What advantages does SharePoint bring?
Microsoft SharePoint contains a number of components which offer high levels of functionality to LJMU, and providing a number of advantages to the current systems available:
Ease of access.
As SharePoint is delivered through a web browser it can be accessed via any internet enabled PC. In addition, specially configured mobile views are also available.
Empowering site owners.
As well as delivering the end user interface through a web browser, Microsoft SharePoint provides the site owner with a comprehensive set of administrative options, thus removing the need to request updates and assistance from ITS over issues concerning site permissions, site members and so on.
Single source of information.
The use of document libraries greatly simplifies the way in which information can be distributed. Currently, the easiest way to distribute a document would be to email the file to the necessary people. However, what if this document was then updated? With SharePoint this is not a problem - rather than email the document, it would be stored within a document library, and simply the URL for the document would be distributed - thus ensuring that the latest version of the document was always being accessed.
Site users kept informed as to changes occuring.
Microsoft SharePoint makes extensive use of alerts. These alerts are sent in the form of an email, and are configurable either by the user or the site owner, to ensure that whenever a change occurs, the user is informed. These emails can be received either immediately, or at a preset date / time. Alternatively, RSS feeds an be configured to ensure all changes are noted.
Locate documents easier using custom columns, metadata and views.
When a document is uploaded into a document library, metadata can be attached to it which will make it easier to locate than if it were simply in a file share. As an example, a single document may be relevant in more than one particular area. In a file share, the file could only be displayed in a single location. However, using SharePoint, a document library can have a view created which filters the documents displayed based on the document metadata which is stored in a custom column. In this way, the single document can appear in numerous locations and can, of course be linked to within the SharePoint site.
Give non LJMU staff access to your documents.
As a site owner, non LJMU users can be invited as users of your SharePoint site and can then access documents as required in a secure manner, using a unique username and password. Currently, this functionality is not available in any other system in place within LJMU.
Site Recycle Bin.
Should an item be deleted, but then subsequently be needed again up to 30 days later, then it can be recovered from the Site Recycle Bin without having to contact ITS. After this time, PLN can quickly and easily retrieve the document for you.