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SharePoint 2013 Analysis & Reviews

Stay Alert: The Future of the Activity Stream

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How do you keep track of everything going on that might affect your work? It’s probably a combination of internal and external social media, email, word of mouth and a whole range of other notifications, an approach that can be both ineffective and overwhelming. Even if you achieve the pristine state of inbox zero, there’s no such thing as Twitter zero.

Don't Be Afraid of SharePoint Customization

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When SharePoint first came on the scene many years ago, Microsoft embraced a broad and deep partner ecosystem, supported all sorts of educational events to train people and placed millions if not billions on marketing events, all focused on showing us how to customize SharePoint.

With the release of SharePoint 2013, we suddenly had Redmond telling everyone to stop customizing SharePoint. A lot of companies are now embarrassed and ashamed to admit that they have customized their SharePoint sites. In less than three years it went from de rigeur to risky and questionable.

Reading the Office 365 Tea Leaves

Every year around this time “experts” sit around and make predictions about all sorts of things. In some spaces like world politics, this is truly a guessing game. When it comes to Microsoft, it involves more of trying “to read the tea leaves.” Even with the breathtaking pace of change, there are still pretty good signs of where the technology is going.

CMSWire's Top 20 Hits of 2014: SharePoint

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You've all heard of Ground Hog Day, right? Well, how about Ground Hog Year? Looking back at the SharePoint landscape over the past 12 months, that’s certainly what it looks like.

In 2013, the conversation was dominated by 1) SharePoint Online 2) SharePoint and Yammer and 3) SharePoint in Office 365. In 2014, the conversation was dominated by … well, you guessed it: 1) SharePoint Online 2) SharePoint and Yammer and 3) SharePoint in Office 365.

A Look Back: The Continuing Evolution of SharePoint

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If we could really say what the future holds for SharePoint, we could probably sell the information back to Microsoft. All the signs point to major changes — but they also point to the fact that Microsoft is still dithering. While the company has committed to another on-premises version, after that all bets are off.

But let's speculate. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made no bones about where he is talking Microsoft: “Mobile First, Cloud Frist.” There is no reason to think that he won’t do the same with SharePoint and certainly over the past months the developments around SharePoint Online have been mouthwatering.

The Power User Cheat Sheet to SharePoint 2013 Search

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If you've spent any time researching SharePoint 2013 you already know that one of the most exciting components was Microsoft’s integration of FAST Search features into the product. Microsoft purchased FAST Search in 2008 and while it was possible to use a lot of the features with SharePoint 2010, the implementation was often time-consuming and costly. Having so many of these features integrated directly into SharePoint 2013 has been a huge win for the product and for its users.

Microsoft Pushes Yammer Deeper Into Enterprises

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Microsoft is pushing Yammer deeper into the enterprise with the addition of Yammer to the Office 365 K1 plan. It’s a small step forward, but gives users who don’t have desks access to it where they didn’t have access before.

Microsoft doesn’t say whether it has changed its mind and decided to offer Yammer to users who previously lacked access, except to say that it wants to give it to workers that have no fixed abode.

4 Ways SharePoint Navigation Breaks Usability Best Practices

2014-10-December-Broken.jpgThere's been a lot of interest lately from business users and SharePoint site owners in SharePoint's usability (or lack thereof), but the issue doesn't seem to receive as much attention as other topics. When experts talk about SharePoint, they focus on migration, administration, governance, development, cloud, and mobile. Any mentions of usability take a backseat and are only brought up by usability enthusiasts. It's time to bring this subject to the forefront.

Stop Pulling Teeth: A Better Way to Classify Documents

2014-08-December-Dentist.jpgThere are really only two ways to get your content classified: You require manual tagging by setting fields as required, or you use automation and stop fighting your users.

People hate to upload a document only to find that there's a half dozen fields to fill in before they can finish the upload process. This approach may seem easy, but often times it creates a love/hate relationship with SharePoint -- users see it as a limitation of SharePoint and will turn to a file share or Dropbox instead.

Alternately, they take the easy way out and fill the fields with the first entry in the drop-down, resulting in metadata that is populated, but wrong. Required manual tagging becomes yet another thing users have to do to get their work done.

The SharePoint Landscape from 30,000 Feet

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If SharePoint were a character in a movie, it would be Rocky Balboa, or maybe Mark Twain (“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”). With the end of the year around the corner, it's a good time to take a 30,000-foot view of the lay of the SharePoint land and see what's in store for 2015. While SharePoint may not be perfect, the technology is something many enterprises count on. We've seen great growth and energy in SharePoint over the past year and there are some events and developments that will be driving the technology next year.

Microsoft Wants to De-Clutter Your Inbox

An empty email inbox is apparently a new status symbol in the IT industry — and vendors are lining up to provide products designed to help you manage your mail.

Google has already introduced its Inbox, and now Microsoft is bringing Graph to inboxes to make them smarter.

While the concept of intelligent inboxes is a bit of a contradiction – think of all the trash they attract – Microsoft Graph promises to change that. It will teach inboxes what you want, what you don’t want and dump the rest in a hole called Clutter.

SharePoint Migration? Metalogix Knows Who to Call

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Fresh off the excitement of its acquisition by Permira Funds, Metalogix is back to what it always did best — data migration and migration tools.

This time it comes in the shape of a new Cloud Acceleration Partner Program which Steve Marsh, director of product marketing at Metalogix, claims will provide anything any enterprise needs for cloud or hybrid migrations.

For those working around SharePoint Online or Office 365, the names of the six initial partners will be familiar: BrightStarr, Cardinal Solutions, En Pointe, Neudesic, Slalom Consulting and Statera.

Microsoft Delve is Nice, But are Other Options Better?

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Microsoft has finally announced the release of Delve, a project that had been hidden under the code name Oslo and about which little was known.

When it was unveiled at the SharePoint conference earlier this year, then later as part of Office 365, Microsoft described it as a new way of getting working done. With it, Microsoft said, workers could find any content they needed, anywhere

Exciting as the announcement was — at least for Microsoft users — it doesn’t really extend beyond the Microsoft environment. Yes, it can find a needle in the massive haystack of your enterprise content ... as long as that content is in Microsoft applications. 

Badgeville Offers New SharePoint Gamification

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SharePoint's not pretty. Adoption, therefore, can be slow.

Officials at gamification provider Badgeville believe they can change this by making SharePoint fun. And they're doing so with a new release of their gamification integration specifically for SharePoint.

Badgeville for SharePoint is the Redwood City, Calif., provider's next generation solution to add game, reputation and social mechanics to SharePoint community and collaboration environments. 

"SharePoint has a reputation of being a bit ugly," said Laura Lilyquist, vice president of marketing at Badgeville. "Companies are making transitions to SharePoint 2013 and are wanting to ensure that the migration is going to be worth it, that users are going to adopt it and be happy with SharePoint. So we're adding a gamification layer as part of this migration."

SharePoint Shakeup: Private Investor Acquires Metalogix

Metalogix spent the latter half of 2013 buying out some SharePoint technology to boost its content infrastructure software suite.

Permira Funds is spending time a year later buying Metalogix.

The Menlo Park, Calif. international private equity firm announced today it acquired Metalogix, known for its suite of Microsoft management platforms that include SharePoint, Exchange and Office 365. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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