The folks at the European SharePoint Conference (ESPC) not only put on an excellent conference every fall, but they also do a great job soliciting high-quality content about SharePoint and distributing educational materials to the community. I’ve enjoyed working with them and speaking at ESPC the last couple of years, and now I’ve started contributing content for the European SharePoint community more actively.
Video – Recorded Webinar on Intranets and the SharePoint Fabric
I recently participated in a webinar with ESPC analyzing the new SharePoint Fabric and the updated OOB Intranet features and announcements from Microsoft, laying out how this impacts people who are planning a new intranet. Many organizations are renovating their intranets and/or undertaking a digital workplace programme, and Microsoft is moving quickly and rolling out a lot of new capabilities in this area.
The bottom line is that the overall options haven’t changed, but these new offerings from Microsoft will change the economics and speed up projects across the board.Those going with “Out-of-the-box” SharePoint / O365 will have a modern, mobile, robust service they can use. Those adding on one of the many “Ready to Go Intranet” offerings that have been popping up lately will find it easier to tailor and operate – as long as their add-on is aligned with where Microsoft is going. Even those undertaking a full-custom intranet will receive benefits – since extending and customizing Microsoft can now be done in the same framework as the OOB elements.
All of these are still valid options, depending on your requirements. How quickly you factor in the SharePoint Framework to your plans depends on your timeframe and your appetite for being “bleeding edge”. But none of these options is complete without enhancing connectivity to line-of-business systems and adding consistent structure to your content.
eBook About the Connected Intranet
That’s what led me to write this eBook. Analyzing the current and future Microsoft OOB capabilities, the SharePoint framework, and the various Ready-to-go-Intranet packages underscored just how important connectivity is. On average, only 28% of the information that workers need resides in SharePoint or O365. The majority is spread across multiple line-of-business systems both on-premises and in the cloud. Intranets and Portals are expected to provide easy access to everything employees, partners or customers need. No matter which route you take to implementing an intranet, if workers cannot easily access the highly valuable content that lives in multiple systems, then they simply won’t use the intranet – and they will remain frustrated by inefficiencies in their everyday work.
For today’s intranets to be effective, they must bring together the information and tools workers need to get their jobs done. But our content lives in silos, spread across multiple line-of-business systems and cloud-based applications. It’s well proven that providing unified access across these systems improves efficiency dramatically, and also has a very positive effect on discovery of new insights and connections.The Connected Intranet is a pattern that works well.
It is now possible to provide a Connected Intranet that bridges across multiple repositories economically – leveraging new facilities in Office 365 and Hybrid SharePoint. My new white paper outlines how to include external content in O365 and Hybrid SharePoint experiences – without moving it or copying it.
Note that ESPC will ask you to register to get either the video or the eBook. This is free and quick to do. Of course, it’s part of their marketing strategy, and you’ll be on their mailing list. If you don’t want this, you can opt-out immediately or at any time later if you’d like, but I find that they provide a ton of great information, so you may get a lot of benefit from being on their list too.
Let me know what you think of this material – and if you find it useful, I’ll do more. I’d love to hear any stories about your Intranet projects as well.