SharePoint Growing into an Essential Tool

SharePoint growing into an essential toolEver since Microsoft promised major improvements in SharePoint during the launch of SharePoint 2016 last year, the users of the platform have seen SharePoint growing into an essential tool. For instance, Office 365 offers an improved user experience in SharePoint Online team news. A personalised news feed is now available where the user’s inactive sites, those that he/she follows, and suggested sites curated by Mircrosoft Graph are shown.

As per the tech giant’s announcement, “the addition of team news allowed SharePoint home to evolve into an intuitive, single location to check the activity in all your sites and portals, conduct enterprise-wide search, build new sites, and read all the news around you.” Team news is among the most recent user-friendly addition to the SharePoint home page.

SharePoint Growing into an Essential Tool

SharePoint users have experienced the complexity of some of the platform’s features, and even in performing simple tasks. For one, copying a table in Word and pasting it into SharePoint usually results to the fouling up of the layout. But during the SharePoint Virtual Summit last May 17, Microsoft’s Senior Product Manager Naomi Moneypenny showed how easy and straightforward to perform basic Word tasks, such as a simple copy-paste job. This only illustrates how the SharePoint user experience has become direct and reliable.

When SharePoint 2016 was introduced, it created a buzz among businesses. Having said that, most businesses that were using the old version contemplated on whether or not to upgrade to the 2016 version. But with SharePoint growing into an essential tool, new features and capabilities of SharePoint encouraged them to make an upgrade, and even enticed new businesses to use SharePoint.

One of the most gripping changes in SharePoint is its capability to seamlessly leverage online tools, thanks to its improved hybrid configuration abilities. This way, users can seriously expand the flexibility and usefulness of their SharePoint investment.

SharePoint and Intranet

Over the years, Microsoft has shown the might of SharePoint as an intranet. If you are going to ask internal communicators, the most interesting revelation during the Summit was the new Communication site. It highlights the hero images, news, and the function to incorporate calendars, videos, and reference documents in the page. What’s more is that these features function well in the app. However, CMS Wire reported that SharePoint still has to make improvements and include Intranet-in-a-Box products.

SharePoint developers

SharePoint Developers Weathering the Shift to the Cloud

If you are someone who gets excited on big changes, then there’s something to look forward on SharePoint. With the release of SharePoint Framework earlier this year, we should expect further client-side development on SharePoint Online. Having said that, the users of SharePoint’s cloud version will first experience these changes before support becomes available to the users of the on-premises version. As Microsoft continues to promote its “cloud first” strategy, SharePoint developers are weathering the shift to the cloud.

SharePoint Developers Weathering the Shift to the Cloud

According to Eweek, SharePoint developers are feeling the shakeup as Microsoft gears SharePoint towards the web-like path. As no two businesses are alike, these SharePoint developers assist companies and organisations in customising SharePoint based on their needs. And with Microsoft’s current plan to shift SharePoint services to the cloud, the developers are doing their best to adapt to the new environment. In fact, Matthias Einig, the CEO of Rencore, said that the SharePoint developers are starting to feel at home to the cloud setting with varying degrees of success.

In a recent survey involving the third-party SharePoint developer clique, Rencor found out that this move by Microsoft is making these SharePoint developers upset. For one, most of these developers are engaged in on-premises SharePoint services. This shift to the cloud will affect around 1 million developers and 50,000 solution providers, as per reports. In addition, this move will require the SharePoint developers to acquire new skills and become competent in new programming languages for them to adapt to SharePoint’s evolution. As we’ve said, depending on your take to major changes, Microsoft’s “cloud first” strategy can be a good news or bad news.

SharePoint’s Growing Reliance to the Cloud

If you are going to ask InfoWorld, the future of SharePoint is hybrid; that is, the on-premises version of SharePoint will depend more and more to the cloud. As a matter of fact, SharePoint’s on-premises variant has started to “transform” towards the cloud version as a component of Office 365 and SharePoint online. Moreover, there are certain features, such as Delve and Office Graph, that will only be available on the cloud version of SharePoint.

When deciding whether SharePoint in the cloud is for your business, always consider your customisation strategy, migration plan, and integration requirements.

SharePoint Shifts in Access Services

SharePoint Shifts in Access Services

Microsoft recently announced that it will bring to a halt the Access Services for SharePoint Online. Come June, users won’t be able to create Access-based apps in SharePoint Online, while the apps that are still available will be shut down early next year. That being the case, it is recommended that users no longer make use of Access Services for new apps in Office 365.

According to Microsoft, this move will allow users with limited programming skills to come up with data-centric web applications. In light of this event, the company introduced a new feature that can be used to export the current data to a SharePoint list. You can know more about the transition here. In addition, the tech giant said that users can opt for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow as an alternative for Access Services.

SharePoint Shifts in Access Services

Access Services is used by those who would want to launch a SharePoint application through the Microsoft Access database management system. Then, this application becomes available in a Web browser. Despite axing Access Services in SharePoint Online, you can still use it with SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2010, and other SharePoint Server products and future server releases. As a matter of fact, Microsoft assured the public that they will incorporate Access Services and Access Web Apps in the upcoming version of SharePoint server.

The latest trends in technology goaded the public to increase their expectations with Access Services. Basically, it provides mobile device support, business data consolidation, and professional developer extensions. But due to these high expectations, Microsoft found out that Access Services failed to hit the mark; hence, ending Access Services in SharePoint Online.

According to Venture Beat, Microsoft’s announcement yielded negative responses from users. Some of them think that the tech giant did not give them enough time to prepare for the transition and to adjust to the sudden changes. Moreover, there are also users who believe that PowerApps can’t do the job on its own.

In a statement, Chris McNulty, Microsoft’s senior product manager, said that the public’s feedback are all taken into consideration. He also acknowledged that ending Access Services for SharePoint Online can be “disruptive.”

Chinese Social Media: Does it Help in Business?

In the Asian economic scene, there is no bigger superpower than China. This country has a dynamic and expanding economy that is able to grow and thrive in a global setting because those who are in the industry are willing to grow, learn, and adapt with the changing times.

One of the biggest reasons why China is such an economic superpower in Asia is the fact that many business owners are able to keep up with the trends of social media, and to be able to utilize that in expanding and growing their businesses. Social media has become such an important tool in the Chinese business scene, allowing for marketing and advertising, customer services, and other business-related functions.

You can do the math: nearly half of China’s 513 million population are social media users, and the main choice of social media in China applications that are made by local developers. Since they are made by local developers, it’s easier for the Chinese population to understand and use the interface of these apps. Another huge reason why China relies mainly on these apps is because the government virtually bans foreign investors from entering the Chinese social media scene with foreign apps. However, some consumers get though this loophole by using VPN services, allowing them access to larger social media sites, such as Facebook. On the whole, however, Chinese social media users prefer not to bother, and use what is available to them.

So imagine that kind of situation: you have almost 275 million users who are focused on using available social media apps, and all the available business and potential customer bases can be found in these apps. It’s almost a self-contained market!

That being said, here are 5 Chinese social media sites that rank at the top of the social media mountain, and are worthy of attention for those who are looking to break into the Chinese social media market:

  1. Sina Weibo

    When you look at the functions and user capabilities of this app, one can effectively call it the “Twitter” of China, but this app offers features that Twitter has only starting offering more recently, such as the ability to share images and video.Sine Weibo actually has twice the users that Twitter does, and this is amazing considering that it’s mainly a China-based app. Today, it’s the most popular Chinese social media app, and it’s a top hub for consumer-based activity. It’s also the main choice of app for Chinese celebrities who want to interact with their fans. However, even Western-based celebrities use this app to interact with their Chinese fans. For example, Tom Cruise has over 4 million followers on Sina Weibo.

  2. TencentWhile Tencent is thought to be a social media platform that encompasses all the needs of a social media user, its main function is as an instant messenger using the QQ platform. However, the QQ platform also allows a user to use the other functions, such as image and video sharing, posting messages and status updates, and other functions that a social media site allows.While Tencent does have its own social networking site, Pengyou, it has a lower number of active users compared to other Chinese social media sites. However, since it incorporates many different websites in one platform, Tencent has the highest number of registered users.
  3. Douban

    An app that boasts around 80 MILLION active users per month, Douban is an open forum-type of platform that is mainly used for book, movie, and music reviews. It’s very attractive for users because even unregistered users can use up to 80% of the programs offered in the app.

  4. Renren

    Considering what kind of functionality that Renren offers, one can call it the “Facebook” of China. It allows users to connect with friends, update their statuses, share music, videos, and links, and many of the other features that Facebook has. Interestingly, Renren was in competition with another company called Kaixin for this market, and won by popular vote. With 147 million registered users and 31 million active users per month, Renren is poised to take over as the social networking platform for the college-educated population in China.

  5. WeChat

    The premiere instant messaging app in China, WeChat is easy to use, has fantastic user interface, and is used by millions of Chinese users. WeChat is a mobile chat and voice app that allows users to discover other users using a capability called “friend discovery”, which points out other WeChat users in the area. Although not initially a typical social network, Wechat has continually added more social networking features to its product, including a photo-sharing platform and an LBS component. Currently, it has more than 100 million users.

 

If one were to consider the sheer size and focus of the Chinese market in terms of active and potential users, one can safely say that Chinese social media will be very effective for any business looking to make a break in China.

 

future social media for business

Future Social Media – Which of It is Useful for Business?

Few years ago, when social media was unveiled, no one ever thought it could grow to what we see today. As we speak, the relevance of social media can never be disputed. It has evolved into something truly useful and of great significance to the world.

Social media and business is now viewed in a new light. New and exciting aspects, including more meaningful content, marketing campaigns, and business networking have amplified the significance of existing social media.

All business thus ought to stay updated with advances in social media. It might sound awkward hearing about a business that still directs all its business campaigns and other aspects through Myspace. Of course you don’t expect them to be on top of their game. However, the existing social media still remains a vital aspect for every business. Here how.

Facebook

Facebook is a social media that allows people to interact, share and create content via online communities. Most businesses are starting to realize the potential of the platform in building relationships with customers.

Being a popular way for people to stay in touch, many businesses especially service providers, have used it to develop and nurture good relationships with their customers.

Apparently, both advertisers and marketers double up as ardent fans of Facebook since they are able to reach audiences, change customer needs and understand trends.

It’s enabled them to reach a far wider audience frequently with content tailored to their needs and interests. Overall, it acts as an extension of the business.

Twitter

Is twitter part of your business? Well, with all the latest twitter updates, trends, and real-time marketing, you’ll wouldn’t want to miss out on all the fresh things it has to offer.

Twitter allows you to tell your business story to its community, more specifically those that you follow as well as those who follow you.

You can also integrate twitter into your online business presence by adding it to the information on your site and blog as well share the timeline on your site in order to tell your business story.

Instagram

Instagram offers a great platform to share your brand’s superior point of view. Since most Instagrammers are so passionate about the platform, not hesitating to express their love for breathtaking imagery, you’ll definitely reach an audience that’s open to new perspectives.

Apart from photography, travel and hotel businesses, any business that’s ready to share captivating visuals in a move to share their business story will find the platform really creative and inspiring.

Pinterest

Pinterest doubles up as a brilliant place where businesses can discover great ideas for all their projects and interests.

It’s quite similar to Instagram, with most pinners having already expressed their love for boards that are inspiring, catchy, with beautiful images.
By creating boards for places, ideas, moods and people behind your brand, you can draw people into your business.

Sharepoint

SharePoint social features have made it thrive especially when it comes to networking. With applications such as microblogging, email, instant messaging and social networking(community sites), it only makes sense that every business possess it as a compulsory tool. All the platforms can be used for business scenarios as well as other functions.

LinkedIn

With LinkedIn, you can attract talent, recruit potential candidates, tell your business story, network, as well as get quality leads.
Any business looking forward to add credibility and authenticity to their business ought to turn to LinkedIn.

The future of social media

When it comes to future social media, new developments in social media seem to be stopping at nothing. New platforms set to shake the social media universe are in the works. Here’s an overview of the few you can expect.

Ello

It’s been lauded by many as the next Facebook. Although not fully complete yet, it’s already flowing with countless requests. In fact, the requests have been so overwhelming that they had to temporary shut down the invite system.

Ello can be likened to a private members club. It’s so exclusive. The big hype around it basically justifies its relevance. Business people definitely find it as an ideal hangout platform where they can share and network as well.

Edgee

Edgee can be classified as a ticking bomb yet to rummage through social media and business and bring everything to a standstill. Maier, the owner of Edgee, believes it will reach out to a wide and potential audience in a style that elevates substance over show.

Businesses can air out their expertise and attract attention using their unique insights. Any business, small to big, will actually find it as genuine and organic when it comes nurturing trust and understanding with their potential clients.

Others that have been rumored to be the next big thing include:

Procurious – a platform that targets professionals in procurement and supply division.

Tagstr – a platform that focuses entirely on sharing and capturing experience via #tags.

Bottom line

Business excellence is normally driven by great strategy and social media in business is no exception. Taking note of the new future social media as well as capitalizing on the present ones will definitely develop and boost business performance.

sharepoint news

Sharepoint News May-June 2015

For many enterprises and organizations, SharePoint has evolved into a necessary tool. It’s currently being used as a source for not only corporate data but procedures, intellectual property, and a host of other vital functions. Today, we’ll SharePoint news and examine what’s taking place and is of great importance to all SharePoint users.

SharePoint 2016

Microsoft seems to be on a constant trail of keeping pace with technological advancements. From the release in 2003, through to 2007 and thereafter 2010, SharePoint has continued to evolve.

As we speak, another new version of SharePoint is slated for 2016. On the summer of 2015, there’ll be a preview version of the said SharePoint. The Release of SharePoint 2016 has been slated for the second quarter of 2016.

Microsoft has stated that both versions( online version and on-premise) will continue to undergo changes and new developments even as the latest version is due to be unveiled.

SharePoint still lives on in Office 365. It acts as the powerhouse for the product. But despite the covert actions by Microsoft about another version of SharePoint, currently, things seem to have taken a different direction and as we speak, on-premise SharePoint is back and better than before.

What to expect

The future of SharePoint is quite clear. Much emphasis has been put on two aspects: on premise and in the cloud.

Microsoft has invested a lot on SharePoint in the cloud, something that’s been greeted with mixed reactions some wondering whether it’s the only option on SharePoint that’s been considered by Microsoft moving forward.

However, that might not necessarily be the case. During the Microsoft’s Ignite conference held in Chicago, it came out pretty clear that a lot was invested deeply in coming up with a hybrid so that many might have a plenty of options to choose from.

SharePoint seems focused on management, experiences and extensibility not only across office 365, but with server as well. Key features to expect include

• Expanded OneDrive
• Social- integration across Office 365 through Yammer
• Power Bi, which is basically an integrated analytical platform.
• Expanded management layer
• Office 365 APIs, which provides much deeper levels of extensibility and integration for SharePoint.
• Office Delve, an enhanced search application.
• NextGen Portals, a portal built to provide a great platform for mobile users.

In addition, here’s another event that’s due just soon, aiming at discussing a lot more about SharePoint.

SharePoint Fest

SharePoint Fest is basically a two-day training conference that boasts well over 70 sessions cutting across multiple tracks that tend to bring together enthusiasts and SharePoint practitioners. It’s usually attended by leading SharePoint experts, as well as solution providers.

The two-day event, beginning 18th August 2015, will take place in Seattle, Washington.

Among the things to expect during this conference include discussions about the evolution of SharePoint brought about by cloud, amongst many other SharePoint aspects.

Keynote speakers to expect include Microsoft’s Bill Baer and Michelle Caldwell, who is the Microsoft SharePoint MVP.

To learn more about SharePoint, don’t miss out on this great event.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is also unveiling new OneDrive specifically for business features. This is in a bid for enterprise cloud file sharing turf, while at the same time leaving more structured collaboration for SharePoint.

Overall, there has been a slew of developments taking place in regard to SharePoint and apart from the few SharePoint news we’ve shined a spotlight on, a lot more seems to be in progress. We can only wait with bated breath as we anticipate a host of changes designed to help individuals, teams, and business work more effectively with the tool.

Technical Expenses for Small Business

To successfully run a small business, you’ll incur a few expenses. Today, every small business is different. Despite the variety of expenses each has to incur, there are some that are generic and more typical. Right from start-up to running costs, you will incur technical expenses.

What are technical expenses?

Technical expenses form a broad category of costs that constitute, majorly, non-capital items. Moreover, if the expense provides technical benefit and can be specifically identified, then they should be directly charged to sponsored projects as technical expenses. Sometimes administrative costs are planned and allocated to project’s technical aspects. If they are justified and approved by the sponsor, then they will qualify as technical expenses.

Apart from the aforementioned, other examples of technical expenses include:

• Technical staff salaries plus related fringe benefits
• Computing costs (non-administrative)
• Specialized shop costs
• Computing devices
• Lab supplies
• Non-capital equipment (those less than $5000)
• Any other material required as part of the project’s scope

Among the challenges that most of these small business owners face include obtaining funds, funds that can be used to offset these expenses and conduct other business operations. However, small business loans have come handy as a viable funding option.

Let’s examine the top three reasons why you need to get a small business loan. As much as there might be other options such as venture capital, small business loans have stood out among the rest. Why? Take a look.

Are you just starting out? Well, you might need a couple of resources. Your business will definitely need some computing devices, a couple of non-capital equipment, just to name but a few. All these double up as technical expenses and that’s a reason enough to apply for this loan.

Secondly, you might be well beyond starting out and right at that point where your business just needs expansion. That means the addition of a few items here and there- supplies, may be additional technical staff, and others. In fact, upgrading your equipment comes off as a necessity. If you need assistance at this point, then I’m pretty sure this loan will be of great value.

Lastly, sudden or unplanned for increases in technical expenses will occur often. Sometimes, they may be temporary in nature. At this point, the best you can ever wish is to see your business running. How? Well, should you find out that you need funding at this time, then such loans should top your list of priorities.

Solutions of technical expenses

Another important thing to note about these expenditures is that they are treated differently. Why? Well, one can easily charge wrong expenses to the right account, for instance, general supplies as well as expenses normally used by technical staff, although not intended for accomplishing the scope of work. Note that such costs should be treated as administrative expenses.

Overall, technical expenses will occur as ordinary expenses. They are a necessary part of your business. Always be sure to treat them appropriately and ensure they are well accounted for as a necessary part of your business.