Remember the days of complex SharePoint on-premises environments? Costly and time-consuming migrations with every new release? A whole team of people on staff just to keep it all running? What a nightmare, eh? Fortunately, those days are behind us. Microsoft’s introduction of Microsoft Teams and rejuvenation of SharePoint Online releveled a modern, collaborate experience that made SharePoint cool again!
In this article, we’ll walk through the five reasons why we think SharePoint doesn’t suck anymore.
1. New Look, Same Core Features
Features like strong security, permission control, version history, link sharing and metadata are why SharePoint became so popular in the first place. While SharePoint Online has a brand-new look that feels modern and branded, these same features that made SharePoint great are still there and are continuously improved upon. In fact, SharePoint was the first to implement many of these features, and still does them best today.
2. Security Powerhouse
Security is a top priority for Microsoft, and it’s still one of the best-selling components of SharePoint Online. Microsoft is constantly improving its security, and with the agile nature of SharePoint Online, you benefit from those improvements faster than ever before. They’ve also added user tools for compliance to help organizations better understand their security settings and ensure they meet or exceed the standards and requirements of their industry.
One feature we recommend? Multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA is a security protocol that requires a user to prove their identity through something they know (a username or password), something they have (a cell phone or USB), and something they are (a fingerprint or face scan). The extra barriers in place when you introduce MFA block out 99.9% of all incoming attacks!
3. Modern Design in SharePoint Online
One of the most dramatic and welcome improvements to SharePoint Online is the new, modern design. The ability to make beautiful, corporate branded pages without the use of code means SharePoint has become more user friendly and accessible.
You don’t need a developer and a graphic designer on staff just to make SharePoint appealing anymore! The tools to create engaging content are at your fingertips. Out of the box features and pre-designed web parts make it easy to add text, images, video, and other content to your pages in just a few clicks. Plus, your SharePoint remains ‘on the rails‘, ensuring your pages and content don’t break every time Microsoft releases a new update. Finally, there is no more need for requests to “make SharePoint not look like SharePoint”.
We suggest checking out the SharePoint Lookbook from Microsoft for ideas on how to create modern, well-organized pages. They’ve put together different types of sites for a variety of industries that will help boost your creativity when thinking through the actual content on your SharePoint pages.
4. Simplified Architecture
Gone are the days when you needed six months to design a complicated SharePoint architecture to meet your organizational needs. Creating new pages, sites, and collections is made easier in SharePoint Online. There are two options for sites: team sites (for writing the story, and collaborating together with your team on documents) and communication sites (for telling the story, where a few authors share information to a wide audience).
We take the “when in doubt, site it out” approach, meaning that a new site is created for each change in audience. While this might lead to a bunch of sites on your intranet, it helps to ensure permissions are not confusing and security remains tight. Plus, global navigation with Navo makes it easy to tie these sites together in a menu structure that makes sense for your team.
We often work with our clients through a mind map process to help think through the architecture of their SharePoint sites. Mind mapping helps visualize the information you need to include in your company intranet, and build connections between that information to form the basis of your SharePoint structure. Check out our blog on mind mapping your company intranet for some tips!
5. Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online
Microsoft Teams has revolutionized the modern desktop and ushered in big improvements to the SharePoint framework. Teams acts as a user-friendly sleeve that sits overtop of SharePoint. It provides a true modern desktop experience with chat, video calling, calendar and app integrations, and access to files that live in SharePoint to work on and collaborate with your team. The use of the SharePoint architecture in the background means files are secure and stored in a way that makes sense, with permissions and security settings automatically applied.
Teams is a big part of the reason SharePoint doesn’t suck anymore. Offering a spot for teams to chat, host meetings, and work together on files that are ultimately stored within SharePoint adds massive communication and productivity benefits.
BONUS – Global Navigation
SharePoint gives you a modern, branded place to store content securely and collaborate with your team. Ready to take it to the next level? Navo provides website-like navigation that allows you to easily move between site collections and pages.
You can implement security trimming within your navigation menu – using one of SharePoint’s most valuable features to ensure your team only sees menu options that they have permission to access in SharePoint. Navo offers true global navigation that ties your modern sites together with your security settings and your workflow to make SharePoint Online an engaging and accessible place for your team to go.
SharePoint Online offers the same core features and security that made it great in the first place, with an updated, modern design that’s easy to use. Simplified architecture and the addition of Microsoft Teams makes SharePoint a central part of the ultimate modern desktop. Tie it all together with global navigation for a SharePoint intranet that is modern, engaging, and frankly – just doesn’t suck!