SharePoint has already proven itself was one of the best moves Microsoft made this decade. For years Enterprise class customers have enjoyed immense productivity gains from implementing server based versions. Prior to Microsoft’s small business product BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), SharePoint was ultimately too expensive to implement as a small business.
That has certainly changed today as the pricing has come down again. For $6/month/user customers can now pick up SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Lync Online, and Office Web Apps. Assuming SharePoint is as much as a third of the overall value proposition, it would still only effectively cost $2/month/user.
On top of this, SharePoint Online in Office 365 now includes the ability to operate a simple public facing website. Making it of particular value to small businesses currently without a web presence.
No-Brainer for Small Businesses
Particularly for businesses with 2-10 employees, SharePoint is a tremendous value pledge. Not only can it be used to help employees collaborate (its traditional function), but it can be used a de-facto file server in place of not having one at all.
Due to the fact that Microsoft geo-redundantly backs up its SharePoint Online data across 3 continents, any data on SP Online would only need to be independently backed up if it required high availability in the event of an internet outage scenario.
No small business owner knows how to run a server, nor should they. Additionally, on premise equipment that is manually backed up is subject to human error and onsite equipment damage. Office 365 and SharePoint Online allows small businesses to focus on their customers, rather than put out computer fires all day long.
SharePoint Online Sites, Communities, and Content
- Company document libraries and sharing
- Extranets to work with clients, partners, and vendors
- Public facing website presence
- Personal employee document libraries (so they don’t save important files to their desktop)
- Team sites for project specific collaboration
- Restrict access to various sites as needed
- Company equipment databases and Excel functionality within SharePoint as needed
- Search functionality within databases
- Delegate and restrict design access rights as needed
SharePoint Online Developer Guide
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