The more connected your employees are and the broader your “corporate intelligence” is, the faster your company grows.  “The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts”. Organizations can respond to market changes and challenges much faster because of the benefits of its intranet and extranet portal.  Extranets can foster product awareness, provide forums to answer questions and concerns and can be used as conduits for getting feedback to help improve future products.  This can drive customer loyalty and in many cases customers choose their relationship with companies based upon their internet and extranet presence.

On the internal side, having an effective collaborative environment using SharePoint can help increase productivity of employees where you can manage effective all content that is used by different employees (e.g. using built-in integrated workflow system in SharePoint), and would also help find information more easily.

 SharePoint 2010 provides a robust set of tools and features not only for the Intranet and Internet environments but also for Extranets. Providing any organization with primary functionality to increase its business productivity:

  • Collaboration – Enabling all the rich collaboration features that will allow customers Partners and employees to securely share information.
  • Content Management – Rapidly deploy content through marketing/partner workflow approval processes to reach out to customers with a fresh and engaging experience. 
  • Enterprise Search – Locate secure assets with ease over multiple data silos and provide relevant search results that are easily navigated by customer, partners and employees.
  • Business Intelligence – Provide secure and near real time shared business metrics for partner business initiatives from pricing to project management.
  • LOB Application Connectivity – Seamlessly connecting to other back office applications to retrieve and write data for customers and partner participation in your business processes.
  • Security – The ability to isolate and protect data from unauthorized use and create an open an environment that is protected from outside malicious attacks and reduce cross contamination of partner client or server systems.

SharePoint 2010 empowers you to collaborate better and make more agile business decisions by accessing the information you need, when you need it. With powerful self-service capabilities integrated into familiar tools, you can create and share the right information and drive the business forward by providing timely responses and taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. SharePoint Insights will provide help organizations to: Improves Decision-Making, and  to accelerate Organizational Effectiveness.

So, now that you know the advantages of SharePoint, and some of its main features, how to get started?

  1. First determine how it will benefit your organization (intranet vs extranet or both)
  2. Select a focus or objective for your organization to achieve with SharePoint
  3. Start your execution plan by adopting the tool and by defining the structure of your team. 

Resources: Take a look at following resources to use SharePoint effectively to drive the best business value for your organization:

  • Main resource page for all information related to SharePoint
  • Download SharePoint 2010 Trial
  • Visit the following interesting site to find rich tips and tricks on how to best use sharepoint (Webisodes, How-To Videos, Tips/Tricks, Real User Stories):