Monthly Archives

August 2020

Benefits of SharePoint Online for remote working

Benefits of using SharePoint Online for remote working

By SharePoint Automation

For the community who have been using, leveraging and realising Office 365’s business value for many years, this may seem like a very fundamental question. However, imagine you are new to the platform – the evolution of SharePoint actually presents a kind of muddy picture.

So, I am happy to oblige and call out why SharePoint is still one of the key tools for facilitating remote working. Rather than starting with SharePoint and its evolution, let’s dive into where and how you can use the SharePoint Online platform today for your remote teams. 

Business Files in the Cloud

SharePoint Online is the most widely used document management system for businesses worldwide. Compatible with all Microsoft Office file types (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Visio etc.) as well as hundreds of other file types used for preview and online editing. 

SharePoint Online in cloud hosted and available in the browser means no more files shares, slow VPNs, or location specific barriers to getting to your data – you can simply open a browser and login. In addition to version control, online collaboration with hundreds of people in the same document and unsurpassed search features, SharePoint Online is a superb tool for many aspects of data availability, control, and distribution.

Keeping track of progress is another productivity killer for remote workers. Problems include major and minor versions, transparent version control, and the ability to automate document approval processes. SharePoint Online can remove the constant emailing around of files where mistakes are made, and incorrect versions are used. Worse is the poor administrator whose job it is to collate the data from many Excel spreadsheets sent out to the business for completion. Creating intelligent, central locations for documents that allow all users to update a single set of data can save many hours and keep remote workers focused on leveraging the data, not inputting it.  

Automation and Insight for remote workers

SharePoint Online goes beyond files and integrates with Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI to help you provide secure, easy access to process the data and then shows the results in real time. 

While working remotely it is just impossible to literally “sign off” everything, so online processes, mobile integrated apps and workflow integrations are now mandatory. 

SharePoint Online document libraries and lists allow you to attach Power Apps – to provide custom forms and data entry across multiple lists, libraries and connected data sources (data bases, online services etc) With over 300 connectors to both Office 365 and 3rd party solutions, both simple and complex integrations have become possible.

Power Automate allows you to add workflow to your data: a complex approval process that alerts via email, SMS, app notifications etc. This means you will not ever need to rely on a user to sign a piece of paper (although if signature is needed then a 3rd party integration of Docusign or Adobe sign is right there).

Power BI lets you connect to any SharePoint list (used to add rows of data much like Excel) and use this as a data source. You can look at a list of submitted IT support requests and easily report on the types, frequencies, and trends with a PowerBI report embedded into a SharePoint page. To update for a truly dynamic experience, you can now use a Power Automate (flow) trigger when new data is added to a list to dynamically refresh the Power Bi data in your report in real-time. Insights from live reports directly built into SharePoint pages mean a proactive team focused exactly where you need them to be – even when working remotely.

SharePoint Intranets = self-service for remote workers

SharePoint allows you to create environments with tightly controlled, fine grained permissions where only a few users can see, edit or upload the data. This makes it the ideal tool for organisation wide data that needs to be seen by all but only edited by a few – perfect for Intranets.

SharePoint Online Intranets provide a location that, not only looks good (take a peek at the SharePoint look book) but allows you to provide a completely self-service portal for remote workers to easily find templates, contacts, knowledge, procedures, and forms needed to process business data whilst also allowing them to see company-wide news, updates, and teams.

Microsoft Teams, OneDrive for Business & SharePoint Online

You have most likely heard or are already using Microsoft Teams while working remotely. Well, the files tab in Microsoft Teams is SharePoint Online, as is the OneDrive for Business location where you are keeping your personal files meaning you are probably already using SharePoint Online without even knowing it!

SharePoint Online also leverages the OneDrive sync engine, allowing you to synchronise key document libraries to your local drive, even if you need to have quick access or are in a slow internet connected area – we used to say here if you travel a lot in air planes but I guess none of us are doing that right now!

Microsoft Teams “Files tab” has behind it, a complete SharePoint Site collection, you can jump into the full SharePoint site from the Files tab with the “open in SharePoint” link – this allows you to add further documents libraries, pages, content, lists and team specific data repositories if needed. 

The difference with these sites, however is that they are scoped to the Team: the permissions in a Microsoft Team are a simple “on/off” switch approach – you are either a team member with access to chat and full contribute rights on all documents or you are not (obviously the exception being an owner with more rights but not my point.)

With a SharePoint Online site, you can set permissions to be bound by groups of users or individuals. These out of the box permissions feature read-only, contribute, edit, and full control with any variety of permissions levels while being able to be created and assigned to groups and users alike. You can set permissions in SharePoint to be at the site, document library, folder, or document level, where you can either inherit or have totally unique permissions. This has often led to a Microsoft Teams strategy where the Team has an associated SharePoint site tab added for a more controlled document structure with appropriate levels of access. 

So, SharePoint Online is the perfect complement to working remotely. 

As the underlying document management platform for Office 365, even if your requirement is as simple as access or the find ability of files or super complex business processing, SharePoint Online can help form an extremely useful part of the infrastructure you use to host, access and automate your data in the cloud as you move to Office 365. 

SharePoint Online Provisioning with Casper365

5 Reasons Why You Need Casper365

By SharePoint Automation

With the landscape of enterprise content management rapidly changing to incorporate the speed and size at which content is growing, it’s no surprise that over 300,000 organisations, including 85% of the Fortune 500, have turned to SharePoint and OneDrive in Office 365 for their content services.

The way enterprises interact with and manage their growing levels of content is being transformed, and now we are finally seeing enterprise content management solutions in Office 365 that are actually designed for the benefit of the day-to-day user, while simultaneously serving broader business content functions.

To support the deployment of business ready solutions in SharePoint and Office 365, Microsoft Gold Partner Business Cloud Integration have created Casper365: an automation platform that leverages your cloud platform to improve business productivity and drive user adoption. Read on to see why CIOs, CTOs, IT Directors and department heads trust Casper365 to deliver fast, secure and compliant SharePoint sites in their organisations, up to 60x faster.

  1. Business Ready Solutions at the Touch of a Button

Casper365 simplifies the deployment of complex sites and features by deploying fully configured, customised SharePoint site templates into your environment quickly and easily.

Casper365 gets your teams to work instantly with automated SharePoint site deployment. Rather than sites being created as empty shells that need configuring, customising, and populating with appropriate documentation, Casper365 instantly deploys consistent and well-structured project sites, pre-populated with the requisite documents, templates, permissions, flows and features. This means that your teams can begin new projects at the click of a button, safe in the knowledge that they have everything they need to just get stuff done.

  1. Simplified IT Governance and Control

The SharePoint solutions deployed in Casper365 give your users the autonomy to work as they need to and be more productive, while protecting your environment from SharePoint sprawl and maintaining essential governance and compliance standards. Users can be assigned a SharePoint site deployment allocation, with defined SharePoint site templates, and sites can be labelled with unique ideas or project codes. This ensures that the creation of sites is restricted only to those who have the authority to do so, guarantees that each site has been provisioned properly, and gives your IT governance team a single pane of glass overview of your environment.

With automatically deployed business ready solutions in Casper365, you can empower your teams to be productive, safe in the knowledge that governance is completely under control.

  1. Secure by Design

SharePoint solutions are deployed on the Casper365 platform using managed Office 365 credentials, to ensure that the right people have access to the right permissions and information as determined by your team. Enhanced reporting and monitoring means that you can accelerate your users’ productivity while easily monitoring and maintaining key compliance standards.

  1. Empower your Users

Service delivery automation in Casper365 means that you can delegate controlled functionality directly to the business. You determine which users can create sites, what type of sites they can create, and how many they can deploy to ensure that your environment is properly managed and governed. Delegating permissions for these sites in advance reduces the time lag in getting projects off the ground – a bonus for your end users – and significantly reduces unnecessary admin burden on your IT teams – a bonus for you! Empower your users, improve SharePoint adoption, and enjoy total peace of mind.

  1. Collaborate, Integrate, Motivate!

The Casper365 platform delivers seamless integration with an extensive range of existing and 3rd party business applications to give your teams enhanced access to all the tools they need to get the job done. Leveraging the full power of Microsoft tools and the fully mature Casper365 API means that not only do you gain unparalleled insights and enhanced functionality from your SharePoint environment, but your teams can continue to use the 3rd party tools they know and love. People are happiest using the tools they know, and happy users make for successful SharePoint adopters.

Casper 365 offers a range of business ready solutions that can be deployed instantly, easily customised to fit your business requirements, and that are designed by a team with decades of experience and world class SharePoint Enterprise Content Management expertise. To find out more, contact us today.