Modern Workplace Community Empowered by SharePoint Communication Sites -- Part 1
Microsoft launched the new SharePoint Communication Sites. This is an excellent new release of a SharePoint template for communicating and publishing content. It is also a first-step toward an out-of-the-box Intranet within Office 365.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
You probably, knock on wood, remember my adoption series on Petri. You do? Awesome! You don’t? Shame on you. Here are the articles:
- Driving Adoption for Office 365, Part 1
- Driving Adoption for Office 365, Part 2
- Driving Adoption for Office 365, Part 3
- Driving Adoption for Office 365, Part 4
- Driving Adoption for Office 365, Part 5
- Driving Adoption for Office 365, Part 6
Office 365 empowers the Modern Workplace for businesses worldwide. Although the Office 365 services and tools are often intuitive, adoption is crucial in turning your projects into a success. An important part of adoption is bringing people together to share ideas and expertise for the modern workplace. Traditionally, the following components were used:
- SharePoint Document Library: Storing manuals, quick reference cards, and other documents
- SharePoint Pages: Guidelines and best practices
- Yammer Group: Asking questions, sharing ideas, and expertise
- Office 365 Video Portal or Stream: Storing how-to-videos
The release of the Communication Site offers an incredible change to bring all these components and people together. This can help in creating a real community within your business for the people and by the people! I would like to share a community that I created for our customers. This part shows an overview of the community. The follow-up article contains a detailed description of the configuration. Are you ready?
We are using a wide selection of out-of-the-box Web Parts:
- Quick Links
The community members are introduced with the new SharePoint Hero Web Part. Five tiles are displayed with beautiful pictures. The tiles are shortcuts referring to multiple components within the community:
- Introduction page: A brief introduction about the goal and purpose of the community
- Overview of upcoming webinars: An overview of upcoming webinars
- Knowledge documents: A SharePoint Document Library containing all the instructions, quick reference cards, and manuals
- How-to-videos: A Microsoft Stream group with multiple channels dedicated to explaining the tools and services
- Share and ask questions: A Yammer group for sharing ideas, expertise, and asking questions
Traditionally, we would use text for introduction purposes but we prefer to use pictures these days. People prefer visuals instead of loads of text. That said, you can still add text if you prefer.
The latest news items are displayed with the SharePoint News Web Part. We use these to announce new webinars, updates to the Modern Workplace, or other important news. Do not forget to promote the mobile SharePoint App. All the news items are displayed within the App, so everyone is always able to read the latest news of your community. The news pages received a couple fantastic new updates. Here is an image header and a comment box:
The upcoming webinars are displayed in the new SharePoint Events Web Part. Let’s open an event:
The events are created in a SharePoint calendar but have a modern display. It is very similar to a modern SharePoint page. All the members are able to add the webinar to their calendar and view all the relevant information. Not visible in the screenshot but definitely available: one or more contacts per-event and a shortcut to view all the events.
Share Your Experiences and Ask Questions
We enable the power of Yammer by creating a dedicated Yammer group for the community. The feed of the group is displayed through the Yammer Web Part. By using Yammer, all the members can use the group within Yammer or the Yammer App without necessarily going to the SharePoint site.
The new SharePoint Contacts Web Part is used to display the contacts within the community. The pictures are clickable and open the intelligent people cards. This allows you to immediately contact someone by email or chat.
Last, but not least, we need to talk about the mobile experience. It is crucial for every modern communication portal to be responsive and easily accessible on mobile devices. Our Modern Workplace Community is compatible with the awesome SharePoint mobile App. But! It’s not perfect yet. The following items work with the App:
- Homepage Web Parts
- Modern Pages
- Modern Events
The following items do not work at the moment:
- Yammer Web Part
- Displaying modern document libraries abd classic SharePoint calendar
- Easily navigating back to the home page after opening an item
I hope you have enjoyed reading the first part of this series. Keep an eye out for the second part. See you soon!