Friday, 5 September 2014

Office 365 Rejuvenates SharePoint

Apologies that it is four months since my last SharePoint blog, but my passion for SharePoint has now be reinvigorated (big word for a Villa fan) by the sudden phenomenal explosion of SharePoint in the UK. It would be easy to blame my lack of blogging on the poor performances of Aston Villa, the UK recession or being regularly stuck on the M25, but I think the real reason is I just got bored of SharePoint.

I had been a SharePoint fan since my first exposure to the joys of Document Management Systems at Chemical Site in Wolverhampton back in 2002. For years I rode the SharePoint bandwagon and was so impressed that in 2008 I even bought my own SharePoint company. But there were issues and things that although could be partly fixed with third-party tools (or just turning it on and off again) just weren't right. SharePoint for however impressive it was had it's limitations. Branding wasn't quite right (with some obscure HTML), cost was simply too high in today's market and as for Microsoft trying to get us up in the 'cloud' (let's try to forget about BPOS) it was a disaster.

But suddenly my passion is rekindled and the reason is Office365 and the joy of working with SharePoint 2013. It now is really available up in the famous 'cloud' and to even the smallest company. From less than 5 employees to over 50,000 Office365 takes information to a whole new level. I love the fact that I can just get my iPad out and connect straight to a customer site to fix an issue they might have (with the right security, of course) or even on my smart phone when I am eating my KFC at the motorway services. With a small bit of CSS knowledge I now find I can easily change the colours and look of sites to match the customers corporate colours. Instead of having to prepare my excuses and take a sharp intake of breath before telling them how many days this would take. Yes, I am excited again by SharePoint and see a future where everyone (even Mac users) will be SharePoint converts.

Office365 of course is much much more than just SharePoint, but the ease in which in just a few minutes you can start building your own document management system, intranet and external facing Website is certainly eye-opening. Although, you might still need help of SharePoint companies like 'Office Talk' to really give you take-off.

Over the next few weeks my blog will show you some of the quick wins you can get with your Office365 and SharePoint 2013. They will include;

1. Running a PowerPoint Presentation inside a SharePoint Web Part.
2. Styling your dynamic navigation bars.
3. Removing left-hand navigation on your Home Page
4. Hiding the Edit Toolbar option
5. Styling the PromoLink tiles
6. Adding icons to indicate external links
7. Adding live content with customised  RSS feeds
8. Colour code calendar entries by type of appointment
9. Add comedy videos to your SharePoint
10. Automatically creating actions in individual task lists from Meeting Minutes.

SharePoint is back in a big way and the Villa are third in the league so life is pretty good. Of course with games against Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea up next the Villa might not keep gaining fans but SharePoint certainly will.

On the plus side though playing Liverpool means an excuse to play my favourite video again of the legend who is Mario Balotelli.

Happy SharePointing.

  Try Office365 now free of charge at Office Talk.