While SharePoint is a document management and team collaboration tool, SharePoint 2010 was ragged around the edges when it comes to many trends that define collaboration in the modern era: cloud, enterprise social networking, even e-discovery.
In a recent report on SharePoint, research firm Forrester Research Inc. noted the upsides and downsides. "While SharePoint has excelled as a system of record for storing and managing documents," wrote Rob Koplowitz, Peter Burris and Nancy Wang, "the user experience has been less than satisfying."
But the SharePoint 2013 release has made strides in usability and in modernizing the application for social, mobile and cloud capabilities. Microsoft has beefed up SharePoint's team collaboration and project management through features like Community Sites, microblogging, and social feeds to view and edit documents on a mobile device as well as store documents for offline use in SkyDrive. SharePoint Online also features Yammer, the social media platform. And new mobility capabilities enable users to access and edit documents more easily.
Capabilities like e-discovery have also matured. Better integration among SharePoint 2013 and Exchange Server and Lync programs means that SharePoint could reduce the time-sink of gathering data for litigation as well as potentially thousands of dollars.
SharePoint 2013's integration with Yammer, which Microsoft acquired in mid-2012 for $1.2 billion, signals a mixed picture. The goal is to incorporate some enterprise social networking features that have been sorely lacking in previous iterations, but there are shortcomings to note.
Yammer integration applies only to SharePoint in the cloud (as part of Office 365), but not to SharePoint on-premises. Organizations that can't have any data in the cloud can run SharePoint on-premises and Yammer in the cloud, but they can't integrate the two on-premises. SharePoint on-premises features some native social capabilities, and enterprises can go this route if they cannot opt for the cloud.
The same holds true for certain mobility-based enhancements to SharePoint. While previous iterations of SharePoint delivered a poor mobile experience for users, SharePoint 2013 is vastly improved and has the potential to boost worker productivity.
SharePoint 2013 features capabilities such as user-friendly document access and online editing. But, again, many of these features require an Office 365 license.
In our SharePoint 2013 overview, find out how it has made strides in modernizing the application for team collaboration and communication as well as mobility and cloud-based scenarios. But licensing issues will really determine whether users can take advantage of some of these features. Migration challenges may also be an issue for shops that aren't already on SharePoint 2010. Leapfrogging from an earlier version like SharePoint 2003 or 2007 requires upgrading to SharePoint 2010, then migrating to SharePoint 2013.
SharePoint 2013 Administration
SharePoint 2013 includes various new features that affect functionality. This section on SharePoint administration walks you through some of those changes and discusses administrative issues such as SharePoint upgrades, SharePoint lists, working with Microsoft Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint backup using PowerShell.
Some existing SharePoint features were replaced or dropped in SharePoint 2013. Here's how to work through the changes. Continue Reading
In keeping with the tighter integration between SharePoint and Microsoft Office applications, SharePoint 2013 now works more seamlessly with Outlook. Administrators can now configure Outlook so that users can access various types of SharePoint data directly through the Outlook client. Continue Reading
SharePoint 2013 creates greater integration with applications like Exchange Server. Exchange 2013 site mailboxes tie SharePoint and Exchange 2013 together. Setup is not always easy, so here are five things to keep in mind. Continue Reading
Before Exchange 2013 site mailboxes are ready for users, some setup and configuration are required. Here is an easy layout of the necessary steps to get your users up and running on Exchange 2013 mailboxes. Continue Reading
Backing up SharePoint can be a headache, but Microsoft is using PowerShell cmdlets to make the process easier. Learn some tips on using PowerShell for SharePoint disaster recovery, including how to obtain required permissions and how to back up a remote SharePoint server. Continue Reading
SharePoint 2013 Management
If you're not a SharePoint administrator but need to understand some of the functionality changes to SharePoint 2013, this section of our SharePoint 2013 guide explains how changes affect licensing, SharePoint in the cloud and SharePoint information governance.
SharePoint 2013 licensing changes can save companies money. But it's important to understand the new pricing schemes. Continue Reading
SharePoint governance plans require technologists to rein in the information chaos of business units, but without business buy-in, it's a moot exercise. Continue Reading
The social and mobile enhancements to SharePoint 2013 are substantial, but if you want to make a business case for an upgrade, try selling your boss on some lesser-known but compelling new features. Continue Reading
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Trends in SharePoint 2013
If you're an IT manager or CIO scouting for some of the latest SharePoint technology trends, this SharePoint 2013 overview section explains the shifts. From the changes to SharePoint for mobile to news and trends from SPTechCon 2013, we highlight changes and trends in the SharePoint environment.
In 2012, Microsoft integrated SharePoint with the social media tool from Yammer. The news struck a chord with users, but reactions ranged from enthusiastic to cautious. Continue Reading
Microsoft MVP Brien M. Posey details the new e-discovery features of SharePoint 2013 and how SharePoint administrators can put them to use. Continue Reading
Site mailboxes and in-place e-discovery are two new Exchange 2013 features designed to strengthen SharePoint and Exchange integration. Continue Reading
ECM has put pressure on companies to properly deliver content to mobile devices while ensuring information security and compliance with corporate policies. Continue Reading