies of all sizes from every industry imaginable has resulted in a myriad of benefits ranging from improved workflow efficiency to better department collaboration to optimized content management.

Like the star quarterback of a football team, SharePoint boasts the potential to make everyone surrounding the platform better. Your IT staff, employee end-users, upper management and company as a whole all can reap the value of this versatile platform while operating in different facets of your business.

Yet all too often SharePoint falls short with fulfilling the lofty expectations companies set following implementation of the platform. Whether due to unrealistic goals, poor execution or any number of other reasons, some organizations simply never receive the opportunity to capitalize on the ROI potential from the sizable investment SharePoint adoption entails.

But how can your company succeed at cresting the SharePoint mountain before the ascent proves too challenging to overcome? There is, after all, a remarkable view to enjoy from the top. Here are seven tips for maximizing the business value SharePoint usage affords your company:

1. Have a Clear Vision

It all starts with having a plan. There are some technology products for which you can get away with simply installing and encouraging usage, but SharePoint is not one of them. When you commit to SharePoint, you must create an implementation roadmap encompassing everything from management buy-in and pilot testing to end-user training and phased roll-outs. As best-selling author Alan Lakein once stated, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

2. Seek Third-Party Assistance

It’s not uncommon for companies to align themselves with a best-in-class SharePoint solutions provider, and for good reason – the right partner offers expertise and a consultative approach for maximizing the platform’s value as it pertains to your business. Not only can a trusted SharePoint advisor customize the platform’s solutions to your business needs, but this partner can also fill any gaps in the functionality your company requires.

3. Devote Ample Resources

Many corporations fail to strike gold with SharePoint usage because the meager resources they allocate to adoption don’t reflect the magnitude of the technological investment they’re making. Having a single point-person within your IT department simply won’t cut it. The resources you devote to SharePoint – both from financial and human capital standpoints – must cover every component of the implementation process, as well as ongoing considerations.

4. Make It Scalable

As your company’s SharePoint usage grows, the technological resources driving your platform – such as IT support and hardware needs – must prove adaptable. After all, scalability matters when it comes to SharePoint. Practice foresight by thinking beyond your initial reasons for adoption when first deploying SharePoint, and be prepared to link the platform with other enterprise systems down the road.

5. Pursue Low-Hanging Fruit

Some of the most obvious advantages associated with SharePoint usage offer tremendous value from a workflow efficiency standpoint, yet remain underutilized. Sync SharePoint with other Microsoft applications, replace internal emailing with hosted content and create a shared calendar. Just because your company has highly-specialized SharePoint needs doesn’t mean you should overlook some of the core benefits easily derived from this platform.

6. Create an Ambassador Team

Assemble a team to serve as ambassadors for SharePoint usage within your company. This team should be comprised of representatives from various departments, including IT, human resources and upper management. In addition to organizing ongoing SharePoint training initiatives and monitoring day-to-day use of the platform, this ambassador team should take a big-picture approach to determining where SharePoint is bringing real value and where adjustments are needed in order to offer better business solutions.

7. Recognize Limitations

While SharePoint offers an impressive array of functionalities and practical uses for most any business, it’s not Superman and it’s not without limitations. For instance, perhaps SharePoint falls short with overseeing your company’s inventory optimization and you need to seek a different tool for this purpose. Rather than forcing a square peg into a round hole, take time to discover both where SharePoint excels and where it struggles to help your business.

At Parlae Solutions, we enable our clients to focus less on their technology challenges and more on doing what they do best. We help businesses transform Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics GP and in-house legacy applications into valuable business assets that streamline processes and empower employees at every level to achieve longterm business objectives. Tell us what’s holding you back, and we’ll help you uncover solutions that move you forward and leave inefficiencies behind.


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