SharePoint Spaces Bring Immersive, Mixed Reality Experiences to Anyone, on Any Device

SharePoint Spaces Bring Immersive, Mixed Reality Experiences to Anyone, on Any Device

Mixed reality is one of the most important technological trends in the modern workplace, with the power to transform work for everyone, from the executive suite to the front line. Earlier this month, Micfosoft announced two powerful mixed reality applications: Microsoft Remote Assist and Microsoft Layout.

SharePoint spaces allows for immersive, mixed reality experiences—which enable you to view and interact with content from every angle and visualize and manipulate data and product models in real-time. SharePoint mainstreams mixed reality, empowering everyone to create visually compelling spaces that are available to anyone, on any device.

Mixed reality experiences immerse you, focus your attention, engage your senses, and spark your curiosity and imagination to unlock new scenarios for communication, learning, and collaboration, including:

Recruiting and onboarding​—Recruits or new employees can learn about a company in a compelling, 360-degee virtual welcome and orientation, including a 360-degree video message from leadership. They can navigate the campus or building with 3D maps, learn the organizational structure with an interactive organization chart, or explore rich information about coworkers and the organization’s products.

LearningWith mixed reality, learning comes to life by captivating your focus and attention. Gain broad perspective with a panoramic view of a topic and learning objectives. Then explore personalized, relevant, and dynamic content. Ignite your curiosity by discovering new insights, and dive deep into topics that matter to you. Learn not just by reading or watching, but by experiencing, with your senses engaged.

Product developmentCreate an inspiring space for your team to spark innovation. Surround yourself with experts to look at data, content, and processes from every angle. Explore a prototype in 3D to identify new opportunities, attach annotations, and visualize improvements.

Until now, it has been prohibitively expensive and complex to develop customized mixed reality apps to address these and other business scenarios, and to make mixed reality apps broadly accessible in the workplace, because most require costly headsets.

SharePoint spaces empower creators to build immersive experiences with point-and-click simplicity. You can get started with smart templates to create a mixed reality environment complete with beautiful surroundings, ambient sounds, rich textures, and lighting. You then add content, which can include files you already have in SharePoint, allowing you to repurpose your existing data, documents, and images. Our customers already store over a petabyte of 3D content, including 360-degree videos created with mobile phones. SharePoint spaces are the most natural way to view and interact with 3D content, empowering people to interact with objects that might be too numerous, too large, or too dynamic to experience in the real world or in a two-dimensional environment.

This animated gif demonstrates how authors can add web parts to a SharePoint space.

Authors use familiar skills to add web parts to a SharePoint space.

Anyone can immerse themselves in a compelling virtual space to view and interact with content, information, and video on any device—in a browser, mobile browser, or headset. SharePoint spaces will be available in all Office 365 commercial plans, enabling new scenarios for information workers and Firstline Workers alike.

SharePoint spaces are infused with Microsoft AI, unlocking knowledge from Microsoft Graph and driving rich, personalized experiences that let you explore connections between people and content, gain insights from data, and find relevant information and expertise.

SharePoint spaces are integrated and extensible. You can augment a space with content from across Microsoft 365 and from other data sources and services. You can customize a space to reflect your brand. And you can build new capabilities for SharePoint spaces with the SharePoint Framework. We expect partners to embrace SharePoint spaces and to develop powerful web parts and experiences that will drive a new wave of innovation for customers.

SharePoint is the first unified content collaboration and services solution to span files, websites and, soon, mixed reality spaces. Customers and partners can apply to be part of an early, limited preview by visiting SharePoint spaces.


The Evolution of SharePoint Hub Sites and Communication Sites

The Evolution of SharePoint Hub Sites and Communication Sites

Hub sites and communication sites offer rich experiences across your intranet. As business goals and team structures evolve, so too must your sites and the content that lives within them. We continue to add functionality to make it easier to create and configure any sites intent and outcome that you need throughout your intranet.

  • Add rich colors to the hub site header – you will now have choices beyond the color white. It’ll be easier and more flexible to adhere to your preferred company theme and brand colors across more aspects of the sites and pages.
  • Approvals for hub site association – a flexible approval process further empowers hub site owners and site owners to make requests and programmatically adapt to changes within their growing, dynamic intranet.
  • Site scripting during hub site association – once a site gets associated to a hub site, it not only inherits the theme of the hub site, it can now be further configured using powerful site scripting methods to enforce permissions, shared metadata, preferred content management, brand elements and policies.

Program site scripts to run automatically when a site is associated to a hub site to adhere to preferences for that family of sites.

  • Communication sites on-premises in SharePoint Server 2019 – like the benefits of “going modern” on-premises with team sites, SharePoint communication sites can be created and configured within SharePoint Server 2019.

New and updated web parts. Sites pull in content from across Office 365. To do this dynamically, and with flexibility, SharePoint news articles and pages use powerful, data-rich web parts, which you can configure to your needs as you design the look, feel and content of the information you share.

  • Weather – allow authors to configure showing the web part to show weather information provided by MSN Weather for a given location.

You can now add the weather of any city to a page, and text overlay for images on your pages and news.

  • Image web part: text on image – enhance your images with hyperlinks and allow authors to overlay text on images.
  • Document library and lists web parts updates – It’s even easier to engage with documents and lists on a modern page with tile view and drag and drop upload. Now with custom views, grouping, sorting, filtering, column formatting, and drag & drop upload.
  • Stream updates – no matter where you view a news article or page, you can expect that videos playing from Stream will look and playback beautifully – even when you are viewing them within the SharePoint mobile app. There, too, are channel improvements to help view and playback a complete set of videos in the context of your site or news article.
  • Yammer updates – when you add a Yammer web part to a site home page or a news article, you can better able the preferred scoping of the groups that can be scoped to that site. We’ve also updated the interface to enhance how people can engage in the discussion – with richer feed with interactions like liking, @mentioning, adding content, and more.

We encourage you to build out and organize your intranet. Establish the sites you need and ensure your users can create the sites they need. Once established, associate them to hub sites to organize related sites and projects. As you progress year over year, keep creating and sharing dynamic, data-rich news articles.


Organizational News and Communication Site Updates

Inform and engage with rich, engaging organizational news and communication site updates

 

SharePoint powers your intranet to better promote and organize people, content and activities throughout your connected workplace. The sites that you create – of all types – are at the center. You create sites in seconds, and they are mobile ready from the get-go. They support various scenarios like internal cross-company campaigns, product launches, events and more. As you grow, your intranet evolves as an immersive, business-critical asset for the company.

Organizational news + team news. Open, transparent communication is critical to employee engagement. For nearly two decades, employee communications have centered on company-wide emails. Now, you can communicate your message with rich, compelling, and interactive content including documents, video, polls and surveys -- dynamic data dashboards.

Today, we’re excited to share how news evolves to ensure your message lands with users—across devices, geographies, and time zones. You can engage your audience about important efforts in a more-targeted fashion.

  • Select which site sources you want to pull content in from – news web parts filter news from a variety of source sites, filtering based on content you want to show, in the layout you find most conducive to your overall site vision.
  • Hub site news web part update – the unique ‘hub layout’ in the news web part for SharePoint hub sites will provide additional capabilities like pinning news articles, a new compact layout, and carousel support. 

Choose from a new variety of news layouts to best promote your news on your pages.

  • Save for later – you can now save news articles to catch up on later, right from the Web interface of your intranet - as you can today on mobile. Simply click Save for later from the bottom of the news article and it gets added to your saved list, accessible from the Me tab in the SharePoint mobile app. You will also be able to access your saved list from SharePoint home.

Now you will be able to save pages and news to read later, right from the Web interface. Click "Save for later" at the bottom of any page or news article.

  • @mentions in news comments – similar to Outlook, it is now possible to @mention someone who has access to the news article within its comments and they will be notified and brought into the discussion. Did we @mention to you that there’s no easier way to loop someone in? 😉
  • Deem specific sites as “organizational news sources” – as news rolls up to people across their SharePoint home in Office 365, or via the news tab in their SharePoint mobile all, the news that comes from “organizational news source” sites will get special visual treatment bubbling up to the top of one’s view.

Page management updates. The balance of a modern intranet rests in between the dynamic display of information and the ability to better curate and target who can see what – all without customization and without page proliferation. With this coming innovation, communication sites are ready to tackle your most demanding portal scenarios.


What's New in Your SharePoint Intranet

What's New in Your SharePoint Intranet

At work, it is important for every team member to streamline efforts and stay on the same page. Connected SharePoint team sites provide a central location to manage team files, input and connect to important data, and share timely news. And with insight into what drives the most engagement and value, people can course correct and optimize for greatest impact.

This week, for teamwork powered by SharePoint team sites, Microsoft has announced:

All the important SharePoint capabilities surface within Microsoft Teams. Team members can highlight SharePoint files, lists, pages, news, and more – right inside of the Microsoft Teams user experience. Soon they can:

  • Access the full-power of SharePoint document library files experience inside Microsoft Teams. We are bringing the full power of the SharePoint document library experience to Microsoft Teams. Work together on files with previews, pinned items, metadata, Flows and more – powerful, consistent capabilities no matter where you work with your files. This new experience with files will accrue to your Outlook Online experience, too!

Get the full power of a SharePoint library when you work with your files in Microsoft Teams

  • Connect a SharePoint team site to a Microsoft Teams team in one click. If you’re group-connected team site is not connected to a chat-based hub for teamwork, then it’s just one click of the new Connect to Teams button in bottom-left corner of your site that gets you one.
  • See that a Teams channel is associated to a folder within the SharePoint library. Now it’s easy to tell which folders within your library have an associated Teams channel & chat associated to it – right from within the SharePoint user interface.
  • More easily pick news articles and lists when adding a SharePoint tab to a Teams’ channel. When you add a tab in Teams, you can tab between available lists, pages and news items to quickly bring them into your hub for teamwork. They’re your tabs, use them.

Group-connected SharePoint team site updates.When you share and work together, you need the tools and digital workspaces to communicate, access data, and stay productive. With employer expectations changing, employees are expected to be creative and to think critically. To further support this, we’re introducing:

  • New Microsoft Planner integrations. This is Planner for the team as a full-page app. Simply click New > Plan, and start managing team tasks right inside the SharePoint user experience.

Add a Planner Plan from within SharePoint in Office 365 (click New > Plan)

  • Group inbox activity visible within site activities. Beyond important site activities, like files modifications and published news, now you will see additional important email activity that’s happening in the group inbox.
  • Modern team sites available on-premises within SharePoint Server 2019. Get the benefits of “going modern” on-premises. Team sites in SharePoint Server 2019 will have modern home pages (which give access to modern web parts and pages), modern lists and libraries, and will reflow and look beautiful inside the SharePoint mobile apps. Note: these sites are not “group-connected” as that requires the use of Office 365 groups only available in Office 365.

SharePoint is deeply integrated with Microsoft Teams in Office 365. Use SharePoint team sites to manage content and share it with your team members via their hub for teamwork - Microsoft Teams. Create a group-connected site today, and start sharing.


4 Ways to Better Teamwork Using Intranet Software

4 Ways to Better Teamwork Using Intranet Software

Every project manager has had to learn how to keep his or her teams on target when their workloads may be pulling them in dozens of different directions. In some cases, that may mean working with other project managers to prioritize projects, or helping team members get (and stay) organized as the work ramps up, or it may mean giving team members – who may live in different cities, states or countries – the tools they need to collaborate effectively. And while project prioritization skills will come through personal experience, there is intranet software available that can help you not only keep your teams organized and collaborative, but will also allow you to communicate effectively with individuals and your teams.

Of course, not all intranet portal software is created equally, so let's take a look at four tools to look for in an intranet solution.

Information Management

In order to keep everyone on track, it's important for your team to know who's responsible for what, and when. In addition, you'll also need to give your team information on how to contact other members, details on how to access important web pages or documents (especially if they're password protected or on staging servers), have the ability to make important announcements or post reminders, etc. So, look for a company intranet that allows you to seamlessly create team pages that can be customized for your needs. This way, you'll be able to house, and share important information in a central location.

Libraries

Collaboration software should, first and foremost, make it easy for your team to work together. So choose a solution that allows you to give everyone access to the same files, documents, images, meeting notes, etc. By giving you the power to create libraries of documents, labeled in a way that makes sense for your project and your team, everyone can find the most up-to-date information on your project, review past iterations of deliverables, see current artwork, refresh their memories on project requirements and more.

Collaborative Tools

An employee intranet portal should include the ability for your team members to create spaces where they can share and manage information – and work on files together. To that end, look for collaboration software that features things like threaded discussions, as well as surveys – which can help make meeting planning and/or decision-making easier, shared calendars, task lists, and meeting spaces and where you can house all of your meeting notes, documents and agendas, etc. Like meeting spaces, an intranet solution with a work space tool can allow specific team members, like a graphic designer and copywriter, to work on the same file in the same space, without overwriting the other's work, which can ultimately improve productivity.

Integrates with Existing Tools

No matter how much intranet portal software promises to improve your productivity and collaborative efforts, if it's challenging to use or requires you to replace your existing tools (like your word processing, spreadsheet, graphic design, and/or email tools), it may be difficult to convince your team to use it. In order to achieve the level of productivity and organization you need, look for an intranet solution that integrates well with the tools that your team already uses. This way, your organization won't need to purchase costly, and possibly less effective, programs, and your team won't have to endure a steep learning curve.

When it comes to collaboration software, it should be simple, seamless, and customizable – giving you and your team the things you need to work together as a whole, and in smaller groups. When you choose a solution that allows you to organize your files your way, use your existing tools, and gives you collaborative tools that make it easy for members to simultaneously work on files, share documents and information, and track important discussions, you'll achieve what every project manager wants – an organized, productive team.

 

6th Street Consulting is a Microsoft technology firm specializing in user productivity and collaboration on SharePoint and Office365.  Our biggest differentiator is we put business before technology in creating solutions tailored fit to your organization.

For additional information please contact:

Michelle Hollis

michelle.hollis@6sc.com

(310) 694-3844


Do Less So You Can Achieve More with SharePoint

Do Less So You Can Achieve More with SharePoint

Business process automation is integral to any growing business. Let's look at how SharePoint can help business' of all sizes streamline, automate, and transform processes with rich forms, workflows, and custom mobile apps.

Gather and manage data and files

SharePoint lists collect data—just like you might in Excel—and are easy to share and manage on an intranet. More than ten million custom lists are in use across Office 365—from simple lists like contacts and tasks to lists that power mission-critical business operations for large enterprises. Use Microsoft PowerApps to build custom forms to view, create, and modify data and files.

 

Automate repetitive tasks

Free yourself and your team from the time you spend on recurring manual team and organizational processes. Use the simple, visual designer in Flow to lay out the steps. You can do everything in Flow from configuring alerts and approvals to modeling complex, multistage processes.

 

Connect to and integrate data sources and services

When your process needs data from other sources and services, Flow lets you automate data exchange, synchronize files, and more. Use Flow, for example, to copy information entered by a sales team in Microsoft Dynamics to a SharePoint list used by operations. Flow also integrates with on-premises and third-party services.

Build apps that transform your business

With PowerApps, you can create, without writing code, apps that interact with data in SharePoint lists and libraries, as well as other cloud and on-premises sources. Use PowerApps to create digital experiences that take advantage of technology like cameras on mobile phones to work in innovative ways.


Empowering first line workers

Empowering first line workers

Empowering first line workers

“First line workers are the lifeblood of the world’s largest industries,” says Microsoft’s Farren Roper.

And he’s right. They’re the most physically and directly integrated with the consumer, so they play an imperative role in the communication tree.

“The first line worker is amongst the first to see things and trends and hear from customers,” says Jack Elmore, the Microsoft Product Marketing Director. “And their ability to communicate that digitally and efficiently back to headquarters drives a whole new level of insight many organizations haven’t had previously.”

But so many businesses out there still aren’t using the right tools. Their digital platforms aren’t compatible from the CEO to the first line. But with Microsoft StaffHub, that can all change.

“Microsoft 365 is a complete intelligent solution,” said Andrew Hart, Senior Product Marketing Manager. “It scales across an organization to manage devices on the first line to deliver a digital identity to a first line workforce.”

That digital identity can easily be delivered through StaffHub. It allows first line workers to view schedules, swap shifts, request time off, find information and catch up with the team. From easy-to-read calendars, to message boards, it almost takes the place of another organizational manager.

“As any first line manager knows schedule management swapping shifts accommodating changes is one of the biggest headaches of the job,” says Elmore.

If that’s the headache, think of StaffHub as the pain reliever.  With those tasks taken care of on an easy-to-use platform that can work on any of your first line employee’s devices (and there’s clearly a huge chance that contains a wide variety of tablets, smartphones and computers), managers and executives can focus more on the product and enhancing quality.

 

 


Find Content and Expertise Across Your Company

Find Content and Expertise Across Your Company

In today's workforce teams are spread out all over the States. In order to stay in the know and discover relevant people and important content when you need it most, based on who you work with and what you work on, SharePoint should be your go to. Read on to discover how SharePoint can help.

Discover relevant, recommended content

 

Search for and discover content when you need it most. See real-timequery suggestions and get personalized results in sites, files, and people with full-text matches across Office 365. See personalized content that Delve surfaces to you from OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer, and other sources. In Yammer, uncover conversations, groups, and people to leverage the knowledge of others.

People and content find you

 

Be discovered and connect with other people—including by their expertise, projects, education, and contact details. Let others find and tap into your expertise with your skills and interests listed in Delve and your conversations in Yammer. Gain insights and perspective to make better business decisions by connecting with the right people and content—even if you didn’t know you needed it.

Get the right information quickly

 

See refined and relevant search results with SharePoint’s built-in enterprise search capabilities. Easily see sites you frequent or files you’ve recently viewed or edited. Take advantage of the type-ahead and smart results features as you search for sites, files, or people. Search for sensitive content and use SharePoint’s search capabilities to support eDiscovery and compliance.

6th Street Consulting is a Microsoft technology firm specializing in user productivity and collaboration on SharePoint and Office365.  Our biggest differentiator is we put business before technology in creating solutions tailored fit to your organization.

For additional information please contact:

Michelle Hollis

michelle.hollis@6sc.com

(310) 694-3844

 

 


Updates to SharePoint and the SharePoint app on iOS

Catch up with all your team’s news in the SharePoint app on iOS

If you use the SharePoint app on iOS, you get the first look at the mobile experience of team news. When you tap the Newstab, you will see a list of aggregated news using the intelligence of the Microsoft Graph from the sites you work in, the sites you follow and the sites your colleagues work in. SharePoint mobile on iOS gives you one place to catch up on the news from across your intranet. That’s your news in your pocket!

News on SharePoint mobile will come to other platforms as a future update.

Create a modern team site and an associated Office 365 group from the SharePoint home

We’re pleased to announce that soon you’ll be able to create a site and a group for your team—right from SharePoint home in Office 365. The Create site wizard will create an Office 365 group as well as a modern SharePoint team site. You will even be able add members and classify the site along the way. And if you’ve ever waited for a SharePoint site to be provisioned in the past, you’ll discover this process will create the site in mere seconds.

Create a team site right from SharePoint home.

Know who’s who, and who’s working on what, with new people cards

Teamwork is all about the people and what they’re working on. Now, when you see a person in a SharePoint team site, document library, list, or in OneDrive for Business, the value of discovering more about that person lies at your fingertips where you are already working.

People cards appear in SharePoint document libraries when you hover over a person’s name.

When you hover over a person’s name or photo, you’ll now see a richer people card. Previously, the card contained basic contact information and one-click methods to connect with the person. Now, you instantly see who the person works for and what documents they recently worked on. Powered by the Microsoft Graph, these intelligent people cards provide a personalized and actionable experience as you work with your files across Office 365.


Enriching the Mobile and Intelligent Intranet

Enriching the Mobile and Intelligent Intranet

The intranet is the publishing center of all things happening throughout your company. It is where people keep up with news and discover what’s happening around them at work. It’s time, now, to further empower employees—more precisely, give them a way to broadcast their work.

Keep the team informed and up-to-date with team news

Team news is how you keep up with and broadcast key events and accomplishments with other members of the team and extended stakeholders. You can use team news for things like trip reports, best practices, project updates, highlights of new documents and content, welcoming a new team member, sharing team goals and celebrating milestones.

To add a news item, from within the News web part on the team site home page, click + Add to create a news article. Next, add content to the news post using the toolbox—a gallery of web parts—to add text, video, documents, quick links and more. When you’re finished, click Publish and the news article will be featured prominently on the team site home page within the News web part. And when you click See All, you’ll land on a dedicated News page that serves as the team’s news archive.

Below shows how a team site with all the news—front and center—is displayed in the SharePoint mobile app:

Team news in the SharePoint app.                              News articles render beautifully in the SharePoint app.

Team news is a great way to broadcast of all the important content from your team. In the future, you will receive mobile and email notifications to help keep you up to date.