Microsoft Office 365 Groups Integration and SharePoint Team Sites Improvements

Posted by Sophina Dillard on Monday, 19 September 2016 0

If you asked what people thought a “Cloud” was twenty years ago, they would appropriately point to the sky and tell you that they are those white, puffy things. Nowadays, the “Cloud” is an online file sharing and network server storage used for a multitude of reasons. It is a far cry from the days of floppy disks and even USB’s.
But why do people love the cloud so much? One easy answer; it makes life easier.
The value of the cloud from a corporate perspective is unlimited. The sharing of information is substantially easier for workers, which raises productivity and in turn increases sales. With close to 95% of workers using any form of cloud service in their office, the sky is the limit (no cloud pun attended).

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Microsoft Office 365, ever since its release date back in 2011, enables a subscription cloud service for all of its very popular Microsoft software such as word, excel, PowerPoint, access, etc. This along with the company’s Microsoft SharePoint Application, which is a program that acts as a secure place to store and organize information, gives businesses the tools they need to succeed. With four out of five Fortune 500 companies using Microsoft Office 365, the popularity of these apps in the workplace has become relevant.
Early this September, Microsoft announced some improvements for their Office 365 and SharePoint software. Since it’s important to stay current with these changes, we’ve got you covered on the updates:

Microsoft Office 365 Groups Integration

Microsoft explained in their announcement; “The integration of groups and SharePoint team sites means that any time a new team site is created, a new group membership will be created as well.” Microsoft explains; “When you create a group, Office 365 gives the group a shared inbox, calendar, OneNote notebook, a Planner for task management.” The update now also includes a full-powered SharePoint team site where now each added group gets a plethora of new updates revolving around features like adding new web pages, document libraries, etc. There are some other interesting details included with the update announcement:
  • Redesigning of the team site home page provides easier navigation to and throughthe team’s lists, applications, libraries of data, and sub team sites. Also, now when you choose the name of the team site, the group card will be shown.
  • Addition of quick links now makes inserting content into your team’s site that much easier.
  • The new activity section now shows recent actions of users in a group.
All of these additions make the groups feature in Microsoft Office 365 that much more convenient, which let’s be honest, is the main reason companies use software like this. Let’s move on to the announcements surrounding the updates Microsoft made to SharePoint:

Microsoft Office SharePoint Online Improvements

More recently, Microsoft has really made it a point to improve their Microsoft SharePoint Application software. In May of this year, Microsoft talked about what they saw as the future of SharePoint at their event in San Francisco. Here they said; “…we unveiled a new cloud-first, mobile-first vision and roadmap for SharePoint, along with innovations that empower people, teams, and organizations to intelligently discover, share and collaborate on content from anywhere and on any device.”

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With this update rolling out, we finally get to see some of these visions come to fruition. The new announcement included:
  • As explained in the announcement; “The new “highlighted content” web part lets you set criteria so that specific content will automatically and dynamically populate in that area of the page.”
  • The toolbox acts as a repository for webpage parts and developers can now make custom web parts right from this addition.
  • They also included in on their announcement of Microsoft SharePoint updates that with, “Modern lists and support for Microsoft Flow and PowerApps” you can, “Collaborate on structured data, connect with other data sources, automate business processes and create mobile business applications based on SharePoint lists.”
  •  The sharing and organizing of files, access to those files, and similar interactions will be introduced with the SharePoint and OneDrive apps. Note; according to the update; “Microsoft PowerApps and Flow will both soon come to the modern document library experience.”
  • Updated Site Contents page with team sites.
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One of the biggest announced updates is that the Microsoft SharePoint Application site collection storage limit will increase from 1TB to 25TB. Often times, users of the software felt that having only 1TB was a bottleneck for business purposes. This improvement will allow for improved content preservation and site collection.
It would seem that Microsoft is continuing their pursuit in making these programs that much more exceptional and painless to use. Microsoft knows just how to treat their customers. I know I’m excited; you should be too!

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