Here is my take on seven stories on SharePoint published over the summer.
1. I found CIO.com’s piece Office 365 Earns High Marks in Education, Struggles in Enterprise insightful, not so much for its mention of education as to the suggestion that it will actually be Office/SharePoint 2013 that will make organizations move to Office 365 – if you’ve got to upgrade, may as well upgrade into the Cloud.
2. Speaking of SharePoint 2013, of course this has gone to beta over the summer. Not as much new as some people hoped, but a new app store and lots of incremental improvements in UI, mobile support, social features and more. To quote Jennifer Mason in her article SharePoint 2013: Not Quite What I Expected, it is a pleasant surprise, as she says:
“Some of the smallest changes in how things are presented or integration have made a huge impact in this release.”
3. What of new education features in SharePoint 2013? See my own earlier article SharePoint 15 will allow quizzes? for speculation. In July, Bjørn Furuknap’s SharePoint Corner shared some information on quizzes in SharePoint, but his article like mine is based on Microsoft’s developer documentation, and I’ve not yet seen any screenshots of quiz authoring in SharePoint 2013, maybe this will only be in a separate education module or it’s still being developed?
4. Could the ability to make apps for SharePoint be game-changing in Education? See this thought provoking blog post by Ray Fleming of Microsoft Australia : Building education applications for Office, Office 365 for education and SharePoint. To quote Ray:
“For education customers and partners, this is good news. Really good news. What it will mean is that customers will be able to add custom applications to their installations of Office or SharePoint easily, without having to do lots of fancy customisations themselves. And create a market for education apps for Office…”
5. It certainly does look as though more universities and colleges are seeing the wisdom of Office 365 and/or SharePoint. Microsoft proudly announced a few days ago for instance that Georgia State University Switches to Microsoft Office 365, Saves $1 Million in Operating Costs. Even over 5 years, this is a nice amount of money to save.
6. In the world of compliance, some organizations use SharePoint to track reading of rules and regulations. Is this a good way of ensuring that people learn and understand rules? In an article in Compliance and Ethics Professional July/August, What’s the best way to document that training has taken place?, I argue that this is not ideal – better than nothing, but to really check understanding you have to test people not just track them.
7. Last but not least, if you’ve not caught it already, for a real story, read Dan Holme’s blog on how he used SharePoint to set up NBC’s Intranet at the London Olympics (part 1, part 2, part 3). The London Olympics were a great event, living in London I was fortunate to get tickets to see Bolt win the 200m at the stadium (he was fast!), and it’s lovely to see that SharePoint was working to help behind the scenes.