2013: a year in tech

2nd January 2014

What did 2013 look like to igroup?

The last year has been notable for igroup as much for the volume of industry news we have covered as for the stories themselves. In 2013, we started using our position as an expert in our field to provide straightforward news and comment about the industry. Here’s a whistlestop tour of 2013 in igroup stories…

With lots of work going on behind the scenes we started the year off slowly with some tips articles on choosing a SharePoint consultant and on best practice for deploying SharePoint, which covered planning, configuration and maintenance aspects. We also provided an overview of how organisations are finding ROI from their SharePoint investments through improved efficiencies and collaboration.

In March and April we looked at how SharePoint can be customised using custom themes and provided an overview of the new features in SharePoint 2013. New features included improved analytics and search functionality, better social features and integration with SkyDrive – Microsoft’s cloud storage platform. We also provided tips on choosing a SharePoint hosting provider, including looking for Microsoft certification, availability of 24-hour support and provision of training for your employees.

In May we focused on how different services can be used together. We looked at how how Yammer’s integration with SharePoint has provided improved collaboration functionality, explained the benefits of SharePoint Online and its deep integration with cloud services Office 365 and SkyDrive and we went on to look in more detail at the what using SharePoint Online and Office 365 together can bring to an organisation. Availability anywhere and on any device was cited as a major benefit as too was the excellent security provided by Microsoft.

During June, we focused our attention on preparing content for the new igroup website, which was launched in August. Following the launch of the new site, we put a greater focus on comment-based articles that would help to provide insight to current relevant news events for our readers.

We began our refreshed approach with the news that Microsoft had released Office 365 apps for iOS and Android and that Service Pack 2 had been released for SharePoint 2010. We also reported that Microsoft had lost it SkyDrive trademark case against BSkyB, meaning that Microsoft’s SkyDrive offering will have to be rebranded.

We began September by discussing the announcement that Steve Ballmer would be leaving his post as Chief Executive of Microsoft. Whilst others were bemoaning Ballmer’s tenure as one of missed opportunities, we argued that he had guided Microsoft through a period of transition and done so in the shadow of a certain well known predecessor… September also saw the news that Microsoft had bought Nokia’s mobile division – a story that neatly followed the news of Ballmer’s resignation in focusing on a new era for Microsoft.

Later in September, we discussed Microsoft’s launch of a portal to aid SharePoint adoption and Forrester’s report findings that Yammer helps to improve internal collaboration when used with SharePoint. We finished the month with the news that, despite only having been fully released earlier in the year, Office 365 already appeared set to dominate the cloud-based office software market.

In October we published our first whitepaper, which looked at the global server market. The report showed that sales of servers have continued to rise despite competition from the cloud – and will continue to do so. One area that was looking increasingly cloud-flavoured, however, was SharePoint, with an article explaining that the long-term aim of Microsoft will be to move SharePoint to the cloud. Towards the end of October we discussed a report by Gartner indicating that businesses are increasingly reaping the benefits of collaborations platforms and we gave our first thoughts on Windows 8.1 (a tentative foray into ensuring that an operating system is usable for both desktops and tablets).

By November, we had moved into the new igroup office in Ellesmere Port – an exciting  milestone that will allow us to grow during 2014. We saw more signs of Microsoft’s online software packages gathering pace and in particular Lync, which Microsoft says almost 60% of enterprises surveyed are deploying or planning to deploy.We also saw the launch of Windows Azure HDInsight, a tool for analysing big data in cloud, and discussed Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s assertion that tablets would replace desktop PCs in the enterprise.

We started December by providing some email management tips and by looking at how ‘government-as-a-platform’ might save money and improve services. And we finished off the year with our own version of the 12 Days of Christmas and some computing resolutions for 2014 – we hope it will be a happy and prosperous year for you all!

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