Are you aware of how devoted SharePoint enthusiasts utilise SharePoint and Microsoft 365 to elevate their businesses to the next level?
This article aims to provide valuable insights from SharePoint enthusiasts, helping you enhance your approach when designing a SharePoint portal.
SharePoint has become more than just a tool for organisations — it’s a powerhouse that empowers teams and individuals to collaborate, organise, and innovate. But for die-hard SharePoint fans, the platform is more than meets the eye.
They grasp the SharePoint functionality and appreciate certain aspects that might go unnoticed by casual users. Let’s dive into these insights that only the most dedicated SharePoint enthusiasts genuinely get.
Deep Dive into Die-Hard Fan Insights
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Collaboration Beyond Documents
Die-hard fans understand the collaborative SharePoint capability that extends well beyond document storage. They grasp the power of SharePoint Lists, Libraries, and Pages, utilising them to build custom applications, track data, and create interactive team sites that foster effective communication.
Expertise in Information Architecture
Beyond essential content organisation, these enthusiasts are masters of crafting intricate information architectures. They appreciate the value of metadata, content types, and site columns in building robust systems that facilitate effortless content categorisation, search, and retrieval.
Governance and User Adoption
True SharePoint enthusiasts understand that governance is the backbone of a successful implementation. They recognise the importance of creating guidelines, policies, and processes that ensure user adoption, content management, and platform scalability.
Workflow Mastery with Power Automate
Die-hard fans harness the potential of Power Automate to automate complex workflows. They’re adept at crafting intricate sequences that integrate with various apps, improving efficiency and consistency across organisational processes.
Solutions Beyond the Interface
SharePoint enthusiasts can extend beyond what’s visible on the interface. They acknowledge that SharePoint’s capabilities can be extended through custom coding using SharePoint Framework or PowerShell, enabling them to create tailored solutions that fit unique business requirements.
Analytics and Insights Utilisation
SharePoint lovers understand the importance of data-driven decision-making using SharePoint’s analytics and insights tools. They harness SharePoint functionality to extract valuable data from site usage reports, delve into user behaviour patterns, and leverage insights to enhance user experiences.
Integration Elegance with APIs
For these die-hard fans, SharePoint’s integration potential is boundless. They grasp the intricacies of integrating SharePoint with external systems and apps through APIs, allowing data to flow seamlessly between platforms for a unified user experience.
Holistic Approach to Information Management
Die-hard fans adopt a holistic approach to managing information, recognising SharePoint’s role in the larger context of an organisation’s digital transformation journey. They combine diverse tools and platforms to create comprehensive solutions addressing multiple business needs.
Understand the Importance of Change Management
These buffs understand that technology adoption requires effective change management. They proactively address user concerns, provide thorough training, and guide their teams through the adoption process to ensure a smooth transition.
Continuous Learning and Evolving Expertise
Above all, die-hard SharePoint fans are lifelong learners. They keep up with the platform’s updates, industry trends, and best practices. Their insatiable appetite for knowledge ensures they remain at the forefront of SharePoint’s ever-evolving landscape.
The Power of Customisation
SharePoint enthusiasts value the power of customisation because it allows them to mould the platform to fit their organisation’s unique needs and workflows. Here’s why they embrace customisation:
- Tailored Solutions for Unique Problems
- Enhanced User Experience
- Efficiency and Productivity
- Adaptability to Change
- Competitive Advantage
- Data Insights and Reporting
- Personalisation for Users
- Extending Beyond Out-of-the-Box
- Branding Consistency
- Innovation and Creativity
Hidden Gems: Metadata and Content Types
Die-hard fans of SharePoint recognise that metadata and content types elevate information management beyond primary file storage. They leverage these tools to create a dynamic and structured environment where content is organised and optimised for search, retrieval, and process automation.
Enhanced Content Organization
Die-hard fans understand that metadata goes beyond traditional folder structures. They define and apply metadata attributes like author, date, and category to content, making it easier to classify and locate documents based on specific criteria.
Precise Search and Retrieval
By associating metadata with content, enthusiasts improve search accuracy. Users can search for documents using keywords, and the metadata refines the results, ensuring the right content is retrieved promptly.
Die-hard fans create custom views and navigation based on metadata. Metadata-based navigation and custom views allow users to filter and sort content in a way that’s most meaningful to them, enhancing navigation within libraries and lists.
Consistent Content Tagging
Enthusiasts establish standardised metadata schemes and content types. This consistency ensures that all documents are tagged appropriately, enabling a uniform categorisation across the organisation.
With content types, we can establish predefined templates for specific document types. Using predefined templates prompts automated workflows based on the selected content type, expediting approval processes and maintaining consistency.
Compliance and Governance
Enthusiasts recognise that metadata supports compliance efforts. By tagging documents with relevant compliance details, they ensure proper handling, retention, and disposal of information as per regulations.
Custom Views and Reports:
Die-hard fans utilise metadata to generate custom views and reports. Using metadata-derived custom views and reports provides insights into content usage, trends, and patterns, helping organisations make informed decisions.
By employing content types, enthusiasts maintain consistency across multiple sites. Changes to a content type are propagated throughout the sites, ensuring uniformity in document structures.
Adaptation to Evolving Needs
Die-hard fans know that metadata and content types can evolve. They modify existing metadata fields and content types to accommodate changing business requirements, keeping the system aligned with organisational needs.
Reduced Duplication and Clutter
Enthusiasts minimise document duplication and clutter by using metadata. Before creating new documents, they can quickly identify existing content and determine if it suits their needs.
In essence, using metadata and content types transcends the limitations of static folder structures by introducing a dynamic and versatile way to categorise, search, and manage content. It empowers users to interact with information more meaningfully and efficiently, fostering collaboration and supporting the ever-changing demands of modern organisations.
Workflow Wonders: Automation with Power Automate
SharePoint fans know the benefits of using Power Automate to automate tasks, improving workflow productivity and consistency.
- Time Efficiency: Automating routine tasks saves valuable time.
- Consistency: Automated processes ensure uniform and error-free execution.
- Seamless Approvals: Automated approval workflows accelerate decision-making.
- Instant Notifications: Automatic alerts keep stakeholders informed promptly.
- Data Synchronization: Power Automate syncs data across applications seamlessly.
- Task Sequencing: Workflows orchestrate tasks logically and automatically.
- Personalisation: Users receive tailored actions and information.
- Issue Prevention: Automation detects and resolves issues proactively.
- Collaboration Boost: Automated sharing enhances teamwork.
- Focus on Value: Reduced manual tasks allow focus on strategic work.
Examples of processes that can be automated using SharePoint and Power Automate
Document Approval Workflow
Automatically route documents for approval to the relevant stakeholders based on predefined rules. Once approved, the system can notify the concerned parties and move the document to the next stage.
Data Entry and Validation
Automate data entry by extracting information from forms or emails and populating SharePoint lists. Use Power Automate to validate data, ensure accuracy, and trigger alerts for incomplete or erroneous entries.
Issue Tracking and Resolution
Set up automated workflows to create support tickets when users report issues. Assign tickets to appropriate teams, notify stakeholders, and track the status until the issue is resolved.
Notification and Alerts
Automate notifications for events such as upcoming deadlines, document changes, or new content uploads. Use SharePoint functionality to send email alerts or messages in Teams, ensuring stakeholders are well-informed.
Data Migration and Sync
Automate the migration of data from one system to SharePoint. Schedule regular data syncs between SharePoint and other databases, ensuring data consistency.
Create automated workflows for content publishing. For example, when approved, a document can automatically be published to a designated folder or site for broader access.
Automate employee onboarding by generating tasks for HR, IT, and managers. Power Automate can send welcome emails, create accounts, assign training materials, and track progress.
Use automation to manage internal or customer requests. For instance, automate handling of purchase requests, leave applications, or customer support tickets.
Social Media Posting
Automatically post updates from SharePoint content to social media platforms. Automation can include blog posts, news articles, or announcements.
Data Backup and Archiving
Automate backing up SharePoint libraries or lists to ensure data safety. You can also set up automated archiving to move outdated content to archival storage.
Task Assignment and Tracking
Automate the assignment of tasks based on predefined criteria. For instance, when you create a new project, tasks can be automatically assigned to team members and tracked until completion.
Form Submission and Response
Automate the process of form submission and response. For example, automatically send confirmation emails, generate reports, or notify teams when forms are submitted.
Integration Magic with Microsoft 365
SharePoint seamlessly integrates with various Microsoft 365 apps, creating a cohesive and interconnected digital workspace.
These integrations demonstrate how SharePoint seamlessly interacts with various Microsoft 365 apps, fostering collaboration, improving productivity, and creating a unified digital environment for users. This feature makes SharePoint immensely powerful.
SharePoint and Teams integration allows users to create a SharePoint site associated with a Teams channel. Files shared in Teams are stored in the corresponding SharePoint document library, promoting collaborative document management.
OneDrive for Business
SharePoint integrates with OneDrive to enable smooth file sharing and co-authoring. Documents stored in SharePoint libraries can be accessed and edited through OneDrive, ensuring platform consistency.
Share SharePoint documents directly through Outlook emails. Users can attach SharePoint links or embed documents, promoting efficient communication and collaboration.
SharePoint lists can be integrated with Microsoft Planner, allowing users to create tasks and manage projects directly within SharePoint sites. Integration with MS Planner enhances task tracking and project management.
SharePoint can embed Power BI reports within SharePoint pages. This integration lets users view dynamic data visualisations directly within their SharePoint sites.
Enrich SharePoint pages with Microsoft Forms to gather data from users. Forms can be embedded within SharePoint sites, streamlining data collection.
SharePoint’s integration with OneNote allows users to create notebooks linked to SharePoint sites. OneNote integration with Sharepoint simplifies note-taking, information capture, and collaboration.
SharePoint integrates with Power Automate (previously Flow) to automate workflows across various Microsoft 365 apps. Set up Triggers and actions to initiate tasks based on specific conditions.
Azure Information Protection
Integrate SharePoint with Azure Information Protection to ensure secure data sharing. Sensitive documents stored in SharePoint libraries can be classified and protected.
SharePoint integrates with Delve to provide personalised content recommendations based on user interactions and usage patterns. This integration promotes efficient content discovery.
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint Online
Edit documents stored in SharePoint libraries using Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Online. Save the changes back to SharePoint, enabling real-time collaboration.
SharePoint’s content is searchable through Microsoft Search, enabling users to find relevant information across different apps and platforms.
Security and Compliance Confidence
SharePoint lovers sincerely appreciate the robust security features and compliance capabilities that SharePoint offers, recognising them as critical components for ensuring data protection, privacy, and regulatory adherence. Here’s how they value these aspects:
SharePoint enthusiasts understand that data security is paramount. They appreciate features like encryption, authentication, and authorisation that safeguard sensitive information from unauthorised access and breaches.
Die-hard fans value SharePoint’s ability to assign granular permissions to individual users or groups. Granular assignment of permissions ensures that only authorised personnel can access specific documents or sites, minimising the risk of data leaks.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Enthusiasts recognise MFA as a powerful tool to enhance authentication security. They appreciate that SharePoint supports MFA, adding an extra layer of protection against unauthorised logins.
Advanced Threat Protection:
SharePoint lovers understand the importance of guarding against advanced threats. They appreciate the integration of Microsoft Defender for SharePoint, which detects and mitigates malicious activities within SharePoint environments.
Die-hard fans value SharePoint’s Compliance Center, where they can configure data retention policies, manage records, and adhere to industry-specific regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
You can use SharePoint’s DLP capabilities to prevent sensitive data from being shared inappropriately. They set up policies to monitor and control data sharing across SharePoint sites and documents.
Information Rights Management (IRM)
IRM allows SharePoint developers to restrict documents, such as preventing printing or forwarding, even when the document is shared outside the organisation.
eDiscovery and Legal Hold
One of SharePoint’s powerful features is eDiscovery and legal hold capabilities. These features simplify identifying, preserving, and retrieving relevant documents for legal or compliance purposes.
Auditing and Reporting
We can track user activities, document changes, and access attempts using SharePoint’s auditing and reporting capabilities. Easy auditing of information helps maintain transparency and accountability.
Secure External Sharing
SharePoint lovers appreciate the ability to share content with external partners or clients securely. They utilise features like guest access and sharing links with expiration dates to control external access.
One of the fantastic features of SharePoint is data encryption at rest and in transit. They value SharePoint’s encryption mechanisms that protect data as it’s stored and transmitted across networks.
SharePoint enthusiasts unequivocally acknowledge that its security features and compliance capabilities are indispensable components that promote confidence, guarantee regulatory compliance, and protect organisational data. They are staunch supporters of SharePoint’s unwavering dedication to upholding exemplary standards in the digital workspace.
Thriving on Metadata Navigation
The best way to effectively master navigating and discovering content is through metadata-based navigation. Metadata goes beyond mere categorisation. It’s a strategic tool that empowers access to the right content at the right time.
Embracing Metadata Taxonomies:
Die-hard fans create well-structured metadata taxonomies that reflect their organisation’s needs. They define meaningful attributes encompassing document types, projects, departments, etc.
Applying Consistent Metadata
Consistent applying relevant metadata to documents during content creation will ensure tagging each document for easy retrieval.
Creating Custom Views
We are a great fan of leveraging metadata to create custom views that showcase content in ways that resonate with specific user needs. They set up views that group documents by project, author, date, or metadata attribute.
Filtering with Precision
SharePoint excels at filtering content with precision. We can use metadata filters to narrow search results, ensuring we find what we want.
Utilising Search and Query Language:
Enthusiasts understand SharePoint’s search capabilities, including the use of query language. They craft advanced queries that leverage metadata attributes to fetch targeted results.
Building Dynamic Dashboards
SharePoint lovers use metadata to build dynamic dashboards. They create dashboards that display content relevant to specific projects or teams, making navigation intuitive and efficient.
Leveraging Content Types
Content types enrich metadata navigation. They associate content types with metadata, enabling them to organise and filter content effectively.
Exploiting Managed Metadata
Enthusiasts appreciate the power of managed metadata. They use managed term sets to ensure consistent tagging, minimising redundancy and enhancing search accuracy.
Smart Tagging During Upload
SharePoint lovers are skilled at smart tagging during document upload. They ensure metadata is tagged accurately from the start, reducing the need for manual updates later.
Staying Updated with Versioning
We all know the importance of versioning and its link to metadata. Versioning helps us how to track changes and updates, ensuring we consistently access the latest version of a document.
Embracing Taxonomy Navigation
Enthusiasts take advantage of SharePoint’s taxonomy navigation feature. They use managed metadata terms to create hierarchical navigation, allowing them to explore content like never before.
Metadata-based navigation surpasses traditional folder-based navigation with benefits like
- Dynamic Organization: Content is tagged by attributes, adapting to evolving needs without folder limitations.
- Efficient Search: Accurate filters lead to quicker content retrieval than manual folder browsing.
- Reduced Duplication: Tagging prevents file duplication, keeping content streamlined.
- Custom Views: Personalized navigation based on attributes enhances user experience.
- Cross-Categorization: Content can exist in multiple contexts simultaneously, catering to diverse needs.
- Simplified Maintenance: Updates occur without constant folder restructuring.
- Unified Navigation: Metadata allows seamless movement across SharePoint sites.
- Enhanced Collaboration: Findable, accessible content promotes teamwork.
- Adaptability: Metadata adjusts to changing organisational requirements.
- Better Discovery: Contextual searches lead to related content, surpassing folder boundaries.
A Place for Every App: SharePoint as an App Platform
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, organisations seek platforms that facilitate collaboration and offer capabilities to build and deploy custom applications to address unique business challenges. SharePoint has emerged as a versatile app development platform that brings the best of both worlds, collaboration and application development, under one digital roof.
SharePoint: Beyond Collaboration
SharePoint has undergone a transformative evolution, long known as a robust document management and collaboration tool. It has expanded its scope to include powerful application development capabilities that cater to organisations’ diverse needs. The platform’s journey (SharePoints functionality) from being a content repository to a dynamic application hub has been driven by the demands of modern business, where agility, customisation, and efficiency are paramount.
The Power of No-Code and Low-Code Development
One of SharePoint’s most significant strengths is its ability to enable developers and non-developers to create applications easily.
Thanks to tools like Power Apps and Power Automate, users can build functional applications without extensive coding knowledge. This democratisation of app development empowers individuals across the organisation to translate their unique insights into tangible solutions, fostering innovation at all levels.
Custom Solutions for Unique Challenges
One-size-fits-all software solutions no longer bind organisations. SharePoint’s application development capabilities allow them to create tailored applications aligning with their business processes. Whether streamlining approval workflows, automating repetitive tasks, or enhancing data analysis, SharePoint provides the canvas to paint custom solutions that resonate with the organisation’s DNA.
Seamless Integration and Extensibility
SharePoint’s prowess isn’t limited to its ecosystem—it seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft 365 applications. This integration enables developers to weave a rich tapestry of functionalities by combining the strengths of various tools. Custom web parts and extensions built using SharePoint Framework (SPFx) can be seamlessly embedded within SharePoint sites, enhancing user experience and functionality.
SharePoint’s prowess extends beyond its capabilities, seamlessly integrating with various management information systems such as HR systems, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and other Management Information Systems (MIS). Through its robust APIs and connectors, SharePoint bridges the gap between different systems, allowing for data synchronisation, real-time updates, and enhanced cross-functional collaboration.
For instance, SharePoint can integrate with HR systems to automate employee onboarding processes, manage leave requests, and disseminate company policies. Similarly, when integrated with ERP systems, SharePoint can facilitate seamless access to critical business data, enabling informed decision-making. This integration not only eliminates data silos but also empowers organisations to leverage their existing infrastructure while enhancing productivity, communication, and overall efficiency across the board.
Examples of SharePoint use in integrating with other ecosystems and software
- Box: SharePoint can integrate with Box, a popular cloud content management platform. This integration enables users to sync and share content between SharePoint and Box, bridging the gap between different file storage solutions.
- Salesforce: SharePoint integration with Salesforce connects customer relationship management (CRM) data with SharePoint’s document management capabilities. Salesforce integration allows sales teams to access relevant documents within the Salesforce interface.
- Google Workspace: SharePoint can integrate with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), allowing users to collaborate on documents stored in SharePoint libraries using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
- Slack: SharePoint integration with Slack promotes real-time collaboration. Users can receive SharePoint updates, access files, and initiate SharePoint workflows directly within the Slack interface.
- Trello: SharePoint integration with Trello enhances project management by allowing users to attach SharePoint documents to Trello cards, ensuring all project-related information is easily accessible.
- Dropbox: SharePoint can integrate with Dropbox, enabling users to access and collaborate on Dropbox files directly within SharePoint sites, promoting cross-platform collaboration.
- Asana: SharePoint integration with Asana enhances task management. Users can link SharePoint documents to Asana tasks, ensuring documents are accessible alongside task details.
- Zendesk: SharePoint integration with Zendesk enables support teams to access SharePoint documents directly within Zendesk tickets, streamlining customer support processes.
- Smartsheet: SharePoint integration with Smartsheet enhances project tracking and data visualisation. Users can embed SharePoint documents in Smartsheet dashboards and reports.
- Slido: SharePoint integration with Slido enhances audience engagement during presentations. Presenters can embed Slido polls and questions directly within SharePoint pages.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): SharePoint integration with AWS S3 storage allows users to store and retrieve documents from AWS S3 buckets within SharePoint libraries.
- Cisco Webex: SharePoint integration with Cisco Webex Teams facilitates document sharing and collaboration within Webex conversations, promoting seamless communication.
User experience is at the heart of modern applications, and SharePoint doesn’t disappoint. The applications developed on the platform can offer intuitive interfaces, responsive design, and mobile compatibility, ensuring that users can access and interact with content seamlessly, regardless of their device.
Security and Compliance as Cornerstones
SharePoint is a fortified fortress in a world where data security and compliance are non-negotiable. Custom applications inherit SharePoint’s robust security features and compliance capabilities, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected and organisations meet their regulatory requirements.
These are the insights that only true SharePoint enthusiasts would understand. As you explore the platform, remember there’s always more to discover.
Each feature, each tool, and each customisation adds a layer of value to your SharePoint experience. Embrace these insights, and unlock the full potential of SharePoint for your organisation.
Unlock the true potential of SharePoint by embracing best practices and leveraging its capabilities to the fullest. A well-structured information architecture, thoughtful metadata tagging, and effective permissions ensure efficient content organisation and retrieval.
Embrace collaboration features, engaging users in discussions, co-authoring, and version control.
Leverage SharePoint’s integration with other tools to streamline workflows and data sharing. Customise the platform using Power Apps and Power Automate to meet specific business needs.
Regularly educate your team on SharePoint’s evolving features to ensure you’re harnessing its power effectively. Using SharePoint correctly transforms it into a dynamic hub that empowers productivity, fosters collaboration, and drives innovation.
Ready to unlock the full potential of SharePoint for your business? Contact us today at email@example.com or give us a call at +971-521043226. Let’s collaborate to create tailored SharePoint solutions that elevate productivity, streamline workflows, and drive innovation. Your journey towards optimised collaboration starts here.