SharePoint Conference 2019: Microsoft Announces SharePoint “Home Sites” and “Microsoft Search”
At the SharePoint Conference 2019 in Las Vegas, Jeff Teper (Corporate Vice President Office 365) presented several innovations around the SharePoint and Microsoft 365 platform. Among the expected new announcements were the SharePoint Home Sites and the cross-platform search function Microsoft Search.
The SharePoint Conference 2019 was generally dedicated to the changing world of work. According to Microsoft, desk workers now spend around 80% of their time working with others, in twice as many different teams as 10 years ago. Work continues to evolve: from working in cubicles to open co-working environments and from work environments where individual performance counts to rewarding team success. Meanwhile more than 500,000 customers worldwide use Microsoft 365 (incl. SharePoint, Microsoft teams, Yammer etc.) with approximately 180 million active users.
Highlights of the SharePoint Conference 2019
Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper presented some innovations of Office 365 and the SharePoint platform in particular. Among the new features were the "SharePoint Home Sites", a special version of the already well-known "Communication Sites". In Home Sites, various information elements and sources can be personalized and combined and used via a Megamenu navigation and the also newly introduced "Microsoft" search function.
The above-mentioned "Microsoft Search" unifies the search experience across the various Microsoft platforms and also opens up new, AI-supported search options, such as text search in images or videos, or also in PDFs.
Building on CYCL’s Vision
Since its introduction, MatchPoint's Turn-Key Intranet for Office 365 has acted as a hub for working intelligently in our ever-changing digital world, building on Microsoft Office 365. MatchPoint Intranets help companies transform digitally and culturally by uniquely facilitating collaboration, making employees more productive, involving them in communications and engaging in dialogue. Microsoft provides the powerful platform, CYCL the solution with MatchPoint.
Matthias Weibel, Head of Product Development at CYCL, said: "The new SharePoint Home Sites are the best proof that we were right with our search-based aggregation intranet concept when we first launched it 6 years ago with MatchPoint Snow".
Patrick Püntener, CEO of CYCL, adds: "The intelligent intranet primarily connects people with information. Individual components, as presented last week by Microsoft at the SharePoint Conference, in honor, but for this to work really well, it needs a sophisticated interaction of different components, a coherent information architecture and consistent parameterization. This is reflected in our more than 10 years of experience and the more than 500 intranets that we have been able to implement for enterprise customers and SMEs to date".
It goes without saying that the CYCL products "MatchPoint Hub", "Condense", the new "MatchPoint Provisioning Service", the "MatchPoint Governance Service" and the "MatchPoint Context Service" announced for summer 2019 support the new SharePoint functions such as "Home Sites" and "Microsoft Search". Some of the highlights of this support at a glance::
MatchPoint Home Sites Support and Exclusive Enhancements
Multilingual, personalized Mega Flyout Navigation with up to 4 levels
Multilingual News and Web Content Pages
Multi-hub support and multi-client capability within one Office 365 Tenant
Personalized widget zones with self-service widget catalog for end users
Extensive web part collection with modular structure and exchangeable item display templates
Parameterizable property matching for content targeting based on metadata and profiles
Connector Framework for integrating content from various Office 365 tools (Microsoft Graph, Planner, Exchange, Yammer, Flow, PowerApps, PowerBI etc.) and third-party systems such as Dynamics CRM, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, RSS Feeds, ODBC sources, Web Services etc.
Site-based metadata and metadata inheritance on content
MatchPoint Governance Service for Sites and Content Life Cycle and Permission Management
Integration with the new MatchPoint Provisioning Service
Microsoft Search Integration in MatchPoint
The MatchPoint Search Experience is now based on Microsoft Search. This allows you to benefit from even better search results and possibilities thanks to AI support, e.g. image and video content can now also be searched. The new integration offers the familiar, intuitive user experience with different views for content, workspaces (including teams) and people, our popular filter panel and clear search results with preview and contact information (in the people search).
Turnkey vs. SharePoint (“In-a-box” vs. “Out-of-the-box”)
As always, when Microsoft announces major enhancements, there is a rumour that value-adding products will "no longer be needed". This may be the case for simple add-ons with narrow functionality. But with a turnkey solution like MatchPoint, actually the opposite is true: with each new SharePoint release, the functionality of MatchPoint has doubled. That makes sense, because every new basic function that Microsoft brings to the Office 365 platform can be transformed into a multitude of new solutions to better meet the ever-growing needs of users. Thus the Make (=Intranet with out-of-the-box functionality, that requires development by yourself) vs. Buy (=Turnkey Intranet, Intranet-in-a-box, already 90-100% finished) question arises. The advantages of a turnkey intranet are obvious:
Reduced time to market (MatchPoint is deployed in less than 5 minutes)
Easier overall management
Less painfull upgrades
Meet more of your requirements and reduce risk
Fundamental functionality beyond SharePoint (e.g. native multi-language support, better integration with non-O365 apps/content sources, multi-hub support, additional back-end services such as governance, bots, analytics etc.)
Reduced total cost of ownership