Benefits of Storing Documents in SharePoint Online

If your organization has grown tired of file shares, disjointed content management systems, or never being able to find documents when you need them, it is time to consider SharePoint Online, especially if you’ve already invested in Office 365. Many of our clients are asking about SharePoint and how their organization can get more out of it.

This blog will cover some of the benefits of storing enterprise content in SharePoint Online.

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Document Management and Collaboration

Microsoft built SharePoint to be a centralized collaboration hub. Since the introduction of Office 365, SharePoint has become an integral part of the Modern Workplace experience, bringing collaboration capabilities to users. Documents stored in SharePoint can be co-authored, meaning there is a single source of truth as opposed to multiple versions of a document being sent to contributors via e-mail. Kiefer has worked with clients to create structure for their SharePoint sites to make it easy to find documents that are stored in SharePoint. It is also important to mention that SharePoint “search” is outstanding and can be used to help users quickly find critical information that is stored in SharePoint.

Another benefit of SharePoint is version control. Organizations can restore a file to a previous version if a document is changed and you would like to see the document at an earlier point in time, before the document had been edited or something critical was accidentally removed or deleted.

Office 365 Integration

SharePoint Online is a critical part of Microsoft Office 365. As organization start to adopt collaboration applications like Microsoft Teams, all the files will be conveniently stored in a SharePoint site. Sharing documents using links to the document as opposed to the file itself is an effective way to ensure the latest version is always available, up to date, and easy to find. And, furthermore, permissions and accessibility to documents in SharePoint can be controlled by your administrator. You administrator can extend permissions and access to documents stored in SharePoint based on your Active Directory (AD) credentials.

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Automating Workflows

SharePoint is more than an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution. You can also use third-party tools to build business workflows. Kiefer is a Nintex partner and has helped several clients build workflows using a “no-code” tool. We have helped automate processes like the Review and Approve Process, the Public Records Act (PRA) Request Process, and the Request for Personnel Action (RPA) process. These solutions were all built using Kiefer’s Simple Solution Framework and have helped clients accelerate traditionally manual and paper based process. In addition, SharePoint become a repository for documents that have traversed these critical business processes. Kiefer is also working with clients to build simple workflows using Microsoft Flow and Microsoft PowerApps.

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Storage in SharePoint

SharePoint has storage limitations, but for most organizations, the capacity is more than sufficient. Just for reference, a SharePoint list can have up to 30 million items and a library can have up to 30 million files and folders.

It is also important to point out that after 100,000 items are added to a list, library, or folder, permission inheritance for the list, library, or folder can’t be changed.

Backing up your data

Did you accidentally delete a SharePoint site collection? No problem. Microsoft retains deleted sites for 93 days. After 93 days, sites and all the site content and settings are permanently deleted, including lists, libraries, pages, and any subsites. This is an important feature for organizations that are relying on file shares as a method of storing enterprise content. In many cases, those deleted files are unrecoverable.

SharePoint has a lot of potential for organizations that are looking for a solution to meet their document management needs. It’s also a practical tool for driving collaboration and can be transformational when it comes to changing how your organization works. At Kiefer, we rarely attach a document to an e-mail. We send a link to the file stored in SharePoint. We can co-author and ensure that there is always a single-source-of-truth.

If you are looking to leverage your investment in Office 365, start using SharePoint. And, if you’ve used SharePoint in the past and the benefits we shared were not realized, it may be a good time to revisit SharePoint! Contact Kiefer if you’d like to learn more or simply talk about how organizations are using SharePoint to communicate and collaborate.

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