A New Era for SharePoint | Copilot Navigates Its Way into SharePoint
Microsoft has long incorporated AI into numerous software products, making it an integral part of its offerings. However, AI’s true power and capabilities are only now becoming apparent. In a recent announcement, Microsoft revealed the integration of Copilot in SharePoint, promising a more user-friendly experience for content authors seeking to create more dynamic and engaging sites and pages. But how does this translate into reality, and what can we expect to see?
“AI is revolutionizing the way we all work by simplifying our day-to-day activities so we can focus on what matters most to the success of our organizations. These advancements bring critical data insights to our fingertips, all with enhanced security.”
– Simran Chaudhry, the Chief Engagement Officer of Creospark
Making site creation easier
SharePoint is known for its powerful capabilities for internal communications, but creating sites and pages has often been a complex and time-consuming task. With the integration of Copilot in SharePoint, creating engaging web content will be easier than ever. Copilot can assist you in turning your words into SharePoint sites and pages in a way similar to how it works in Word docs or PowerPoint.
With only a brief prompt, Copilot in SharePoint creates a starter site for you, bringing in information from across your organization as needed and aligning it automatically to your organization’s brand. If the generated site does not meet your requirements, then Copilot works with you to edit and refine it, ensuring that it meets your expectations.
In addition to helping you create sites from scratch, Copilot also helps page authors turn their existing content into stunning SharePoint pages. As your web design partner, Copilot transforms your existing document or presentation into a page with aesthetically pleasing visuals. Copilot can also rewrite text and edit your site’s content to achieve the perfect tone and drive engagement.
“I’m thrilled to see the emphasis Microsoft is showing to enable simple and powerful authoring in SharePoint and Office. With Copilot in SharePoint, anyone can create compelling sites and pages so easily! It is a new age of creativity in Microsoft 365. Our clients will love this and Creospark is already building features on top of this new technology.”
– Daniel Glenn, Sr. Director of Hybrid Office & U.S. Operations of Creospark
A new start experience for SharePoint
Creating SharePoint sites and pages can be easier and more inspiring than ever with SharePoint’s new start experience. The updated SharePoint start page features a range of templates that cater to your most common team and organizational communication needs, such as newsletters, event announcements, and project tracking sites. This is also a place where you can find the popular news post you’ve previously written and check out the analytics on how much engagement you’ve generated.
With the new start experience, getting started with creating sites and pages is a breeze. For instance, if you want to create a video page to host your recent town hall recording, you can do so instantly. All your personal pages can be managed directly from the new start experience, making getting started with SharePoint a cakewalk.
Collaboration made easy
The success of an intranet is reliant on fostering collaboration between employees and departments. With SharePoint’s new coauthoring capabilities, Microsoft aims to simplify cooperation on intranet sites, making it easier for teams to work together in real time.
With the power of the Fluid framework, editors can work together in real-time on the same page canvas, just like they do in Microsoft Loop. In addition, page sharing is simplified, allowing you to share pages as easily as documents. Plus, section commenting has been added to pages so authors can review and approve content directly inline.
Together with the new SharePoint start experience, these improvements make it even simpler to connect SharePoint with your team’s collaborative needs. The success of an intranet is reliant on fostering collaboration between employees and departments. With SharePoint’s new coauthoring capabilities, Microsoft aims to simplify cooperation on intranet sites, making it easier for teams to work together in real-time.
Designing a more engaging digital experience
Ensuring an engaging and visually appealing digital experience is crucial to maintain users’ interest in your Intranet content. With this in mind, Microsoft is dedicated to enhancing the aesthetic capabilities of SharePoint, enabling content authors to create pages and sites that are “bolder and more sophisticated.”
These efforts encompass all aspects of great web design, from branding, theming, typography, video, and imagery. To accomplish this, Microsoft is leveraging the power of the Microsoft Fluent Design System, providing a comprehensive framework for delivering a visually stunning digital experience.
“Humans perceive aesthetically-pleasing designs as more usable designs. With SharePoint’s new design and branding capabilities, the opportunities will be limitless for creating content that is both compelling and engaging.”
– Kunaal Sharma, Senior UI/UX Designer of Creospark
The new Brand Center in SharePoint
SharePoint’s new Brand Center enables organizations to showcase their unique organizational identity by allowing them to select fonts, colors, logos, and other design elements that reflect their brand. This feature is designed to maintain brand consistency across various sites and subsidiaries, allowing for easier brand recognition among users. SharePoint also provides guidelines to ensure that all site owners align with the established branding guidelines.
SharePoint’s advanced image and video editing features
The new visual experience in SharePoint is designed to make images and videos stand out like never before. With the advanced image editor, you can crop images into different shapes, adjust colors and add text overlays, and apply filters to create eye-catching visuals that will captivate your audience. And with the updated Stream web part, you can easily embed single or multiple videos with folders and playlists directly into your SharePoint pages.
To make video content even more prominent, SharePoint offers Video Page templates that allow you to create a dedicated page for your videos with a professional look and feel. You can create Video Pages not only from SharePoint but also from Stream. For instance, you can create a Video Page right from the video player in Stream to highlight your town hall meeting recording, provide additional context, and share your summary with your audience, all on a single branded page that’s easy to share and manage.
A new pane for embedding content
Building visually-rich pages in SharePoint is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to the introduction of the new content pane and content suggestions. With the content pane, you’ll be able to quickly and easily browse through all the documents, videos, and images across your various SharePoint sites and add them to your page with just a few clicks. Plus, with the help of content suggestions, SharePoint will automatically recommend additional content relevant to the page you’re working on, making it even faster to create compelling pages packed with valuable information.
Enhancing SharePoint’s accessibility
Content is the lifeblood of any digital platform, and SharePoint is no exception. However, to truly leverage the power of your content, it needs to be discoverable and accessible within the flow of work. That’s why Microsoft has placed such a strong emphasis on building engagement with SharePoint news, which generates over one billion impressions for content every month.
Moreover, SharePoint is designed to integrate seamlessly with the tools and workflows that your teams use every day. Whether you’re working in email, Teams, or Microsoft Viva, SharePoint makes it easy to share, find, and collaborate on the content that matters most to your organization. By leveraging these capabilities, you can ensure that your SharePoint content is reaching the right audiences and generating the maximum possible impact.
SharePoint in Outlook
Integrating SharePoint pages into email creates a seamless experience for readers by allowing you to preview and send full news posts directly to their inboxes. In addition, SharePoint’s unified page analytics provide you with a comprehensive view of your total page reads across both Outlook and SharePoint. This powerful tool allows you to track your content’s performance and make data-driven decisions about how to optimize your communications strategy.
SharePoint in Teams
Connecting SharePoint pages to Teams channels has become a popular best practice to ensure your content reaches its intended audience. With this integration, your team can access and collaborate on content right within Teams. Over the past year, Microsoft has made this even easier by enabling page editing directly inside Teams and allowing Connected Templates to include SharePoint pages as channel tabs.
SharePoint integration with Microsoft Viva
Microsoft Viva is a comprehensive employee experience and engagement platform integrated into Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365. It offers a suite of tools and applications for businesses to enhance communication, feedback, analytics, goals, and learning.
Microsoft Viva provides powerful tools to boost reach and engagement on SharePoint content. You can accelerate the return on your SharePoint investment by deploying Microsoft Viva as your employee experience platform.
The Viva Connections feed lets you display SharePoint news inside your customized company app, while the Resources tab and search in Connections make sites more discoverable. Recently, tablet support, notifications, dashboard analytics, and more were added to the Connections roadmap, ensuring that Connections is the leading gateway to modern employee experiences.
Sharing SharePoint content to Viva Engage communities and storylines encourages social interaction with your content. You can easily share a page to Viva Engage directly from SharePoint.
Viva Amplify is a game-changer when it comes to communicating with your audience through Microsoft 365. With advanced analytics and campaign management tools, you can publish content across multiple channels and distribution groups, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement. And with Viva Amplify, you’ll be able to seamlessly integrate your SharePoint content with other Microsoft 365 communication channels.
A quick recap
The integration of Copilot in SharePoint has enabled content creators to develop engaging web content more easily and efficiently than before.
“Microsoft Copilot is a lot larger than large language models such as ChatGP. It is also tightly intertwined with Microsoft Apps, the Microsoft Graph, Microsoft responsible AI and security underpinning investments, while being tailored to your needs.”
– Noorez Khamis, Chief Technology Officer of Creospark
The new start experience and the coauthoring capabilities have further simplified collaboration among employees and departments, enabling teams to work together in real-time. In addition, the new design features and the brand center have made it possible for organizations to showcase their unique brand identity and to provide a visually stunning digital experience that is compelling and engaging for the audience. Overall, these developments represent a new era for SharePoint, where AI and advanced technology are used to simplify our daily activities.
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