There are a handful of things that SharePoint performs well – public-facing websites, contract life cycle management, case management, accounts payable repositories and human resource portals for on-boarding and off-boarding employees. On the other hand, SharePoint still struggles on applications requiring heavy transactions such as inventory, warehouse operations and general ledger.
Things have definitely changed though with SharePoint 2013 – it has introduced a whole lot of new features making the platform more trustworthy for business-critical processes. It has improved business operations, user experience and the IT organization itself.
On its 2013 release, SharePoint introduced better compliance measures, collaboration capabilities and more flexibility for cloud integration.
As part of its key features, its platform compliance are now equipped with e-discovery, enabling extensive search and better legal holds of contents of Exchange mailboxes, file systems and other repositories. On SharePoint’s earlier versions, information such as this cannot be locked down for litigation and investigation. The platform can only hold contents but not really the entire site; this changes though in SharePoint 2013 with Site Policies.
SharePoint 2013 has also injected a lot of social elements to it – its collaboration feature makes finding people easier. It also integrates a few of social networking sites’ best feature. For instance, users can share content and links; activities can also be tracked; and with Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer, single-sign-on and document management has been moved a step up.
Consistent with the goal of Microsoft in making SharePoint closer to its user by introducing social elements, user experience has also been a center of improvement. SharePoint 2013 now allows web teams to create more readable and user friendly URLs like www.mycompany/mobileapps. It also allows easy content searching through allowing search engine optimization (SEO) tags without coding.
Navigating through task lists is also a breeze with the improved SharePoint. Now users can see a consolidated list of tasks across sites – to do this on the old version, custom programming must be made. Finally, there is improved mobile support – enhanced smart phone capabilities, push notifications and also HTML 5 support.
It is about time that Microsoft takes the app store business model into its core. Web-application add-ons of SharePoint 2013 can now be purchased through the Office Store. These web apps allow businesses to include SharePoint enhancements without having high end-to-end development costs. With a cloud-based foundation, these apps can be deployed in Azure or even other cloud based providers such as Amazon – making it more flexible and cost efficient. These SharePoint 2013 add-ons are also made secure through Microsoft’s claims-based authentication using Open Authorization 2.0 (OAuth) – an industry-standard security protocol which gives temporary access to resources without having to store credentials.
SharePoint can offer many things on the table most especially in helping businesses deal with its critical businesses processes. If you think it’s time for your business to shift to SharePoint today, Contact Us at Portal Integrators.