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5 Things You Are Doing That Challenge Your Office 365 Deployment

Movement to the cloud is inevitable. With increased security, additional tools, and cost savings it’s becoming more and more of a no-brainer. Rarely are we faced with customers, after completing an honest assessment , who can’t go to the cloud.

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This Old House – Intranet Edition

Excuse me while I beat an analogy to within an inch of its life...

and then some…

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Hub Sites! Modernizing Your Approach to Site Architecture in SharePoint and Office 365 - Part 2

Wow!  The interest in modernizing SharePoint Site Architecture has been strong.  Thanks to everyone for your comments and feedback on my previous blog post. If you haven’t yet read through the Part 1 of Modernizing your Approach to Site Architecture in SharePoint, please see that here.  Let’s keep the dialog going! As we continue with our story around modernizing our site architecture, we need to address the addition of some new functionality in SharePoint Online called a Hub Site.  

Note: Hub sites are now in “Launched” status according to the Office 365 Roadmap. This means they should be available to 100% of the tenants worldwide!  It’s important to note that Hub Sites are a SharePoint Online “only” feature – they didn’t make the cutoff for SharePoint 2019 on-premises release.  

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Modernizing Your Approach to Site Architecture in SharePoint and Office 365

If you’ve ever wondered how to structure your SharePoint sites, you’re not alone. For those that have been doing SharePoint for a while, you may already know that we’ve long had the debate – where do your department sites go in SharePoint?  Are they considered publishing sites or collaboration sites? Or both?  Are they sub-sites or site collections? How can we structure sites so we secure some content and still publish content for others, without making it too complicated?  This concern often leads to a successful intranet build, but prevents true collaboration from occurring in SharePoint. We watch as our HR teams, Finance, and others still resist adding their most secure content into SharePoint (and especially into the cloud!) when we know the file share is no longer the best place for that content.  This issue gets even more complex when we bring Microsoft Teams– which are supported by SharePoint sites – into the picture. I want to take some time to talk through what is no longer considered a good approach, and then provide a replacement, modern approach to site architecture best practices in Office 365.

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Organizing in SharePoint

A common dilemma in SharePoint is “How many lists and libraries are too many?  You’ll be pleased to know that the exactly correct answer is, “It depends.”  Before you send me threatening tweets or comments, please read on!

Would your users prefer going to one place to find the information they’re looking for and sorting/filtering through one large bucket of data or having a list of libraries and lists, with detailed names to look through?

One giant list? Let’s think about that for a minute. I’m not talking about scrolling through a long list of hundreds of files. SharePoint lists and libraries allow us to create views. Views let us slice, dice and surface content in meaningful ways. Keep in mind, views cannot be secured so the One Big Bucket approach only works when security allows it.

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Naming Policies Support for Microsoft Teams and Office 365

Teams. We love it. It’s a place where we and our, well… teams, can have focused and topic centric conversations in an interface that also gives us access to the very data we’re talking about. We can edit our files together, chat, have a quick call or even a group meeting, all from within teams. It’s great!

For each team created in Teams, we’re given a SharePoint site collection for storing and organizing the files uploaded in Teams. With that site collection comes an Office 365 group to provide permissions and security.

In one quick and easy step Teams automatically gives us the security and document management features we have come to rely on over the years. It’s pretty good stuff, until we start thinking about, you know, the “G-Word” and the implications of anyone and everyone creating sites and groups.  We do love Teams. We also kind of fear it.

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