What is SharePoint? A Guide for Beginners

What is SharePoint? A Guide for Beginners

Microsoft's SharePoint — a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from any device — can save hours of work time every week. But many businesses and non-profits are unaware of all of the benefits of this cloud-based application, or how to get started.

Here are some commonly asked questions and answers that can help kick start your SharePoint learning.

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from any device.

How is SharePoint different than OneDrive?

OneDrive is the personal storage on your computer. SharePoint is the cloud storage behind your team sites.

For example: if you’re working on a personal document, you would save it in OneDrive. But anything company-related would be saved in SharePoint.

How can I access SharePoint?

  • Through a web browser
  • Through a mapped drive
  • Or through Microsoft Teams (There’s a “Files” tab within the Teams site)

Why should our business use SharePoint?

There are several reasons:

  • It allows for real-time collaboration. Move away from the practice of emailing attachments, which can become a bit of a confusing mess. Instead, upload the documents to SharePoint and allow for editing in real-time amongst colleagues and teams.
  • It allows for easier access to information. You can search for documents in SharePoint, and organize information by projects and teams.
  • It replaces VPN, which can have a lot of issues, such slow connections and difficulty in accessing files. In addition, there is a cost savings for companies who have VPN servers on site (immediately remove that capital cost from your bottom line).
  • It is more secure than VPN. When someone with VPN opens up a document, you’ve already lost control of it. Somebody can take that document and save it somewhere; put it on a home computer, and you lose that control to protect your data.

What are the three types of SharePoint sites?

Team Site: Organize teams by department, projects and/or special events. Everyone on that team has access to files and communications within that team. And you can create as many as you would like.

Communication Site: This is similar to an Intranet. It’s not restricted to a specific group of people; anyone can add, edit, post announcements etc. Think of it as a newsfeed that can be used to broadcast information.

Hub Site: This is a site that connects multiple related sites together to make finding information easier.


What are best practices to ensure company data is properly backed up?

When you’re in SharePoint – everything is backed up in the cloud. You can restore a single email, profile, folder or file.

What are the best practices for security, access, and overall governance?

Like any other part of your technology strategy, you need to have a process in place with regular reviews and audits to see who has access, what groups are set up, etc. And you should review that access monthly or quarterly.

How can our business best manage the transition to SharePoint?

At Techify, we have extensive experience managing the transition to SharePoint. We consider the needs of your organization and your employees, and provide a high level of personal support to ensure a high adoption rate, while also optimizing for savings in time and money.

These are just a few of the questions we answered in our February webinar: SharePoint 101 — Time to Ditch VPN and Boost Productivity. If you’d like to watch the recording, you can download it now (registration is required).

Have more questions?

Contact Us to learn more about how we can help, or to book an assessment.