As our lovely economy fluctuates with the resonance of the Flight of the Bumble Bee, Corporate America needs to seek out ways to increase efficiency and growth. So, how about pushing your company’s philosophy and procedures into the 21st century?
Ladies and Gentleman, it’s time to GO GREEN, and SharePoint can help! As the trend continues to develop in 2012 and more companies utilize Hosted SharePoint solutions to go green, Fpweb.net considers three ways this can benefit your business:
#1 Benefit to Using SharePoint 2010 to Go Green:
Reduce Printing and Lost Documents
By adopting a private SharePoint 2010 cloud at Fpweb.net, your organization can utilize the core document management features of SharePoint and maybe even save the planet! Along with at least saving some trees, you may also save some dollars and wasted productivity. Let me explain how these SharePoint 2010 document management features will streamline your business, minimize waste, and save the habitat of more than 10 million species of plants and animals.
You can build workflows for document approval with electronic signatures. This will save truckloads of paper and ink. I’m picturing health care forms, loan contracts, expense reports, etc. The possibilities are endless. SO MUCH wasted paper!
Let’s look at an example: say that I just returned from a SharePoint expedition to Antarctica (sound familiar?) and I need to turn in my expenses for the trip. I can login to SharePoint, fill out an InfoPath form with each expense, scan and attach all the receipts to prove an Antarctica burger costs that much, and submit.
This initiates a workflow within SharePoint to alert my boss for approval, and then triggers the appropriate person to write us a check. Now we have digital records of the expenses, dates and times of approvals, and peace of mind knowing that we’re taking a step in the right direction to conserve the planet. With process and document lifecycle automation though SharePoint workflows, you will save paper, ink, lawsuits, headaches, and lost or misfiled documents.
If you aren’t familiar where the form and attachments get saved in the workflow above, don’t lose sleep over it! You can find it quickly with SharePoint Search! SharePoint search comes in a few different flavors (Foundation, Server, and FAST). Server and FAST search can index just about anything including the content of your attached full text PDFs and Office 2010 documents. It can also index file shares, websites, user profiles, and Exchange public folders.
A quick search will find the digital information you seek and reduce headache from lost paper information, re-printing lost paper documents, and making multiple copies of the same document. Not only can you search and find keywords within the body of documents, but you can also search based on metadata.
Metadata is information which describes or classifies objects in SharePoint. When you require descriptive data to be entered when uploading documents to SharePoint or applied using a workflow step, the ability to locate this data becomes much easier for your end users. By supplying this metadata, you can create custom views of the items in a list or document library. There is new metadata navigation filter functionality added in SharePoint 2010 (see figure on right). This functionality acts like a category filter on an eCommerce site.
Effectively using workflow, search, and metadata will help you keep track of documents and prevent accidental recreation. Using these document collaboration features inherent to SharePoint 2010 Foundation and SharePoint 2010 Server will make your organization more efficient, reduce the need to print and copy documents, and save some trees during its operation! Lose the football fields of filing cabinets; store your millions of documents in SharePoint!
Stay tuned tomorrow for the next benefit to Going Green with SharePoint!