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Manage Multiple ‘Offices’ with SharePoint

Author: Jason Wong | | November 28, 2018

Managing a multi-location enterprise has enough challenges without adding an often confusing constellation of programs and technologies to the mix. As today’s multinational enterprises are learning, reconfiguring yesterday’s on-prem servers and software to meet tomorrow’s needs often results in one or more disasters in the process. Consequently, many industry and sector leaders now embrace the wide variety of tools and opportunities embedded in Microsoft’s SharePoint as their go-to solution for the challenges that arise in most multi-sited organizations.


Central vs Remote: Successful Companies Need Both

Several factors unique to today’s industrial complex are driving the rise in multi-sited organizations:

Workers are demanding flexibility.

More workers are demanding the flexibility that remote work offers. The explosion of mobile devices and technologies has eliminated the need for employees to work solely from an office. Seeking a better life-work balance, the newest generation of talent views ‘work’ as a process that can be accomplished anywhere and are more productive when their employer agrees and facilitates the opportunity.

Corporate inputs are diversifying.

In many companies, the functioning located in each separate remote site is distinctly different from the functioning at other sites. Manufacturers, for example, often engage with multiple remote sites, each dedicated to a separate aspect of the overall manufacturing process; it’s not uncommon for each of those sites to have their own, individual supply chain and partners that are relevant just to its operations and not those of the whole.

It makes good business sense.

Relocating company resources to remote or international sites often results in improved corporate profitability, too. Studies indicate that companies that manage remote facilities or workers experience reduced worker turnover, and can often lower the costs of real estate and labor assets by accessing less expensive locations.

Microsoft SharePoint: Designed for Multi-sited Organizations

Of course, the challenges posed by trying to manage organizational activities across physical sites and even time zones are daunting, which is why so many companies access the services and support provided by Microsoft’s SharePoint platform.

Centralized Content Streamlines Activities

SharePoint provides a central location for all corporate data that is accessible from wherever workers may be sited. Up-to-the-minute security and compliance perimeters protect the information regardless of the technology used to access it, so workers and data are kept uniformly safe. Additionally, SharePoint not only centralizes the location of mission-critical documents, but it also maintains the most current version of them, too, so workers aren’t scrambling to identify which standard is applicable at any given time.

Both Cloud and On-Prem Options

Some companies have millions of dollars invested in their technological infrastructure and don’t want to abandon the values offered by those resources; ability to customize, ability to control where the data lives and how it is accessed. SharePoint On-Prem uses the infrastructure already invested in. Many enjoy the control over their functions provided by SharePoint Server when they host the software internally. Others value the supports offered by SharePoint managed services providers such as Datavail, which allow them to focus on their core functions and not on maintaining their technological resources.

SharePoint Online allows customers that have no invested in infrastructure to instantaneously spin up a ready to use environment at the click of a button.  The Office 365 ecosystem allows for a highly integrated workplace that users can take advantage of day 1. Datavail can provide managed services to help administer the O365 tenant.

As-is or Customized Functions

Each of the elements of SharePoint is designed to provide optimal service exactly as programmed; many companies can simply ‘plug them in’ as-is and as needed and begin working. Other companies require more customized programming to meet their corporate goals and expectations. For these entities, SharePoint flexes as their needs demand, and SharePoint professionals can modify and reconfigure the software to match those demands. Those more complicated SharePoint deployments often require dedicated specialist support for full optimization, but the resulting sophisticated suite of enterprise-centered programming fully justifies that expense.

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