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Top 5 Office 365 skills for SharePoint administrators

Microsoft SharePoint administrators need to branch out in their Office 365 skill set to support products tightly integrating with the file sharing and collaboration platform.

SharePoint is tightly integrated with several Microsoft Office 365 services -- including PowerApps, Flow, Graph, OneDrive and Office Groups -- and administrators have no choice but to expand their Office 365 skill sets.

Managing and administering SharePoint includes a number of activities, and administrators find themselves supporting several aspects of the platform, including the following:

  • end-user rights and permissions;
  • new SharePoint site implementation;
  • content management and updates;
  • end-user training;
  • support of customization or apps within SharePoint;
  • general day-to-day support for end users; and
  • general maintenance of system and health checks.

In the third-quarter earnings report for 2019, Microsoft highlighted more than 180 million active Microsoft Office 365 enterprise users are exposed to SharePoint Online.

Here are five Office 365 skills that every SharePoint administrator should have.

1. Developing apps using PowerApps

Managing and administering SharePoint includes a number of activities.

Designing apps for tablets and mobile devices can be intimidating, but this is a necessary Office 365 skill for SharePoint administrators, as PowerApps is one of many services that integrates with SharePoint. Fortunately, PowerApps does not require in-depth coding knowledge, and it enables administrators to design full mobile apps and SharePoint forms with no code.

2. Creating automation workflows

At one time, SharePoint administrators needed designer software to create and maintain workflows, but most of this functionality can now be done through a web browser as part of Microsoft Flow. Administrators need to familiarize themselves with this service to ensure they are able to deliver the new functionality.

3. Querying content across Office 365

Administrators who maintain sites that contain content from multiple parts of SharePoint and other sources will have to adopt a new method of pulling the needed data for SharePoint widgets. The new approach requires administrators to adopt Microsoft Graph APIs, enabling them to access content such as sites, lists and document libraries from anywhere. By learning how to use the different API calls from Microsoft Graph, administrators can extend SharePoint capabilities by making content available to web parts from across Office 365, including Teams, Groups, OneDrive and Exchange.

4. Shifting from network shares to OneDrive

One platform that helped increase the popularity of OneDrive for Business and SharePoint is Microsoft Teams. With more than 20 million daily active users, Teams serves some of its file content directly from SharePoint. This encourages more organizations to migrate highly used network share content to SharePoint, making it accessible and visible to users in Teams. As part of this shift, administrators need to familiarize themselves with OneDrive's capabilities and features to ensure proper use.

5. Managing SharePoint user memberships

Administrators generally use a combination of Active Directory (AD) and SharePoint security groups to manage permissions in SharePoint. In the past, this required SharePoint administrators to switch between the two areas to manage user permissions. But, with the introduction of Office Groups, Microsoft is moving away from the traditional AD-based permission to an Office 365 Group membership, where team leads and SharePoint administrators can assign and revoke permissions. This requires administrators to become familiar with group membership through the Office 365 administrator portal.

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