SharePoint 2013 Goes Social with Community Templates
October 29, 2012
As users continue to drive demand for social networking features and companies look to increase collaboration among employees, technology is aiming to deliver solutions to fit the need. SharePoint 2013 is no exception as they add social features as well as other smaller configuration improvements to give users more power with a friendlier interface. Jennifer Mason summarizes some of the changes in the coming SharePoint release in her CMSWire.com article, “SharePoint 2013: Intranets with a Side of Social.”
Mason discusses new features including the ability to reuse content across multiple sites, new navigation features, improved search Web part, and changes to design tools. She has this to say about SharePoint’s goal to bring people together with the data they need in a social business context:
The community template provides a way for this type of capability within SharePoint 2013. Community templates have been designed in a way that allows anyone within the organization to join a community and to begin discussions on things relevant to the community. These communities are a great way to share information in a collaborative way, at the same time making intellectual property with the organization available to a larger audience.
Community templates may help bring people together and allow for a new kind of collaboration that previous SharePoint versions simply did not support. While new features are exciting, we also know that out-of-the-box SharePoint tends to have gaps. A complete social business experience also relies on a powerful search feature accessible to all users. One third party application worth looking into is Fabasoft Mindbreeze and their Enterprise Search solution. Mindbreeze connects all company data, including documents, notes, e-mails, calendar entries, contracts, intranet or internet, person- or text-related, and more. In addition, their SharePoint connector allows for a seamless install to complement your existing content management investments.
Philip West, October 29, 2012