If you have a traditional hierarchical Intranet/collaboration solution based on SharePoint, you need to read this!
Microsoft is now offering a compelling knowledge management solution using a combination of their tried and tested technologies.
Office 365 and more specifically Microsoft Teams combines a number of underlying technologies, including Exchange and SharePoint, into a single user experience that allows users to collaborate and capture knowledge in a single place.
Office 365 Groups
At the heart of Office 365 knowledge management is Office 365 Groups. Office 365 Groups are a combination of ‘Shared Mailboxes’ and ‘Distribution Lists’, providing a single location for email conversations, file storage, calendaring, shared notebooks and task management. All this information is captured and stored indefinitely, for historical record, within Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
Unlike a traditional Distribution List, which only delivers emails to current members, Office 365 Groups are persistent, allowing new starters to join and review all previous email conversations and group collaboration.
Modern SharePoint Team Sites
Whether you want it to or not, behind the scenes, for every Office 365 Group you create, you are also automatically creating a Modern SharePoint Team Site site collection.
This is directly exposed in Microsoft Outlook as the storage location for ‘Files’ within the Group mailbox. As an end user, if you didn’t know it was using SharePoint Online for file storage, you’d never guess it was. It’s totally transparent and completely seamless.
The Modern SharePoint Team Sites experience can be access independently of Outlook and used as a traditional SharePoint Team Site.
Modern SharePoint Team Sites are responsive by design and are fully accessible via the SharePoint mobile device application.
If you’ve organisation loves SharePoint sub sites you’re going to be in for a shock. Microsoft is now promoting, by design, a completely flat site structure (Information Architecture) based on independent site collections. Fortunately we do have SharePoint Hub Sites.
SharePoint Hub Sites
SharePoint Hub Sites provide a method for syndicating news and various other content from child sites to a central Hub Site.
Sam Marshal over at ClearBox Consulting Ltd recently put together a great webinar: What Intranet managers need to know about SharePoint Hub Sites, which you can view here:
Blu-Cloud also published an article last week on the SharePoint Starter Kit, which is an open source project designed to showcase how you can tailor SharePoint Communication Sites and SharePoint Hub Site functionality to build a modern and engaging Intranet-in-a-box solution using SharePoint Online and Office 365.
OneDrive for Business
OneDrive for Business allows you to seamlessly synchronise your SharePoint Document Libraries to your local computer. When run on Windows 10, OneDrive for Business has the option to only synchronise the files that you use. This is called ‘files on demand’ and allows users to synchronise huge document libraries, without taking up a huge amount of local hard disk space. If you love your old file server and hate SharePoint metadata, you’ll love OneDrive for Business.
Microsoft Teams bolts on top of the Modern SharePoint Team Site experience and provides a single application for content centric collaboration. Microsoft Teams improves the way that groups of users can communicate, superseding the functionality of Skype for Business and provides a ‘Yammer’ style enterprise chat solution perfectly tailored for large teams and smaller groups.
NOTE: Microsoft Teams does not replace Yammer as an Enterprise Social Networking tool.
Microsoft Teams seamlessly stores all documents within SharePoint without the user ever having to touch SharePoint. This means we’re got 2 great collaborative apps in Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Teams which are seamlessly storing and surfacing SharePoint content, which can all be synced to the end users desktop using OneDrive for Business.
Creating a Microsoft Team automatically create an Office 365 Group, which will automatically create a Modern SharePoint Team Site. Microsoft Teams can be retrospectively fitted to an Office 365 Group/Modern SharePoint Team Site.
Microsoft Teams are fully accessible via the Microsoft Teams mobile device application.
Microsoft Teams cannot currently be retrospectively fitted to a classic SharePoint Team Site, but the Office 365 Road Map Feature ID: 16035 states that this functionality is coming in very soon (Q2 CY2018). This feature will only be applicable to SharePoint Site Collections and will not work with SharePoint sub sites, so if you currently have a hierarchical SharePoint Intranet/collaboration solution, you’re going to have to plan for change. Think you might need some help? Why not contact us.