Vivek Narasimhan is a product manager for SharePoint.
Whether you are an individual working on a document by yourself, or a team that needs to collaborate on a project, SharePoint has many capabilities that help improve productivity across an organization. This post focuses on a small subset of those capabilities. We cover a scenario that shows you how SharePoint makes it easy to share stuff with others in your organization–whether they are documents or ideas. We cover SkyDrive Pro, SharePoint sites, Yammer and how the other office products like Microsoft Word work seamlessly with SharePoint.
Let’s say you are travelling on a trip far away from home and work. After some interesting customer conversations, you come up with some great ideas for a new product. Back at the hotel, you open Microsoft Word and start to capture some of those ideas. Soon it’s time to leave for the airport. You save your document to SkyDrive Pro and hurry to catch the airport shuttle.
With a long flight ahead, you have time to continue working on your ideas during the flight. While you wait to board your flight at the airport, you open your tablet and continue to work on the document you created earlier. Since the document is saved in SkyDrive Pro, you can access it on the go and from multiple devices.
After a bumpy take-off, a flight attendant apologizes for no WiFi on the plane. The person in the next seat gasps. He looks like a consultant who was planning to work on his presentation online during the flight. But you don’t have to worry about an internet connection because the SkyDrive Pro sync client on your tablet has synced all your content offline–you can continue to work without internet access.
When you are back home and connected to the internet, the changes you made during your flight automatically sync with the original version of the document on SkyDrive Pro.
Now it’s time to get feedback on your ideas, so you log in to your company’s Yammer network and create a post in the product management group where colleagues start to chime in with their thoughts on your work so far.
It looks like your initial idea could use more brainstorming. SkyDrive Pro makes it easy to share your document with others. You click share and select the people who should have access to your document and provide everyone with edit permissions. Now everyone can provide input directly in the document.
Since the document is stored online, you avoid creating multiple versions of it. Everyone can work on the same document at the same time, and Lync allows you to chat with other contributors in real time.
SkyDrive Pro and Yammer made it possible for you to take an idea, collaborate with colleagues and make it into something bigger. Now that you have some concrete ideas, it’s time to start putting together a team to build a prototype, analyze market dynamics and identify potential business models. You need to plan creating a cross-functional team spanning engineering, marketing, finance and legal.
SharePoint can help bring everyone together. Not only does SharePoint have features that support an individual’s productivity, it also has features that enable a team to manage a project and collaborate. You create a new SharePoint site to manage the project and invite individuals who contributed to the original document as team members. This team site will be the central workspace to manage the project.
It’s easy to share this site with others. As you add team members to your site, you can rest assured that team data is safe, secure and only authorized members have access to site content.
You take a moment to contemplate the last few days and think about the exciting months ahead as your team will bring this idea to reality. Your team, your ideas, your work–SharePoint is the new way to work together. In a future post, we will look at some of the capabilities in SharePoint sites that make it easy to organize teams, content and timelines.
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