For every corporate giant with big budgets, there are thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses striving to hit a home run with their ventures. How can a startup with a killer app but no million-dollar IT budget keep pace? VMC Solutions Architect Keith Prunella discusses how smaller companies can get off and running with all the big-dog power of enterprise communication and web tools.
“For small businesses looking to maximize their software dollars, SharePoint is a great solution, because there are several tiers of service within Office 365 and SharePoint Online. For example, one bundle designed for small and midsized businesses includes SharePoint Exchange and Lync, along with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. That gives a company all the core tools in one package without dealing with separate licenses.
So, let’s say you were a startup sandwich shop, and you needed to get a web site out there ‘yesterday.’ With SharePoint, you could literally have the site up and running in a few hours. It offers some really intuitive wizards to help you determine site name, administrators, if you want it to be internal or external facing, and so on. With a couple of clicks, the infrastructure is built out for you. Go in through either the browser or SharePoint Designer, and quickly add your company logo, header, mission statement and address. Click to publish it, and within 5 to 10 minutes your site is online and accessible. Once you start to refine your marketing or get customer feedback, it’s easy to go back in and make updates.
The SharePoint package is also great for smaller companies because it eliminates extra steps. Usually, getting a web site live would mean finding a hosting company to host it and a developer to create the development pages. If your site was built with SQL, it would also require a SQL backend. You get all of that with the SharePoint package. Office 365 handles the hosting, and the SharePoint cloud solution is built on ASP.Net, so it generates ASP pages all through the browser or SharePoint Designer. Instead of spending days, weeks or even months to get your site online, you can take a very agile approach and go live within hours or minutes.”
Collaboration and web tools like Microsoft SharePoint can be a great means for getting a small business up and running fast. How have you used SharePoint to get your company to market or solve critical business issue quickly and with ease?