Top 20

SharePoint was one of the topics that attracted a lot of interest in the past year — and just as much controversy. It seems everyone has a view on it and how it should be used. 

However, there were three big subjects that dominated, and make up the lion’s share of our Top 20 this year: 1) SharePoint Online 2) SharePoint and Yammer and 3) SharePoint in Office 365. There were other issues too, like records management, search and how search is being used in the enterprise.

Attention Getting Articles

1) Joe Shepley (@joeshepley)produced one of the most popular posts of the year by returning to the fraught subject of SharePoint and records management in his post You Can't Do Records Management in SharePoint. It hit a chord with many readers.

Let’s start this admittedly provocative post with a question: Anybody out there actually doing records management in SharePoint? And before you answer, let me emphasize that I mean real records management, like, with actual, system-enabled automated disposition according to your retention schedule. If you answered 'yes' to this question, please jump immediately to the comments section and let us all know (and while you're at it, give us some indication of how on earth you're doing it), because based on my experience, I’d be willing to bet the answer to this question is going to be 'no' in 99.9 percent of all cases."

2) Himanshu Sharma (@TrigentSoftware)  took a look at search and how it drives productivity in SharePoint 2013: Fast Search Features Drive Enterprise Productivity.

While earlier versions of SharePoint facilitated content search via content web query, it had its limitation when the searches were out of Site collections. Now SharePoint 2013 can be used to index content from a wide variety of sources (websites, file shares, exchange folders, lotus notes, etc.) using third party connectors."

3) Another issue that preoccupied SharePoint users over the year was Office 365. David Lavenda (@dlavenda) took a look at the relative merits of SharePoint over Office 365 in SharePoint Is Dead - Long Live Office 365.

If you've visited the Microsoft website lately, you might be wondering what happened to SharePoint. It hasn't disappeared altogether, but it's certainly harder to find. Is this somehow related to Microsoft’s recent reiteration of its "device and services" strategy? I think it is."

4) Rich Blank (@getrichieb) questioned whether SharePoint [is] a Failed Vision for Collaboration, which also drew a lot of attention from readers.

Has the massive investment in SharePoint lived up to its promise as the uber-collaboration platform for the enterprise? Has it delivered the measurable business value everyone expected? How do your users feel about SharePoint? Are they still working like its 1999? Is SharePoint 2013 a platform that will take your organization into the future? What about Yammer?"

5) In SharePoint 2013: Social Features Highlights Jennifer Mason (@jennifermason) took a look at some of the new social features that appeared in SharePoint 2013.

When you look at SharePoint 2013 Social Features, it is important to understand the Social features are really just a way to highlight how users are already working. Once you've flipped things around and are starting with the user and common actions, it becomes easy to see how the tools available to you can simply enhance current activities of users."

6) Barb Mosher (@bmosherzinck) outlined the divide between business users and IT departments over SharePoint in Forrester: Business Isn't Happy with SharePoint, But IT Seems To Be.

IT may be happy with SharePoint, but it looks like the business users aren't so much. Forrester’s August 2012 Global SharePoint Usage Online Survey showed some interesting, and maybe not so surprising things about Microsoft SharePoint. Those trends are discussed in a research report from Forrester's Rob Koplowitz and John R. Rymer, 'SharePoint Enters Its Awkward Teenage Years.'"

7) In 4 Reasons Not to Move to SharePoint Online Steven Pogrebivsky (@MetaVisTech) made some convincing arguments against moving to the online version.  

You heard the reasons why you should move to SharePoint Online and the some of the things you need to be aware of, but let’s step back and consider the reasons why you might not want to make the move to the cloud."

8) Dux Raymond Sy (@meetdux) looked at How to Drive Sustainable SharePoint Adoption in Your Organization, which was another hit with readers.

Microsoft market research indicates that 78 percent of Fortune 500 companies are SharePoint users. Every day for the past five years, 20,000 workers have joined the ranks of SharePoint users. One in every five knowledge workers now has access to SharePoint, but that doesn’t mean these workers are properly trained in how to use SharePoint."

9) For those concerned about governance, Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet) outlined the Seven Steps to a Successful SharePoint Governance Plan.

As a SharePoint MVP, active member of the global SharePoint community, an experienced project manager with knowledge of SharePoint business user topics, I am often asked 'What are the best practices for SharePoint governance?'"

10) Yammer and SharePoint integration has created considerable interest over the year. Chris Wright (@partnerpulse) took a look at Five Yammer Features that SharePoint Users are Going to Love.

Microsoft recently announced its phased approach for integrating Yammer with SharePoint 2013, so it will be much later this year before we see any meaningful work completed to bring the two platforms together. But in the meantime, users can look forward to easier access to Yammer from within Office 365 and SharePoint Online."

And the List Continues

11) Laura Rodgers (@WonderLaura) examined How SharePoint (and Yammer) Change Work As We Know It.

Learning Opportunities

When using SharePoint 2013, the new social features are apparent in everything you do, and the integration with Yammer shows promise as well. In this article, I’ll talk about the seamless integration of social functionality into your daily work. The recent improvements will be highlighted, as well as the incorporation of Yammer into Office 365, and how it changes work as we know it."

12) For a different perspective on the Yammer and SharePoint integration, Chris Clark (@ChrisClark005) took a look at interfaces in SharePoint Social vs. Yammer - With User Interfaces, Looks Can Kill.

One year on from their acquisition of Yammer, Microsoft have proudly announced that over 85% of Fortune 500 companies have now deployed both SharePoint and Yammer. Other figures, including a user base growth of 55 percent and a paid network growth of over 200 percent have also been publicized. But these figures do not tell the full story, as these two platforms are still far from being “the most complete solution in the marketplace.”

13) CMSWire’s David Roe (@druadh20) explored Microsoft's Top Ten SharePoint Online Features.

Since the upgrade of Office 365, we've seen our fair share of commentaries and criticisms of SharePoint Online. But what about Microsoft? What does it think the strong points are? In a recent blog post, Mark Kashman, a Senior Product Manager on the SharePoint team, outlined his thoughts."

14) With so much interest in the online version, Andrew Connell (@andrewconnell) weighed The Value & Future of SharePoint On Premises.

To the cloud! That’s all the rage these days and for SharePoint customers, the dominant message. It seems that Office 365 and the associated hosted implementation of SharePoint 2013 is what most people from Microsoft want to talk about. That was the primary message, by a far margin, at the most recent SharePoint Conference in the fall of 2012."

15) In all the talk about SharePoint and its social abilities, its role at the heart of intranets is often overlooked. Toby Ward (@tobyward) took a look intranets in the new version of SharePoint in SharePoint 2013 Intranet: Pros and Cons.

SharePoint conquered the enterprise intranet. Although the conquest was never as bloody nor expensive as more invasive conquests, such as the Mongols under Genghis Khan, intranet citizens are not always thrilled by the new system and structure under Gates Khan.

16) At the beginning of this year Robert Wagner (@millersys_rob) took a look at where SharePoint is going in Prediction 2013: An Explosion of SharePoint Internet Sites... and a Grain of Salt. The question for 2014 is whether this actually happened or not.

Microsoft has crafted the latest edition of its Web Content Management platform to make it more appealing as a solution for building public websites. SharePoint has long been the go-to platform for intranets and document management solutions for small to large businesses. But now SharePoint 2013 is poised to make dramatic inroads as a WCM for internet sites."

17) Jeremy Hake (@jhake) looked at the issues to be dealt with when planning for SharePoint 2013, and the role of Yammer in Planning for SharePoint 2013? Make Sure You've Got Yammer on the Brain.

A month ago Microsoft gave some insight into the roadmap for Yammer, providing a glimpse at what the future of Social could look like for SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premises."

18) According to Wendy Neal (@SharePointWendy) there are 7 Ways that SharePoint 2013's New Mobile Features Fall Short.

SharePoint 2013's new mobile features are definitely a step up from the mobile features in previous versions. In fact, one could argue that mobile devices get better support than ever before, with better mobile browser support; new features such as device channels, push notifications and location services; and Office Web Apps integration."

19) Andy Bishop (@andrewbish) had some interesting advice on SharePoint deployments in his post on How to Avoid an Epic Fail of Your SharePoint 2013 Roll Out: Get a Roadmap in Place First.

Sometime soon, if not already, there's a very good chance that you're going to be thinking about putting SharePoint 2013 into your organization. In what is the fifth major iteration of Microsoft's ubiquitous collaboration platform, there are a ton of juicy features in SharePoint 2013 that you and your business users are going to want to get your hands on.

20) And finally, Richard Wood (@richOthewood) found that The SharePoint Mobility Forecast is Looking Cloudy.

Making SharePoint mobile — something Microsoft’s customers have been after since at least the 2007 version of the platform, and something Microsoft and its partners have delivered on with mixed results in the intervening years.

Title image by sprinter81 (Shutterstock).