SharePoint 2016 webinar

What is there to look forward to in the next version of SharePoint? That's the question looked at in an Sam Marshall of Clearbox Consulting and Michael Pisarek of Dynamic Owl and Bonzai intranet.
excellent webinar that was run by

If you're interested in watching/listening to the webinar you can do so by click on this link, alternatively you can read my summary of the webinar below.

Where is Microsoft going in the intranet/digital workplace?

What was clear from what Michael was saying is that the Cloud version of SharePoint or a Hybrid version of SharePoint is definitely the future. So if you're not already using the cloud you probably
will be soon.

However what Microsoft also seem to be doing is creating "experiences" so the future is less about SharePoint and more about "experiences" Now you might be wondering what an experience is, according to Michael an experience is Microsoft's way of presenting multiple tool sets to users but in a seamless way. So instead of a user thinking I'm using SharePoint or Yammer, they will just be using the tool. Office 365 and these experiences are according to Michael, Microsoft's version of the Digital Workplace.

Office Graph & Delve

One of the most exciting announcements by Microsoft recently has been the introduction of Office Graph and Delve into Office 365. For anyone not familiar with Delve the article "SharePoint Online: An introduction to Office Delve" is a good introduction.

Michael then looked in some detail at what problem Office Graph/Delve is trying to solve, typically it will aim to answer the following questions:

  1. What information should I know?
  2. Why does search suck?
  3. What are other people doing?

So now that it's clear what problem Office Graph and Delve are trying to fix, how does it do it? This is where it began to get really interesting as Michael explained how Office Graph & Delve work together. 

In a non-technical nutshell Content & Signals from Office 365 populate the Office Graph/, which then uses machine learning to create intelligence experiences within Delve. To put this another way Delve looks at what you're doing on Office 365 and tries to show content that is relevant. This is very interesting, but I get the feeling it will be one of those pieces of functionality that individuals will either love or hate, especially as it uses cards, which seem to be very popular within Microsoft products at the moment.

In addition to this functional organisations can also plug their own items into Delve, thereby extending the Office Graph & Delve experience.

Other interesting stuff :-)

In the final part of the webinar Michael looked at some of the other stuff that Microsoft had talked about at the Ignite Conference in May, these were:

Video Portal

This definitely looks interesting as it is being designed to be responsive and there will eventually be a native app for iOS and Android.

Microsites

Another interesting development by Microsoft is the addition of what are being called "microsites". These are simple websites, which are easy to create, but can display related documents using Office Graph & Delve. Michael explained that these could be a way to create Knowledge Bases. Michael also commented that Microsoft appear to be making it easier to create content as these sites don't use the SharePoint ribbon to create content.

Infopedia

The next new experience Michael talked about was Infopedia, which are also referred to as the KM Portal. These Portals use the Office Graph to display content. If you're interested in learning more about Infopedia/the KM Portal then the following link will be of interest.


The new people experience in Delve

Michael briefly explained the new people experience in Office 365, which will enable users to find other people through content. In addition to this the new people experience also provides a new blogging engine, which is a very different editing experience compared to the rest of SharePoint.

Office 365 Groups

The final topic discussed was Office 365 groups and how these are a new version of SharePoint team sites. Office 365 groups will enable users to;

  • Save files (these are saved in OneDrive not within SharePoint)
  • Use One Note for team notes
  • Build a landing page that includes Outlook Calendars and other Outlook functionality

So some very interesting and quite exciting features coming in the new version of SharePoint!