6 Minutes

Collaboration is crucial within any business. We can personally attest to that. Without the right collaboration tool, we’d never be able to work as efficiently or communicate as well with our clients.

It’s not just about team collaboration either. Businesses must be able to collaborate with their clients to keep them informed about what’s going on. That extra level of communication benefits both parties.

Thanks to SharePoint, everything a business needs to work better together is available in a single tool that’s surprisingly powerful, yet easy to learn.

Common Collaboration Mistakes

We’ve spoken to businesses that felt they already had collaboration covered. When we asked what their strategy was, we got a disappointing answer. Instead of a single company-wide tool, every department and location used different tools. This meant collaboration was limited to departments or a location. Email and phone were the only constants among them.

While it’s easy to let management and employees choose what they’re most comfortable with, the result is disconnected chaos. Real-time communication is difficult. It’s hard for clients to get involved or even get answers to their questions. Plus, teams scattered among various locations find it impossible to keep track of projects they’re working on without lengthy video chat meetings.

The answer is using a single tool among all departments and locations. We know that at first employees might not be thrilled about change, but they will be once they see the advantages. The best approach is to implement SharePoint slowly and ensure all employees are properly trained. Not being able to locate content is one of the largest causes for failed adoption, so consistent and intuitive navigation is also pivotal. We even recommend providing clients with a simple user guide to help them navigate SharePoint easily.

Collaboration That Fits Perfectly

We’ve worked with collaboration tools in the past that were overly complex or too simplistic. We could either allow everyone to collaborate in one space or have one or two limited teams. SharePoint is customizable.

Individual teams need to have their own space to work. SharePoint allows teams to create their own virtual workspace to collaborate with each other and relevant clients. No one except those invited are allowed to access it. Obviously, a business’s IT administrator can limit who has the ability to create individual workspaces. This makes it easier to keep track of what’s created and why.

Of course, we know businesses need more than individual teams. Company-wide collaboration options are available too. By creating a company-wide intranet, employees across the business can communicate, share files, work with clients and stay on top of company news and events.

Using SharePoint hub sites, we can also bring all these virtual workspaces together under one consistent navigation structure and theme, while access based enumeration limits what is seen to what the current user has access to.

According to Microsoft, SharePoint is currently used by over 200,000 organizations and 190 million people. The wide variety of features and customizations are why users not only choose SharePoint to help their teams and clients collaborate, but stick with it.

Improve Client Engagement And Retention

Simply sending out the occasional progress email or asking questions after a project is finished isn’t enough to keep clients engaged. More importantly, it may not be enough to retain them. One of the things that sets us apart is our consistent communication with our clients. We know that we’d want to be kept in the loop. Plus, we’ve also learned that it’s much easier to do our job if we have real-time communication and collaboration versus trying to fix mistakes after the fact.

According to Forbes, customer collaboration is crucial to a business’s success. This is because the more involved a client feels, the more likely they are to have a good experience. This means they’ll return. SharePoint provides easy to use tools to do just that. Businesses invite clients to individual teams just for them. They can then check the status of projects, ask questions and communicate in near real-time (at least during office hours). They can even review files, make changes or suggestions and help brainstorm ideas that best fit their needs.

Proven Success Rates

Yes, businesses could keep using a mix and match of collaboration tools, but SharePoint includes sites, video messaging, chat, file sharing, reporting and a familiar atmosphere. If a business already uses Microsoft Office, employees will likely find SharePoint more familiar than they originally thought. With easy integration with Microsoft tools, no coding needing, cloud access and an adaptable environment, it’s no wonder it’s been proven as a highly successful solution for many businesses.

Microsoft lists four in-depth case studies that showcase how businesses are using SharePoint and how it’s helped them to be more productive and more in touch with their clients. Each case study is a different look at SharePoint’s features and how they help teams better manage their workloads while easily collaborating with each other.

One benefit that we personally enjoy is how SharePoint brings teams closer together. We’ve found our employees build better relationships, which makes them interact more freely and share ideas. By boosting morale and creativity, we’re able to give our clients the best possible service.

 

If your business is interested in learning more about implementing SharePoint for collaboration, contact us today to find out how we can help with everything from migrating to troubleshooting.

Buddy Monroe

Written by Buddy Monroe

Buddy Monroe, Solutions Architect at ISOutsource, brings 6+ years of administering and developing solutions for the SharePoint platform; from SharePoint 2010 to the Office 365 SharePoint Online offering. With a deep knowledge of SharePoint backend architecture and years of experience leveraging its various feature-sets available, Buddy has aided countless organizations reach new levels of automation and collaboration.