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    How to build an intelligent workplace with SharePoint (Part 2)

    #intelligent workplace, #sharepoint online

    At a SharePoint conference, Jeff Teper introduced home sites. This is the top-level, out-of-box intranet and digital workplace solution, combining the assets of SharePoint with other applications and allowing easier customization to meet the demands of companies running in the cloud.

    The first part of the post is here

    Employee engagement and communications

    Home site is intended to become an official organizational site, based on four pillars:

    • Giving personalized news and content
    • Seamlessly baking in social and video into the site with Yammer and Stream
    • Providing efficient search and navigation (especially important for companies with multiple sites)
    • Providing a great user experience on the web and mobile that addresses modern accessibility needs.

    Home sites show what main communicators in the organization have to share, together with the information personally relevant to users, based on their job. An administrator can mark certain sites as "authoritative," and their content will be displayed on the home site. The news may be highlighted with visual cues to distinguish the organizational enterprise-wide news from other news.

    _Visual cues to easier engage with the content (from SharePoint blog ) _

    Embedded videos give you rich and dynamic content, and conversations inside the home site provide two-way dialogue. From the home site, you can have access to information across the whole digital estate.

    This home site can be built in minutes as opposed to months, as admin turns a certain communication site into a home site granting it "superpowers" like:

    • My SharePoint link, which brings you to the user's SharePoint start page
    • One-click return to the home site by pressing the logo of the company, as company branding follows the user in most apps (this superpower should be set by admin)
    • Tenant-wide search in the header

    "Superpowers" of the home site

    Building sites is quick, but there are tools to make it even quicker. One of these tools is SharePoint Online Provisioning Service. It allows you to simply deploy samples and solutions and customize them to meet your needs. We encourage you to check it out!

    The world of 3D is transforming perception with SharePoint spaces. It empowers users to create a mixed reality experience within the intranet on any device. Employees can interact with content in real time, viewing it from different angles and manipulating the models. It's pretty impressive, and may be utilized for training and education, as well as report visualization.

    The difference between 2D and 3D visualization (picture from SharePoint spaces web-page)

    Search and content intelligence

    It's no secret that AI is the hottest area in technology these days. Microsoft is working hard to be on the forefront, not just investing in AI, but making it relevant and helpful for people navigating information and automating business processes. A specific component in this is Microsoft search and the next generation of content intelligence capabilities built on top of it. It's different from enterprise search in two aspects:

    • The relevance is fundamentally better. It's not another sophisticated ranking algorithm, it's a breakthrough. Machine learning examines all the content, signals, activity, and social graph to not just build an optimum model, but to refine it every day, making it far more relevant.
    • There's an open source repository built inside Microsoft for internal open source, where teams from across the company are contributing to the shared user experience that is hosted in different apps (Bing, Office, Teams, Yammer, and surely SharePoint).

    All the search boxes in the Office apps and SharePoint home page are built on the new technology of Microsoft search, so when looking for a company's documents, locations, regulations, or employees, you will get the same experience across different apps. At the top of your search list you may see administrator-curated answers, the most relevant from the admin's perspective. These can be configured to vary by the users' country or region to provide search results applicable to their geography.

    Search request about paternity leave in the company (Snapshot from the SharePoint Virtual Conference)


    The digital era has resulted in a step change in technological opportunities, in new capabilities, as well as new concerns of how society and organizations can adapt.

    It is essential today for businesses to embrace a pace of change in technology. In order to do this, you've got to make investments, and the ecosystem of partners is here to assist you in all phases of planning, migration, and adoption. Partners have far more depth and breadth to tailor their services and to meet customers' needs from migration to application development, training, culture change, and much more.


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