Enterprise Content Management with SharePoint and Office 365

Enterprise Content Management with SharePoint and Office 365

Shaping and controlling content from creation to final disposition means many different things. Enterprise content management needs to adopt a holistic approach to managing the entire lifecycle of document creation, sharing, consumption, reuse, knowledge and records management, archiving and disposal.

Microsoft’s Content Services reflects a more focused suite of empowered capabilities than traditional ECM (Enterprise Content Management), and represent the next wave in ECM. Content services is people-centric, allowing for personal management (copy, move, hashtag) and organizational management (knowledge management, record retention, information lifecycle management). Policy and security protects content at all phases of its life. It’s a core tenet that content should supply business value throughout, instead of after-the-fact management of dormant assets.

What happens when all that content comes into SharePoint? A common, incorrect impression of SharePoint has been that it’s a great tool to manage team content, but you need an “old-fashioned ECM system for scalability” or “true records management.” Neither of those are true today, with SharePoint having incredible scalability of up to 30-trillion documents and up to 12.5 EB in a single SharePoint Online tenant. OneDrive and SharePoint also inherit Office 365’s capabilities to create record and retention policy tags that can be applied to any content (interactively or by matching a known set of content fingerprints).

Principles of content services—create, coordinate, protect and harvest

Content services is as much about document creation as consumption. In many cases, content has become less about static images and reports, and more about dynamic documents that are created and edited many times in their lifespans. This trend is something called content velocity, where the content picks up velocity as it is created, edited and reused, becoming more valuable, instead of becoming a dormant archive of little value, as was traditionally the case. This is viewed as an evergreen cycle of authoring, collaboration, control and reuse.

Create

Content velocity means documents need to be “born” managed. Newer SharePoint and OneDrive capabilities are designed to support this:

  • Creating a document using Office Lens to share to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint.
  • Using the Copy/Move functions to publish that document to a SharePoint team site and its group members.
  • Using SharePoint Content Types to assure that new documents are “born” with templates, rich metadata and retention policies.

OneDrive for Business is the best place to store and manage your documents, giving you the “My Documents” concept on any device. As you share and collaborate with others, content evolves and picks up velocity. When final, you can easily bring it to SharePoint for publishing and permanent storage.

Coordinate

Content in SharePoint is maintained in modern document libraries, making it easy to structure graphically rich, dynamic views of content and metadata. SharePoint’s managed metadata service provides a centralized way to tag and classify information. Tagging and customizing the view can all be accomplished from the library home screen, eliminating multiple clicks to open a property editing screen.

Documents in libraries can be easily shared to Office 365 Groups, and reused in other collaborative apps like Microsoft Teams. In addition, Microsoft Flow can be used to automate common actions, like collecting attachments from email or distributing documents for team review.

Protect

SharePoint already builds on a long tradition of capabilities supporting information lifecycle governance, records management and eDiscovery. Newer capabilities, developed as part of our ongoing engagement with the entire Office 365 suite, include:

  • Information Rights Management—Files can be encrypted using Azure Information Protection/Rights Management Service and can still be used at supported endpoints, including browsers, rich clients and mobile Office clients.
  • Office 365 document retention tags—This new capability offered across Exchange, Skype, OneDrive and SharePoint allows an administrator to centrally define a policy tag in the Security & Compliance Center to enforce document retention and deletion policies. Tags can be set through code, default settings or user actions, and can be auto-applied based on sensitive information types or keywords.
  • Data loss prevention (DLP)—The Security & Compliance Center provides a central point to define policies for 81 predefined information types, such as EU Financial data, and/or create other custom information types. When these types are detected, users can be advised about the policy, or even automatically blocked from sharing or distributing sensitive information based on the dynamic policy definition.
  • Auditing—When combined with unified auditing in hybrid deployments of SharePoint 2016, Office 365 can provide integrated logging of user and administrative actions on content for both on-premises and cloud-based SharePoint and OneDrive locations.

Harvest

Content shouldn’t be saved and stored and managed just to fill up storage space. Traditional ECM often concludes with document disposal or retention. We believe that modern content services are cyclical. Content exists to support a future business purpose, such as providing information on a related decision, explaining a historic context or seeding the next cycle of content creation.


Accelerate Your Digital Transformation: Harness Collective Knowledge

Accelerate Your Digital Transformation: Harness Collective Knowledge

Harness collective knowledge 

As the pace of work accelerates, it’s more important than ever to harness collective knowledge by making it easier to find information and expertise, right when it’s needed, and to encourage best practice sharing.

Find people, expertise and content faster with powerful, personalized search

There is now a more personalized search that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence from Microsoft Graph to surface more relevant and valuable results, faster. When you click in the Search box on SharePoint home in Office 365, recommendations appear instantly. You’ll see recent files, making it easy to get back to your work, as well as relevant content, sites and news.

When you’re searching for knowledge, it may be found in content such as files, sites and news. And it might also be found through your colleagues. Now, your search results will include people whose skills, interests and projects—part their Office 365 profile—are relevant to your query.

Search results activate people cards, so you can learn at a glance about a person and the content they work on. One more click activates an extended view with richly detailed information from the user’s profile. These enhancements to search will roll out over the next few months.

Find what you need faster with instant, personalized results that include files, sites, news and people.

Communities built by integrating Yammer and SharePoint encourages people to share content, knowledge and best practices across the organization, by adding a conversational layer to your intranet.

Build a community with shared content and conversation using a SharePoint communication site and Yammer.

Secure your content and manage your service

Innovation in the cloud drives tremendous business value, and it delivers new capabilities to the IT professionals who work tirelessly to support, configure, administer and secure their organizations’ content and services. 

Empower administrators with the new SharePoint admin center

The new SharePoint admin center, which will begin rolling out in the fourth quarter of 2017 empowers your admins to do more. From the homepage, you’ll notice just how much better it is, with interactive usage reports, Message Center posts and a Service Health dashboard tuned to the needs of SharePoint administrators.

The new SharePoint admin center surfaces usage, health and administrative messages. 

You’ll easily find and work with the dozens of SharePoint settings allowing  you to configure sharing, access and the service. And we know you’ll love the dynamic new Site Management page, which lets you view, filter and edit the configuration of all of your SharePoint sites—including sites connected to Office 365 Groups.

Manage all of your sites in the new SharePoint admin center.

To learn more about Yammer integration with SharePoint, read “New in Yammer: Building a More Engaged and Connected Organization” and watch Updates to Yammer: Integrating conversations into your SharePoint experiences. To learn more about SharePoint security and manageability, read “Secure your information with SharePoint and OneDrive” and watch New admin controls for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business.

 


Accelerate Your Digital Transformation: Transform Business Process

Accelerate Your Digital Transformation: Transform Business Process

Transform business process

SharePoint enables you, your team and your organization to streamline tasks, automate workflows and integrate processes seamlessly into your work—on any device and from anywhere you work.

Create custom SharePoint forms and digital experiences with PowerApps

Starting this summer, you will be able to use Microsoft PowerApps to easily create custom forms and rich digital experiences that surface right in the context of a SharePoint list or library. Users can then create, view and interact with data using your custom form or experience, rather than default SharePoint forms.

Create custom forms inside SharePoint lists and libraries with no code using PowerApps.

This is a significant milestone for both SharePoint and PowerApps, as it empowers any user to drive transformation of team and organizational processes.

Simple approval flows built in to SharePoint libraries

Microsoft continues to deepen integration of SharePoint and Microsoft Flow. New built-in approval flows let you send any document for approval with a custom message. The recipient can approve the request directly from a rich, actionable email message, so approval and feedback can be given without leaving your inbox.

Approval flows, built in to SharePoint, send a rich, actionable email message.

Inform and engage employees

An intranet lets you communicate to people—keeping them informed of news and information. And it enables you to communicate with people—to engage employees and foster open conversation. It is this engagement that is fundamental to driving digital transformation and culture change.

Reach a broad audience with SharePoint communication sites

As the next step toward ushering in the next generation of intranets, Microsoft announced SharePoint communication sites—coming this summer. A communication site is a beautiful, dynamic site that lets you reach a broad audience to keep the organization informed and engaged. Communication sites look great on the web, on a PC or Mac, on mobile browsers and in the SharePoint app.

Easily create beautiful intranet sites to reach a broad audience across your organization.

While your team site lets you share within your group as you’re working, a communication site lets your group share broadly and communicate its message across the organization. News published on a communication site surfaces on SharePoint home in Office 365 and on SharePoint mobile to all users who have access to the site.

Communication sites can be created in seconds. You can configure the default web parts on your site’s pages to tell your story. You can customize page layout with new multi-column sections and drag-and-drop authoring with a range of richly functional web parts, including an image gallery, interactive Bing maps, videos from a Microsoft Stream channel, and a new events web part. Add the Yammer web part to solicit feedback and foster conversation, right in the context of a communication site.

To learn more about communication sites, read “Reach your audience via SharePoint communication sites in Office 365” and watch An overview of SharePoint communication sites. To learn more about business processes, read “Reinventing business processes in SharePoint” and watch Zero code business process apps in SharePoint with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.


Accelerate Your Digital Transformation: Share with Confidence

Accelerate Your Digital Transformation: Share with Confidence

SharePoint and OneDrive in Office 365 empowers individuals, teams and organizations to share with confidence, transform business process, inform and engage the organization, and harness collective knowledge. The features we will talk about in this series will help you to drive these outcomes make it easier than ever for you to accelerate your digital transformation.

Share with confidence

OneDrive lets you share files securely with anyone—inside or outside your organization. Its deep Office integration, which powers rich co-authoring, allows you to collaborate on these shared files with others in real time. And it lets you access all your Office 365 files, including your individual work files and files shared with you by individuals, teams and the organization—regardless of whether you’re on a PC, Mac, an iOS or Android device or a Windows phone.

See all your files in File Explorer with OneDrive Files On-Demand

OneDrive Files On-Demand enables you to work with all your files in Office 365—both work and personal, across OneDrive and SharePoint—right from File Explorer, without having to download them and use storage space on your device.

Work with all your files in Office 365 from File Explorer with Files On-Demand.

Share files directly from File Explorer on Windows and Finder on Mac

Share Office 365 files directly from File Explorer on PC and Finder on Mac. The sharing experience has been simplified, so you can share a file or folder with specific people or send a link that enables anyone who needs access, inside or outside your organization. In addition, you can now control how long a link provides access, and you can easily view and modify the permissions you have granted. The new sharing experience is the same, whether you share on the web, in Explorer on Windows 10 and Windows 7, or in Finder on Mac.

Share files and folders with colleagues inside and outside your organization directly from File Explorer on Windows 10 and Windows 7.

 

 Share files and folders with colleagues inside and outside your organization directly from Finder on Mac.

Connect SharePoint team sites with other Office 365 content and services

Over the last year, Microsoft has modernized SharePoint team sites and connected them with Office 365 Groups. Allowing you to further unify collaboration experiences in Office 365, including:

  • The ability to connect existing SharePoint team sites to Office 365 Groups, so you can augment existing sites with shared conversations, calendar and Planner.
  • Support for adding SharePoint pages as tabs in Microsoft Teamsso you can add a tab with a news article or your team site’s homepage, for example. This builds upon the existing ability to add tabs for SharePoint document libraries in Teams.

Add a SharePoint page to a Teams channel.

To learn more about these and other announcements for OneDrive, read “New sharing features for OneDrive and SharePoint” and watch OneDrive for Business updates: simplified sharing and files on demand. For more info on SharePoint team sites, read “Personalize team sites in Office 365 and amplify your work using Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups” and watch New personalized, focused experiences across your SharePoint team sites.


1TB Site Collections: The New Standard for SharePoint Online

1TB Site Collections: The New Standard for SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online now holds 1TB site collections, allowing your teams to store more content in a single location. Now you can spend more time sharing your personal work content. 1TB will let you establish large team document centers that teams can use – and keep using over time – without needing to introduce unwarranted information architecture complexities.

All your site collections – private and public, managed from the SharePoint Online admin center – can now have up to 1TB of storage allocation. You simply assign the desired amount to the selected site collection. The same holds true for users’ OneDrive for Business that start with a default of 25GB/user allocation. Your SharePoint Online admin can now allocate more storage, up to 1TB, to users in the following increments: 50GB, 100GB, 250GB, 500GB, and 1024GB.

The new storage quota increases limits for OneDrive for Business. Manage allocations in the SharePoint Online admin center.

Infinite tenant storage scale

SharePoint Online has seen explosive growth: a 485 percent growth in user access and a 500 percent year over year growth in customer content storage, since April 2013. In the simplest terms, this means customers are leveraging Office 365 more than ever before, both in their OneDrive for Business usage and in collaboration and portal sites.

Office 365 and SharePoint Online have architected the storage design to enable infinite storage scale – for current storage needs and unlimited future potential. Users get a default 25GB of OneDrive for Business storage, + 50GB of email storage, + 5GB for each site mailbox you create, + your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10GB + 500MB  times the number of users1. If you and your company have growing storage needs across your various work streams and content types, you’ll find Office 365 offers ample headroom–on day one. And if you need more storage, you can now purchase unlimited additional storage right from within your SharePoint Online admin center at a cost per gigabyte (GB) per month.

You can click the Buy Storage button from within the SharePoint Online admin center to buy additional storage.

Whether you are getting started with SharePoint Online for team collaboration, OneDrive for Business, or your company intranet– know that Microsoft’s cloud is ready for you today, tomorrow, and ultimately for the long-term growth and prosperity of your business. At 6th Street Consulting our SharePoint solutions help you to get more out of each and every work day. Integrated features across applications save time and allow you to focus on efforts that add value and profitability. Set yourself apart and grow your business by sharpening your competitive edge with 6SC.


The Mobile, Intelligent Intranet

The Mobile, Intelligent Intranet

For fifteen years, hundreds of millions of customers around the world have relied on SharePoint to build rich intranets that connect people, content and processes across collaborative team sites, departmental and organizational portals and custom business applications. The most important part of a team or organization is its people. It’s not only what you know, it’s who you know. People cards, now in SharePoint document libraries and OneDrive—surface details about the people you work with and the content they work on, so you can connect with expertise and discover new resources.

People cards bring profile information, organizational relationships and content from your colleagues right into the context of your work in SharePoint or in OneDrive for Business.

An Office 365 group defines a team of people and gives them access to shared content and to the collaborative resources of the group—such as a calendar, a OneNote notebook, a Plan to manage tasks, and conversations powered by Outlook or Yammer.

Teams also need to stay on the same page, and today the SharePoint home page provides team news—modern pages to keep your team up to date and in the know. SharePoint pages have rich support for multimedia and tight integration with Yammer, can be extended with custom web parts, and are mobile by default. Team news articles are featured at the top of the team site home page. And the SharePoint mobile app’s News tab pulls together news from all your team sites and groups.

The team site home page in the browser and in the SharePoint mobile app features team news, so your team can stay informed about what’s new and what’s important.

                               

News articles offer a great reading experience in SharePoint mobile. Multimedia and embedded files can now be included and it’s all mobile by default. The News tab, now on iOS, aggregates news from across your team sites for a holistic look at what’s going on across your teams.

You can collect, manage or collaborate on data with SharePoint like never before. You’ll find the modern experience makes it easy in the browser and in the SharePoint mobile app. But the powerful capabilities you need are still there. People experiences, team news and powerful integration across SharePoint means now its all about who you can discover and what they know is what matters.


New FastTrack Offer for SharePoint 2013 Migrations

New FastTrack Offer for SharePoint 2013 Migrations

Are you looking to move your SharePoint 2013 on premises environment to SharePoint Online and reap the benefits of Microsoft’s cloud platform? If you answered yes, you might be aware of just how big of a task moving from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Online is. Dependent upon how much data you have, a move to the cloud can costs tens of thousands of dollars. Not only do you need to plan, onboard and drive adoption of the new platform – you need to ensure that data is not lost along the way.

Microsoft has announced a limited-time offer of migration services from on-premises SharePoint 2013 to Office 365—available at no additional cost to eligible Office 365 customers until March 31, 2017. This offer is available to customers with at least 150 licenses for an eligible service or plan for their Office 365 tenant. For customers who take advantage of this offer, the FastTrack team will assess your SharePoint 2013 environment, and help you build and execute a plan to migrate from your on-premises team sites and MySites to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, respectively.

To date, Microsoft FastTrack has enabled more than 22,000 customers, migrated 2.45 PB of data and is currently taking on more than 4,000 new customers every month. Watch this video below to learn more about the value of FastTrack from customers who have experience it firsthand:

Working with a Microsoft Partner like 6th Street Consulting will not only aid in your FastTrack migration, but can provide valuable services during and after the execution. One of the keys to any successful migration, once an organization has deployed the new tools, is to make sure people are learning and using them. 6SC offers a comprehensive range of services to aid companies of all sizes in taking full advantage of Office 365 and SharePoint Online.

6th Street Consulting, the 2013 Global Microsoft Partner of the Year Winner for Collaboration & Content, is a strategy and technology consulting firm located in Redondo Beach, California. 6SC is a company built on user productivity and team collaboration. Allow us to implement our time-tested features with years of development and user testing behind them. Our SharePoint solutions help you to get more out of each and every work day. Integrated features across applications save time and allow you to focus on efforts that add value and profitability. Set yourself apart and grow your business by sharpening your competitive edge with 6SC.

 


Better Together: Contractor Collaboration via Office 365

Workforce on Demand

Having independent contractors at companies of all sizes is the new normal. Busy seasons demand extra bandwidth; full-time employees take temporary leave or unique/temporary roles need to be filled.

Whatever the reason, getting support from contractors can provide scale, flexibility and specialized skills to your team—which is why their popularity continues to grow. For example, 51 percent of companies say their need for contingent workers will continue to grow within the next three to five years. Alongside, the talent pool is changing to match this trend: By 2020, 43 percent of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers.

Finding the right contractor for the right job is only the first step. They’ll likely be working outside of your office, but will still need to rely on the resources your internal teams use daily. If you want to enable your contractors to do their best work, you need to ensure they have the right tools to collaborate with your internal teams. Office 365 and SharePoint Online offer a flexible way to give your contractors just that.

Here are the top four reasons why Office 365 and SharePoint Online are key to set your independent contractors up for success:

#1—Streamline Communication

Make it easy for your contractors to stay in touch. Set up technology that allows them to communicate with and get to know your internal teams. This can (and should) come in the form of many tools, but Office 365 offers a comprehensive all in one solution. Enable them to send instant messages to anyone in the company via Skype for Business. Also, promote the use of video conferencing and screen sharing for efficient collaboration. Not only will this increase productivity, but it will allow full-time employees and contractors to build more personal relationships with face-to-face communication.

#2—Share Files with Ease

Depending on when and where your contractors work, coordinating across time zones and locations may be a factor in their success. Avoid a situation where a contractor is stuck waiting for a team member to come online to gain access to files. Instead, opt for SharePoint Online a cloud-based file sharing and storing platform. That way, contractors can get the files and documents they need around the clock to get the job done. And with permission settings, you can restrict and permit access to the specific files an independent contractor needs, and revoke access when a contract ends.

#3—Stay on the Same Page

Enhance collaboration with the ability to co-author (edit and work) on the same online documents. It’ll prevent excessive back-and-forth on email between team members. Digital files automatically sync and update over the internet, so your team is always looking at the most up-to-date version. And since your files live in the cloud, you’ll always know who made the last edit and can review and revoke changes if you ever need to go back to an older version.   

#4—Secure Your Data

Security may not always be top of mind for your employees and contractors—but it is for you and your IT team. Strike a balance between giving your extended team what they need while retaining control over your company’s data. The file access you give to your freelancers doesn’t need to last forever. When their contract is over, simply revoke access remotely. Even if your independent contractor has used their own device to access your data, cloud-based tools can delete your company’s files from that device.

With the right technology and infrastructure, independent contractors can become an effective extension of your team. Forget disruptions, lost files or a lack of security. Office 365 and SharePoint Online provide the right tools to solve those problems and help your teams do their best work from anywhere in the world.


6SC Teams Up with Microsoft and the Small Business Administration

6SC teams up with Microsoft and the Small Business Administration to explain how SharePoint can used for business process automation.

Play video (Channel 9 MSDN)


Take the Work Out of Working Together

The all new Office 

Microsoft Office 365 can help you achieve real gains in innovation by strengthening the connections that your employees have with one another, with partners, and with your customers. Employees can seamlessly connect to information and move between all types of communications, from virtually anywhere, on all your favorite devices. This flexibility is absolutely critical to enable collaboration in context as your employees work together to achieve more.

40% or more of the U.S. workforce is expected to be made up of contingent or independent workers by 2020.

With the recent release of Office 2016, there are a host of great new features that allows you to produce professional documents fast with intelligent suggestions, information, and insights at just the right time. Office 2016 is truly built for teamwork and reduces the friction in co-creation, making it easier to share documents, work together, and use coauthoring, IM, voice and video to get things done. Below I will touch on some of the improvements of Office 2016.

Engage
Access your documents and work whenever and wherever with full fidelity viewing and editing from your PC or Mac to your Windows, Apple, and Android phones and tablets. Engage with your colleagues in all facets of the business, including trusted partners, in a highly collaborative open-discussion forum to identify new ideas.

Deploy 
Work in collaborative workspaces with virtual teams and research partners to reduce ramp-up costa, co-create proposals, and fast-track innovation, while protecting company IP. Collaborate like never before in Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Real-time typing in Word lets you see others’ edits as they happen.

Conduct 
Work like you’re all in one room, even when you’re not. Use Skype for Business for HD video conferencing, coauthoring, desktop sharing, presentations, and IM to run your meetings from anywhere. Make your virtual meetings effective, while reducing travel costs.

Enable   
Share business insights to improve decision-making and produce better products and services. Enable seamless project collaboration to optimize project portfolios and manage costs against the budget.

Office 365 is the best-in-class solution delivered to you on a single cloud-based platform. It enables you to accelerate new capabilities to users, while reducing time spent on admin and upgrades. Giving you consistent, familiar, and intuitive tools to reduce training costs and minimize disruption.  This helps you keep your data and devices safe with enterprise-grade security and IT controls. Widen your ideation pipeline and accelerate time to market by delivering higher quality products and new customer experiences with Office 365.