SharePoint 2013 …. More Than Just a Document Management System
It is well known that Microsoft SharePoint 2013 is a powerful document management tool which provides features such as organisation (by using tagging, taxonomies and folders), workflows, advanced search capability, security and Microsoft Office integration. In this blog I will highlight many of the other useful features that SharePoint 2013 offers.
Social Computing and Collaboration:
SharePoint 2013 has a number of features which allow social computing and collaboration. These features not only allow sharing of knowledge but make working with others in the organisation easier too.
Some of the social features available are highlighted below:
- Ability to setup “My Sites”. This allows users in the system to have a profile page where they can display a range of information about themselves such as what expertise they have.
- News and Activity feeds. Users can keep up to date with what is happening in the organisation. Users can configure what news feeds they wish to be a part of. Activity feeds allow you to see any activity associated with a particular user.
- Discovery features such as social search allows the user the ability to perform a powerful search to find the exact information they require. An example of this might be trying to find all web designers in the organisation who have 5 or more years’ experience.
- Discussion boards to allow simple communication between teams and users.
- Integration with Microsoft Lync, Outlook and Sky Drive. Lync allows users to do a range of things such as see the status of a particular person. Mailbox integration between Outlook and SharePoint is another powerful feature.
Custom apps extend SharePoint 2013 functionality. These apps tend to be lightweight and can be built using familiar technologies.
Some examples of possible apps for a company are listed below:
- Staff holiday and absence management application
- Meeting room reservation and scheduling system
- Online questionnaire application
- Staff training management application
- Employee timesheet management and reporting system
The Microsoft SharePoint app store provides a range of apps that can be downloaded and integrated into your SharePoint environment. Most of these apps are free but some require a small purchase fee. If you can’t find an app the meets your exact requirements then you can look into building one yourself, Microsoft provides a range of familiar programming models to help do this. Apps can also be integrated with external systems such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the Microsoft Office suite.
SharePoint 2013 provides a range of Business Intelligence (BI) tools and capabilities. One of the ways to access the BI features is through the ‘Business Intelligence Center’.
Some of the common BI capabilities are highlighted below:
- Excel Services give the user the ability to interact with excel in the browser as well as display workbook information in portals and dashboards. Advanced excel tools such as PowerPivot and Power View can also be used through SharePoint.
- Reporting Services allows SSRS reports to be integrated into SharePoint. The ability to create reports that query SharePoint list data is also available.
- PerformancePoint Services allow rich dashboards to be created. These dashboards can include a range of components such as KPI’s and enhanced filtering. The ability to aggregate data from multiple sources also makes this a very powerful feature.
SharePoint 2013 offers more than just document management……….the additional capabilities SharePoint offers should be factored in when comparing the different document management systems in the market. If you are already using SharePoint then you should look into how you can make use of the additional features provided. To find out more contact a Bridgeall SharePoint expert today.