Microsoft Ignite SharePoint Announcements

What Microsoft Ignite 2019 SharePoint Announcements Mean for the IQ of Your Intranet 

Microsoft Ignite did not disappoint in the announcements department this year. While Teams and Yammer dominated the conversation around Office 365, the SharePoint Team’s announcements were extremely valuable. These announcements prove Microsoft is investing in the end-user experience and empowering admins and end users natively in the platform. 

In other words, SharePoint is on track to be more beautiful, easier to use, and easier to manage out-of-the-box which translates to some serious ROI for organizations invested in the platform. There were many exciting announcements, but four of them have us here at PixelMill feeling like Christmas came early. Let’s break them down… 

SharePoint Homesites 

Sure, at first glance it might be easy to dismiss this new feature. They’re essentially just communication sites, right?  

Well, yes and no. 

While they do resemble a glorified communication site, these are going to be more important to anyone building an intranet or portal. SharePoint homesites provide an out-of-the-box experience that is driven to be a portal homepage, negating the need for many canned solutions. Here we really begin to see Microsoft breaking down barriers to entry with an accelerated path to creating your solution and gaining user adoption.  

Hubs Structure and Audience Targeting 

PixelMill has embraced hub sites from day one, and while we are on team Flat Hierarchy, the ability to create some structure within hubs has been high on our (and many others) wish list. SharePoint will enables us to create structure within hubs themselves along with audience targeting so we can manage the structure of hub navigation. While we’re stoked about this new functionality, we’d still like to see nested hubs because they do create good collections of things, and enable tenant-wide navigation.  

The next two announcements truly illustrate how Microsoft is listening to our requests and investing in making SharePoint more of a content management system.  

News and Page Scheduling 

Any content author working in SharePoint is likely giddy about this one. We have seen this need from nearly all our clients over the last few years, so clearly the ability to schedule is essential. Now content authors can curate content and schedule it’s publish date/time.  

As an example, say you want a news page to go live to your organization early Monday morning. Soon you will be able to create and publish that news article hours or days in advance, then schedule that news article to appear only when you want it to. 

Multilingual Capabilities  

This has been an ask for years now. In fact, it’s a requirement for many organizations. Plus, the New Version History feature (similar to ‘track changes’ in word) enables version history and real-time tracking as you’re editing multilingual versions so translators can easily see differences between versions.  

Bonus Announcement: Project Cortex 

If you attended Ignite or watched any keynotes from the event, then you know this post would be incomplete without mentioning Project Cortex. Project Cortex seeks to bring together knowledge with the workplace. Our initial introduction appears similar to an internal wiki, one powered by AI! This premium service (in private preview) could be a game changer for large organizations. This feature brings context to your content throughout the Microsoft 365 space further empowering your team.  

Is your must-have feature still missing in action? Make your voice known on User Voice.  

Still reeling from all the news? Not sure what the announcements mean for your organization and digital workspace? Have no fear! Join us Thursday, November 14 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. PST for a free webinar where we will break it all down.  
Ready to take your digital workspace to the next level and put these new features to work?  Let’s chat!  

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