Amazing things….Small-business intelligence in 2010

A few weeks ago, old friend Steven Fowler opened my eyes to SharePoint. Being a Small Business Specialist, I knew that Sharepoint is included in Small Business Server but hadn’t really gotten too much farther into it.

For the uninitiated (which is most of us) SharePoint has some basic benefits:

  • Document libraries make sure everyone has the most recent copies of documents, no more looking a modified-dates…great for shared spreadsheets, employee handbooks, etc
  • All content can be searchable. With everything in one place and fast full-text indexing on the server we can find things quickly.
  • Easy-to-set permissions and revisioning. Someone messed up their sales template? Go back in time and grab the most recent copy.
  • Wikis and sub-sites let your staff document procedures, issues, and add notes as things happen. And as soon as they’re saved these notes are searchable, backed up, and right where they should be.

Great stuff! The core package can be installed on any Windows server and is included in SBS.

The basics are just the tip of the iceberg:

When everyone is on the same page working with the same info, we can we extend the information into intelligence.

What do you want to know today? What do you want your staff to know today?

Key indicators? Sales figures? Top clients by sales? Top clients by margin? Top products by margin?

What do you want your customers to know today?

Outstanding balance? Recent order history? Order status?

Of course it needs to be reliable. Of course it needs to be secure. These concerns are givens and require attention…but this is doable even for small businesses today.

These are the very questions I’m looking at in my new case study, enhancing SBS Companyweb and connecting to Quickbooks.

I’m also working on the Charland Technology companyweb to make it the center of my business.

More details to come.

Happy 2010!

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