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Encouraging Communities to Brand Content Contributes Positively to SharePoint Adoption Efforts

On the first day of SharePoint Conference 2014, MSDN’s Channel 9 Video service broadcast SPCtv A Talk with Microsoft IT on SharePoint, Adoption and Governance.

The conversation was led by Karuana Gatimu and included Christian Wylde, Sean Squires, Pam Green and Carrie Doring. Squires, Green and Doring are all members of Wylde’s internal-facing “Social Collaboration and Mobility” team at Microsoft®.

Karuana Gatimu asked Sean Squires to describe how Microsoft is rethinking and redesigning its main content publishing portal to better align resources for a community of users migrating towards an “any device I want, when I want” appetite for data.

Squires noted the cloud represented the best medium for stakeholders from Microsoft’s internal Lines of Business (LoBs) to satiate this consumer appetite. What caught my ear was the emphasis Squires put on the importance of branding to the content delivery method.

Karuana Gatimu set the stage for Squires with a question: “Are you thinking about responsive design as well?” (quoted from the webcast of this conversation. I’ve provided a link to the complete webcast, above).

Squires affirmed this point and added how his team is “. . . building design packages . . . “, which can be “collectively used or adapted to their own needs” (ibid).

SharePoint-Videos.com offers several sets on SharePoint branding, including one authored by Yaroslav Pentsarskyy on SharePoint 2013: Branding. Pentsarskyy is an acknowledged subject matter expert on the topic and a published author, as well.

What I found helpful about the Channel 9 webcast of this conversation was how Squires portrayed the implicit benefit, for SharePoint stakeholders striving to increase user adoption, of developing design sets for their communities of SharePoint users. LoBs will be able to use these sets to differentiate their sites.

At the same time, the context of a broader set of approved policies, procedures and even design artifacts for the larger community will be kept intact. The end result of a successful effort to fill this need should be higher levels of user satisfaction with the computing platform.

Ira Michael Blonder

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