SharePoint: A Deeper Dive

Jack doesn’t know how to use the new coffee machine in the company lunchroom. No one is around. Jack needs caffeine. Do you want Jack to fall asleep at his desk or do you want him to finish his report for the board meeting?

SharePoint to the rescue.

An exaggerated example at best (or worst!). Nonetheless, the point is that if Jack needs to know how to use the new coffee machine – a very important task many people in the company will want to know – he can just look it up on the company’s internal wiki (a fancy name for an organization’s internal website that can be edited by its users) where he will find the process document with easy-to-follow instructions in (wait for it) SharePoint Online.

Many 3Points clients are on Microsoft 365 plans that include SharePoint licensing. What you may not know is how it will help to improve office communication, and act as a “company university” for immediate access to knowledge and information.

Here are three points that take you deeper into SharePoint.

1. Share with External People.

A lot of people don’t know this, but you can absolutely share files through SharePoint with people outside the company. Let’s say I want to send a video educating a client about backup options. Since the huge 20 MB file is already on SharePoint, my client can easily download it herself. She gets the information she need quickly, and I look like a hero.

2. Increase Productivity.

Have you ever been on hold for 20 rounds of “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna? (I never liked that song when it came out in 1986.) No one likes to wait for an answer. So give your people what they need when they need it. SharePoint is a company’s go-to place for training materials and company processes. If you have a new hire, you point them to the “Training” SharePoint page and say “this is your world for the next two or three days.” Let the end-user educate themselves at their own pace, freeing up time for other people.

At 3Points, our benefits packages and plans for health, dental and vision are on SharePoint. If anybody has a question, they go to the site and examine the plan. We put up meeting notes from every department, sales presentations, audit best practices – any static documents.

3. The Gotchas

SharePoint is not a replacement for a real file server, but rather a place to hold things that are not going to be changed frequently. Other examples include: expense forms, contracts or Statements of Work, vendor contact lists, vacation request forms, and emergency procedures.

SharePoint is perfect as a collaborative team site for an organization and is easily organized by department. In small businesses, people oftentimes wear a lot of hats. When people share best practices, they go from silo to farm. Training material, set-up instructions, tutorial videos, Podcasts and other helpful information has a home on SharePoint leaving Jack absolutely no excuse for sleeping on the job because he couldn’t get the darn coffee machine to brew.

Jon Pisani is the sales engineering manager at 3Points where he manages maintenance agreements and contracts with vendors, leads audits for new business sales, and manages the 3Points Tech Team. Email Jon at jpisani@3points.com.