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The Background

The advent of the coronavirus pandemic and the sudden shift to home working has impacted on businesses and people across the UK. At PCM, we have ourselves experienced issues with communications and connectivity, which led us to look carefully at how we could best secure our business processes whilst keeping our people safe.

We were already operating with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and benefiting from multiple device integration including smartphones for unified communications. However, our office manager Ula Gebura-Watroba was connecting in to the office systems using some remote access software, which was presenting a number of practical issues in terms of accessing the files and data she needed on an everyday basis.

Easy collaboration with SharePoint

Ula was originally using the remote access software to connect to her office PC from a laptop at home. However, this was far from an ideal solution. With documents and information not appearing at full size, she soon discovered that she was losing definition when increasing the size to make manipulating the information easier.

Ula's colleague Chetan Varma proposed an alternative solution using Microsoft SharePoint. SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. Although primarily a document management and storage system, SharePoint is highly configurable and allows users to connect in from anywhere using most devices.

A whole raft of advantages

"We are really valuing the flexibility of SharePoint, which now acts just like an intranet for information sharing within our organisation," said Chetan. "It's completely customisable, so you can tailor features easily to match your business needs."

SharePoint offers enhanced security too, helping to maintain data integrity. "You can set your own security configurations and access protocols. Sharing files with external contacts is easier and more secure, as you can create links to access specific files and folders, password protected and with link expiry dates. It means that it's so much simpler to work from anywhere and also far more secure, with data sitting on Microsoft servers."

Microsoft SharePoint gives PCM the flexibility to handle document sharing, file management, social networking, business information, and virtually everything else involved in the day-to-day operation of the business.

"It integrates seamlessly with other business applications in the Microsoft Office suite. You can create and edit from any device, convert documents into different formats to suit applications. Perhaps most importantly for us, working from diverse locations all of a sudden, it is essentially collaborative and has helped us to streamline business processes," confirmed Chetan.

PCM Systems is currently using the Standard version of SharePoint, included with Microsoft 365. Issues experienced by companies over the course of the pandemic has meant that the company has migrated a number of customers to SharePoint, all of whom are continuing to benefit from added flexibility ease of application.

Once we migrated to SharePoint, everything was much easier, It’s a seamless experience with no waiting and no issues. It really is as though I’m in the office with access to everything at my fingertips. It saves time, can add an extra layer of security and is simplicity itself to use
Ula Gebura-Watroba
PCM Systems Ltd

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