Editor’s note: This post is part three in our series on SharePoint 2019. Read the other blogs in the series below:
Last week’s SharePoint Conference North America delivered a ton of new announcements in regards to SharePoint, the mobile app, Spaces and more. It was great to see so many attendees, customers, and professionals excited about the latest SharePoint features. Here’s my take on some of the show’s highlights and what some of these announcements might mean looking forward.
SharePoint 2019’s Interface
SharePoint 2019 is essentially a refresh of what we’ve seen in the previous version. Its interface will be somewhat akin to the more modern look and feel of SharePoint Online. The new interface-related SharePoint features include more modern sites, more intuitive navigation, and easier ways to interact with and share content overall.
SharePoint App Improvements
The SharePoint app is going to see some major updates that should make it easier to use and more focused. Obviously, mobility is paramount in the modern workplace. People want to be able to work across devices from wherever they are. Having a new, modern app that ties into the SharePoint experience is a critical part of meeting that consumer need.
How information is curated from sites and presented in the app is another major focus. Needless to say, the new capabilities around driving news and content will be a key part of the update. This should impact communication sites in a significant way.
The introduction of SharePoint Spaces as a training tool is full of potential. I think businesses in the manufacturing and healthcare fields will find it especially useful as a way to facilitate 3D interaction and design. The fact that this is possible without having to go deep into virtual reality is a testament to the power of AI.
In essence, Spaces will be a presentation layer, the basis for offering a canvas for virtual reality content. The pre-packaged textures, sounds and themes will make it even easier for certain business verticals to leverage it as a training tool. The lack of needing a proprietary VR headset will also be an asset to most companies. And, if the rumblings are true, there’s a possibility that users might not even need a headset at all.
Other New SharePoint Features
The integration of PowerApps and Flow into SharePoint 2019 On-Premises will open the door for new SharePoint features such as zero-type suggestions. This improved search experience will feature custom refiners, filters, and other search customization options to tailor the search to the specific user. The fact that these new improvements are all originating from the online space lines up with the new workflow architecture going forward.
Another highlight is the revamp of Microsoft training services. Going forward, they’ll now be published in a modern web part with easy access to updated learning. Residing in a modern web part means access to important tech like Microsoft Stream.
Microsoft Stream could allow employers to transcribe or possibly even translate a video into different languages for their trainees. Likewise, employees would be able to scan ahead and go to specific sections of the video with features like text searching. This is a really cool feature that should allow new employees to consume a lot of relevant content more efficiently.
Last–but perhaps most importantly–there was a huge focus on modern document libraries and lists. The new SharePoint features implemented here should yield much easier navigation, easier editing of list data and a more intuitive copy and paste experience.
This year’s SharePoint Conference North America highlighted some truly exciting innovations coming to the SharePoint platform. I’ve shared my highlights, but what are some of the newly announced SharePoint features that stood out to you? Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below.
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