SharePoint is basically an internal web site where:
- staff members can collaborate amongst themselves on project and internal matters.
- develop, review and approve documents.
- track all sorts of information needed to run your organization (examples to be posted).
- plan and manage projects.
- leverage past experiences.
- eliminate redundant process and systems.
Here is the Wikipedia definition of SharePoint for those that want a more detailed definition.
SharePoint originally came, at no charge, with Windows Server. Since it was part of Windows Server, it required a technical staff to implement and manage the product. With the introduction of Office 365, Microsoft offers it as a cloud product along with the other Microsoft Office applications. It can be purchased separately but most customers purchase Office 365 so they get SharePoint with it. If you are not on the latest Office products and may like to be, click here on Office 365. SharePoint can be purchase separately as SharePoint Online.
The Office 365/SharePoint Online version does not require any technical staff to implement or manage. The out of box features can be easily taken advantage by staff that have a good understanding of computers (e.g. Accounting, Information Technology, Manager, Team members, etc.). Like any software product you can enhance capabilities through its more technical aspects but this is not a necessity with SharePoint. Also, there are third party plug in products (apps in SharePoint terminology) that can enhance its capabilities without spending a lot of money.
This blog discusses the out of the box features and how your organization can make itself more efficient by using them.