Microsoft continues its commitment to SharePoint as the intelligent and mobile intranet. SharePoint is the foundation for document management and information publishing in Office 365 and the number of users is growing steadily. The modern user interface is built for the cloud and directly adapted for mobile devices. It's easy and powerful to create beautiful news pages that pop up to the right users and on any device. Finding the information and documents you're looking for has never been easier, thanks to Office Graph, which constantly indexes and presents relevant information to you, the user. This week we have been following the annual SharePoint conference in Las Vegas and there was a lot of news and valuable ideas presented. We have gathered the most important and what we see as most valuable.
Mixed Reality comes to SharePoint with Spaces
The one that got the most attention was the launch of SharePoint Spaces, which allows companies to build a 3D and mixed reality experience. Imagine the information on the intranet displayed in a 3D world where employees can find documents, 3D diagrams, links, product images and 360 videos either directly in the browser or via a VR headset. Microsoft is launching a beta program soon and we at AddPro will get back to you with more information when it is available.
SharePoint and Microsoft Teams
Document management in Microsoft Teams is built on SharePoint with all the power and features available. However, the file tab in Teams lacks some features such as metadata, version control and views, but this will soon be available and all the features available in SharePoint will be available in Teams. SharePoint pages are a powerful and user-friendly tool for publishing articles and news to the organization. It will soon be possible to add SharePoint pages to Teams.
News publishing has long been somewhat limited in SharePoint and companies often choose other solutions or feeds in Yammer for it. With the latest updates, however, it becomes a completely different experience. It is possible to publish news to the team or to the whole organisation. The web part that displays the news can be downloaded from different sites and there are options for categorisation and audiences. The new 'hub' site aggregates news from all sites, targeted directly at the user.
SharePoint is not just documents and news. One of the most commonly used features is lists, which are often used as a record of incidents, cases, contacts, tasks and more. It will be easier to create lists from templates, existing lists or from Excel. There will also be options to change the appearance of items in the list view and better integration with Planner and PowerBi.
OneDrive for Business
OneDrive has become a stable and reliable file storage and is constantly updated and Microsoft listens to its users and what is desired. Some long-awaited features coming soon to the mobile app include improved and easier scanning, automatic uploading of camera images and more. It will also be possible to password protect handouts and block document downloads directly in the sharing window. Something that administrators have long pondered is how standard folders such as desktops, documents and pictures in Windows will be handled. Now, finally, comes the ability to automatically sync them with OneDrive. Teams that use SharePoint for document storage can automatically get the folder synced via OneDrive's "next gen" sync client and it can be pushed out by the admin. Finally, administrators get the ability to print reports on all files shared to external users and they can be viewed in Excel or PowerBI.
Security and GDPR
Microsoft offers solutions to help businesses cope with GDPR requirements. All features are gathered in a "GDPR Dashboard" that administrators can access via the Office 365 Admin Center. There are features for the following areas.
- Identify personal data and where it is stored
- Control how personal data is used and who has access
- Protect data, and alert on vulnerabilities and leaks
This summer, the ability to geographically select where users' SharePoint and OneDrive data is stored will be added. This may provide better performance for satellite offices but it also gives control in which data center the files are stored in.
If your company needs help with Office 365 security and how to use features to protect and track data, contact AddPro. Our consultants have extensive experience with information security in Microsoft cloud services.