SharePoint is a web based collaboration and document management server from Microsoft. SharePoint allows users to upload and share documents securely in a web based environment using Internet Explorer. Employees can group documents, calendars, and discussions into web based work spaces where they can collaborate easily from anywhere they have an internet connection. Documents can be stored and archived in websites designed for long-term document management that is compliant with most of the government regulations for document retention. Businesses can also use SharePoint to build custom applications that improve office productivity by automating and managing document workflows such as document approval. Office 365 SharePoint Online takes all of these great features and moves them into a cloud managed by Microsoft so your business can get back to doing business and not worrying about managing IT concerns like server backup and software updates. .
SharePoint Online subscriptions are bundled with many of the Office 365 subscriptions like Office 365 Small Business Premium or can be purchased on their own. On its own, SharePoint Online comes in 2 flavors. Plan 1 is $3/user/month, and does not include the archiving and compliance features as well as Enterprise Search and a few other advanced features. Plan 2 is $7/user/month and includes nearly all of the functionality of having a SharePoint Enterprise Server physically in your office. Each of the Office 365 plans includes SharePoint Online, starting with Office 365 Small Business supporting only the most basic of features for $5/user/month all the way up to the Office 365 Enterprise E3 plan supporting all the features of the SharePoint Online Plan 2 for $20/user/month.
Out of the box, every SharePoint Online subscription allows users to share documents and collaborate with not only other users inside your organization but also with an unlimited number of users outside your organization. This ability makes SharePoint a very attractive solution for creating client portals for sharing important documents with clients or other organizations and individuals with whom your company might work. The depth of features and the customizability of SharePoint is its greatest strength. There is a cornucopia of already made plugins available to improve and expand on SharePoint’s already impressive features. Software developers are also able to build a custom solution that fits exactly what your company needs with no matter how simple or complicated.
SharePoint Online stand alone or bundled subscriptions are a powerful part of the Microsoft Cloud. If you or your business has not looked into Office 365 and all the tools it has to offer, the only question you should be asking yourself right now is why we didn’t look at this sooner. Get more info about Office 365 at www.office365.com or call B.I.T.S. today to schedule a consultation and a free trial.