Microsoft SharePoint 2013 The Enterprise Social Network

Many of the Social features have been introduced in SharePoint 2013 which makes Microsoft SharePoint a robust Enterprise Social platform. Those features are listed as under.

  • Social computing (including personal sites, feeds, and communities), is just one of many components of SharePoint 2013 which has upgrades across its many modules such as search, document management and sharing, and business intelligence.
    After the merger of Yammer (an enterprise social network) with Microsoft, it is being believed that the combination of Yammer, SharePoint and Office 365 will provide the most comprehensive and flexible solutions for enterprise social networking.
  • In the SharePoint 2010 Server and Foundation, a good way to enable user conversations was through discussion list to sites. SharePoint 2013 becomes more social by adding new Community Sites and Community Portal templates.
    o   Community Sites provides a forum for structuring and encouraging discussions among people across your organization.
    o   The Community Portal is an enterprise site template that enables users to search for SharePoint sites (or groups of sites) that use the Community Site template.
  • The Newsfeed section (one of several feeds available via My Site) displays information from your colleagues or things that you follow, such as people, documents, sites, and tags. The “Everyone feed”, for instance, shows the last 20 posts or replies across all users, not just the people you follow. And as the Activities feed shows all activity associated with a particular user, the other users can also see your Activities feed while browsing either your profile or About Me page.
  • The search features are improved, many with a social component in SharePoint 2013. In addition to displaying contact and organizational information, search results now show authored documents and information on past projects. Upgraded navigational tools include query suggestions based on previous results, and click-saving “hover panel” shows additional information when you hold the cursor over an item (similar to Google).
  • Microsoft’s Lync enterprise communications platform has improved integration into the 2013 versions of SharePoint, OneNote, Outlook, and other Microsoft Office apps. During an online meeting, for instance, Lync highlights a participant’s Active Directory identity rather than his or her phone number. Microsoft Lync captures participant lists via Microsoft OneNote and allows meeting attendees to share and collectively edit notes directly from within Lync.
    The program provides a powerful way to communicate with clients, colleagues, and prospective customers across the globe by extending into Skype.
  • The Site Mailbox feature is a place to store Exchange emails and SharePoint documents, both of which only site members can access and edit. Office 2013 makes it easier to file an email, document, or attachment in a shared project space, simply dragging the item into the Site Mailbox. From the user’s viewpoint, the project documents and emails are stored together; on the back end, however, the content remains in SharePoint for documents, and Exchange for email.
  • Discussions play a key role in SharePoint’s new Community Sites. Users can address topics both professional and personal. SharePoint provides incentives to promote participation, such as reputation building, likes, gifted badges, and best replies. To give you an example: You’re browsing a community and answer a question posed by your colleague, who are notified by email of your response. Your colleague marks your answer as the best reply, which earns you reputation points and improves your status within the community. The point system is set/controlled by each community owner/moderator. The reputation score is displayed on your Members page.
  • SkyDrive Pro is the premium version of Sky drive that’s optimized for enterprises. As a central hub for work documents, SkyDrive Pro makes it easier to track (via the Followed Documents page) files that is material to you. Also, SkyDrive Pro allows you to work on important documents even when you’re offline on your local computer.
  • It is easier to control multiple project tasks with SharePoint 2013. Rather than going to each project site to review and edit assigned tasks, you manage them in one single location. My Site page has a link in the left-side navigation menu to “Tasks”. To load the My Tasks screen, you will need to click on the link, which aggregates tasks assigned to you across all of your groups. Presented in a timeline, the tasks are searchable and grouped by project locations. You can sync tasks to Outlook, too.
  • The public section of About Me features a new personal profile with information about your interests and social connections. The People Card includes the usual contact details, as well as your personal photo, activity feeds from SharePoint, status updates, and Facebook and LinkedIn account information.