Why Do Businesses Choose Sharepoint Over Other Web Platform Tools?

Since 2001, SharePoint has managed to grab the lion's share of the web platform market: over 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies choose SharePoint.

February 02, 2017 by Alex Collins, IT Services Consultant

Since its debut in 2001, SharePoint has managed to grab the lion's share of the web platform market: over 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint, constituting about 75 percent of all intranets configured in the past five years as well.

That shift wouldn't have happened if SharePoint hadn't been simply the best solution available, even for corporations with their own well-regarded platforms in place. Take UK-based telecommunications conglomerate BT Group, which adopted SharePoint for its own Intranet in 2010.

Making the Change

“As the BT Intranet manager I was involved in making the decision to change all our intranet tools, starting with collaboration tools and People Finder, to SharePoint,” explains Mark Morrell, now head of his own IT consultancy.

Priority One for BT was improved collaboration, essential in a world-spanning organization with over 100,000 employees. The organization also needed to implement intranet tools that adhered to a unified set of standards, functionality, and look.

“For every requirement [SharePoint] was good enough overall to clearly show it would give BT the best value for its needs,” Morrell explains. “The alternative was to stay with what BT already had.” And what BT had at that point was already world-class – the Intranet Benchmarking Forum had given BT's intranet top marks in 2009 and 2010!

Familiar Microsoft Tools on the Cloud

Companies that choose SharePoint do so in large part because of its ties to the Microsoft ecosystem. Seamless integration of SharePoint with Microsoft Office tools has eased the learning curve for new users; SharePoint simply provides an environment where users can use Office's familiar apps to collaborate with others.

“For example, you can actually have multiple people working on the same document at the same time,” explains Benjamin Niaulin, ShareGate SharePoint MVP. “You can choose just a graph inside of that Excel. Just a pie chart, for example, and publish it as part of your web page in SharePoint. And all of this, of course, then available on your mobile devices from anywhere.”

Add in Office 365 and OneDrive for business, and you've just made a quantum leap in collaboration: the cloud allows SharePoint users to participate with few limitations set on location and type of device, storing and sharing their data on the cloud.

“It's kind of like the evolution of the My Documents folder people have on their desktop,” explains Niaulin. “Whatever device they're on or if their laptop crashes someday, they'll just go to their OneDrive for Business. Everything is there.”

Ease of Collaboration

Such frictionless sharing appeals to managers seeking to raise the bar on online collaboration. Microsoft Office integration, together with collaborative tools like Lync; electronic document management functionality; and a powerful search engine, to name a few, makes SharePoint a natural choice for Intranet solutions.

“SharePoint is ideal for intranet development because content management for contributors is just so easy,” explains Michelle Esposito, senior partner at GoRogueIT. “The search is incredibly elegant, with the search service baked into the product.... This results in user friendliness, which compels use.”

To eliminate doubt, just look at early SharePoint adopter BT… and profit from their example.

“For the first time people in BT can now easily share in one place all the knowledge, experience and people they are connected to along with other useful information,” Mark Morrell enthuses. “For the first time anyone can find a person or piece of knowledge that can also help you find other related information and people to help you further.”