Microsoft Office tends to be a staple of every workplace, and Office 365 only furthered the solution’s popularity. Cloud security firm Skyhigh Networks found that the service was the most widely used cloud-based enterprise tool by user count. One of the biggest benefits of a popular tool is that it usually integrates with other useful business software, improving both efficiency and productivity.
As Office 365 becomes increasingly mainstream, so does SharePoint, Microsoft’s collaboration tool. Using SharePoint, teams can work together on the same project, with updates available in real time. Instead of going through the hassle of emailing documents back and forth, workers can log into one place and see the latest version of every document.
To be truly productive, however, the two solutions should connect to each other, like partners in a perfect marriage. Here are a few things IT pros should know about using Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint in the same environment and having them work well together.
Making the Connection
To make this perfect union work, linking SharePoint to Office 365 is done through the Connect to Office commands in SharePoint Server. There, you can add, manage, and remove connections to the software. However, the technicalities of connecting the two platforms is just the honeymoon — and only a small part of the process. Your team will also need to plan in advance how you’ll work with the new couple.
In addition to determining which projects can be completed through SharePoint, admins need to decide who should be given view and edit rights to each SharePoint group, and how those rights will be managed on an ongoing basis. As employees come and go, developing a strategy and system for permissions adjustments to be made in a timely manner is crucial.
Open and honest communication makes a good marriage work, and SharePoint manages to be very open in how it communicates with Office 365 and its end users. As Microsoft demonstrates on its site, SharePoint appears to the end user through a web browser, where they can choose from a variety of features. Users can search for documents, upload files to OneDrive, work in conjunction with others, or share existing files with their teams. Once complete, documents can be shared with an entire organization from within SharePoint. The simple interface makes it easy for the whole team to know what’s going on and makes it easily accessible through any web browser.
SharePoint and Office
Before the emergence of collaboration tools like SharePoint, version control was a nightmare — even for end users. In those days, when a professional created a document in Microsoft Word or Excel and sent it via email, the recipient could only see the revised version. Unless the recipient used Track Changes before editing the document, the team would have to backtrack if changes needed to be reversed.
But today, the glory that is Microsoft SharePoint not only eliminates the errors that come from multiple versions but because everyone’s working in the same place, it also includes a version history that allows users to review previous versions of a document.
Even though there are other tools available, Microsoft PowerPoint is still the most popular tool for presentations. However, with this new coupling, you no longer have to be in the same room to present to business associates. Using SharePoint, you can share your PowerPoint presentations with clients and coworkers across the world with just a few clicks. Whether you’re using it in conjunction with a teleconference or separately, this pairing will help you save time and resources.
In the best marriages, the partners work to strengthen each other. SharePoint features add-ins that make Microsoft Office products and documents more functional. One of the most notable is DocuSign, which can add signing capabilities to contracts, proposals, and other documents. Because all of that is handled within SharePoint, professionals can make complex processes much simpler, keeping everything in one place for easier tracking.
Microsoft Office 365 has taken the most popular office software to the cloud, making it easier to manage projects. When Office 365 is coupled with SharePoint, admins can create an infrastructure where team members can easily collaborate and share with external associates. The end result will be an increase in productivity, meaning everyone will get more done with less, helping a business rapidly scale.
Tie the Microsoft Knot
As an admin looking to capitalize on these popular Microsoft products, there are some specific steps you can take to ensure you have the technical expertise and knowledge to make the marriage work. For many who are looking to develop expertise in using Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint, the first step is often earning the Microsoft MCSA: Office 365 certification.
Once you’ve mastered Office 365, take your relationship with Microsoft to the next level with the MCSE: Productivity to conquer SharePoint.
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