By Paul West, SharePoint360 LLC
Laptops, Blackberries, iPhones. You see them in airports, on trains and even behind the wheel. They are signs of the "virtual office" revolution, in which employees are scattered at worksites, with customers, or at remote locations. In some cases, this new generation of mobile technology has all but eliminated the need for physical office space.
What most executives don't realize is that the "virtual world" is costing them substantial amounts of money in lost productivity, whether it's hunting down missing timesheets, trying to determine who has the latest version of a contract, or locating a presentation that might have been destroyed by a fired employee on their way out the door. Clearly, a new wave of digital chaos is upon us, and it's causing people to work harder, instead of smarter.
Increasing hype in recent years points to SharePoint as the solution to this technological free-forall. As the fastest-growing product in Microsoft's history, SharePoint is already included in nearly every Microsoft product offering in systems around the world. This highly versatile Web-based collaboration and document management platform has promised to change the very way business is done through online work spaces. In addition to document management capabilities, SharePoint allows users to create team worksites, coordinate calendars and communicate through instant messaging and real-time alert notifications. It also provides templates for creating Web 2.0 tools like blogs and wikis.