What is SharePoint Online and How is it Useful to Businesses?

With the cloud established as the future of business IT infrastructure and service delivery, how does SharePoint Online open the doors to the cloud for businesses?

SharePoint has been an integral part of the Microsoft 365 suite since the latter was launched in 2010. As a cloud-based platform with a great deal of customizability, SharePoint has been many businesses’ first foray into the features and capabilities of the cloud. As Microsoft has enmeshed itself ever more deeply into the field of cloud services, SharePoint has become the backbone of Microsoft 365 productivity.

We discussed SharePoint Online and its uses with TechQuarters, a London-based Microsoft Solutions Partner, and Managed Service Provider. Having provided IT support Central London businesses have been relying on for over a decade, TechQuarters' experience with SharePoint, and its many applications, are extensive. We asked them what the platform can be for businesses, and this is what they told us.

What does SharePoint Online do for Businesses?

Microsoft SharePoint as a product has been around since 2001. It started life as the software used specifically for servers. Nowadays, the product that is included in Microsoft 365 is SharePoint Online a fully cloud-native platform that has many useful features. The key capabilities of the product are…


This is likely what most people think of when they hear about SharePoint – they think of it as a cloud storage application. In truth, this is just part of what SharePoint does, but there is also no denying that it is well-suited to it as well. In the M365 suite, SharePoint is best suited to shared storage – and it is typically used by departments and teams as a means of hosting shared resources that all participants need access to.


This is not an aspect of SharePoint Online that most people think of, but communication should not be counted out when considering how the platform is used by many organisations around the world. For instance, some businesses use SharePoint as a company intranet – and in this use case, communication plays an important role.


When considering the storage and communication capabilities of SharePoint, it is easy to see why the platform is used by many businesses for collaborative purposes. For example, TechQuarters provides IT support for Architecture companies – they said that these types of clients are increasingly needing ways of securely sharing large files, which is a perfect use-case for SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Sites and Their Benefits

In their 12 years of providing businesses with Microsoft Office 365 solutions, SharePoint has always been a central solution for TechQuarters; and one that they recommend to clients all the time. The user interface and experience of SharePoint Online are based on sites. A SharePoint Site is essentially a secure page in SharePoint that can be specialised for specific purposes and work. Organisations can limit who has access to which sites. Let’s look at the main types of sites on SharePoint, and what their purposes are…
  1. Team Sites – This type of site, as the name suggests, is designed to be used by a specific group of users – a team or a workgroup.
  2. Communication Sites – The other main form of the site on SharePoint is designed to be used by the entire organisation. Instead of having a few active participants, these sites typically have a handful of (or even just one) admin, and every other participant is read/view only. These sites are used for sharing information and news with large groups of people.
  3. Hub Sites – Acting sort of like a supersite that organised team and communication sites according to different criteria (i.e. department, project, region, etc.) Hub sites can be used to view all assets related to something, and then break out into the appropriate site.