Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Evolution of SharePoint and the Cloud

SharePoint Server Update 2016

In 2016 Microsoft are promising a SharePoint Server update. This is due to be available to the public as Beta at the end of 2015 before being fully released in the first half of 2016. The new Server will be an ‘On-Premises’ version of its SharePoint Server.

What will You get from the Update?
SharePoint began as a content collaboration solution focusing on team sites. But SharePoint evolved and new experiences were added; Portals, Business Intelligence and Content Management. The three core aspects of SharePoint; Experiences, Management and Extensibility remain central as SharePoint evolves, both within the server and across Office 365.

Many businesses continue to run their company’s on-premises within the firewall or with hybrid developments, so Microsoft are looking to make this next version of SharePoint Server the most secure and the most reliable, so that companies will be more inclined to take advantage of Cloud innovations.
With that in mind the focus for 2016 will be Content Management, Team Collaboration, User Experience across devices and Utilising the Cloud. Therefore enhancements will be made on:

  • An improved user experience in relation to mobile experiences, personalised insights, people-centric file storage and collaboration.
  • Cloud Inspired Infrastructure by improving performance and reliability, Hybrid Cloud with global reach, support and monitoring tools.
  • Compliance and Reporting with new data protection and monitoring tools, improved reporting and analytics and a trusted platform. 

More developments are being made within Office 365 too, making experiences more collaborative, mobile friendly, intelligent and always ready to use.

With the release of Office 365 businesses were offered numerous functions from storing information in the Cloud which could be synced to various devices, e-mail management, the latest Microsoft Office Suite, One Drive and a public facing website.

With the update there will be even more on offer:

  • With Office Delve business will have a new way to discover relevant information and connections from data across Office 365.
  • NextGen Portals such as Office 365 Video will be ‘ready to go’, Intelligent, Collaborative and Mobile.
  • One Drive provides a single place to store, sync and share in a way that is secure and reliable.
  • Office 365 gives companies e-mail capabilities, instant messaging, tasks, contacts, personal files, social feeds and more.
  • Power BI, built on top of Office 365, is an integrated analytical platform in the Cloud connection you to important information via the Excel Interface.
  • Yammer, part of Office 365 make it easy for social interaction within teams across a company.

From the simple idea of a collaboration sharing centre for businesses, SharePoint has developed into an indispensable piece of software that can now connect members of a team together so succinctly through One Drive, Office 365 and the Cloud that companies can only anticipate how it will further aid them in the future. With a safer and more secure server on the way in 2016 the possibilities seem endless.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

SharePoint and SharePoint Training

What is SharePoint?

Developed by Microsoft, SharePoint is an application framework and platform produced to store, organise and share information from any mobile device. It is a tool that helps companies organise data more efficiently to save time and effort as well as aiding employee collaboration.

Why do we need to Train in SharePoint?

Users of SharePoint in theory, don’t need training to use the actual platform, but form a business perspective using SharePoint and utilising SharePoint have two extremely different outcomes.
Knowing the underlying functions of a system like SharePoint is not the same as knowing how to use it for simple tasks.
If you think of a Microsoft Office product such as Excel for example, to some it is a basic spreadsheet. However, there are multitude of facets available you just have to be shown how to use them. Most people are aware of how to insert data into each column, some even know how to delete or insert columns, but you can also convert information from a table into a chart or graph, you can include a formula to save time when totalling a column or row. Unless you click on the drop down menus most of what Excel can do is hidden.
SharePoint is similar in that it hides many of its functions in myriad menus.
In order to be able to utilise SharePoint to get the maximum benefits, regular training is required. By doing this all SharePoint users within a business are facilitating SharePoint’s potential, which in turn means they are contributing to the overall business.
The reason that this should be done periodically is because, as with most technology, things change. A lot of companies are upgrading from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 so there are always new things to learn. Check these guys out if you need any help with training
Especially considering there could be some small glitches to iron out when using older Office suites.

What are the effect Training Methods use to Learn SharePoint?

There are so many resources available out there in many different formats; from books, to videos, instructions documents to instructor-led training there really is no reason to be left in the dark. On top of that if you are worried about financial expenditure, there is an entire SharePoint Community out there more than willing to share their insights for free.

Take a look at these links for more information:

Helpful Blogs

A question and answer site for SharePoint users

Monday, 10 February 2014

Microsoft SharePoint SEO and Blogs

I have a good question for the world of SharePoint - why do so many of you host your blogs on WordPress or other platforms instead of SharePoint? The answer is simple: it is easier and cheaper but that does not make it correct! (Yes I am on blogger I know...)

SharePoint took a huge leap forward when it released the latest version because it added some SEO features. That said there are still many gaps, including being able to launch quick and simple blogs for its massive community to use. I browse many SharePoint Blogs and most of them are WordPress, Blogger or some custom development. Examples: - Blogger :-) - WordPress - Custom SharePoint Blog

So why is the SharePoint blog not fit for this purpose? I think there are a few reasons but I see if getting better in the future. I think Microsoft will get a cloud platform specifically for bloggers in the community to launch their own blogs and have their own domains. They must hate the fact that so many people in the community use other platforms.

Let me know your thoughts...

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Infographic: 10 Tips to Help Make Your Project a Success

An Infographic With Tips About Project Management

Have a dig around yourself online and after a 30 minute fruitless search I think you'll agree - aside from 1 or two goodies like this one from Rackspace, decent Sharepoint infographics right now are thin on the ground.

Thankfully these folks from Edinburgh have just released a sterling one about project management.

This is the 2nd in the series, the first revealed 10 misconceptions about Sharepoint which you can view here.

SharePoint’s tactical business platform has pre-made templates that enable functionality, efficiency, and collaborative business solutions.

It is crucial to understand how to create a successful project that both enhances and conveys the principles, mission, and overall image set forth by the business.

There are a few key points to keep in mind listed in this infographic to the left for creating a successful project.

First, you want to connect with your most critical, demanding customers.

While it may not be an easy task, gaining their support is highly advantageous for a successful business enterprise.

Indeed, it is often the most stubborn and belligerent customers that, when pleased, become your most strident supporters.

Rather than passing out handbooks filled with elaborate instructions, provide users with hands-on training.

It is also important to designate a project owner who has the experience necessary to make informed decisions.

Allowing the IT dept to govern your project is a mistake because IT is not the population that is going to be using it.

Therefore, usually they cannot offer well-founded requirements on behalf of others.

Ensure that your project has a distinct name and is not simply denoted as "SharePoint." The name is merely a scaffold, and the project needs to hold character and convey the end benefits.

However, the project itself should be open ended. As the business develops, the requirements should grow with it.

Always enable interactivity, so that business users can collaborate and contribute development ideas.

Be sure to anticipate change and go with it. It is normal for plans and strategies to shift with time.

When the need arises, draw up detailed requirements that will ensure progress and improvement. Always keep expectations within reason.

Pay attention to the figures, especially with regard to cost and delivery dates. You want to encourage and promote productivity without overshooting the expectations.

Do not allow senior management to be the only constituents of the project steering group. Get business users onboard, as well.

Interactivity is very important. Likewise, do not overload on the authoritative rules. Keep rules simple and straightforward, especially at the onset.

As the project grows, you may consider implementing more in-depth policies.

An increasing number of project managers are thriving by using SharePoint to power their ventures and project initiatives.

When correctly employed, it offers several features that give rise to a successfully managed project.

Essentially, it is important to provide a well-managed foundation and encourage collaborative efforts.

I think that about sums up the 10 tips, to view the infographic in full size, please go here.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A Podcast With Expert Nick Borell

Nicki Borell Talks About Sharepoint Search

I just listened to an interesting conversation over at the Moss Show, a podcast about Microsoft SharePoint

The host was Hilton Giesenow and he was interviewing Sharepoint expert Nick Borell at this years European SharePoint Conference which was held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Nicki has over 10 years working in Microsoft enterprise environments, and he and Hilton discuss various topics including search driven applications.

Many of us already know that 2013 offers a number of clear improvements and functionality over its predecessors 2007, 2010.

However, in this interview Nicki draws attention to what's new specifically in SharePoint search in 2013.

So go and brew yourself a tea or coffee as there's some great information packed into this 25 minute show.

I'd like to get over to Copenhagen myself one day to check out the Rosenborg Castle and park.

So many beautiful places to see, so little time.

Hope you have a great week everyone.

Cheers, Brent

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Ready for Microsoft Sharepoint 2013?

Question - Are You Ready?

Great things are expected of Sharepoint 2013, and rightly so, as there has been much fanfare about it on tech blogs and in the media and press.

Are You Ready?One of the most eagerly anticipated features of 2013 is increased emphasis on social media activity, which is highlighted by tools such as "Community Sites".

The folks over at Channel Pro had this to say:
".....To a business that has many employees based at remote locations, SharePoint 2013’s social network feature can help to combat the sense of isolation that can occur to a homeworker. Colleagues and employers can now chat and share designs, spread-sheets and other information, as they work....."
So Sharepoint can act as a virtual buddy for those working alone at home by helping them connect with their team mates back at the mother ship.

Good stuff, although frankly they could already do this via email, skype or using already established social media sites such as Twitter.

If you're interested in reading more of Marcus Austin's article click here.

Cheers, Brent

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Updates From The Blogosphere

Blog Round Up - 5 Half Decent Posts From January 2013

Selection of Blog Posts
There are lots of quality blogs about Sharepoint, and - dare I say it - lots of absolute rubbish.

Like this one I imagine you're thinking....:)

But anyway, moving swiftly on.....

Below you'll find a collection of blog posts and online articles that caught my eye this month in the SharepointSphere.

I hope there's something in this collection to learn something from.

Without further do, here are my top five from January 2013. Perhaps top 5 is an exaggeration but I've read worse :)

1) A great post from 

2) A nice offering from  

3) An interesting post from

- We’ve Got SharePoint, Now What?” 10 Questions You Need to be Asking Yourself

4) A new article from about their new Edinburgh office.

5) Last but not least something from Mark Jones at

- Running a SharePoint software company

Have a great week,