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Solving the Documentation Dilemma with SharePoint

Information workers in large enterprises waste 35% of their time searching for information – and fail to find what they need up to 40% of the time, according to the Knowledge Network. As a result, intellectual capital is underutilized, duplicate documents are created causing confusion, and productive time is wasted.

Large, decentralized IT organizations are often plagued with numerous silos of information, multiple software platforms from multiple vendors, and strict security and regulatory requirements that apply globally across many sites. This makes it difficult for end users to find the files and documents they need to be productive amidst a web of disjointed systems.

This represents one of the best use cases for SharePoint in large and growing organizations – the ability to centralize information and processes.  A task that may require a user to open up multiple applications, can be streamlined into SharePoint for a single point of access to required documentation and task completion.

Solved with SharePoint

Take a look at some ways you can use SharePoint to streamline file management and processes.

Example 1:
A project is started that includes many departments and stakeholders. Typically, project documents are held on a file drive, tasks are managed in a separate project management system, and communication is made via multiple emails. This leaves participants accessing multiple systems to work on the project.

With SharePoint, project documentation, task assignments, progress, and communications are centrally accessible.  SharePoint also provides other communication tools, like wikis, discussion boards, and dedicated space to record and store meeting notes, to organize project elements.

Example 2:
Confidential or internal documentation needs to be reviewed and edited by multiple parties can be cumbersome and risky. The process would normally involve emailing the document around, gathering and incorporating edits, and then sending them back around for final approvals. During the process, the document could be emailed to unauthorized parties and leak important business data or an overlooked message could cause delays.

Documents stored in SharePoint can be assigned permission levels so that only authorized users can access, edit, or distribute a file. The workflow features in SharePoint automate the process of gathering and merging edits and securing approvals into a single-application process drawing on familiar Microsoft Office programs, like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Example 3:
Files on network drives are often moved for archiving or organizational purposes. When this happens, users may not be able to locate needed files because the directory location or file name have changed.

Using the document ID option in SharePoint, you can assign a relative id to a document that remains the same regardless of the document’s location. SharePoint even uses rules similar to Outlook to allow documents to be stored in certain locations based on metadata. The latest version of SharePoint includes search improvements to help structure data and deliver specific, contextual results so users can find the content they need faster and more accurately.

These are just a few ways SharePoint can ease document and project management while increasing productivity.

SharePoint Options from Rackspace

Once you’ve determined where you can best implement SharePoint, you have options on how to deploy. Rackspace offers two choices based your business size, technical ability, and customization needs.

Dedicated SharePoint – Installs SharePoint on to a dedicated server. Because it’s on dedicated hardware, you have the ability to customize your deployment to your specific organizational needs. Enterprises with large data sets and heavy security requirements are ideal candidates for this option. Dedicated SharePoint is available for SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint 2007, and SharePoint 2010.

Get detailed information on Dedicated SharePoint on our website or explore more ways you can use Dedicated SharePoint in our Hosting Knowledge Center with how-to videos, articles, and on-demand webinars.

Hosted SharePoint – Delivers SharePoint service via a SaaS model. This lets you get up and running fast with a pre-configured, fully functional SharePoint system. As a shared, hosted service, the level of customization is limited. The hosted option is a great way for SMBs to get started with SharePoint and for organizations managing light-to-medium file repositories.

Learn more about Hosted SharePoint. Access our Support Site for on-demand Hosted SharePoint webinars and instructional articles.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Angela Bartels.


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