What is Sharepoint?

The short answer:

Sharepoint is a web based collection of sites, installed on a Windows server which allow a user to interactively input, download and track data.

The long answer:

It is very hard to define exactly what sharepoint is for one simple reason.. it is so many things! It is for this reason that I have decided to give a number of aswers to this question. Each higlighting a seperate aspect of what Sharepoint is and does.

1) Sharepoint is a CRM Solution

In sharepoint, you can create a full list of your customers and suppliers which would not only be a list but an interactive database which has the ability to store information on:

•The type of company, size etc
•All the key contacts in every company that you work with.
•Key logistical information
•Billing information
In sharepoint you can create a full list of your orders or your customer's orders. The online order sheets can contain:

•Full lists of details. They can be linked to seperate pages containing product details, customer order history etc
•Full details relating to the dates, times, customer response etc
Ownership of jobs may be passed from person to person as order progress.

Heres an example: a sales person may take an order, the job may be passed to admin for approval and then to products to do the ordering and finally back to sales to make a customer care call

2) Sharepoint is a Personal Organiser

On a Sharepoint system, you can setup user accounts for you, all the people in your company and even limted accounts for external clients.

Your personal account may contain:

•A list of jobs that have been assigned to you
•An online briefcase of Word, Excel and other Office documents
•A personalised view of appointments and a canlendar which can sync with Outlook
•Access to a shared calendar for the company

3) Sharepoint is an Interactive Website

Sharepoint allows for advanced HTML editing and supports a whole bunch of amazing web technologies. A website hosted on Sharepoint can give users the ability to log on individually and access certain areas.

4) Sharepoint is a document resource

Company handbooks, fire safety regulations, annual leave request forms, equal opportunity documents, ethical policies... they can all be stored in Sharepoint!

Sharepoint allows you to upload Word documents, Excel documents, PDFs, Emails and any other type of business documentation.

These documents can be catagorized and seperated into folders (see below).

4) Sharepoint is a shared calendar

Sharepoint allows for you and your collegues to all have your own calendars in the Sharepoint site. These calendars can be used to record meetings, holidays etc and can be synced with outlook.

5) Sharepoint is a Contacts Database

Sharepoint lets you completely customize your contacts database. You may customize the fields you need and delete the fields you dont need.

Furthermore, everyone in your company can be granted permission to use or add contacts.

As Sharepoint is based on a SQL database, these contacts can be referenced by other charts and tables within the site. For example, in an "open projects list", each project can be linked in the database to the company that has commisioned it.. together with the person that is managing/working on the project!


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