Hardwyre - 501.851.2880

 

"As our website and inter-office Intranet have grown increasingly complex, the Old State House Museum has come to rely on outside help to keep our system running. Hardwyre has provided that assistance in a seamless fashion."

- Larry Ahart
Old State House Museum

 

Don't E-mail that Document — Share It

Most companies share documents in one of three ways: attaching them to emails, storing them on a shared network drive, or burning copies to a CD. While seemingly convenient, these methods are inefficient when replicated throughout an organization and often result in a document management nightmare.

Attaching documents to email messages leads to a proliferation of the document on the network, eating up storage space and causing confusion among users. Changes to the document are not managed, so one person's changes may end up overriding someone else's. And finding a specific document or the most current version of a document can take hours. All this wasted time eats into productivity and employee morale.

SharePoint can be used to alleviate many of these issues. This Microsoft document management portal can help organizations boost productivity by improving storage efficiency, automating document versioning and allowing employees to find documents in no time. Using SharePoint, workers can collaborate from multiple points in the country or around the world. Multiple users can view a document simultaneously and communicate live. When changes are made, users are notified. No one is left out of the loop.

An organization that uses SharePoint realizes the "standard" benefits of a document management system, including:

  • A central shared area for storing documents as opposed to all over the network, resulting in improved organization and improved storage efficiency.
  • Automatic indexing, providing the ability to find documents in less time and thereby improving employee productivity.
  • Document check-in/check-out ensures that updates are controlled and users don't overwrite someone else's work.
  • Automatic versioning of documents, enabling history to be maintained and providing roll-back capabilities.

For a more detailed overview of SharePoint, check out what Microsoft has to say about its flagship collaboration software:

Control documents through detailed, extensible policy management. Define customized document management policies to control access rights at a per-item level, specify retention period and expiration actions, and track content through document-auditing settings. Policy integration with familiar client applications makes compliance transparent and easy for employees. Integration with Information Rights Management helps ensure that proprietary and confidential information is better protected even if it is not connected to a server.

Centrally store, manage, and access documents across the enterprise. Organizations can store and organize all business documents and content in one central location, and users have a consistent mechanism to navigate and find relevant information. Default repository settings can be modified to add workflow, define retention policies, and add new templates and content types.

Simplify Web content management. Provide easy-to-use functionality to create, approve, and publish Web content. Master Pages and Page Layouts provide reusable templates for a consistent look and feel. New functionality enables enterprises to publish content from one area to another (for example, from a collaborative site to a portal), or to cost-effectively manage multilingual delivery of content on multiple intranet, extranet, and Internet sites.

Extend business processes across the organization. Forms Services–driven solutions make it possible to more securely and accurately collect information both inside and outside the organization without coding any custom applications. This information can then be integrated easily into line-of-business systems, stored in document libraries, used to start workflow processes, or submitted to Web services, thus avoiding duplicate effort and costly errors resulting from manual data entry.

Streamline everyday business activities. Take advantage of workflows to automate and gain more visibility into common business activities such as document review and approval, issue tracking, and signature collection. Integration with familiar Microsoft Office client applications, e-mail, and Web browsers simplifies the user experience. Organizations can easily modify the out-of-the-box processes or define their own processes using familiar Microsoft tools such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 (the next generation Microsoft Office FrontPage) or Microsoft Visual Studio development system.

Present business-critical information in one central location. Create live, interactive business intelligence (BI) portals that assemble and display business information from disparate sources by using integrated BI capabilities such as dashboards, Web Parts, key performance indicators (KPIs), and business data connectivity technologies. Centralized Report Center sites give users a single place to find the latest spreadsheets, reports, or KPIs.

Quickly connect people with information. Enterprise Search in Office SharePoint Server 2007 incorporates people and business data along with documents and Web pages to provide more comprehensive results. The Search Center provides a single integrated location for employees to find content, processes, people, and business data relevant to their specific needs. This enables people and organizations to make decisions based on the latest information and facts more quickly.

Share business data broadly while helping to protect sensitive information. Excel Services running on Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides access to data and analytics in real time, interactive Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheets from a Web browser. Use these spreadsheets to maintain and efficiently share one centralized and up-to-date version while helping to protect any sensitive or proprietary information embedded in documents (such as financial models).

Take advantage of your unstructured business networks to drive better decisions. Employees can use new knowledge management tools to get the most from their powerful unstructured business networks, both inside and outside their organizations, thereby connecting with people more quickly and efficiently. By exploring these undocumented business relationships and finding subject-matter experts, individuals are able to make better decisions more quickly.

Unlock business data. The Business Data Catalog enables structured data from line-of-business applications, such as SAP and Siebel systems, to be integrated into Office SharePoint Server 2007 through Web Parts, lists, people profiles, search, or programmatically. Centrally managed connections to back-end systems can be defined once and then reused by end-users to access back-end data without writing any code — easily making business data part of portal content. The Business Data Catalog also provides the ability for Enterprise Search to integrate back-end business data into the search experience, without having to write any protocol handlers, iFilters, or custom code.

Enhance customer and partner relationships. With smart, standards-based, electronic forms–driven solutions, you can collect business information from customers and partners through a Web browser. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration and support for other pluggable authentication providers makes it easier to work with non–Active Directory directory service sources, thereby simplifying extranet setups and facilitating tighter connectivity with customers, partners, and suppliers.

Ubiquitous Enterprise Search. Enterprise Search in Office SharePoint Server 2007 has great relevance and incorporates enterprise content such as people and business data, along with documents and Web pages, to provide more comprehensive results. Enterprise Search is ubiquitous in Office SharePoint Server 2007, with tight integration into SharePoint sites, Web Parts, SharePoint lists, people profiles, and more. This enables people to look for the information they need wherever they navigate within the portal. Enterprise Search has the capability to search through business data, and the search results can be highly customized; for example, surfacing specific metadata elements of back-end records.

Work when and where you want. With offline access to SharePoint lists and document libraries, via Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, you can free yourself from limitations of corporate network connectivity. Tight integration with Microsoft Office Groove Server 2007 further enhances the offline experience for users.

Connect and share knowledge. New knowledge management tools empower employees to create and use people networks, both inside and outside their organizations, so they can connect and share knowledge more quickly and efficiently with other people.

Personalize operations. My Sites provides a totally personalized experience for users, with a dedicated site for each user. Each site can be used to store, present, view, and manage content, information, and applications in a controlled fashion. Each site can also be used to present information about the user, such as skills and roles, colleagues and managers, groups and distribution lists the user belongs to, and documents the user is working on. And each site contains stringent privacy control and enhanced security mechanisms, so that each user can choose how much information to present, and to whom. My Sites can also be fully customized to suit individual requirements.

 
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