Microsoft’s SharePoint continues to improve. The goal of the entire Office365 online suite is to create a connected universe to help users work smarter. To this end, SharePoint continues to evolve from the basic file-sharing portal it was 15 years ago.
Today, SharePoint has cornered the market as a content management and communications hub. This article looks at the top four cool SharePoint features that are must-haves for any business.
Best SharePoint Features
1. Let’s start with the SharePoint Communication Hubs.
The latest version of SharePoint included with your Office 365 subscription offers feature-rich, customizable Intranet communication sites. We’ve seen these used effectively as the hub for a particular project where you’re working with a large, dispersed team but need to coordinate all the work in one place.
The communication websites come with templates you can select, which is perfect for branding by client project. These sites also translate well to other digital devices so the work can travel with you. You can store links to document libraries, send messages, list procedures or tasks, and a lot more. Instead of waiting for an email, just follow the comments thread on the communication site. Or, list important meetings in the built-in calendar.
2. Next, if you’ve ever wanted to make your own web or phone app, check out Power Apps.
Power Apps is integrated directly into SharePoint now, delineating it as one of the stand out cool tools in SharePoint for 2017. If you’re trying to get things done but can’t find an app to help, you now have a way to intuitively design your app to fit whatever you’re working on.
You can use Power Apps to build customized mobile-savvy apps and push them out to your collaborators. This feature is perfect if you’re not a programmer and can’t afford to hire one. Power Apps draws information straight from Excel data stored on OneDrive or in SharePoint.
The Power Apps integration with SharePoint has a web player, which means you can display your own cool tool as part of the communication sites. It integrates directly with the data you’re using to create something totally new and customized to get the job done exactly the way you want it.
3. Third, there’s Flow, a timesaving automation tool.
Technically Flow is a part of Power Apps but it does something completely different. Flow stands for workflows, and Microsoft Flow allows you to set up decision trees, and processes that automate repetitive tasks.
For example, you could easily set up Flow to alert co-authors if a document changes. Or, tell it to sync your Office 365 calendars with Salesforce. Or, create a decision tree for a proposal approval process.
4. Finally, SharePoint’s social networking features keep people connected.
Users can set up profiles and follow other users. This is great for large enterprise organizations with dispersed teams. Teams can IM each other and develop online relationships that build camaraderie. There are also wikis and blogs that are fun and effective ways to share information between teams.
There you have it -- our four favorite SharePoint features. Contact us if you’d like to find out about these or other cool tools in the Office 365 universe.