SharePoint 2013 Most Popular Features for Businesses

13 August 2013
By Aleksei Kachanov, Chief Architect

It’s seems to be an undeniable truth – an employer should organize decent working conditions with a simple workflow and a comfort environment for each employee. At least, not every company is ready to go beyond installing MS Office and allowing Penguin or Skype on the local network. Managers of these companies (to which you do not belong, as you’re already reading this post) do not imagine that an organized virtual space for business tasks, with a friendly UI, a multiplicity of storage locations, dashboards and calendars, can raise productivity to a new level.

DataArt engineers make use of many SharePoint 2013 features and apply the new knowledge to their projects. As feedback showed, some features are more demanded and popular among users and we consider such features as SharePoint’s strong points.

Briefly, SharePoint is a platform with a multipurpose set of Web technologies. It provides rich content management, enterprise social networking, search, workspace creation, management and collaboration. The platform is a unified solution to different intranet, document management, and collaborative needs.

Developing portals for different projects and companies, I’ve always come across the same things – no matter what industry the client presented, the main important task was to display all information in one place like on a world map, not like a multi-paged atlas.

Ann, Marketing Coordinator:

”For the coordination of all marketing materials we needed a multi-functioned storage of documents – case-studies, presentations, press-releases, research results, etc. – all that stuff, that appears during marketing and PR campaigns, internal and external events. The SharePoint portal has an excellent search with filtration, makes accessible the legal status of each document, a client’s name, the Industry this material was made for, and so on.
The portal is very flexible and has great potential for the implementation of business ideas and optimization of our internal processes. Also SharePoint is integrated with MS Office programs, we all use every day.”

Pic.1 Marketing documents portal before SharePoint implementation

Pic.2 Marketing documents portal after SharePoint implementation

Helen, HR-manager:

”With staff growth the amount of information was rapidly increasing. It wasn’t carefully structured, moreover, we had three different sources with colleagues private information, used multiple systems, data warehouses, and file shares. To collect everything in one place we needed a new portal.

SharePoint ideally suited for our purposes. It gave us a single sign-in system, safety and easy retrieval of materials, and also wiped out the necessity of information duplication from source to source. With the one site we could deal with various issues: HRM wiki (the collection of useful instructions from HRM-colleagues experience), Calendar (all events that we and our specialists are interested in, internal and external), Media Content (videos and presentations), Materials (primary partition for marketing information).”

A representative of a major DataArt client:

“We are a Microsoft house. SharePoint provides a unified solution to our intranet, document management, and collaborative needs. SharePoint is widely deployed across several industries making it both well-known and, we expect, reasonably easy to find personnel to support the platform.”

Of course, SharePoint 2013 technologies have been integrated in DataArt’s internal projects. e.g., the Competence Board – a tool for technology competence centers shows a complete structured picture of the expertise’s progress.

Anton, Manager, Competence Centers Coordinator at DataArt:

“SharePoint solves a wide range of tasks, while competing platforms support only a subset of features. MS SharePoint is a leader in the area of building “all in one” solutions
Our main requirements for the portal were as follows:

  • Store data and artifacts
  • Use dashboards to visualize data

For the storage, I could hardly imagine another tool that could accommodate such an amount of diverse information. From the visual side, the tool is close to the perfection. Using the Competition Board I can see what activities the technological centers hold, check the case studies or find out when the meetings are. The higher the activity in the Center is, the higher it appears in the table. The less information about a Center’s work a card contains, the less percentage it has (pic.3). Inactivity leads to a loss of rating.

The platform, also, is a team collaboration site that uses shared documents, task lists, and other tools to keep teams communicating and on track.”

Pic.3 Competence Board (fragment)

DataArt has finished more than 50 projects relying on SharePoint. And the gathered feedback guides our future direction in projects activities. It is highlighted by the most demanding business cases:

  • Intranet
  • Document management
  • Collaboration
  • Integration
  • Portals for company teams

In the end, there are the official statistics. Share Point is used by about 80% of Fortune 500 companies and more than 100 million users, including hedge funds, auditing firms, IT companies, Government or Universities. eBay and Chrysler are also the SharePoint users.

It doesn’t depend on what industry you work for. No matter, whether you used SharePoint earlier or not. You’ll like the result, when everything can be carefully structured and the whole picture of internal processes will be an open book. A tool like SharePoint is going to make business processes easier, save money and a improve company’s productivity.


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