What's new for your intranet in Office 365May 28, 2018
Your SharePoint intranet in Office 365 is a connected workplace. Imagine your entire company moving through information life cycles – through creation and dissemination – with ease and coordination. It is an intranet built for teamwork– to keep people informed, engaged and moving forward.
Microsoft disclosed many new announcements at this week’s SharePoint Conference (#SPC18) in Las Vegas), including SharePoint spaces – new immersive, mixed reality experiences for anyone, on any device.
“SharePoint is our tent pole around which everything else is either funneled through or funneled from.”
– Kurt Dicus, senior director of IT – Funko Inc.
Watch how Funko uses SharePoint as the tent pole for their intranet in the new five-episode video web series, SharePoint Swoop – the intranet makeover show.
Read on to learn what’s coming for your intranet – across team sites, communication sites, hub sites, news, pages, web parts, mobile apps and more. We’re excited to share this with you for the first time and look forward to working with you as a trusted partner to achieve your desired outcomes.
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.
Today, for teamwork powered by SharePoint team sites, we are announcing:
All the important SharePoint capabilities surface within Microsoft Teams. Already today, 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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.
We’re pleased to announce the following innovations across intranet sites, news and page management.
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.
- 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.
- @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.
Today, we’re pleased to share how you will control who views what content, or portions of content, and when it appears (or disappears) in or from their personalized sphere of information.
- Audience targeting – you can better define what news articles and pages appear on the home experience of your site by configuring what is visible to specific groups. Each person will have a unique experience that complies with what you wish them to view without creating multiple audience-specific sites, you can serve them all from within a more centralized location with a personalized, targeted experience. Audience targeting support will be enabled in news, pages and other web parts so that you can define and target who best to reach with content and site experiences.
- Page approval – establish a new and custom Microsoft Flow flows for approval. Simply name your flow, add the person who will approve your page, save it as a draft, submit for approval. Once approved, the page status gets updated to “published” and is visible to your intended readers. Approvals for news posts work out of the box thanks to integration with Microsoft Flow. Of which, you, too, can further customize your workflow to meet the needs of your specific approval process.
- Content organization (aka, page metadata & content filtering) – better organize your pages in libraries, and influence how they are viewed based on specific criteria (metadata) that you apply to the page itself. You choose what region or role, what page type or page status – and then present views that make it possible for people to see, or not see, the page based on how they meet that criteria.
SharePoint hub sites and communication sites evolve. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
In all, 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.
Take your intranet with you to stay connected and informed about important content, news, sites and people while on the go – for those in-between moments. You can easily get back to what’s relevant to you, alongside powerful search capabilities to find what you need, plus provide feedback via comments and likes – all to keep work moving forward.
We’re pleased to share the latest round of mobile innovations – all driven by customer use and feedback. This is the most significant update we’ve ever done to our SharePoint mobile apps. We’ve simplified the apps to help people focus on the tasks they’ve told us they engage daily. This improved information architecture to make it fast and easy to find and work with the people and content you are looking for.
- A new Find tab – What was three is now one, and it’s a super powerful, personal tab infused with AI. The new Find tab makes it the easiest way ever to connect with expertise and knowledge across your organization. It brings a best-in-class mobile search experience, with an intelligent understanding of what you work on, how you work, and how your colleagues’ work relates to you. The new Find tab collapses Sites, Links, People and Search into one, streamlined experience. It, too, is where you will find quick answers, notifications, sites, people and more – in an efficient, tailored flow of what you’re looking for, even before you go looking.
- Direct document library access – as you tap into a SharePoint document library, you will stay within the SharePoint mobile app experience (for viewing and navigating) more before taken through the integrated connection to the OneDrive app – where you can perform richer actions on files and folders.
- @mentions in comments – the same as mentioned above applies to @mentions in comments via the SharePoint mobile app; like Outlook, it is now possible to @mention someone within the comments of a SharePoint news article and that person will be notified and brought into the discussion.
- Notifications for page likes – you’ll receive a notification when someone clicks the Like button on a news article you published. How do you like that? If you do like it, you’ll be notified 😉.
Create and stay up to date while on the go with SharePoint mobile apps: https://aka.ms/GetSPmobile.
We want to empower you and every person on your team to achieve more. Let us know what you need next. We are always open to feedback via UserVoice and continued dialog in the SharePoint community in the Microsoft Tech Community —and we always have an eye on tweets to @SharePoint. Let us know.
—Mark Kashman, senior product manager for the SharePoint team
Q: When is this all being released in Office 365?
A: The above blog marks the disclosure of numerous feature and capability announcements. Our goal is to release all the items to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 before end of calendar year 2018. You can expect future blogs and admin message center posts to raise attention to specific change management dates per each item to designate initial availability roll out in Office 365, with refined information about timing and duration of roll out.
Q: What roles do Office 365 Groups, SharePoint team sites, and Microsoft Teams all play when used together?
A: Office 365 Groups helps manage the list of team members who work together (group objects are stored in Azure Active Directory (AAD)); members can be a part of numerous groups. They then leverage team sites to manage their content and information by using news, pages, document libraries, lists and business apps. Microsoft Teams comes into play for the team’s ongoing conversation. It’s possible to share a document stored in the team site directly into the chat as a link. Members can also showcase news articles, pages, or the full site from within the tabs of Microsoft Teams channels – while ensuring that all content is stored and managed in SharePoint.
Q: When should I use a team site, and when should I use a communication site?
A: Your SharePoint team site lets you share content, knowledge, news and apps with your group as collaborate on a project. A communication site lets you tell your story, share your work, and showcase your product across the organization.