First things first. SharePoint is a web application framework and platform that makes it easy to store, sync, and share important documents to organize content. It enables an organization to easily create and manage custom team-focused and project-focused sites for collaboration. In addition, it’s possible to deploy an organization-wide intranet portal used to disseminate information and news across your organization. SharePoint on-premises is when your local IT gurus manage SharePoint in your company data center. SharePoint Online, then, is SharePoint in the cloud; Microsoft manages SharePoint in their data centers and you access it over the Internet.
Even with the success of SharePoint in the business collaboration market and the breadth and depth of SharePoint 2013 capabilities, it is faced with several huge competitors, namely Oracle, IBM, Google Sites, and Cisco. Regardless of the stiff competition and an increasing number of anti-Microsoft bloggers out there, I’m a fan of SharePoint. Here are five reasons I’m sticking with it:
- A simplified user experience: SharePoint’s layout is simple. I can easily navigate through both classic features and the helpful new ones. The streamlined experience offered by 2013 almost entirely eliminates the need for customizations. I can drag and drop content into document libraries, see live previews of user content, edit lists inline, and create sites in a few simple clicks. While some modifications are available, out-of-the-box SharePoint 2013 is so intuitive I don’t feel I have to change much.
- Easy ways to get social: SharePoint allows me to quickly create personal pages, join collaborative groups, and follow news feeds. Blogs and wiki articles can be published for internal company usage. These features can create a sense of community within an organization, and can help facilitate forum-style discussions. With new social features (either using the Newsfeed feature within SharePoint or Yammer’s enterprise social-service, if integrated), I can share what I’m working on with my teammates, ask questions, and track what other colleagues are doing.
- Store and sync documents: Microsoft OneDrive for Business (formerly SkyDrive Pro) is a feature in SharePoint 2013 that can be used to synchronize work documents to the cloud and also take them offline if needed. So if I’m working remotely or about to jump on a plane, my docs are just a mouse click away. Once it’s set up, I can save my documents directly to OneDrive from within other Office applications. Or I can synchronize them directly from SharePoint using the Sync button within a personal site or team sites.
- I can use it on my iPad: SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online support the use of device platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Phone 7.5, and iOS (iPad and iPhone). With the SharePoint app on the iPad I can track people and information, plus access and share documents wherever I am.
- I don’t have to be in the cloud: I have the option to use SharePoint on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid of both. Even though SharePoint Online is now included with an Office 365 subscription, most features are still available with SharePoint on-premises.
If you need more convincing, read the following blog: No you’re wrong, SharePoint doesn’t suck.