You’re in luck! Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is now available as a hosted solution through Integra Telecom. This is cloud computing scaled appropriately so that it also works for small and mid-size companies. Using Integra as your cloud service provider for SharePoint has a double advantage. You have access to their robust data center and computing platform and you also have dedicated high performance connectivity through the Integra fiber optic network. They offer everything from T1 lines through SONET OC48, Ethernet fiber optic services, and MPLS & VPLS network connections to serve multiple business locations.
Don’t discount the value of the connection network. Some companies are finding to their dismay that moving their IT operations to the cloud has a hidden “gotcha.” They failed to consider the effect of moving the majority of their traffic from the LAN to the WAN and wound up with a reliable but slow and unresponsive system. By having a single provider for your cloud services and connectivity, you have a single point contact to ensure that MAN, WAN and cloud are compatible.
Hosted SharePoint, itself, is a real-time application, call it SaaS or Software as a Service, that boosts employee productivity through ease of document management and collaboration. It consists of six integrated functions or capabilities. These include Sites, Communities, Content, Search, Insights and Composites.
Sites refers to web sites. With SharePoint 2010, you can create web sites quickly and easily without having to become an accomplished designer. These can be either internal or external web sites, with multiple sites managed from a single location. Share your documents with colleagues, publish information to customers and manage projects with partners.
Communities are groups formed around teams, projects, clients, locations, departments, and so on. They are based on collaboration within the group through social media features.
Content is your central library. There is where files, documents and general information is located. SharePoint makes it easy to find and manage all this information with a massive, smart search engine. You can access and modify content with a web browser, client application like Microsoft Office or a smartphone.
The Search capability can be tailored depending on who is doing the searching. Some content is reserved for internal use. Other content is available for clients. Still more is intended for the general public.
Insights is your business intelligence function. It integrates data and generates reports that give you, well, insights on how your business is running and where the trouble spots and opportunities lie.
Composites is for extending and customizing SharePoint. If you have a need or desire to go beyond what’s offered off-the-shelf, then you can use SharePoint Designer or Microsoft Visual Studio to create your own business solutions customized to your particular environment.
You can expand the capabilities of SharePoint with hosted Microsoft Exchange to store documents online, protect files, run blogs and wikis, and manage projects. Running everything in the cloud means you can scale resources to meet your needs without capital investment or lengthy approval and procurement cycles.
Do you have that nagging feeling that your business would benefit from the automation and productivity boosts offered by SharePoint and like the idea of paying as you go versus making a large capital outlay, then check out pricing and options for Hosted Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and high performance connectivity from cloud service and networking providers like Integra Telecom.