Who doesn’t like to work together and share ideas?
Ok, you might be a bit of a grump who likes to keep yourself to yourself, but chances are if you’re working creatively, you’re enthusiastic about what you do and how you stay current and work collaboratively.
If you’re for it or against it there’s one thing that’s common for us all; you probably can’t escape it.
None of us work in a vacuum. Whether working as part of a team, servicing clients, or a consultant who is brought in to work on a project by project basis; collaboration is key. It often makes our ideas better, makes working on a time-sensitive project easier, helps cut costs and improves communication.
For many businesses, small and large, Cloud computing has helped them embrace this flexibility. It’s a more cost-effective technology as it removes the need for expensive servers on site. You get the latest technology updates automatically. There’s no lid on the space you have and – depending on the deal – no limit on the virtual storage you use and manage. You can create your own corner of the Cloud that’s designed especially for your business. Increasingly, SharePoint* is being seen as one of the most popular options. It’s an online platform designed to allow you to share and manage information online.
Here are three examples showing how you are be able to effectively use SharePoint.
1. You’re a small business. You haven’t got the budget to be able to hire full-time staff but you still have clients you work with regularly and pitches for new business. The way you operate is to invest in consultants and freelancers who can be brought in to support you on a project by project basis. It means you can bring in the skills you need when you need them and it’s a more flexible way of working. Yet working with individuals who often work in different places means communication is really important. That and also you want to make sure everyone understands you, your business and the aims and objectives you have for managing clients’ needs and expectations. SharePoint helps you to set up an online site as and when you need to. Your freelance staff can download and access information from wherever they are. They can also manage client accounts remotely. It means you can manage workload and productivity in a way that suits your business, and more importantly your clients.
2. Five years ago you started working as a web developer. Setting up on your own allowed you to control your working hours as well as keeping overheads low. If you’re honest, this is probably why clients like you so much. They get work from you that’s just as good as they would from an agency, but the rates are much lower. Communication is vitally important. You need to be able to keep clients updated on projects, let them know how projects are progressing and get information from them as and when you need it. Face to face meetings, or working in their office doesn’t really suit you, but you want them to know you’re available. SharePoint means you can create a dedicated site for your clients helping to show them how work is proceeding. They can feedback simply and easily and see the status of each job. It’s helped you to continue to work flexibly, without having to increase your costs.
3. As a medium sized business you have staff at a number of different sites. Each site has grown somewhat organically. During this period of growth you’ve realised how important it is to keep hold of staff development and training. You want each site to almost be a replica of the original, to benefit and understand your ethos and character. Yet embarking on regular training programmes and bringing staff together has its downsides. It’s expensive and it hits productivity. SharePoint allows you to update training documents and new procedures to each site at the same time. Each site can manage the programme independently but you know they are all working from the same document. Progress is reported back and then you can manage from Head Office.
Technology is meant to free up our time, rather than making it more complicated. Whatever our business circumstances we all want to work collaboratively as well as flexibly. SharePoint has proved itself to be an effective tool for those who want to be productive, to streamline and centralise communication and data without increasing costs.
*Microsoft hosted SharePoint from Giacom is currently available in beta. Call 0800 542 7500 for more information.