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SharePoint Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult For Designers

Why SharePoint Should Be A Designer’s Favorite Content Management Tool

Architects and engineers have many great tools at their disposal when it comes to executing their craft – many of which are truly revolutionary in the world of design. While these solutions bring their own jaw-dropping features and functionality, each one falls short for team members who are looking for a way to store, red-line, share, and collaborate on designs and a range of other content. That’s where SharePoint, in conjunction with the entire Microsoft 365 (perhaps one of the most powerful tools you already own, but may not use) comes into play. This article will explain the many reasons why designers should start using SharePoint.

We love SharePoint because it can give designers the ability to easily classify and store content while ensuring governed and secure collaboration at scale – that is, if it’s been designed and configured correctly. Unfortunately, because so many instances of SharePoint were never launched with a designer’s specific needs in mind, SharePoint has developed a poor reputation over the years.

But here’s the deal – when you work with a knowledgeable SharePoint infrastructure architect or invest in a construction-industry specific software application, designers can finally gain the SharePoint functionality they’ve been looking for.

Are you ready to give SharePoint and Microsoft 365 another chance?

How To Make SharePoint Easier For Design Firms

When it comes to making SharePoint an ideal content management solution for design firms, you have two choices.

You can seek out SharePoint consultants who have an intimate understanding of the complex needs and challenges architecture and engineering firms face every day. A Microsoft 365 consultant with extensive experience in the AECO space can help your design team unlock the entire M365 tech stack while helping you build a SharePoint strategy that actually aligns with your profession. Moreover, an M365 solutions development professional will be able to integrate many of the other features already included in your M365 E5 or E3 license, such as Microsoft Teams, Power BI, Power Automate, and others.

Your other option includes a minimal investment in a software solution that natively harnesses and automates SharePoint (as well as those other tools included in the M365 tech stack) while effectively bridging the multiple platforms and common data environments internal and external project teams use every day, like Autodesk Construction Cloud, BIM 360, Procore, Bluebeam, PlanGrid, and others. For example, ProjectReady allows users to automate project setup, which includes the creation of customized SharePoint sites, roles-based governance, Microsoft Teams channels for greater communication and collaboration, and robust Outlook integration. Additionally, because it’s a collaborative project information management solution, ProjectReady makes it easy to sync content between SharePoint and BIM 360 and Procore and back again, manage the project on time and budget, and streamline the design team’s ability to register content, manage RFIs, and fire of submittals.

Attention: Developers Have Heard Your Complaints

Some of the biggest complaints construction design teams have as it relates to SharePoint is that the platform isn’t user friendly, it takes way too long to manage permissions and general accessibility, and it takes a high level of technical understanding and IT assistance. ProjectReady addresses these complaints in the following ways.

  1. Provides users with a clean, modern user-friendly interface and easy one-click access to the tools, people, and content associated with your project at any given time.
  2. Allows users to invite internal and external team members to projects and assign roles-based permissions as determined early on. Because the system retains this information, SharePoint governance in conjunction with the building of any new project takes less than five minutes to complete. (Plus, adding, removing, and re-assigning team members can be done in bulk to save even more time as personnel continues to change!)
  3. Arming users with a selection of templated SharePoint site designs that specifically address the challenges unique to those operating in the construction space. From generalized structures that are built to house strictly internal documents to ISO 19650-compliant sites that facilitate maximum transparency and oversight, SharePoint sites can be deployed without having to call in IT.

Your Team’s Secret Weapon

Whether you choose to work with a consultant and SharePoint infrastructure architect or invest in a platform that deploys process over the SharePoint platform to make the entire experience easier and more valuable than ever, you owe it to your team and your organization’s bottom line to explore solutions that can help you get more from your existing investments.

Most architecture firms and engineering companies are already using M365 in one way or another and it’s certainly not free. SharePoint, as an integral part of the Microsoft tech stack, is likely one of the most powerful tools you already have – but don’t use to its full capacity.

Rather than throwing cash out the window, it’s time to investigate options that will help you realize the full value of your existing investments.

If you would like to learn more about how ProjectReady can maximize your existing SharePoint and Microsoft 365 investment on your next project, click here to access a short video that explains the functionality in more detail. Our M365 services team has been serving the AECO for more than 20 years and can guide you through SharePoint solutions that will help you drive greater ROI. Reach out to a ProjectReady professional today and schedule a free, no obligation demonstration.