Which of the Microsoft Office 365 Plans Is Right For Me?

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Which of the Microsoft Office 365 Plans Is Right For Me?

Microsoft Office 365 PlansTo decide, which of the available Microsoft Office 365 Plans is the right one for your requirements, let us go through the various selection criteria to point you into the right direction.

Microsoft Office 365 Plans for Home and Business

First of all, there is the option for home use:

  • Office 365 Home
  • Office 365 Personal

with a special version

  • Office Home and Students 2016 for PC

For business purposes, you have the choice between three different options:

  • Office 365 Business
  • Office 365 Premium Business
  • Office 365 Business Essentials

Microsoft Office 365 is available for PC and Mac. The Homes and Students version (only for PC) can be purchased for a one-time payment. All other versions are paid for on a monthly basis, with a minimum commitment of one year.

Which of the Microsoft Office 365 Applications and Services do you need?

Depending on which of the Microsoft Office 365 plans you select, an array of different Microsoft applications and services is included in the plan.

Applications:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • Publisher (only for PC)
  • Access (only for PC)

All of these applications are included in Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal, as well as (except Publisher) in Office 365 Business and Office 365 Premium Business.

The Office Home and Students 2016 for PC plan includes a limited selection:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote

The Office 365 Business Essentials plan does not include any application.

Services:

  • OneDrive
  • Skype/Skype for Business
  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams

Office Home and Students 2016 for PC does not include any service.

For the other plans, a differing selection applies:

OneDrive is included in each of the plans (except Office Home and Students 2016 for PC). Apart from Office 365 Business (and the student version), Skype or Skype for Business are part of all plans. Office 365 Premium Business and Office 365 Business Essentials both also include SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

Getting the best use out of Microsoft Office 365

Finding the right Microsoft Office 365 plan is only the first step though. We, at TechSherpas , are certified Microsoft Gold Partners. In order to get the best use out of the selected plans and its individual features for home and business, have a look at our various Microsoft Office 365 trainings, certification courses and boot camps.

 

Sources:

https://products.office.com/en-us/compare-all-microsoft-office-products?tab=2&OCID=AID717974_SEM_RsukckXV&lnkd=Google_O365SMB_NI

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/b/help-me-choose-office

Learn all at once or five minutes at a time, anywhere, anytime with New MOC On-Demand

Now you can build Microsoft technical expertise while balancing the demands of your schedule. TechSherpas , your Microsoft Gold Learning Partner, is now offering Microsoft Official Courses On-Demand (MOC On-Demand).

What is MOC-On-Demand
MOC On-Demand combines high-quality video, reading, live hands-on labs and knowledge checks in a self-paced format to help you build skills on Microsoft technologies as your schedule allows—all at once or five minutes at a time. Once purchased, students will have 24/7 access to the course and labs for 90-days. The students will have access to the digital courseware indefinitely.

High-quality content, direct from the source. MOC On-Demand is brought to you by the people who write the software. The content is based on the same official courseware we use in our instructor-led training, and videos feature engaging experts hand-selected by Microsoft. It’s quality content!

Live hands-on labs. Unlike other on-demand offerings that offer simulated labs, MOC On-Demand gives you a live, real-time environment for hands-on training. In fact, it’s the same Microsoft hands-on Labs environment used in the classroom. The best way to learn is by doing, right?

Immediate feedback on mastery. MOC On-Demand’s modular course structure lets you control what order you follow while you learn at your own pace. You can concentrate on what you don’t know, or focus on what you need to know right now. Knowledge checks tell you whether you’ve mastered the content and are ready to move on, or you need to review the information further.

To get additional details and read the FAQ, click here

 MOC On-Demand Purchase Options

 As we launch this new product, we are offering two options at which you can purchase:

1)      Reduced price when bundled with our live instructor-led course

2)      Purchase MOC On-Demand course as a standalone product (digital courseware is included)

When purchased with the live class, it serves as a great supplement to the live instructor-led training. You still have the advantages of being in a live class with instructors who can answer questions and also assist with labs, but you now have the opportunity to go back and listen to an instructor anytime you need, over the next 90 days.

How to MOC On-Demand

Using MOC On-Demand is simple, and can be done anywhere there is an internet connection. You can view the training from any device, but labs will need to be completed on a desktop or laptop, not one of your handheld devices. Training begins in three simple steps:

1) Purchase Course – Purchase your course with TechSherpas

2) Redeem the code provided to you by TechSherpas – Within 24 hours of purchase, you will receive a Code, and link with instructions on how to redeem

3) Start learning On-Demand

MOC On-Demand Courses

There are currently four Microsoft On-Demand courses available for purchase:

  • 10747 – Administering System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
  • 10961 – Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell
  • 20483 – Programming in C#
  • 20341B: Core Solutions of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2013

Additional courses will be released in the coming months.

Coming February 11th:

  • 20331 – Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  • 20410 – Installing and Configuring Windows Server
  • 20412 – Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services

Coming February 25th:

  • 20411 – Administering Windows Server 2012
  • 20413 – Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure
  • 10267 – Introduction to Web Development with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

Coming March 3rd:

  • 20417 – Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012
  • 20697-1B: Installing & Configuring Windows 10
  • 20480 B – Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3

MOC On-Demand puts you in control of your learning experience, and it’s only available through certified Microsoft Learning Partners, such as TechSherpas 365 . Click here to get started.

Microsoft SharePoint Business Intelligence Training

“BI is about providing the right data at the right time to the right people so that they can take the right decisions” – Nic Smith with Microsoft BI Solutions Marketing. Because of its collaboration features, SharePoint is the tool that can get important data to the right people at the right time. Data is one of the most valuable resources to an organization, and because of advances in technology, data access, entry, tracking, and analysis has become easier and more efficient over the years. Business Intelligence (BI) is a set of theories, methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes. Microsoft SQL Server provides the necessary storage and management foundation for business data, and a set of reporting an analysis tools. Microsoft SharePoint can help users access and analyze the data, giving them the ability to make better business decisions. Analysis of data is even more important than the data itself. We can collect and collect, but it’s what we do with the data we collect that it most crucial to monitoring and improving business operations. You are probably aware of the excellent sharing and collaboration functionalities of SharePoint, but did you also know it is a great business intelligence tool, with tremendous analyzing capabilities?

 SharePoint 2010 Business Insights

 

There are several different business intelligence tools within SharePoint that are used based on the data you are analyzing and the problem you are trying to solve. The SharePoint server platform allows users to obtain information from various unstructured sources such as blogs, wikis, presentations, and documents, as well as structured sources such as reports, spreadsheets, and analytical systems. Data can be drawn from Excel, Visio services, and SQL, and published in SharePoint where users can recognize the interface, and the data can be used to make insightful business decisions.

SharePoint and Excel and PowerPivot for Excel –Used to give users browser-based access to a server-calculated version of an Excel spreadsheet. Users can view, refresh, and interact with analytic models connected to data sources, and for analysis, filtering, and presentation of locally stored data. PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint allows users to combine native Excel 2010 functionality with the PowerPivot in-memory engine so users can interactively explore and perform calculations on large data sets. Use PowerPivot for Excel when you want to quickly manipulate millions of rows of data into a single Excel workbook for ad-hoc reports.

Excel Services – A Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 shared service that brings the power of Excel to SharePoint Server by providing server-side calculation and browser-based rendering of Excel workbooks. Excel Services can be used for: Real-time, interactive reporting to include parameterized what-if analysis, for distribution of all or part of a workbook for analysis by using SharePoint Server or the Office client applications, and as a platform for building business applications. Use Excel Services when an end user or analyst wants to share content with multiple persons across an organization. It provides a mechanism for taking authored content in Excel 2010 and making it available in a browser. Excel Services is also used when an end user or analyst has generated a model that can be widely used (such as a mortgage calculator). In both cases, Excel Services lets the author publish targeted content without making the underlying intellectual property available to consumers.

Visio Services – A new service on the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 platform that allows users to share and view Visio diagrams. The service also enables data-driven Microsoft Visio 2010 web drawings, VDW files, to be refreshed from a variety of external data sources. Visio 2010 and Visio Services let you connect diagrams to data from multiple data sources (including Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, SQL Server, and SharePoint Foundation List), publish data-driven diagrams to Visio Services on SharePoint Server, and view and refresh datadriven diagrams in a browser. Visio Services and SharePoint Server integration supports visual mashups of actionable data and diagrams for an information-rich viewing experience. Data overlaid on diagram helps put information in context making it more meaningful. Datadriven diagrams help identify trends and exceptions at a glance. Use Visio Services to build a visual representation of your business structures that are bound to data. Examples include healthcare metrics on a hospital floor, retail metrics on a store layout, network health status on an IT network, organizational chart with metrics for each individual.

Performance Point Services – In SharePoint Server 2010 is a performance management service with tools to monitor and analyze business. It provides easy-to-use tools for building dashboards, scorecards, and key performance indicators (KPIs). PerformancePoint Services can help individuals across an organization makeinformed business decisions that align with company-wide objectives and strategy. You can bring together data from multiple data sources (including Analysis Services, SQL Server SharePoint lists and Excel Services) to track and monitor your data. Use the visualization Decomposition Tree is a new report type that enables you to quickly and visually break down higher-level data values from a multi-dimensional data set to understand the driving forces behind those values. Use PerformancePoint Services for creating dashboards, scorecards, and key performance indicators (KPIs) that help deliver a summarized view of business a performance. The dashboard is a point of entry to drilldown analysis for driving agility and alignment across an organization. PerformancePoint Services gives users integrated analytics for monitoring, analyzing, and reporting.

 

  • SQL Server Reporting Services – Provides a full range of ready-to-use tools and services to help you create, deploy, and manage reports for your organization, as well as programming features that enable you to extend and customize reports. The report authoring tools work with an Office type application and are fully integrated with both SQL Server tools and components as well as the SharePoint Server environment. You can build reports on top of SharePoint lists, publish reports to SharePoint Server 2007 or 2010, incorporate reports inside your portal using a reports Web Part, and fully manage your reports published in SharePoint document libraries. When to use SQL Server Reporting Services. Use SQL Server Reporting Services to deliver reports that publish at regular intervals and on-demand. It’s also suitable where report requirements are well established and customers are not always familiar with the underlying data set.

Save 10% on SharePoint Training for Business Intelligence class

This information provides some insight on how SharePoint 2010 can assist with BI and really leverage important business decisions. To get hands-on training of how these tools work, and learn how to use them within your own organization in specific situations, there is a SharePoint training class that you can take! Microsoft Official course 50429: SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence is a 5-day instructor-led course that explores how to use SharePoint as your platform for Business Intelligence. It takes you through the SharePoint Business Intelligence Center, Excel Services, Reporting Services, Analysis Service, Performance Point and PowerPivot to implement your BI Strategies and enable your decision makers to see data in new and dynamic ways! This course will take you down a path of building a BI environment from scratch to full interactive dashboards using the Microsoft BI Stack. This course is running on 11/4/2013, so you still have plenty of time to register, and we are offering and 10% discount when you register with promo code SP10BI. You can either register online by clicking here, or you can contact a TechSherpas Rep by calling 866-704-9244.

 

One-day Microsoft training classes get you in and out with what you need

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are mastery technological skills, but a solid foundation certainly can be. In just one day, you can learn to be more efficient through software capabilities, taking the guessing and learning curve out of your daily job functions. In just one day, you can get what you need to make your work day more productive. Among our vast selection of IT training courses, we have the one-day, wham bam, and let’s get down to business, course for you. With these courses, you will get the skills you need to wiz through daily tasks, impress your fellow peers and your boss, and help calm the storm the next time someone is a battering their keyboard. This week’s featured classes are those 1 day-ers that get you in and out, preparing you to move onto bigger and better things.

80447: Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010
Customers make the business world go round. That is why utilizing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is crucial. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM system can help reduce costs, and increase productivity by automating business process that nurture customer relationships and satisfaction. There are many advantages to integrating Sharepoint with CRM. Some of the main pluses are:

The ability to share folders with all types of documents
Enterprise search
Customer/client portal
Out-if-the-box dashboards
Class 80447 is a one-day course that will explain why and how to integrate these two Microsoft technologies. By taking this one day course, you will learn the following:

The kinds of business problems SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed to solve
Identify the most common scenarios where SharePoint and Dynamics CRM can be used together
Learn basic Microsoft Dynamics CRM customization techniques required to build integrated applications
Understand and Work with SharePoint Web Parts and Pages
Understand and Use SharePoint Designer Data Views to Expose Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Data
Understand how to use the Business Data Catalog with data From Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Filtered Views
Understand how to configure, publish, and view Excel spreadsheets using Excel Services
Demonstrate how to install, configure, and use the default integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
Understand how Business Connectivity Services and Excel Services can be used to display Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 data within SharePoint.
Understand how to leverage and configure SharePoint searching capabilities to search Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 data from within SharePoint.
Explain how Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Microsoft SharePoint 2010, PowerPivot, and Power View can be used together to provide rich business intelligence solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
Mastering Microsoft Office Word
Word processing is the use of computers to create, revise, and save documents for printing and future retrieval. Back in the day it did this in the most basic way, with a couple formatting option, bold and underline texts. Nowadays, this tool can transform a plain typed document into a colorful vivid piece of marketing art. Word! It is also a wonderful tool for creating professional business documents. Most of us use Microsoft Word on a daily basis, and don’t even fully understand all of its functionalities, and end up screaming at the screen because formatting is a little funky or you just can’t get it to do what you want. Yes, you remember that fit you had once or twice. Well these courses will solve that problem, and provide endless business solutions. You will be impressed with all the cool things this tool really can do.

50126: Microsoft Office Word 2007 Step by Step Level 1
Course 50126 is the first in a series of three Microsoft Office Word 2007 courses. It will provide you with the basic concepts required to produce basic business documents, as you will create, edit, and enhance standard business documents using Microsoft Office Word 2007.Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

Create a basic document using Microsoft Word.

  • Edit documents by locating and modifying text.
  • Format text.
  • Format paragraphs.
  • Add tables to a document.
  • Add graphic elements to a document.
  • Control a document’s page setup and its overall appearance.
  • Proof documents to make them more accurate.

50542: Learn Microsoft Word 2010 Step by Step Level 2

Course 50542 is designed for those who already have the Level 1 Skills (ability to use Microsoft Word 2010 to create, edit, format, save, and print basic business documents containing text, tables, and graphics), but need to know how to create or modify complex business documents and customized Word efficiency tools. It also aims to assist those preparing for the Microsoft Office Specialist exams for Microsoft Word 2010. You will create complex documents and build personalized efficiency tools using Microsoft Office Word 2010, and will leave with these skills:

  • Ability to manage lists.
  • Customize tables and charts
  • Customize the formatting of a document using styles and themes
  • Modify pictures in a document
  • Create customized graphic elements
  • Insert content using Quick Parts
  • Control text flow
  • Use templates to automate document creation
  • Use the mail merge function
  • Use macros to automate common tasks

Save 10% with One-day Microsoft Courses

Microsoft training classes
Save 10% on these Microsoft training courses
You are probably saying to yourself right now, “Wow that would make life much easier”, and thinking of all the things you could get done if you knew how to use these software tools at full capacity. Time is precious, as we live busy lives so these one-day courses are ideal to get valuable skills sets to make a big difference in your day to day job tasks. Just one day can make a difference in your overall productivity and success on the job.

Featured Microsoft classes are always guaranteed-to-run and offer a 10% discount when registered for the following dates:

  • 80447: Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010 – 7/30/2013
  • 50126: Microsoft Office Word 2007 Step by Step Level 1 – 7/30/2013
  • 50542: Learn Microsoft Word 2010 Step by Step Level 2 – 7/31/2013

Remember to mention Promo code FC1day10 to receive your discount.

Inside Peek – SharePoint training 50470: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for the Site Owner/Power User

Why should you take Microsoft class 50470?

SharePoint is one of those tools that can truly change and facilitate the way we communicate with one another, especially in the job setting. This is why the demand for SharePoint savvy people has increased over the last several years. Want to land a good job in IT? Want to become a valued team member that your company can’t do without? Learn SharePoint!

 

Gain the skills you need to become a “power user” for a SharePoint site by enrolling in our two-day, instructor-led training course, 50470: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for the Site Owner/Power User. Learn how to create lists and sites, manage user access levels, and customize your lists and pages. This class uses the SharePoint Server 2010 version of SharePoint. While it is of equal value for users of SharePoint Foundation, it does include a few features not found in Foundation. After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Manage Sites and Site Collections
  • Add users and groups and manage site, list, folder and item security
  • Add and configure web parts
  • Configure sites, include themes, title, description and icon
  • Configure site navigation
  • View site activity reports
  • Customize lists and libraries
  • Work with Site Columns and Site Content Types
  • Create Forms libraries
  • Configure Check out/in, Content Approval and Versioning
  • Create and modify pages and web part pages

Upcoming SharePoint Training Classes

SharePoint training class 50470 is on our upcoming Guaranteed-to-Run schedule, running July 11th – July 12th. There is still time to register for this class, so visit our website or contact your TechSherpas Rep. Other class dates are available.

We also offer a list of other SharePoint training classes, including:

  • 20331: Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  • 55014: Upgrading Your Development Skills to SharePoint 2013
  • 10174: Configuring and Managing Microsoft SharePoint 2010
  • 10232: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Applications
  • 50354: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 SharePoint Designer
  • 50478: SharePoint 2010 Advanced Foundation Development
  • 50352: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Overview for End Users

For a full list of SharePoint 2013 classes, click here.

For a full list of SharePoint 2010 classes, click here.

Mention this blog post and receive 10% off your registration for 50470.

Get your head out of the Clouds…or maybe not?

SharePoint has earned a reputation as being an excellent business solution that can increase collaboration, effectively manage important business documents, manage workflow & processes, and promote social engagement. The way people are communicating and conducting business are constantly evolving as technology and business needs change. The new version of SharePoint 2013 has added a new capability that may serve businesses of all types and sizes quite well. SharePoint 2013 is just as much an online solution as an on-premise solution, and as technology and organizations continue to evolve it’s not inconceivable to think that all business may be conducted in the Cloud one day. Gartner Research predicts that 50% of Global 1000 companies will store customer-sensitive data in the cloud by 2016 (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/1862714). But, let’s just put the brakes on that thought for right now, and get a basic understanding of what business solutions in the Cloud versus on-premise look like, specifically for SharePoint.

SharePoint in the Cloud

SharePoint 2013 is taking it up a notch. Well taking it way up, to the Cloud. SharePoint in the Cloud is the managed, on-line delivery of the SharePoint technologies and servers. This can include a company’s intranet, extranet, document management, records management, or external website. This means that companies utilizing SharePoint in the Cloud can now experience the same feel, capabilities, and functions as the on-premise version of SharePoint. SharePoint in the Cloud allows an external provider to host and manage SharePoint, taking the burden of administration and maintenance off the organization’s IT department, allowing the organization to allocate those resources more effectively elsewhere. This is the premise of the Cloud. Allowing third parties, who specialize in cloud environments, to manage and maintain the IT needs of a company, leaving the company more resources to focus on the main goals & functions of the business. So what does this mean for companies using SharePoint and what should they consider before moving SharePoint to the Cloud?

Cloud vs. On-Premise

Once SharePoint has been implemented in the Cloud, companies do realize the benefits associated with the change (decreased management responsibilities for your IT team, increased flexibility in terms of scalability, infrastructure disaster recovery, and more cost effective licensing models) but first you need to decide if you should and can indeed complete the implementation of this program. You need to evaluate your resources and decide if your IT staff can complete this in-house or if it will be wiser and more cost effective to outsource it, or perhaps a little bit of both? A smooth transition is crucial for business operations to remain on point, unaffected by the decision to move to the Cloud.

Keeping up with the hardware and software of SharePoint can be a difficult task for many organizations. Maintaining the infrastructure takes time and money. One advantage of moving SharePoint to the Cloud is the savings realized in IT maintenance. The time and money spent on the challenges to start-up and maintain SharePoint can be reduced, and maybe even eliminated by hosting SharePoint on the Cloud. Be aware though, that the SharePoint provider will not take care of everything. The company still needs to make the important decisions of how they want the environment to look, it’s URL, as well as how the content is categorize, search functionalities, and the type of authentication.

Search requirements need to be discussed as they can be one of the most important functions for SharePoint users, and not all SharePoint providers allows full functionality of the search function. If this is a key function for the successful experience for your users then you may need to reconsider the migration or determine a solution that will allow you to search for both internal and external content.

As mentioned, categorizing content cannot be overlooked by the organization implementing SharePoint. This is how users are able to locate the information they are looking for. SharePoint on the Cloud can create some difficulties on this area that need to be evaluated and solutions explored.

Capture

Add up your scores, and see how you match up:

32:  You are probably already on SharePoint Online or Office 365. Enjoy the view from your cloud!

24-31: You are a strong candidate for SharePoint Online. Study carefully and understand some of the functional tradeoffs of the platform. SharePoint Online doesn’t support the following:

  • Deployment of custom solutions that require direct access to the server, such as Visual Web Parts. It does support sandboxed solutions, however.
  • PowerPivot
  • SQL Server Reporting Service Integration
  • Business Connectivity Services (originally this was a blanket restriction, but a slipstream release in 2011 added support for access to web services-based remote data in O365 BCS).
  • FAST Search Server Integration
  • Web Analytics
  • Site collections greater than 100GB

10-23:  You are somewhere in between. Understanding the platform advantages and tradeoffs is essential to figuring out your cloud strategy. Odds are good that you may use a hybrid approach in which parts of your SharePoint world remain on premises, with other aspects living on Office 365.

0-9:  If SharePoint is already living in your data center, it’s probably in the right place.

Evaluate & Decide

So are you a good candidate for SharePoint on the Cloud? Should you implement SharePoint on-premise, on the cloud, or as a combination of both? It really just depends on the organization’s specific needs, size, and type of cloud environment that is right for the organization: Software as a Service; Infrastructure as a Service, or Managed Services. The decision to stay on premise versus moving to the cloud is an important one. The organization needs to decide what control they still want to have, and what they want others to have so they can focus on other things. What is most important to you and the success of your business?

SharePoint Wins Over Corporate

Successful business professionals are constantly looking for ways to increase profitability through effective business practices. While exploring ideas on how their businesses will achieve these goals, issues such as reducing costs, document management, and communication are undoubtedly discussed and analyzed. To address these issues, decision makers dig in, brainstorm, and develop goal setting strategies that are focused on improving the current operations. Among the many business solutions available, is Microsoft SharePoint. What is SharePoint and why should a corporation invest in and implement it?

SharePoint is a platform that allows users to build web pages and web-based applications, such as corporate intranets, simply and fairly quickly. When SharePoint is configured correctly for enterprise solutions, there are several ways that this program can benefit a company whether they are a design firm, a medical testing lab, or a retail company. Microsoft SharePoint has been proven to help corporations get organized, reduce IT costs, and be an effective tool in communication within the firm as well as to audiences outside the firm.

Staying Connected with SharePoint
SharePoint can really boost collaboration and productivity because of the many features that makes it easy to share information. Such features include My Sites, people search, wikis, blogs, tags, and ratings. The ability for employees to locate and share information, ideas, and knowledge, as well as, engage in conversations, creates an environment that encourages participation, teamwork, and support. This organizational portal allows employees to stay connected with the firm, and team members, providing an easy way to share information and collaborate, increasing the productivity of the employees.

According to Jeff Lanham, other corporate efficiencies this platform can bring to the organization include: Benefits Management, Employee / Customer / Vendor Provisioning Processes, Service Request / Requisition / Ticketing Systems, Any Review or Approval Routing Scenario.

Document Management
For a business to be successful, it needs to be able to utilize its resources efficiently and at their optimal levels. Many firms aren’t doing this and a falling short in productivity levels. Managing documents is extremely important, as the ability to locate, retrieve, edit, and share important documents affects the time spent on each task. SharePoint can be configured in such a way as to handle corporate document management needs, as it relates to the firm using it, which can be different from one firm to another. SharePoint’s document management solution allows firms to create and control access of documents in a way that reflects the corporations’ culture and goals. If a firm is centralized verses decentralized the management of the documents can reflect this, and should be taken into consideration when setting up the document management controls. By setting up the system in alignment with the culture and goals, users can utilize the system efficiently thus increasing productivity.

Reduce IT Management burden & IT cost
By implementing SharePoint, firms can eliminate costs by providing more services while using fewer resources. Cambridgeshire Constabulary is a great example of how SharePoint was able to cut costs while increasing productivity. “Replacing our Lotus Notes environment with SharePoint 2013 will make our police and business staff more efficient, reduce our IT management burden, and lower our IT costs,” says Ian Bell, Head of ICT at Cambridgeshire Constabulary. The Lotus Notes system they had been using for years required constant updating and maintenance, and required excessive time from users when searching for data. Implementing SharePoint eliminated the maintenance and inefficient search procedure. This is just one example of how SharePoint can increase productivity, as well as eliminate wasteful costs associated with inefficient systems currently utilized by firms who are seeking improvement.

Business Intelligence & Reporting
Gathering and analyzing information about the performance of procedures and systems currently being utilized by the corporation are essential. This aides in determining what is working, what is not, and what changes need to be made in order for the firm to improve the current operations and become more successful. What is appealing about SharePoint’s reporting and business intelligence features is its ability to query and write back to external databases. Users have the ability to build specific custom views and reports based on audience, and data analyzed. This is incredibly useful because multiple reports can be created in limited time.

SharePoint can provide an array of business solutions, once it has been configured for enterprise use. Once this is done, the fun begins as you begin to plan, explore, and build the best solution for your company. To better understand SharePoint and all it has to offer, we recommend getting formal training from a Microsoft Partner. This will provide you with in an in depth knowledge of all the capabilities of SharePoint, and how you can use it to increase business success. This knowledge will allow you to become an expert, unleashing all the power within SharePoint, so your business can reap the benefits from increased productivity and lower IT costs. Click here to see what SharePoint classes are being offered in your area.