One of the biggest benefits of the cloud is that, in addition to making it easier for organizations to centrally manage the massive processes that undergird their goals, cloud collaboration platforms also facilitate the management of the smaller day-to-day tasks that, while less epic in scale, are no less essential to the function of the business.
On a fundamental level, almost any process involves the creating, sharing, and editing of many files on a granular level, which is why SharePoint Online–with its wealth of features and site types—is such a powerful solution, providing enterprises with the perfect tool for any given task, large or small. With SharePoint Online, day-to-day responsibilities become easy to manage and delegate, and all departments have the means to carry out the tasks which are vital to their success.
Perhaps one of the most immediate ways that SPO is able to help organizations simplify and streamline what might be otherwise complex tasks, is by providing businesses with better ways to handle the onboarding process. This process is undoubtedly crucial, but can also be incredibly tedious under certain circumstances. HR is often tasked with sending massive amounts of documents–contracts and training information–to new hires, which they then have to wait for that hire to send back. With SharePoint Online that doesn’t need to be the case.
In an earlier piece on how Microsoft’s cloud solutions help organizations better empower their frontline workers, we discussed how certain companies have created sites in which they store all of their training content–demonstration videos, instruction manuals, company policy. New hires are granted access to the site, and thus have easy access to all of these files whenever they need them. Gone are the days of having to sit in a back office, watching a grainy tape about the ins and outs of the workplace, or misplacing a customer service handbook and having to ask a supervisor for another one.
This strategy applies to how businesses of all industries are using SPO to handle the onboarding process. Rather than emailing what seems like an endless stream of emails with a new hire, HR admins can create a site containing all relevant onboarding materials and grant the hire access. The hire can then fill out all necessary forms and put them back on the site, at which point HR can pull and review them. On top of this, HR can turn the uploaded forms into SharePoint Online forms, streamlining the process even further. Via SharePoint Online, onboarding becomes much simpler, and both new hires and HR professionals have a better way to handle a mundane but vital task!
SharePoint Online similarly facilitates complex document lifecycles, which enterprises of all stripes likely deal with regularly. Consider the lifecycle of an insurance claim. If you’re a provider and one of your customers gets into a car accident, they’ll likely be sending you a deluge of content and paperwork for the claim–photos, forms, and more. On your end, you’ll be creating and maintaining a fair amount of your own paperwork pertaining to the accident as your agency weighs the claim and proceeds with the necessary business. All of this content is absolutely essential to the process, and all of it must remain secure. Furthermore, it’s possible that all of the given content will have to be reviewed and edited by multiple members of your organization.
With SharePoint Online, that becomes easy. Storing these various documents and photos in a secure location, accessible to all relevant parties, your company will be able to converse when necessary, and makes changes to content in real-time. Whereas a server environment would make this content harder to centralize, and, thus, harder to organize (not to mention the pain of communicating about what stage the claim is at), SharePoint Online provides the tools to handle complex duties that some organizations will have to deal with multiple times in a day.
One final example of SharePoint Online’s efficacy: basic content approval processes. As I’m typing this blog post, I’m acutely aware that I’ll soon be sending it to my manager, who will read it, edit it, make comments, and ask me to make those changes. In all likelihood, I’ll have one or two clarifying questions, or maybe some edits of my own. This process will go back and forth–perhaps for a few hours–but with SharePoint Online the exercise won’t be painful at all. Once this piece is done, I’ll simply add it to our site. When my manager has edited it, I’ll go in and review the changes, and so on. Rather than exchanging 2 or 3 drafts that take up space on our hard drives, that one of us may lose track of, we’ll simply work in the cloud, and soon enough this will all be available for your reading pleasure.
SharePoint Provides the Tools to Help You Day to Day
Understanding the necessity of each of these tasks to the functioning of a business, Microsoft has created a set of powerful workflow tools that integrate with SharePoint Online. With these tools, teams and individual users are able to construct workflows and centralize projects, so that every relevant end user is consistently aware of what they need to build, when it must be done, and to whom it is for.
Dictating responsibilities and ensuring that every member of an organization is on the same page about the necessary jobs of the day is vital to your business running smoothly, and SharePoint Online provides all the resources you need. Whether it’s tools to create notifications and flows for important lists and libraries, or the ability to build forms (such as the ones we mentioned before) to get feedback or schedule meetings, SPO offers up all the tools you need to keep every single gear turning as it should.
Workflow is essential to the maintenance and organization of tasks like the ones we’ve discussed here, and without proper workflow management it’s all the more likely that these responsibilities will get lost in the shuffle or just compound until they overwhelm. SharePoint Online is dedicated to preventing that from happening.
SharePoint Online is Your Ally for Responsibilities Large and Small
When providers try to sell organizations on cloud solutions they often focus on the big, sexy features that they think businesses will marvel at–AI, machine learning–or use macro examples of their solution’s ability to transform a business from the ground up. Of course, they’re not wrong; and all these tools and examples are important things for enterprises to consider when making a decision. But something at too often isn’t highlighted is how powerful the cloud is when it comes to the small things that your business and your users will have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. These are the things that your teams want to know about, because they’re the tasks with which they’ll most often have to contend.
Your organization can have faith that SharePoint Online delivers under these circumstances. With SPO, the mundane things that stack up to form the backbone of your business become easier than ever, and the success of your company more assured.
Whether it’s onboarding, content approval, or another small but essential task that your users need to be certain is accomplished with the best possible quality, SharePoint Online is an invaluable ally. Plus, it’s got a slew of those big cool features that everyone loves, too.