Editor’s Note: Get to the Point

Collaboration is essential to business, and collaboration across geographic boundaries and time zones can only happen with something like SharePoint.

Lafe Low

If you and your organization aren’t using Microsoft SharePoint as a collaboration platform yet, you probably will be soon. The business world continues getting smaller, and collaboration as a business activity is gaining in importance. It’s no longer just a good idea—it’s becoming essential.

Jared Spataro, director of SharePoint product management at Microsoft, told TechNet Magazine several months ago that according to recently conducted Microsoft market research, 78 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are SharePoint users. SharePoint was a $1.3 billion business with more than 100 million users in 2009, and it has continued to grow at a rapid pace since then.

Another statistic Spataro shared is positively amazing: Every day for the past five years, 20,000 workers have joined the ranks of SharePoint users—every day. That astounding growth curve has led to one in every five knowledge workers now having access to SharePoint. The aim is to make SharePoint as a collaboration platform as ubiquitous as Windows is as an OS. And it seems to be well underway.

SharePoint is a complex, multifaceted platform, whether in the form of an on-premises installation or cloud service. Fortunately, there are a plethora of resources to help you on your way. This month, we include an excerpt from “Microsoft SharePoint Online: An Overview for Enterprise IT Professionals.” This Microsoft guide helps you get started with SharePoint Online, and is an invaluable resource. You can cut to the chase and simply download the complete guide here.

Either way, don’t miss these additional resources we’re providing this month: check out the handful of links at the end of the “Microsoft SharePoint Online: An Overview for Enterprise IT Professionals,” and at the end of the companion piece by Joshua Hoffman, “Get Started with SharePoint Online.” There are also several links at the end of Hoffman’s story to help give you the full picture of SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint Online.

Many Heads Are Better than One

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Lafe Low

Lafe Low* is the editor in chief of* TechNet Magazine*. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s* Redmondmagazine.