Many small businesses have already appreciated applying Office 365 to create documents. This suite contains such well-known programs as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access that are cloud-based. Office 365 is a good choice for small businesses to create documents, as these programs have almost the same functionality and usability as their desktop counterparts. Here are some reasons why SharePoint is such a great solution for SMBs:
Many small businesses’ daily activities depend on Microsoft Office tools heavily. And if they use Office 365 to create documents, it seems logical that they may use SharePoint Online for document management as well. There’s no need in searching for a solution anywhere else, as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. are accessible in SharePoint Online.
Also, SharePoint Online follows a rolling release model. It means that it is updated automatically and doesn’t need reinstalling after each update release. Moreover, new features and functions become available for SharePoint Online first and they reach on-premises environments somewhat later. This helps small businesses to always stay one step ahead, which improves their performance and make them competitive in the market.
Small businesses are always pressed for resources. So, on-premises infrastructure and IT specialists required for maintenance and support of document management can be hardly affordable for them. In contrast, SharePoint Online can become a good solution for small businesses that want to save money on document management systems. Indeed, a subscription fee of $5 user/month for SharePoint Online can’t be a big problem for any business, especially considering that Microsoft provides all updates free of charge.
With SharePoint Online, small businesses can have access to their documents 24/7 anywhere and from any devices: PC, laptops, smartphones and tablets. This improves small businesses’ performance and the quality of customer service. For example, sales reps don’t have to wait until the next morning to process customers’ orders or reply to their questions received 1 hour after the end of the working day. It will help to keep customers on the hook and increase their loyalty. Also, mobility allows small businesses’ employees to be aware of business affairs, while being away on training, trade shows or conferences. They can grow professionally without impairing work performance, which is a benefit for small businesses that are going to expand.
Usually, small businesses don’t need complex functionality for document management and SharePoint Online out-of-the-box functionality, in most cases, can meet all their requirements. Also, document management in SharePoint Online is user-friendly, so small businesses’ employees can start using it without special training. Also, it’s easy to add, remove and re-assign Office 365 or SharePoint Online licenses – it’s just a matter of few clicks. This feature will help small businesses not to waste money and, for instance, stop a subscription at the moment an employee has quitted.
In the highly competitive market environment, information security is crucial to small businesses. Cloud-based storage of documents raises serious security-related concerns. Many businesses believe it’s not safe to keep sensitive information in the cloud and enterprises still prefer on-premises document management systems. However, Microsoft provides a multi-layer security system for its customers. With SharePoint Online data encryption, permission levels, strong user passwords, multi-factor authentication including biometrics, backups and redundancy, risks of document disclosure or corruption are low. In some sense, the cloud is even safer than the on-premises deployment model, as it ensures protection of important documents against hardware failures and natural disasters. (source)
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