The intelligent intranet powered by Microsoft 365 – Microsoft Ignite 2019 announcements

November 4, 2019
The original article is published on the Microsoft Tech Community SharePoint Blog.

Over the past three years ago, SharePoint has been on a journey to reinvent the intelligent intranet across browsers, devices and in the mobile app, to allow organizations to work across teams and siloes to harness collective knowledge.  Along this journey we have been excited to learn from customers both how they are moving to the cloud with SharePoint and also to hear how we can continue to innovate to deliver new value.  Our focus has been on responding to that feedback and many of the announcement we are making are based on that.

One customer that has been on that journey with us is Arla Foods, an international dairy cooperative employing over 19,000 people across 105 countries.

Arla Foods needed the tools to support their diverse workforce. The solution needed to be mobile ready and focuses on self-service to foster collaboration among employees, streamline the co-op’s operations, and position the company for the future.

After learning more about Microsoft 365 and SharePoint last year at Ignite, Arla Foods made the decision to build an intelligent intranet.  Torben Fabrin, Senior Vice President and CIO at Arla Foods said about their efforts, “we’ve empowered our employees to find news and services on an intelligent intranet, accessible on all devices, while reducing our operational costs.”

It was my pleasure to host Arla Foods on stage at Microsoft Ignite this year and it’s stories like theirs that inspire us to continue to press forward in our mission to empower everyone to reach their full potential.

Let’s dive in the announcements we have made it Microsoft Ignite 2019 that you helped inspire.  These enhancements will roll out at various times in the months ahead.  You can follow the public roadmap for more details on specific items.

SharePoint home sites rolling out

SharePoint home sites give you an intelligent, integrated employee experience—a landing page—for your organization.  We’ve gotten great feedback from you about home sites since we previewed them at the SharePoint Conference this year and we have been working closely with early adopter customers.  We are happy to share that we are beginning the global rollout of SharePoint home sites.

SharePointHomeSites.jpgSharePoint home sites–a personalized landing experience for your organization.

New hub capabilities 

Hubs connect and organize sites based on organizational attributes such as project, department, division, or region. Based on your feedback we are enhancing hubs in five key areas:

  • Hub permissions enable you to centralize the management of access to associated sites.
  • Hub analytics provides rich, hub-wide usage insights spanning total visitors, page views, popular content and more.
  • Associated hubs enable search and discovery experiences across hubs and makes it easier to curate navigation between them.
  • Audience targeting on hub navigation allows targeting navigation items based on a persons Azure Active Directory attributes, such as job role or office location.

Additional branding abilities

You want your intranet to reflect your companies’ brand. SharePoint empower you to do that today, but we are farther enhancing your ability to brand your intranet and sites.

Updated SharePoint look book

We are humbled by the response to the SharePoint look book since we released it last year. It has been gratifying to hear your stories of how it inspired you and helped create beautiful sites in your organization. We have released a new look book, at https://lookbook.microsoft.com/, with even more samples. Best of all, if you are a site admin, you can now add the design you are looking to your tenant with one click.

SharePoint_lookbook_twitter-01.jpgVisit https://lookbook.microsoft.com today to get inspired.

Audience Targeting for Navigation

We have heard the excitement from you for the new audience targeting features coming in SharePoint to target news and other information to relevant people. We will take this farther to allow you to audience target navigation items, such as in the mega menu, based on the same Azure Active Directory groups.

Updates to page, news, and web parts

Customers, like Arla Foods, the VELUX Group, or Klockner & Co, have told us of their success at removing custom code from their intranet by using the modern, out of box capabilities of SharePoint.  We continue to focus on enhancements to let you do more natively.

  • Image resizing which gives you the ability to adjust the sizes of images your add to your pages and news posts.
  • Page difference visualization and version history for pages and news posts which enables content authors to visually see what changes have been made across different versions.
  • News filtering across sites with managed metadata.
  • Yammer conversations web part (v2) which gives people the ability to ask questions, mark and discover best answers, and compose with rich text and post praises. It’s also has improved performance and is updated with a new Yammer design that is rolling out. 
  • ‘My feed’ web part that intelligently brings together relevant documents, news, activities and other content that is personalized for you.
  • New stock images feature which will provide several thousand high quality, high resolution images, royalty free for page and news authoring, with an inventory of images that will grow over time.

News and Page scheduling

As customers have been adopting SharePoint news for official company news, we have heard from you that you need the ability to author news posts and pages in advance and have them go live at a later time. We are now announcing the ability to easily schedule news posts and pages to be published at a future day and time.

Multilingual capabilities

Global organizations need to enable content across different languages and so we are delivering multilingual site capabilities. This will enable you to create content and sites in multiple languages.

People will be able to view content in their preferred language, or easily switch to other available languages. Content translators will receive notification of changes. We are also delivering a new version history capability that will enable translators to visualize the differences between any two versions of a page in order to easily translate content as needed.

Multilingual publishing.gifMultilingual publishing.

multilingual-flat.jpgDifference tracking helps translators focus on only what changed.

We look forward to sharing me with you over time in the blog and through the public roadmap.  Please keep your feedback coming.

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