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7 Must Have Office 365 Apps #4: SharePoint Online

Author: Mo Anwar | 5 min read | April 24, 2019

Office 365 offers a wide range of productivity-enhancing applications. SharePoint Online is one of these critical applications because it promotes collaboration among work groups and across organizations. In addition, organizations can collaborate with partners and customers to cement relationships, and it supports access from the office, home or a mobile device.

What is SharePoint Online?

Over 190 million people around the world use SharePoint. It is the web-based collaboration and document management application available through Office 365. SharePoint stores documents from a variety of sources. With its powerful enterprise search, users can find files, sites, and people. It eliminates the excessive amount of time employees often spend trying to find information or the expertise they need within the organization.

SharePoint Online works with Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams provides a shared workspace where work groups can collaborate on the content and data stored in SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Online Features

SharePoint Online offers the features your organization needs to support collaboration and connect work groups with intranets and portals. Key Features include the following:

  • Storage. Each user has at least 1TB of personal storage using OneDrive.
  • Sharing Externally. Sharing content externally can be a sensitive issue. However, SharePoint allows you to share files and content with people outside your organization using secure connections while allowing you to manage and maintain strict control over the content.
  • Managing Content. SharePoint Online shines as a content management system. You can organize content using libraries and content types. You can also create lists that have associated metadata, and policies for records management and retention.
  • Team Sites. You can create Team Sites to give teams a place to collaborate on content, and to stay up to date with the latest news. Additional functions such as shared Notebooks allow extra layer of collaboration and efficiencies for team work.
  • Communication Sites. If your teams need to communicate throughout the organization, they can create dynamic communication sites to get their message across. Features such as easy aggregations and content discovery allow for improved findability in achieving communication goals.
  • Mobile Applications. You can offer your users a variety of ways to access team sites and content. SharePoint offers a mobile app for Android™, iOS® and Windows.
  • Automating Work. You can use alerts and workflows to automate business processes.
  • Expanded Search Capabilities. The search feature helps users to find the information they need quickly, regardless of where it resides. Users can also find other employees who have the expertise to contribute to their projects.
  • Prevent Data Loss. The advanced data-loss prevention (DLP) features helps organizations to protect confidential information.
  • In-Place Hold. Content can be protected against editing or deletion.

SharePoint Online Related Applications

A number of Microsoft applications relate to SharePoint Online. These descriptions of the most frequently mentioned applications will help to remove any confusion.

  • OneDrive. OneDrive is a personal storage area. It contains one library within SharePoint. It’s a free service allowing users to store their documents in their own library, while still being able to use the collaboration tools in SharePoint.
  • SharePoint 2019. This version of SharePoint runs on-premise. The file storage and management capabilities are similar, but the on-premise version isn’t part of Office 365 and doesn’t integrate with applications such as Microsoft Teams out of the box.

Final Thoughts

Cloud adoption statistics show that movement to the cloud is expanding rapidly according to a 2018 IDG study. For example, 76 percent of organizations see the cloud as the way they will accelerate IT service delivery. And, the study predicts that 95 percent of all organizations will rely on Software as a Service (SaaS) to deliver applications in the next year and a half.

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