Microsoft Focuses on SharePoint User Experience

August 21, 2014

Microsoft is turnings its attention to the user experience of SharePoint in their roadmap for Office 365. SharePoint receives a lot of attention for its increased functionality, but it receives a lot of negative attention for its complexity and general difficulty of use. CMS Wire covers the issue in their latest article, “Where User Experience Should Fit in SharePoint’s Roadmap.”

The article begins:

“One only need to take a look at the Microsoft roadmap for Office 365 to see that the company is making huge investments in the UX for SharePoint, from new social and search capabilities (such as Office Graph, inline social and Groups) to deeper integrations with other Microsoft platforms, like Dynamics CRM. Unlike previous platform updates, the focus of each incremental release is clearly meant to improve the end user (and administrator) experience within the platform.”

And while it is comforting to see that Microsoft is taking user experience seriously, many users and managers will still need help along the way. One source of help may be The Web site is managed by Stephen E. Arnold – a longtime leader in all things search. His SharePoint feed is especially insightful, offering tips and tricks for all levels of user.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 21, 2014

Companies Do Not Reap all the Benefits of SharePoint

August 19, 2014

SharePoint has grown and expanded its many capabilities with the release of SharePoint 2013, and yet many companies are still not fully taking advantage of the platform. ITWeb covers the issue in their article, “How Are Companies Really Using SharePoint?

The article begins by describing SharePoint:

“It is more than just ‘somewhere to put your documents.’ SharePoint is an enterprise platform that solves multiple business challenges. With this in mind and in an effort to provide a better view of the real-world application of the SharePoint platform and it capabilities, Concero IT, a Specialist SharePoint Service Provider, took it upon itself to analyse exactly what companies are using SharePoint for, and why. As illustrated in the infographic, SharePoint is a very powerful single platform that can address multiple business requirements.”

Some companies may just be overwhelmed by the vastness of SharePoint. It takes time and money to train SharePoint users and managers, but some organizations may find it worthwhile to squeeze all the potential usefulness out of this large application. Stephen E. Arnold has devoted his career to all things search, including a large percentage of that work to SharePoint. His Web site,, is a useful repository of tips and tricks, and his SharePoint feed is especially helpful.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 19, 2014

SharePoint Benefits from Apps

August 14, 2014

SharePoint is an extremely popular, but extremely complicated piece of software. Many organizations build their entire information architecture around it, so it is important to have an understanding about how all employees can benefit from different aspects of the system. Visual Studio Magazine turns their attention to SharePoint’s emerging focus on apps in their article, “SharePoint: All About the Apps.”

The article begins:

“SharePoint is one of the more prominent collaboration platforms . . . Implementing such a complex collaboration platform can be a challenge. If your organization is using SharePoint or planning to, you can learn more about developing and deploying custom SharePoint apps at SharePoint Live, as part of Live 360, happening this November 18-22 in Orlando, FL.”

Stephen E. Arnold has made a lifelong career out of following all things search on, and reports frequently on the popular topic of SharePoint, on his customized SharePoint feed. He understands the complexity of SharePoint and the necessity of almost constant training and professional development. It is encouraging to see an older software like SharePoint adapting to a new format through apps and other features, but it does take commitment on the part of the user to learn new skills.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 14, 2014

The Last Mile of SharePoint Connectivity

August 12, 2014

SharePoint is such a large infrastructure that it is easy for organizations to get bogged down in the big picture and forget about the final details. However, experts say that the “last mile” or last bit of software that connections to the actual user, is perhaps the most important. CMS Wire fleshes out this idea and how it relates to SharePoint in their article, “Focus on the Last Mile of SharePoint Automation.”

The article says:

“Within the telecommunications space, the ‘last mile’ is a metaphorical phrase used to describe the final leg of the telecom network where the customer physically connects to the network. How much of your SharePoint environment has been designed for that last mile? In other words, how much has been designed for the end user experience rather than just to meet your functional requirements?”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime expert in search and gives a good bit of attention to SharePoint on his Web site, He also concentrates a lot of his energy on the user experience, because a search solution is only effective if employees are willing to use it. If your organization is in need of more effective search, keep an eye on Arnold’s SharePoint feed for the latest tips, tricks, and add-ons.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 12, 2014

Tackling a Small SharePoint Cleanup

August 7, 2014

SharePoint cleanup is never fun, regardless of the size of the organization. However, there are ways to make it smoother than expected, and to take a bit of the pain out of the process. CMS Wire gives some advice on this process for small organizations in their article, “One Consultant’s Approach to a Small SharePoint Cleanup.”

The article begins:

“A pilot SharePoint cleanup project is straightforward. A consultant facilitating a small project to clean up a company’s SharePoint intranet can reach the lessons learned phase with a few basic tools. Recall the mantra: simple is elegant. You will require these basic tools: a project proposal, a workbook, a decision tree, a summary report.”

Stephen E. Arnold is also a helpful resource when it comes to SharePoint advice, tips, and tricks. He has made a career out of covering all things search, including SharePoint, and reporting on them via his Web service, His SharePoint feed is particularly helpful, and SharePoint users and managers for organizations of any size will find it useful. Keep an eye out for any tricks that might be helpful for your organization the next time you are called upon to update or cleanup your SharePoint implementation.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 07, 2014

Video Series Helps Unpack SharePoint

August 5, 2014

Some people love video series for Internet how-tos, and others hate the idea, but for those interested in learning more about SharePoint, the visual can be helpful. Jeremy Chapman has The Garage Series for Office 365 on Channel 9. His episode, “Understanding the New World of Apps for Office and SharePoint” might be helpful to some.

He sums up his latest episode:

“This is a ‘lost episode’ of the Garage Series filmed in New Orleans, host Jeremy Chapman is joined by architect TSP and Office extensibility guru, Richard diZerega, to discuss the new app model for Office and SharePoint. Richard also takes on the challenge to help navigate the culinary options of New Orleans by integrating Web services directly with Office and SharePoint using in-box and custom apps.”

Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of reporting on all things search. His Web site,, is an aggregator of helpful tips, tricks, and news, all revolving around different aspects of search. His SharePoint coverage is particularly helpful and end users and managers alike may find his reporting a compliment to their SharePoint duties.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 05, 2014

SharePoint is Valuable but Underutilized Legal Tool

July 30, 2014

Document discovery is a big deal in the legal world – it is not only important but it is also time consuming. Lots of specialty software exists to aid legal firms in document management, but one writer shares his belief that SharePoint can do a pretty good job on its own. Jeff Bennion writes on AboveTheLaw in his article, “Why SharePoint Is The Most Underutilized Legal Tool That Microsoft Has To Offer.”

Bennion writes:

“SharePoint is an online project management system. It does a lot if things. If you work in a law office, you are going to probably use it for its document management capabilities and maybe its intranet capabilities. If any of you have had the misfortune of working in a large firm, you know what document management systems are. It’s somewhat clunky software that lets you categorize documents firm-wide using preset categories . . . SharePoint solves this problem: upload your documents into SharePoint and create columns and tags for them.”

And while every legal firm won’t have the time or capability to customize SharePoint and train its employees on how to use it, many will find this low cost solution helpful. Stephen E. Arnold highlights ideas like this on the SharePoint feed of his Web site, He has devoted his career to all things search, and SharePoint plays a large role in the current enterprise search discussion.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 30, 2014

Commvault to Help Sponsor SharePoint Fest Denver

July 29, 2014

For anyone in need of a little SharePoint training for the fall, SharePoint Fest Denver will be held September 22-24. Mark your calendar. Commvault is a platinum sponsor this year, and the press release, “Commvault Confirmed as Platinum Sponsor of SharePoint Fest – Denver 2014,” tells more.

The article begins:

“Commvault is a Platinum Sponsor of SharePoint Fest Denver, and joins other sponsors in bringing this conference to the Colorado Convention Center on September 22-24, 2014. Conference delegates will hear from keynote speakers and attend breakout sessions. Over 70 sessions will be offered across multiple tracks, as well as an optional day of workshops preceding the conference.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and follows all things SharePoint on his Web site, His SharePoint feed is a good place to check in on the latest trainings and professional development opportunities. He also follows the latest tips, tricks, and workaround, which are helpful for SharePoint implementations of all shapes and sizes.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 29, 2014

Box Moves into the Enterprise

July 24, 2014

The once maligned category of document sharing solutions is now being embraced and adopted by the enterprise. Solutions such as Box and Dropbox are now seen as a necessity because employees simply demand them. The latest success of Box is covered by CiteWorld in their article, “How Box Took Off at Toyota, Where SharePoint is Already Used.”

The article begins:

“Yesterday, file collaboration company Box shared some good news, announcing Toyota North America as a customer. The company has actually been using Box for a couple years now, says IS technology manager Dave Statham, who drove the Box deployment. In 2012, a group of Toyota execs wanted to use their new iPads to share product plans and other information, instead of the three-inch binders they usually carried . . . But hang on a second — about two years ago, Microsoft made a lot of noise when Toyota signed a contract for Office 365.”

So aren’t the collaboration solutions included with Office 365 adequate? Well, no. And while collaboration software might be included into the latest version of Office and SharePoint, it is not intuitive, leaving many organizations to look for an easier option – one that employees with use. Stephen E. Arnold has found the same things as he works and reports on SharePoint on his Web site, Stay tuned for the latest news on third party solutions that might help your organization bridge the gap left by SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 24, 2014

SharePoint Server Updates Coming More Frequently

July 22, 2014

Microsoft is not known for timely updates, but it does appear that they are attempting to address that problem, at least with their SharePoint suite. SharePoint Server updates are now being offered on a monthly basis. Redmond covers the latest in their article, “SharePoint Server Cumulative Updates Now Arriving Every Month.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft now delivers its SharePoint Server cumulative update (CU) releases on a monthly basis. The stepped-up release cycle was announced this week by Microsoft in conjunction with the July CU releases for SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2010. Those releases likely were unexpected by IT pros since they typically expect to see SharePoint Server CU releases only on the even months of the year.”

Microsoft is taking this step toward assisting SharePoint administrator by offering more frequent updates, but they still have a long way to go toward ultimate ease of use and oversight. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of all things search, including SharePoint. His Web site,, features a SharePoint feed that many administrators will find helpful for keeping an eye on the latest tips and tricks. SharePoint still has a way to go when it comes to intuitive use; but in the meantime, third parties like Arnold can offer a great deal of assistance.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 22, 2014

Next Page »