Missed the SharePoint Virtual Summit? Here are 5 SharePoint Enhancements Coming Your Way
Every spring the entire SharePoint community tunes in to the SharePoint Virtual Summit to learn about the new features slated to be added to SharePoint as well as changes and integrations that enhance SharePoint’s collaboration and communication capabilities.
On May 16th Microsoft shared some pretty exciting statistics about its usage and adoption.
According to Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft:
- A quarter-billion organizations use SharePoint, which includes 85% of Fortune 500 companies
- 60% of these seats are online
- There has been a 90% growth in active users of SharePoint and OneDrive and a 300% growth in data storage, from last year
- There are 100 million Office 365 (now renamed Microsoft 365) users
From these numbers it is quite evident that SharePoint, OneDrive and the entire suite of Microsoft Office 365 applications are gaining popularity and are flourishing.
Here is a short recap of SharePoint enhancements that were revealed at the summit:
More controlled and secure Document Management
OneDrive is Microsoft’s file sync and share solution. Its integration with Microsoft Office 365 allows users to access their files from anywhere and from any device. A few new features that will extend its capabilities are:
- All Microsoft Office 365 users will get OneDrive Files On-Demand, which will allow them to access their files in Microsoft Office 365 directly from their file explorer, without having to download them.
- Users will be able to share files directly from File Explorer on Windows and Finder on Mac. Files can also be shared through a link which can be sent to either internal or external employees. Permissions can be managed and an expiration date for the link can be set.
- OneDrive Offline Folders will make it possible for users to work on their documents without an internet connection. Changes will get synced automatically when a connection is detected.
Diversified collaboration through Communication sites
Communication sites extend the capabilities of SharePoint Team sites. While Team sites bring team members together and open up communication between teams, a Communication site does the same for the entire organization. So news published or a discussion started on a Communication site will be available to all users who have access to that site whether from a PC, Mac, mobile browser or in the SharePoint app.
These sites are easy to create with drag-and-drop authoring. You can have a beautiful, dynamic communication site in a matter of minutes. You can pick a page layout and web parts depending on the needs of your organization. You can also pull in data and content from other services like, conversations from Yammer, reports from Power BI and videos from Microsoft Stream.
Personalized search with Microsoft Graph
The Office Graph is a tool that supports Microsoft Office 365 search functions, and when it was released, its primary user interface was Microsoft Delve, where users could search for content based on who had accessed it. With Graph you can search across integrated applications and content; and it tracks content interaction, using machine learning to draw links between people, content and activity within an organization.
In a few months, Microsoft will introduce the capability of “personalized” search, which will leverage Microsoft Graph’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to pull up more relevant and useful content when a user conducts a search. The search results could include videos, news and people profiles along with documents and discussion excerpts.
Simplified workflows with Microsoft Flows and Power Apps
Integration between SharePoint and PowerApps will allow users to create custom forms that interact with SharePoint lists and libraries. Users can view and interact with data using these forms rather than with default SharePoint forms. This is a huge milestone which enables users to define and drive organizational processes.
Integrations with Microsoft Flow enables in-built approval flows which allow users to send any document for approval. The request is sent via an actionable email, and the reviewer can respond to it without leaving their inbox.
Consistent collaboration through integration of Microsoft Office 365 apps
Microsoft has always had its focus on providing better collaboration. Currently we have it through SharePoint team sites, Microsoft Office 365 groups, Microsoft Teams, and the newly added Communication sites. Collaboration goes a step further with integrations between SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 apps.
With major updates that were announced, it will now be possible to connect existing SharePoint team sites to Microsoft Office 365 Groups, add SharePoint pages as tabs in Microsoft Teams, and embed Yammer conversations into SharePoint communication sites.
If you missed the event, you can view the recording of the SharePoint Virtual Summit.