How to present SharePoint end users with helpful content without adding an app or a trusted solution

Almost every community of SharePoint users would benefit from a method of exposing helpful information directly to end users within the computing environment, itself. But an obstacle usually impedes this effort. The problem is most methods require the installation of either an app, or a full trust farm solution. By “app” I am referring to a computing process rather than the usual way apps are discussed with reference to SharePoint 2013, or to SharePoint Online, Office 365. A document library, or a list is actually considered an “app” in both of these SharePoint computing environments. But there is no reason…
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Heavily regulated businesses need the support of the kind of enterprise content management solution achievable with Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint, like any other computing platform, offers stakeholders lots of capabilities. But successfully capitalizing on what, otherwise, may be hidden features often requires some work. Enterprise content management (ECM) is an example of one feature set achievable on either an on-premises SharePoint implementation, or even on Office 365. ECM may be a “nice to have” capability for most businesses, and a “mission-critical” foundation plank for any heavily regulated business looking to capitalize on office automation. ECM maintains the position it does with heavily regulated businesses because it is much easier for these businesses to collect, categorize, and report on their…
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When SharePoint users need support, on demand, an in-context access system to video tutorials, and more, is the best solution

Perhaps an optimum method of helping users grow fonder of SharePoint computing can be found by equipping them with an easy to use support feature directly within the SharePoint computing environment, itself. Taking this step with a solution such as VisualSP™ makes sense for a couple of reasons: With help readily available within the SharePoint computing environment, users will be more likely to continue to use SharePoint features. So this type of in-context access system makes SharePoint computing “stickier”, thereby increasing the likelihood users will become familiar (and more comfortable) with computing “the SharePoint way” The in-context access system can…
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If you are planning on attending Microsoft Ignite don’t miss the SharePoint 2016 preview

It is official. In a post to the Office blog titled World’s largest SharePint? It will happen ‘all week’ at Microsoft Ignite!, the SharePoint Team has announced a big presentation for this year’s all-in-one Office conference: a preview of SharePoint 2016. Just as the name implies, SharePoint 2016 is the next generation on-premises server for Microsoft’s SharePoint computing platform. We here at VisualSP are especially enthused about this opportunity. After all, our Help System for SharePoint has been optimized for Microsoft’s on-premises SharePoint 2010 and 2013 servers. Now, with SharePoint 2016 coming into view, we can’t wait to present the…
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It helps migration planning to understand SharePoint is a computing platform

Technical personnel usually understand the substantially different set of factors included in a computing platform migration from those associated with individual software solutions. But business stakeholders in the plan should also gain an understanding if plans are to be correctly architected, meaning built in a manner promising success. SharePoint is a computing platform upon which other applications operate. When SharePoint is looked at from this angle, it is directly comparable with other computing platforms built to support successful efforts at enterprise content management (ECM), enterprise document management (EDM), and even plain Intranet computing. The list of other solutions in this…
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Microsoft publishes a pair of posts to the Office blog worth some review by SharePoint Online stakeholders

Perhaps one of the most useful features of lists and document libraries in SharePoint and SharePoint Online, Office 365 is the ease with which lists and libraries can serve as a centralized, managed storage option for important content. This capability is a big plus for organizations plagued with “too many storage options” syndrome. Most of the time the personnel within these organizations end up simply attaching important pieces of content to email messages. Once this trend sets in, the bright promise of enterprise content management (which can be an especially important capability for organizations in heavily regulated industries) quickly dims….
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Microsoft continues its effort to hasten market adoption of Office 365 with more training courses

Microsoft has invested deeply in user training as a method of driving marketplace adoption of its Office 365 computing platform. The last component pushed into prominence as something enterprise consumers should learn to use is Skype for Business, which was formerly known as Lync. Just yesterday, January 14, 2015, in a post to the Office Blog titled Skype for Business sessions now included in Office 365 Summits, the Lync Team informed us about the availability of multi level training for this Office 365 component. Training tracks on Skype for Business will be offered to all three of the training tracks…
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Learn how to safely and simply customize some features of SharePoint by attending a webinar to be held on January 29, 2015

A lot of online editorial content about Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365, lately, has to do with whether or not it makes sense for organizations to customize these multi-featured computing platforms. An approach perhaps overlooked is to use no-code solutions to produce targeted features. Admittedly, no-code solutions (with the exception of Sway) are not of much use when customization requirements are about branding sites. Nor are these solutions useful for expanding the list of external data types suitable for reporting purposes. But if the requirement is to bolt on a method of handling employee expenses, or on-boarding them, then no-code…
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The SharePoint app model and the health of the SharePoint partner community

As Microsoft has attempted to hasten the rate at which its enterprise customers for SharePoint server, on-premises, adopt its flavorful Office 365 cloud, SaaS offer, members of its partner community have vocalized concerns. One prominent component of this adoption campaign, in particular, has come to serve (in my opinion) as a barometer built to measure the health of the partner community. The component is the SharePoint 2013 App Model and the notion of “SharePoint customizations”. I recently wrote several posts to this blog on topics related to the App Model. There is a lot of recently published technical content on…
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Microsoft broadens its video training resources for the Office App Model to include demonstrations of some popular apps in the Office 365 App Store

On January 8, 2015, the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) published a video tutorial led by Scot Hillier, an Office 365 MVP and James Epes, a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft. This tutorial is on the topic of Office 365 Apps and the App Store. The title of the video tutorial is Shipping Your Office 365 App to the Office Store: (02) Demo Fest of Some Leading Store Apps. There is no charge for anyone to watch this video tutorial, which is about 50 minutes in length. Readers should note this tutorial is the second of five video tutorials in…
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