SharePoint 2016: What’s new high-level overview.

SharePoint 2016

So, your organisation is talking about upgrading to SharePoint 2016, the newest version of Microsoft’s industry-leading communications and collaboration platform. Whether you’ve personally been working with SharePoint for many years, or are a relatively new user, this release is likely to have a big impact on your day-to-day working life.

The average employee spends a considerable amount of their standard day in SharePoint – whether it’s looking for information on their SharePoint Intranet, reading up on company news, contacting colleagues or editing lists, libraries and documents. As a result, knowing what to expect from the latest version of the SharePoint is very important. What will have changed compared to your existing version of SharePoint? What’s been removed, and what new features have been included to make your working life easier?

Let’s look at some of the key facts we already know about SharePoint 2016, then explore what impact these will have on your day to day life.

Expected release data4th May 2016. However, even if your organisation buys into SharePoint 2016 from day one, it’s going to take a while at least to deploy it across your company’s systems.

 

Hybrid-friendlyMicrosoft has made major efforts to make the latest version of SharePoint hybrid-friendly. This means the on-premises tool can be connected to Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity tool, Office 365. Essentially, this means you get a traditional SharePoint, but your IT team can configure it to work with the Cloud, meaning you get all the benefits of mobile working and cheap data storage. What is Office 365?

 

A new user interfaceMicrosoft has been keen to give the look and feel of SharePoint 2016 a big refresh. It will now use an ‘app launcher’ tool for opening applications, lists and libraries from your home page. More generally, it will be easier to navigate around SharePoint, and there’s been a lot of work put into making the platform easier to use.

 

OK, so what’s in it for me?

SharePoint 2016 is the culmination of years of work, feedback, research and development on the part of Microsoft. An advanced version of the platform, the ‘release candidate’ was made available in January of this year and at Content and Code, we have been playing around with it and can report it’s definitely the best version of SharePoint released so far. We love it, and think you will too. So, what’s it actually going to bring to your day-to-day experience as a SharePoint user?

  • A hugely improved user interface

Microsoft has focused a lot of energy on creating a much smoother, slicker, cleaner experience for you to navigate around your company’s sites. Ultimately, this will make it much less of a headache to move from one area of the platform to another.

  • It’s going to be a lot easier to create content, lists and libraries

SharePoint depends on it being easy to upload and work with content. Microsoft has developed a set of easy to use templates, dashboards and content sites. Publishing content will become a lot easier, meaning you can share work, update lists and contribute to sites in a more meaningful way.

  • A much more intuitive way of collaborating

Collaboration is the name of the game these days – and technology needs to support this. Microsoft has made major efforts to facilitate your collaboration with colleagues with a lot of nice touches. Say you want to share a page with a colleague – you can simply select an icon in page and email it to them directly. Want to link to a piece of work in SharePoint from Yammer, Microsoft’s enterprise social network? You can do the same.

  • Honed for mobile usage

Think about how much time each day you spend on your mobile phone. Wouldn’t it be great if you could quickly access a SharePoint list or library from your iPhone, Android or Windows Phone screen and check the latest version of a document? Well, in SharePoint 2016 you can – and very, very easily. Microsoft has been promoting their vision of ‘mobile-first, cloud-first’ working, and has been putting this into practice with SharePoint 2016. You’ll have a much richer experience from mobile; sites, lists and libraries have been designed to naturally refit to the contours of your phone or tablet screen.

  • Easier to find stuff with hybrid search

To get the most from SharePoint, you need to be able to find the information you need, when you want it. SharePoint 2016 goes a long way to making this a lot easier. Microsoft has tied the on-premises version of the platform in with Office 365, meaning you can access Delve – a powerful tool that uses machine learning to ‘surface’ information, documents and even email conversations that you’ve recently been working on and/or is relevant to you.

Work smarter, not harder

If your organisation is hesitant on investing in SharePoint, these new improvements should go a long way when thinking “is SharePoint 2016 right for us”. It’ll be much easier to use, finding documents will take much less time, and having more time to focus on the fundamentals of your job will make your day-to-day a lot more enjoyable and productive.

At Content and Code, we partner with our clients to offer expert advice on how you and your company can make the most of features, both new and old, in SharePoint. For more information, contact us today.

Tim Wallis

Tim Wallis

CEO and Founder

Tim is the CEO of Content and Code and founded the company in 2001. As CEO of Content and Code, Tim focuses on corporate strategy, client and partner relationships, and has overall responsibility for driving the growth of the company. Tim founded Content and Code so he could help transform organisations to be more responsive, more competitive and engage their employees to better realise business goals.

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