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When Microsoft first unveiled SharePoint, it shook the world of enterprise content management. A truly scalable, platform-based solution for ECM was a revolutionary idea at the time. With SharePoint 2013, Microsoft has created a product that is as effective residing in the cloud as on premises.

Like all Microsoft products, SharePoint has the strength of the corporation behind it. Microsoft is extremely proactive on security. Every product the company develops incorporates privacy and security features gleaned from more than 15 years of developing technology to secure data. The Microsoft security model offers five layers of data security. The company also conducts extensive monitoring to identify and predict threats.

SharePoint integrates with Microsoft back-office apps as well as Microsoft Office 365. Document management is relatively seamless, even with PowerPoint, Outlook and Visio.

SharePoint is far more than just a file-storage platform, it is a true collaboration platform. Businesses can use SharePoint for organizing information, sharing ideas and engaging people. Because SharePoint can be customized by users, the workload for IT is typically lightened, while users feel more empowered to “work smarter, not harder.”

Despite the relative ease of use, SharePoint 2013 is a robust platform that can be used for Internet as well as intranet applications. Integrated security features enable permissions to be set to conform with best practices, including “least-privileges.” Database caching, social networking features and content-aware switching are further enhancements for SharePoint 2013.

With SharePoint 2013, end users have greater control over their content. Marketing departments can publish press releases, news articles and more. Managers can publish policy documents, mission statements or corporate goals. This reduces the amount of time that IT must devote to such matters.

According to a recent survey, approximately 67 percent of all enterprise workers use SharePoint in some capacity; about 33 percent use SharePoint as their ECM; and more than 50 percent plan to make it their primary ECM system. Microsoft reported that more than 78 percent of the Fortune 500 companies used SharePoint 2010, but has not yet released statistics for SharePoint 2013. These statistics are important for three reasons:

  1. Microsoft will likely support SharePoint for many years to come
  2. Add-ons and third-party apps will likely be easily available
  3. SharePoint communities will likely be plentiful should users ever need tips or help

Although there are numerous ways that business users can customize SharePoint to best suit their requirements, maximizing SharePoint’s full potential can require the assistance of a true developer, such as a Microsoft Certified Partner. Microsoft has included so many features in SharePoint 2013 that most business users – and even some professional developers — are unaware of the extensive functionality offered by the platform.

Having a custom app developed with SharePoint 2013 can be faster and more economical that with many other platforms. SharePoint comes with many features that developers can use “out of the box” with minimal customization to save time and therefore reduce costs. In addition, Microsoft has already tested and debugged these features, so developers can reduce the time spent on testing.

In addition to the built-in functionality, developers can use a number of different interfaces to create programs that integrate with SharePoint. These include, but are not limited to, .Net technologies on the server side, Microsoft PowerShell and jQuery.

SharePoint 2013 makes an ideal platform on which to build a solid foundation for content management, collaboration and much more. Its flexibility, customizable features and robust design can offer the perfect solution for many businesses.

EX2 Solutions is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. If you are interested in learning more about how SharePoint 2013 can benefit your business, contact us today.

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