How can you make SharePoint easier to use?

SharePoint is a great business tool however it can be complex and offers its own difficulties when trying to implement it into your organization.

SharePoint is a web application framework and platform developed by Microsoft.  As many think it is fairly new, most people would not believe that is was first launched in 2001.  SharePoint is extremely robust and integrates your corporate intranet, content management, and document management together.

The unfortunate part to SharePoint is that many corporate employees find their corporate SharePoint platform difficult to navigate.  Over the past several years, Microsoft has been adding functions to SharePoint to address these business challenges however as SharePoint becomes more robust, so do the challenges.

SharePoint is a fantastic business tool however it has to be setup your business can increase productivity, profitability and most of all, make it easy to use for your employees.

How can I make SharePoint easier to use for my company employees?

Customization

Over the years, Microsoft has constantly created new features for SharePoint but if your company requires a particular feature, then it is time to call in the experts and customize.  Microsoft never intended for SharePoint to be an off-the-shelf product.  This is the biggest reason why workers find SharePoint difficult to use as their corporate SharePoint was never customized to suit their business needs.

Since SharePoint is not a one-size-fits-all solution, it will require a lot of careful planning.  Remember, once you implement SharePoint properly, your ROI with be immediate instead of working with unknown issues.  Some things consider include how various types of workers will be use it and how your clients will be using it. It is recommended to also talk to your management and staff to understand their issues and what issues they face daily.  If you engage employees, they are more likely to find it easy to use once it’s finished.

Requirements

Depending on your industry, there are many different considerations.  For example, for companies in healthcare, they face many regulatory restrictions when dealing with documents like The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).  The good news here is that SharePoint gives you features like version control, checking out/in documents and edit tracking to mention a few.  Working in regulated industries can be frustrating however if SharePoint is setup properly, its features can make it more of a convenience.

Version

If you are working with an older version of SharePoint, it is important that you consider to upgrade.  From recent versions, it has become very clear that Microsoft has been listening to their clients.  Most complaints come from companies that are using older versions of SharePoint.

SharePoint 2013 clearly demonstrates has increased user experience and ease of navigation.  SharePoint 2013 is trying to make itself the same way as other software.  For example, the search function in SharePoint 2013 works like Google or Bing.  Microsoft’s goal is to keep a wide array of features to make SharePoint a powerful solution for businesses while overcoming the challenge of user adoption and training.

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