13 Hot Features of SharePoint 2013

Australian SharePoint Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) Elaine van Bergen has selected her top 13 features of SharePoint 13, heading the list with the platform’s increased focus on encouraging user adoption.

Elaine is Lead Solution Specialist with solution provider OBS which has been helping organisations deploy SharePoint since 1999 and has worked with every version Microsoft has released. 

 “As part of this journey there have always been key challenges to achieve a successful SharePoint implementation,” said van Bergen. 

“Probably the number one question OBS gets asked is how to achieve user adoption, closely followed by questions on managing multiple user governance and how to manage the platform in a sustainable way.”

Here is Elaine van Bergen’s Top 13

1- Add content easily – drag and drop straight into any browser window.

2  - Share content easily – share a document with someone by simply clicking the share link.

3 - Access anywhere - access content through any browser or smartphone and even on iOS devices. You can sync content on to a device to and work on it offline.

4 - My Task list - users can view all tasks on project sites and can easily edit them in the browser window. These are then rolled up into MySite to show users a unified list of tasks including personal tasks that have been added in SharePoint and in Exchange 2013.

5 - Leverage experts – use community sites to ask questions to the experts and discuss items with peers. Users can also search for experts based on items they have been working on as well as information they have entered. Over time it will recommend people to follow based on activity and users can follow key documents and sites to keep up-to-date with any changes.

6 - Powerful search –search for people, content, social conversations, videos and reports and drill down both via text values and visual refiners to easily find information to reuse. Users can preview documents including drilling down into the detail of the document in a preview pane. Users can also retrieve information easily based on historical search behaviour. 

7 - Easily add functionality – the apps for SharePoint are an easy way to add functionality to a SharePoint site and can include applications running outside of SharePoint. This makes it a lot easier to configure a site for a specific purpose without technical knowledge.

8 - Collaborate with others on content – work on content at the same time as other people. This is useful for items such as meetings notes via OneNote and putting together large documents or presentations where different users own part of the content. This makes it faster to combine content. 

9 - Email integration – work with team based emails from the SharePoint site meaning all team based communication is easily accessible from a single location. These emails live in an Exchange mailbox so are also fully functional from within the mail client.

10 - Site policies - site policies can be set to ensure that appropriate actions occur when a site owner marks a site as closed. This means that sites can be archived or other actions performed automatically when an owner no longer needs it.

11 - Managed application store – an organisation can have an internal application store. This allows control and security over which applications can be installed by site owners and includes a user interface for requesting and managing licenses. These can be internal applications or applications that are purchased and/or run externally to the organisation.

12 - Customisation options – the new application model allows for customised content to be exported outside of the SharePoint environment. This means that the SharePoint environment is easier to manage and maintain. It also means people can reuse existing application skills to present applications via the portal interface. Branding can also be added using a variety of applications rather than just SharePoint designer.

13 - Cloud/Hybrid – Office 365 has the equivalent functionality in the majority of features areas when compared to an on-premise installation. This means for larger workloads, such as an Intranet, users can choose to run it in the cloud without loss of functionality or speed. When running on Office 365, Microsoft is responsible for management and maintenance of the service. Hybrid environments can also be created where items such as search can be designed to be self-managing to support reporting and rights management and provide a unified user experience across cloud and on-premise environments.