By Claire West

With BlackBerry preparing to unveil its latest Torch 9800 to the US market this Thursday 12th August, the pressure on companies to do more with less is more intense now than ever before. The ‘always on, always connected' culture is creating greater pressure for businesses to do more on the move with handheld devices as they strive to create greater efficiencies and increase productivity. The rise in popularity of handheld devices is fuelled by technologies such as SharePoint which enables users to share and collaborate on mission critical documents. SharePoint predominantly aims to give users the ability to create and control their own collaborative workspaces.

Leading industry experts at Gartner claim that SharePoint 2010 has blurred the boundaries between organising and sharing data between businesses, ‘By delivering a broad set of functionality using a horizontal infrastructure approach, as opposed to the traditional application approach, Microsoft has changed the way organizations think about content management and collaboration – they are no longer distinct arenas.’ The tool is being described as vastly improved from its 2007 counterpart in so much as it now includes improved CRM features.

Analyst Janus Boye says ‘Microsoft didn't get (social media) right in 2007, and they've done a lot to try to improve it. So with blogging and wikis and other social media features, SharePoint now has more natively in the product, so users don't have an urgent need for third party applications.’ Therefore, SharePoint can be used as a centralised solution for businesses across a broad range of sectors with a variety of different needs.

The popularity of SharePoint 2010 suggests that concerns over the security of phenomena such as Cloud Computing have largely dissipated. The ‘cloud friendly’ features offered by SharePoint 2010 have a great emphasis on enhanced security and improved protection from potential threats. The SharePoint admin toolkit makes for improved security measures from its 2007 predecessor. SharePoint aims to provide the user with a ‘seamless and consistent’ experience when operating across devices and from a variety of remote locations. This will enable employees to get the most out of using a familiar Microsoft Business Structure with easy access to well managed information in a secure location which is easy to locate, share and work with.

Tim Wallis, award winning SharePoint market leader and CEO from Content and Code says:

‘SharePoint is increasingly being embedded into the day to day operations of businesses and is delivering real growth efficiencies and boosting productivity for the organisations that have adopted it. The wide availability of smartphones means that business continuity is not affected by increasingly mobile and flexible workforces.’