Are you a business owner who's looking to improve collaboration among team members? If so, you know the importance of choosing groupware for your firm. These tools not only enhance communication but aid file sharing and project management as well. Simply put, they provide features to help businesses achieve their goals.
There are several collaborative tools out on the web. Some of these include Asana, Trello, and ClickUp. However, there's yet another popular tool that serves as the perfect platform for increasing your team's productivity – Windows SharePoint Services.
If you’re familiar with Microsoft SharePoint, then you’ve undoubtedly heard of this platform. But what exactly does it do? What are its features? And how can it help your business? This post answers all these. But first, what is Windows SharePoint Services (WSS)?
Introducing Windows SharePoint Services
In 2001, Microsoft first introduced Windows SharePoint Services (WSS). It was a free add-on to Windows Server 2003 and provided additional features for developing and managing websites.
However, over the years WSS became a component of the Microsoft SharePoint family of products. Some of these products include SharePoint Online, SharePoint Designer, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS).
Before delving into the meaning of WSS, it’s important to note that it’s a different product from the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS), as this is a common misconception amongst users.
While both products serve as collaborative tools, MOSS is a more advanced tool designed for larger organizations. As such, it contains enhanced features than the Windows SharePoint Server. So, you might ask: "what exactly does WSS do? And why should you even consider it?"
What is Windows SharePoint Services (WSS)?
Windows SharePoint Services is a web-based platform that allows users to create websites, which enables members within an organization to share information and documents and to aid collaboration on projects.
Using this tool, a business can develop an intranet (a private website that only members of an organization can access) and an extranet (a private website that members of an organization and other external parties such as clients can access).
These websites offer functionalities like lists, libraries, and workspaces that enhance productivity among team members. A full insight into the features that Windows SharePoint Services provides to users is seen below:
Features of WSS
As highlighted above, WSS allows users to create websites for internal use within a firm. But it doesn't stop there. It also allows each firm to customize these sites to suit their needs. To make that possible, it provides the following features:
Lists allow users to arrange any form of data in a spreadsheet format. Thanks to this feature, you can easily organize and sort out information. As a result, it can boost productivity and help you track your projects with ease.
A common feature across several project management tools is workspaces. And that’s only natural. After all, this feature allows several team members to work together on a dedicated project or task. These workspaces also provide all the necessary tools and features to see the project through.
As a result, it's safe to say that groupware isn't complete without this feature. And Windows SharePoint is not lacking in this regard. With WSS, you can have several members of your team working on a task from a shared location. And what's more, you can keep an eye on their progress.
Yet another basic and common feature amongst collaborative platforms. With this, you can have your members notified anytime you make a change on the SharePoint site. Such changes may include the addition and removal of documents, lists, and libraries.
On WSS, libraries are a form of shared storage. They allow users to upload, save, manage, and store documents and other files from one central location. You can also share these documents among team members.
Web Pages Components
Again, Windows SharePoint Service allows you to create websites and easily customize them. With that in mind, the web page component feature or Web Parts refers to the elements that you can add to SharePoint webpages to customize them.
With Windows SharePoint, you can get access to forums for discussions. This can be in the form of wiki or document discussions. All in all, this feature allows you to create an effective flow of communication among team members and even clients.
How Windows SharePoint Services can Help Businesses
At first glance, WSS appears to be different from your average project management tools. And it's more complex and even difficult to set up if you're not very familiar with Windows servers and web administration.
Because of that, you may wonder: “Are there any benefits to choosing WSS for your business?” Well, here are a few.
The main aim of implementing groupware for your brand is to increase productivity. And as seen from the features discussed above, WSS is your go-to platform for that. Its Alert, Lists, Libraries, and Workspace features allow you to track your team's progress.
Windows SharePoint allows your team to work together on several documents at once. It also enables you to upload, store, save and share these documents without stress.
ENHANCES CUSTOMER SERVICE
Here's what sets WSS apart from other collaboration tools – It allows you to create extranet websites. As seen earlier, this refers to private sites that only team members and external parties (such as business partners and clients) can access.
Through extranets, you can effectively address customer issues, and hold surveys and forum discussions to improve your customer service. And this can help boost your awareness and build a solid brand image.
Once again, groupware is essential for brands looking to foster collaboration amongst team members. Such tools like WSS allows your team easily work together from wherever they are.
Although WSS has a more limited set of features when compared with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, it's a better option for getting started. Why? Unlike MOSS which is more expensive, WSS is a free add-on to Windows server 2003 and a cost-effective solution for new startups.
So, are you looking for groupware to improve your team collaboration? If yes, then the Windows SharePoint Service might be your best bet.