When I heard about SharePoint for the first time, I was told that it was analogous to the document storage that you can do on L drive. However, after using SharePoint in my daily activities, I found that SharePoint platform provides much more capabilities than a drive that is just used to share files and data – it is intuitive and can really change the way a company does business by building process excellence and providing the return on investment in no time.
Being in the Life Sciences industry for last 18 years, I have always been challenged on finding solutions that can help reduce the compliance cost, accelerate the time to market, ultimately making more efficient use of R&D dollars.
Whether it is document management, intranet & extranet, complaints handling, quality control and assurance, risk assessment or simple product development process, every functional area within the organization is looking for a robust solution that can strategically help to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the employees while reducing the costs. To me the answer came with SharePoint 2010.
SharePoint 2010 provides both out-of-the-box functionality and a platform for customization. Because of this, the health and life sciences organizations get a range of flexible options for meeting their business needs. With robust business intelligence capabilities and no-code solutions, people throughout your organization, regardless of their technical expertise, can access information from databases, reports, and business applications.
With its rich set of integrated capabilities built on a single, scalable platform, SharePoint 2010 provides tools that you can use to reduce costs in several ways. By consolidating intranet, extranet, and Internet sites on a unified platform, you can reduce your maintenance, training, and infrastructure management costs. Because you can deploy SharePoint 2010 on-premises or in the cloud with SharePoint Online and Office 365, you have the flexibility to scale up and out quickly as your business needs change.
SharePoint can empower your staff to work together more effectively, using self-service capabilities. Also, by combining your content management, business productivity, and collaboration solutions on SharePoint, you can offer everyone on your team the same resources and the right information to make smarter business decisions. In my experience this has been particularly helpful when the team is working on product development – all the documents are integrated in one place, easy to reference and easy to share and most important of all streamlines the approval process thereby making the entire development process highly efficient.
With SharePoint, you get an adaptable work flow to direct the flow of information to support your company’s unique business processes. You configure workflows to automate actions such as creating non-conformances and initiating corrective and preventative action (CAPA) requests automatically. You can also tailor reporting to monitor and research specific trends, due dates and items seamlessly through integration with other services.
In regulated industries such as life sciences, the architecture of your enterprise information systems takes on a strategic importance. Solutions architecture affects how you collect, interpret and share information. It can either impose limits on how you do business or enable greater efficiency and flexibility.