When companies first start using Microsoft 365, they initially will gravitate towards the apps they know best, which are the Office programs (Word, Excel, etc.).
Then they’ll start utilizing the other tools, like Teams and OneDrive as they become more familiar with just how much the cloud service can do.
One of the last tools that companies tend to use is SharePoint. This is often because they don’t quite understand it or how to deploy it effectively. But it can be one of the most helpful information sharing tools in the service that transforms the way your company communicates information.
Organizations that have connected employees show an increase in productivity of 20-25% over those that don’t. And 86% of employees and executives alike say that ineffective communication is responsible for workplace failures.
SharePoint is a powerful communication tool you can tap in many ways, but the secret to using it effectively is to know the difference between the different types of SharePoint sites you have at your disposal and how each is used.
Using SharePoint in Microsoft 365 to Power Communication
SharePoint includes multiple areas that can improve office productivity, communication, and workflow. This includes:
- Webpages that can host files, information, and embedded conversations
- Dynamic lists
- Automated workflows
- Secure file sharing and collaboration
One of the reasons companies tend to get confused by SharePoint is because it can do so many different things. Understanding the difference between the three different types of SharePoint sites is a great way to get started utilizing the platform effectively.
In SharePoint, there are three main types of SharePoint sites, these are:
- Team Sites
- Communication Sites
- Hub Sites
Each of them has a distinct purpose and all can be used together to facilitate a powerful company intranet and external file sharing.
A SharePoint site is like a small web page designed with a template where you can host apps, files, links, forms, images, and more.
SharePoint Team Site
Within Microsoft 365 you can set up teams or groups. This allows you to keep file assets and sharing of information specific to that particular team. For example, you might want to allow your R&D team to collaborate amongst themselves, but also need to ensure sensitive information isn’t shared with anyone else.
A SharePoint team site is designed for that purpose. It’s a site that a certain group can use to visually share information with each other, post updates, and keep a central knowledgebase of links or assets.
SharePoint Team sites can be set up for a department, project, committee, or any other internal group. It’s designed for communication within that team only.
Examples of SharePoint team site uses for sharing information include:
- HR Department, Sales Department, etc.
- Short-term project teams
- Customer specific teams
- Executive/management teams
SharePoint Communication Site
Where the Team site keeps communication within a specific group of users, the communication site is designed for broadcasting information to a wider group.
A communication site can be used to provide company updates throughout an organization. It can also be customer-facing and be used as a portal for customer or vendor-specific information sharing.
A department can have both a team site and a communication site. For example, the HR department may need their own team site to share sensitive information, like employee reviews among themselves. But they also can benefit from using an HR communication site to host employee handbooks, policy updates, and vacation forms that staff can access easily.
A procurement department could make their vendor sign-up process much faster by creating a SharePoint communication site where vendors could find new vendor forms and vendor policies without having to have someone email them. The site could also allow submission of forms, simplifying the process.
Examples of SharePoint communication site uses include:
- Company knowledge base site
- Employee recognition and news site
- Marketing promotions and product information site
- Industry specific customer portal for sales
- Vendor portal
SharePoint Hub Site
When an organization has multiple SharePoint teams and communication sites hosted by different departments, keeping those all organized and creating a virtual directory is the purpose of the SharePoint hub site.
It gives employees one place to go to find all the company SharePoint sites so they can easily get to the information they need.
Hub sites can also be organized by type of content. So, you could have a Hub site for executives that includes sites only they have access to along with other company-wide sites. Then you could have a different hub site for your employees with links to all the sites they have access to.
SharePoint sites give you multiple options for organizing your data and communications to make it easy to keep everyone connected to the information they need as well as to each other.
Let Us Help You Use Microsoft 365 to the Fullest!
Are you fully utilizing Microsoft 365 and SharePoint? Rocky Knoll Technologies can help your Charlotte business optimize the cloud solutions you use to power a more productive office.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 704.594.7292 or reach us online.