How Does Microsoft Sharepoint Work?
Written By Prateek
Last Updated: June 19, 2024
June 19, 2024

Want to receive our Blog every month?

Whether you’re a small business owner, a project manager, or part of a larger enterprise, understanding how SharePoint works can significantly boost your team’s productivity and communication. In this blog, we’ll explore the ins and outs of SharePoint, focusing on its core features and practical applications in a simple, easy-to-understand way.

What is Microsoft SharePoint?

Think of it as a multifaceted tool where you can store, organise, share, and access information from any device—a kind of high-tech filing cabinet that’s accessible by all team members, no matter where they are. The real power of SharePoint lies in its ability to integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Office and other systems, making it a central hub for all corporate data and collaboration.

Key Features of Microsoft SharePoint

  • Document Management: At its core, SharePoint is an exceptional document management system. You can create, upload, and share documents with your team, manage versions of a document as it is edited, and keep everything from getting lost or overwritten.
  • Collaboration: SharePoint sites offer rich collaboration tools. Team members can work on documents simultaneously, see updates in real-time, and communicate through integrated platforms like Microsoft Teams.
  • Customisation: Each SharePoint site can be customised to fit the specific needs of a team or project. Add lists, libraries, calendars, and task boards exactly where you need them.
  • Integration: Seamless integration with Microsoft 365 means that tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook are all synchronised with SharePoint, enhancing the user experience and productivity.

Customisation as a Key Factor

Customization is one of the key strengths of SharePoint, allowing each team to tailor its workspace to fit its unique needs and workflows. SharePoint’s flexibility means you can design a site that not only meets your functional requirements but also reflects your team’s identity and working style.

1. Personalized Site Designs:

You can start by choosing from various templates and then modify the layout, colors, and design elements to align with your corporate branding or team preferences. This helps in creating a familiar and engaging environment for team members.

2. Custom Lists and Libraries:

Beyond aesthetics, SharePoint lets you create custom lists and libraries that act like specialized containers for your data. For example, a marketing team can design a digital asset library tailored to handle multimedia files, whereas an R&D team might set up a patent documentation list with specific metadata fields like patent status, filing date, and associated projects.

3. Workflow Automation:

One of SharePoint’s most powerful customization features is its ability to automate workflows. Using Microsoft Power Automate, teams can design custom workflows to automate routine tasks such as approvals for document releases, onboarding processes, or incident reporting. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of human error.

4. Integrations and Add-ons:

Teams can extend their SharePoint sites’ functionality with integrations and add-ons. Whether it’s adding a Gantt chart plugin for better project visualization or integrating a third-party CRM to enhance customer relationship management, SharePoint’s compatibility with various APIs and add-ons makes it incredibly adaptable.

5. Security and Access Controls:

Customization also extends to security and access controls. You can configure who has access to specific parts of the site, manage permissions for different user levels, and set up audit trails to monitor changes and ensure compliance with company policies and regulations.

Challenges and Limitations:

While SharePoint offers numerous benefits, users can sometimes face challenges that can impact its effectiveness.

1. Learning Curve:

The vast range of features and customization options in SharePoint can be overwhelming for new users. Without proper training or resources, users may find the platform complex and difficult to navigate.

2. Governance and Management:

Effective governance is crucial to prevent SharePoint sites from becoming disorganized and inefficient. Companies need to establish clear rules on how sites are structured, who can create them, and how data is managed. Without these guidelines, there can be inconsistencies and issues with data retrieval and site maintenance.

3. Integration Complexities:

While SharePoint integrates well with many systems, particularly within the Microsoft ecosystem, connecting it with external applications or outdated systems can sometimes be problematic. These integrations may require custom solutions or additional middleware, which can complicate the setup and increase costs.

4. Performance Issues:

As sites become more customized and content-heavy, performance can degrade. Large lists, complex workflows, and extensive customization can slow down the system, affecting user experience and productivity.

By acknowledging these challenges and planning accordingly, organizations can better leverage SharePoint’s capabilities while minimizing potential drawbacks.

What is Microsoft SharePoint and How Can I Use It?

How Does SharePoint Work?

SharePoint operates through a system of websites, each dedicated to a specific function or department within an organisation. Here’s a simple breakdown of how these sites enhance business operations:

  • Team Sites: Used for smaller teams working on projects. These sites provide tools like document libraries, task lists, and a shared calendar to help manage project specifics.
  • Communication Sites: Ideal for broader communication within the organisation. These sites are often used for announcements, company news, or educational materials.
  • Hub Sites: Connect and organise related sites, making it easier to discover related content, search across related sites, and present cohesive navigation.

Real-World Use Cases of SharePoint

To better understand the value of SharePoint, let’s look at some practical use cases:

  • Project Management: A project team can use a SharePoint site to centralise all project documents, maintain version control, track project progress through task lists, and schedule deadlines and meetings with a shared calendar.
  • Human Resources: HR departments use SharePoint to manage employee documents securely, automate onboarding processes, and maintain updated policies accessible to all employees.
  • Marketing Teams: For marketing, SharePoint can serve as a dynamic tool to collaborate on campaigns, store market research data, track marketing assets, and manage event planning.


Microsoft SharePoint is more than just a tool; it’s a comprehensive solution that can transform how your organisation operates. By providing a central location for document management, collaboration, and integration, SharePoint makes it easier for teams to work together and achieve their goals. Whether you’re looking to manage a project, streamline department workflows, or improve company-wide communication, SharePoint has the functionality to support your objectives. For more information, get in touch with experts at Microsoft Gold Partner, Osmosys.

Keep up to date with Osmosys Blog!