SharePoint Is Coming to Your Mobile Device

For any users of Microsoft’s SharePoint here is some exciting news.

Earlier today, Microsoft reported that they are planning to release the long awaited SharePoint mobile app, designed for Windows, iOS and Android to put intranet in your pocket. With this upcoming app, users can get full access to company news and announcements, people, sites, content and apps. This app will incorporate on-premises SharePoint sites, as well.

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Features that will be available in SharePoint Mobile app,

  • The Sites tab takes you to your Sites, Recent sites and Followed sites, where you can keep up with site activity, navigate using quick launch or see recent files.
  • The Links tab takes you to sites and portals programmed for everyone in the company.
  • The People tab gives you access to the people you work with and visibility into what they are working on.
  • Search is available throughout with clean results filtered by sites, files and people.
  • Users can also have multiple accounts online and on-premises, and can easily switch between them.

At the Future of SharePoint conference, Microsoft today shared their roadmap for the mobile and intelligent intranet. Here’s what you can expect to see starting this quarter:

  • Modern document library experience (currently rolling out to First Release tenants).
  • SharePoint mobile app for iOS.
  • SharePoint home in Office 365.
  • Modern lists experience.
  • Site activity and insights on the Site Contents page.

And during calendar year 2016:

  • SharePoint mobile app for Windows and Android.
  • Integration of SharePoint sites and Office 365 Groups.
  • Simple, fast site creation.
  • Modern pages experience.
  • Team and organizational news and announcements.
  • PowerApps and Microsoft Flow integration with SharePoint.

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Staff Technology Training – Session 17

Today we provided our regular – quarterly technology training to the staff. The topics covered included SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, Password Management & Two Factor Authentication.  You can check it our here, as well as all of our previous training classes here.

 

 

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Our Continuing Microsoft Cloud Journey

Cloud3Here at the Borough of West Chester we are set to continue our expanded journey into Microsoft’s cloud.

Phase 1 (2011-2014)

We began this journey back in 2011 when our on-premises Exchange (email) server was retired and our email moved to what Microsoft called at the time, “Microsoft Online Services”.

Then in 2013 Microsoft upgraded and enhanced their online email service, now re-branded Microsoft 365. In 2013 our organization went through this upgrade process. In addition in 2013 Microsoft upgraded their Office product from Office 2010 to Office 2013. Along the way there have been other enhancements such as improved filtering, archiving, compliance management and mobility services. Also we were introduced to other services such as SharePoint, OneDrive and Lync. The adoption to these other services have been slower but that is about to change.

Phase 2 (2015)

Starting very soon the Borough of West Chester’s Microsoft Cloud adoption will expand. All file services will be migrated into SharePoint and OneDrive while Lync (soon to be re-branded to Skype for Business) will become an important and organization wide communications tool.

Another change that will positively impact all staff is the move to E3 licencing for everyone. Up until this Phase only management and other specialized personnel enjoyed this full functionality of Microsoft’s services. However because of the organizational shift to SharePoint all staff will move to the E3 licensing model. It is with E3 that users can access all that Microsoft has to offer in the cloud and this will allow us to move our data into SharePoint (and OneDrive).

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One of the most exciting things about all of this is that our journey with Microsoft’s Cloud Services will not stop here. Microsoft has recently announced that there are even more enhancements around the corner although the time frame on some of these are unknown.

Phase 3 (2016 and Beyond)

Here are some of the continued planned enhancements on our horizon once our deployment is completed this year.

From Search to Delve. While enterprise search is a useful capability, SharePoint will go beyond search with a capability called Delve. This is “a new way to discover relevant information and connections from data across Office 365, as well as provide predictive search capabilities,” and it builds off of the machine learning capabilities of a technology called Office Graph, which draws connections between people and the data they need.

NextGen portals. SharePoint’s portal functionality may have put this solution on the map but a new generation portal technology, aptly called NextGen Portals, will provide a library of new “ready-to-go” portals that save time, money and effort. “NextGen Portals, by design, are intelligent, collaborative, mobile and ready to go”.

OneDrive. SharePoint’s OneDrive for Business offering is still based on the Groove technology Microsoft acquired a decade ago, but it too is evolving alongside the consumer OneDrive offering document and file storage and management. Of course, the business offering will also provide the security, reliability and manageability required by IT, and the service will be available to users of popular mobile platforms and of course Windows and Mac.

Team Sites. SharePoint’s Sites capability is evolving “within Office 365,” White says, which means “beyond SharePoint. That is, in Office 365, Sites can include SharePoint content as before, but also “email, instant messaging, tasks, contacts, personal files, social feeds and more” from elsewhere—Exchange Online, Lync Online—in Office 365.

We are already building our Team SItes!

We are already building our Team SItes!

 

Business intelligence. Another feature that appears to be exclusive to Office 365, Power BI is a cloud-based business analytics service that “provides an integrated analytical platform in the cloud that connects to your important information from where it lives via the Excel interface users know.”

Social. Microsoft moved quite quickly to add social networking functionality to SharePoint years ago and then of course the firm bought Yammer in 2012, dramatically expanding those capabilities. Now, Microsoft is further expanding its social capabilities by making Yammer functionality available across Office 365 and with Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com as well.

Management capabilities. Microsoft is also promising a unified management experience for enterprises that opt for hybrid deployments. And it is further promising a “unified experience for compliance, management and IT controls that span across Office 365—in addition to SharePoint, across Exchange, Lync and all of the new experiences.”

Extensibility. SharePoint’s success can be tied directly to its extensibility capabilities, and while initial cloud-based SharePoint versions had lacked some important on-premises extensibility functionality, those days are gone. Today, Microsoft is evolving the app model it launched with SharePoint 2013 and is extending it in the cloud with a new set of Office 365 APIs that target existing and new (Office Graph, Office 365 Video and so on) features.

Continued Improvement Leads to Good Change

As you can see one of the most exciting benefits of our continued Microsoft Cloud adoption is the continued improvement which is planned. This is a perfect fit for us at the Borough of West Chester as it relates perfectly to our newly titled Kaizen, Technology and Communications Committee”.

Kaizen is Japanese for “good change” which of course many of these cloud services offer. Some of these changes are more relevant to our particular organization than others but the important factor here is that we will be in a position to access and utilize what will best help us get the job done and serve our community.

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Using Sharepoint

To add files to your Sharepoint library first login to your Microsoft 365 account at login.microsoftonline.com.



 


Once logged in select “Sites” on the top menu bar.

Once you are on the “Sharepoint” page you will see an sites you are a member of. For this case, you want top open the “team Site” which is where our organization stores and shares organizational documents and cooperative projects.

Once you are the “team site” you will be able to see and announcements regarding newly posted documents or files. Libraries are basically folders of related documents, such as “HR Documents” and “Internal Policies”.

 

In this case the Library we will use is “Contracts & Insurance”. In this “library” there are folders for each year starting with 2013.

You will be able to open any document that has been stored here as well as uploading a new document. To add a document to the library select “new document”. Select upload existing file. Then brose to find the document you would like to upload to the library.

Browse out to your computer and find the desired file, select it and “OK”. That’s it. Your document is now part of the library!

A future post will cover the steps for connecting any Sharepoint library to your Outlook client.

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Technology Training for August 9, 2012

A special thank you to everyone who attended today’s technology training. Below is the PowerPoint presentation. I was very happy that we were able to cover much more, such as previewing Windows 8, Office 13 and touching on Microsoft Skydrive.

Please email training ideas to me for our October 2012 classes.

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