Although SharePoint 2013 has now been available for some time and is rightfully gaining plaudits as an excellent collaboration platform, SharePoint 2010 is still a viable choice of platform for many organisations – and even now many are choosing to upgrade to SharePoint 2010 from SharePoint 2007 rather than go straight to SharePoint 2013.
The main reason most organisations would choose to go with SharePoint 2010 rather than 2013, of course, is to keep costs down. SharePoint 2010 has an excellent feature set, and whilst SharePoint 2013 may have more weapons in its armoury, its really a matter of working out what your organisation needs. If your organisation doesn’t require some of the features that SharePoint 2013 offers, then why not stick with 2010 and save yourself some cash? Here’s a reminder of the killer features that SharePoint 2010 offers:
Social features – Whilst social features have come on a great deal in SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2010 still offers features such as My Sites, wikis and blogs. Depending on the size of an organisation, it’s social media presence and/or its staff communications setup, SharePoint 2010 may be all that is required.
Business connectivity – SharePoint 2010 allow organisations to connect SharePoint-based solutions to external applications and data sources, meaning business can create tailored means of working.
Digital asset management – The proliferation of multimedia means that it is increasingly important for organisations to keep their assets in order. SharePoint 2010 includes a library designed for managing and sharing digital assets such as audio, video and images, meaning organisations can organisations and deploy multimedia easily and quickly.
Health monitoring – SharePoint Health Analyzer, which is part of SharePoint 2010, enables SharePoint Server to automatically check for potential configuration, performance, and usage problems. Organisations can keep track of deployment performance easily, ensuring that more time can be spent in other areas.
Traditionally, organisations have needed to have SharePoint deployed and hosted specifically for their use. The process itself, whilst allowing for control over the setup, can be time-consuming and costly. Now, however, Microsoft also offers version of the platform in the cloud that offers a number of benefits:
● Office 365 – You can purchase SharePoint in the cloud on its own or as part of an Office 365 package – meaning you don’t need to install software for either SharePoint or Microsoft Office. As both are Microsoft products, they are highly integrated and make sharing and collaborating on documents very quick and very simple. Documents can be authored at the same time and different permissions can be given to different users depending on who needs access to what. Searching for documents in SharePoint is easy and SharePoint’s security is excellent.
● Scalability – Because Microsoft manages the setup and hosting of SharePoint Online, you can quickly increase or decrease the number of users depending on the needs of your business. SharePoint Online allows your IT department to get on with other work instead of increasing server capacity and maintaining your SharePoint deployment. SharePoint Online will remain lean and efficient regardless of number of users.
● SharePoint Online now has SkyDrive integrated into it for simple cloud storage and sharing. Organisations and users can control permissions, as well as sync and share documents, collaborate with individuals inside or outside of the organisation and access content on mobile devices.
● Guest usage – SharePoint online users can invite external guests to view and/pr collaborate on documents. Organisations are not at risk as they do not host SharePoint online and Microsoft has excellent back-up and disaster recovery facilities.
Yammer is a social network designed for use privately within organisations. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2012 and has since been gradually integrated into SharePoint. The aim is to provide a better social / communicative aspect to collaborating in SharePoint. Users are able to set up groups for specific projects, chat and share files and the platform’s similarity to ubiquitous social networks such as Facebook and Twitter in certain aspects make it very easy to begin using.
In other aspects, however, Yammer also has more tailored and advanced features. Users access the platform via mobile devices to stay in touch with colleagues on the go. Company administrators can customize, control, monitor, and manage their Yammer account according to the company’s needs. API can be harnessed to develop business specific applications and Yammer accounts can be connected to external company networks for collaboration with partners and clients. Amongst other features, users can:
• Add robust Yammer feeds, private messages, and notifications tabs to SharePoint sites to facilitate team and company-wide conversations.
• Embed a lightweight Yammer mini feed anywhere in SharePoint to view and keep track of relevant discussions without disrupting workflow.
• Send links to documents, calendar events, and tasks from SharePoint to Yammer feeds for real-time collaboration.
• Find information with relevant Yammer messages displayed side by side your SharePoint search results.
• Import profile information from SharePoint into Yammer, eliminating the need to complete two profiles.
• Track unread Yammer messages from the SharePoint top banner.
• Automatically deliver activity updates from SharePoint to colleagues on Yammer.
• Leverage SharePoint authentication credentials to simultaneously log into Yammer through a single entry point.
• Manage the Primary Yammer Web Part using SharePoint’s built-in controls and templates. Choose to configure read-only Yammer feeds so that users without Yammer accounts can also view conversations
Yammer’s integration has provided a huge boost to SharePoint’s communication tools and its continued development will only improve SharePoint as a collaboration platform.
Microsoft SharePoint is available for companies and people looking to improve their collaboration and document sharing using cloud technology. Installing and implementing SharePoint can be complex, particularly for large companies with many employees – that’s why it is important to choose the right company to host your SharePoint network. Here are the top ten tips on choosing the right SharePoint hosting company:
• Is your hosting company certified to install SharePoint? Microsoft certifies installers of their products and your SharePoint implementation should be done by certified Microsoft technicians.
• Does your hosting company ensure top security for your sensitive information? Documents and sensitive corporate information is shared using cloud technology. Make sure that your SharePoint hosting company provides internet security for your information.
• Is it feasible for your budget? You may not need the corporate version of SharePoint if you have fewer than fifteen employees. If that is the case, you should probably start with purchasing Office 365, which incorporates SharePoint 2013 without the need for network implementation.
• Does your hosting company provide 24 hour support? Emergencies can arise and you want to know that a problem with your SharePoint implementation won’t hinder your business operations.
• Does your hosting company provide training for your employees? Sometimes hosting companies train your company’s IT professionals who then teach the rest of the company how to use SharePoint. Having your employees trained by the hosting company will help to get everyone using the SharePoint module.
• Can your hosting company customise your SharePoint2013 module? For specialized businesses, some of the features of your SharePoint implementation may need to be customized – make sure that your hosting company can do it.
• Does your hosting company upload your documents to the module for you or will your IT department be responsible for adding documents? This can be a laborious and time consuming venture. Before documents can be shared across the network, they must be uploaded to SharePoint. Check to see if your SharePoint hosting company will do that for you.
• Does your hosting company offer you a deal on future upgrades? Many companies purchased SharePoint 2010 only to find that SharePoint 2013 with new features has just been released. Ask about deals on upgrades to a newer version of SharePoint.
• Does your hosting company have certified techs for all Microsoft software or just SharePoint?
• Does your hosting company offer partial implementation?
SharePoint and social media are both very important in business but for different reasons. Whilst SharePoint focuses more on collaboration and document-sharing, social media is more people-focused. Using SharePoint and social media together, however, can deliver a number of benefits for businesses.
SharePoint allows you to share information with other people. In addition, you can manage documents, organise schedules and publish reports for people to review. Social media platforms can be used to aid this collaboration, allowing you to maximize the benefits of document and scheduling with the benefits of letting workers and colleagues know any changes, but SharePoint 2013 has its own social features.
The platform now includes a newsfeed feature which allows the users to keep up with the latest updates to documents or changes in schedules. Users will have the ability to update their feed with a status. This is helpful when people are delayed or get caught up in something that will prevent them from getting to a meeting. In addition to following the newsfeed and staying updated, users have the ability to follow conversation that may be important.
Because SharePoint is all about organisation collaboration, having features that allow for social media connection enhances it greatly. SharePoint and social media allows you to share media which has changed the way organisations communicate. When documents need to be changed, updated or altered, this can be easily done in SharePoint, and circulated to whomever you need.
With the newest release of SharePoint hosting in 2013 by Microsoft come several exciting changes to the software. Some of these changes are based on user demand and some are well overdue. Here are some of the best reasons to consider moving or updating to SharePoint 2013:
The analytics feature in 2013 has taken a huge leap forward. With a powerful new focus on major search engines, SharePoint becomes a tool for improving and understanding result relevance. Usage reports are quickly generated in Excel, allowing for greater customisation and data manipulation to help spot and report trends.
In previous versions of SharePoint hosting, the FAST query search was an additional application with a separate license and configuration that needed to be tacked on to the main program. In 2013 FAST is fully integrated into the software, leading to better query driven searches.
The newest version features a streamlined user interface that’s faster and cleaner than ever before. This allows for easier integration with smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices. Performance has also increased overall, with greater stability especially in the new App Model feature.
As a result of its better performance and the power of query-driven searches, SharePoint hosting can now offer even faster and easier publishing options than before. The Content Search feature searches for text on the current page and locates additional relevant sources that may be of interest.
Taking cues from the popularity of social networking, SharePoint has created a social feature of its own that allows workers to keep tabs on one another’s projects. Users will be able to follow both people and topics, enter into discussions and receive content search results that may interest them further.
Microsoft’s SkyDrive Pro, their answer to Apple’s popular cloud storage system, will allow for greater connectivity. Documents can be created and uploaded from any device and, with cloud storage
SharePoint a Microsoft web application that was first released in 2001. It is primarily a plaftform aimed at facilitating collaboration and its main uses are website deployment, content management and document-sharing. Many different types of sites can be easily created on Web pages, documents lists, calendars and data. Like most platforms, there are standard themes, however, if you want to deviate from the preinstalled themes and create your own then there are ways and advantages to doing so.
To create custom themes, you must create additional color palettes, font schemes and master pages. When complete, the files get loaded to the theme gallery and the master page gallery before being deployed to a site. It is not difficult to create new color palettes in SharePoint 2013. Begin by going to ‘Site Settings’ and then to ‘Themes’. You can then select a color palette that you like to download. Everything that is needed to change the colors is in the file.
After you change the color of your palette, you can continue to customise the look of SharePoint. Open your browser and navigate to ‘Site Settings’ underneath the ‘Site Actions’ heading. Under the ‘Look and Feel’ section, you can easily change the title and follow up with a new description.
Now you are ready to apply a theme to your site and to modify your site content. You can change any part of the design list, document library, discussion board or survey under the site actions tab. Under the site administration and libraries, you can make changes to the libraries and lists. The changes that you will make are based on the specific section you are modifying and each section will have three categories – the settings for each section including the name and descriptions. The columns can be changed or modified with more or less information. The views can also be modified and adjusted.
Customising SharePoint is not as difficult as it sounds, however, there are professional SharePoint services that can customise or modify your SharePoint deployment to save you the time and ensure that it looks as good as possible.
igroup is looking to recruit an experienced SharePoint 2010 Technical Specialist to join our growing services team. Some of the typical duties included are:
Igroup is a growing SharePoint practice, as well as allowing you to work on some of the most exciting projects in the UK, we can also offer you long-term stability and structured career progression. To be considered for this you will need to have:
If you would would like to apply for this opportunity, please send your CV with a covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many businesses deal with challenges related to running different line-of-business (LOB) systems. These differences create data gaps that can decrease productivity with an organisation and damage revenue. SharePoint can help to bridge data gaps and maximise productivity within organistions.
Eliminating gaps between an organisation’s systems can be tricky. SharePoint is an easy-to-use platform that links together the different business systems within an organisation, such as document-sharing, calendars, Intranets and website deployments. By pulling these together and making them easy for staff to access SharePoint encourages collaboration and productivity.
Some of the benefits that SharePoint provides as a result are:
• Ensuring data is given to the right decision makers at the right times
• Allowing business decisions to be more informed and made more quickly
• Sharing information more widely throughout an organisation
Almost every business could be more productive with tools to encourage greater levels of collaboration. In order to be successful, a business should inspire teamwork that shares information and notices similarities or decencies across systems. SharePoint helps to connect all the parts of your business and ultmiately improve your bottom line.
Rolling out SharePoint can be a major project and always requires good planning. Following best practices will ensure that a deployment avoids some of the most common SharePoint problems and there are lots of guides available to help with the process, but there are a few simple tips that you should never forget:
When rolling out SharePoint, it is critical to have a clear strategy in place. Knowing what it is you are looking to achieve with SharePoint – be it better internal collaboration, document management or mobile working – is crucial in determining how your deployment is installed and setup. It is also important to understand how long your roll-out will take and how you intend to introduce staff members to the new software. The plan for your SharePoint roll-out should start from well before installation and extend to well after it.
Once you and your staff are familiar with SharePoint, part of what makes the platform so useful for so many organisations is the ability to tailor it to their needs. With good planning, you should now know how SharePoint will benefit your business. You may want to give certain staff members access to particular documents but not others. You may want to roll-out mobile access across the business so staff can work on the move. And knowing what apps can be installed to improve SharePoint for you company can be a huge benefit.
A SharePoint deployment doesn’t end after the installation – that is only the beginning. The platform must be kept regularly updated to ensure smooth and secure running. Administrators should be backing up regularly to so that in the event of any problems no data is lost. Likewise, databases and servers should be checked regularly to ensure they are in good health.