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Use a SharePoint Hub Site to Transition to a Digital Workplace

Mo Anwar | | May 31, 2018

The journey of our Digital Transformation is decades old; yet only recently we are seeing the tools becoming sophisticated enough for a truly functional Digital Workplace.

With the transition towards a digital workplace, leading-edge intranets become more critical. The new workplace needs to provide easy collaboration, and company-wide access to information and individuals that is seamless to the users and equally easy to implement for the administrators. Microsoft’s SharePoint Hub sites in Office 365 are proving to be a great solution.

What Is a SharePoint Hub Site?

A SharePoint hub site connects an organization’s sites that are currently standalone resources. Once other sites are connected, you have the ability to:

  • Navigate between sites using a single interface.
  • Offer aggregated news and information from standalone sites.
  • Establish a common theme to provide a standard interface.
  • Search to find content that resides in the standalone sites.

Using a SharePoint Hub site lets you break down the silos that exist within your organization. Since Hub sites can easily aggregate news and information, flow of information is vastly improved. Employees have access to the information and resources they need to collaborate effectively and to complete projects in a much shorter time frame. In addition, Hub sites allows branding and theming to be easily inherited among the connected sites. This enhances user experience while reducing maintenance efforts for admins resulting in a highly adoptable solution for the organization.

Could You Use a SharePoint Hub Site?

Here’s an example of how a hub site makes a difference for a frozen pizza manufacturer. The manufacturer wanted to take their existing platform to the next level.

The Starting Point

A number of factors were driving the manufacturer’s decision to change:

  • The existing platform was being used as a file repository only.
  • The potential existed to leverage Office 365 for communication of news, events, etc.
  • The potential existed to provide a wide-ranging search to improve locating business data.
  • The platform could be improved through modernization and mobile access to accommodate a remote workforce.
  • The potential existed for the system to grow quickly, but it needed governance planning and training.
The Approach

We worked with the manufacturer to define an approach that would meet the following goals:

  • Clarify the issues and develop a design to address the overall communication and collaboration portal.
  • Define a taxonomy and navigation to improve content identification and discovery.
  • Develop a user-friendly communication site to provide corporate news and events, departmental and system alerts. This solution leveraged the SharePoint Hub feature.
  • Address site sprawl by developing a governance framework and providing training to improve adoption.
The Benefits

The system offered a number of benefits to increase the manufacturer’s ability to improve productivity:

  • Using industry best practices to establish a practical direction for the manufacturer’s communication and collaboration needs.
  • Validating pain points and giving the project team a roadmap for moving forward.
  • Defining search requirements to improve content identification and discovery
  • Improving adoption of the new system with an interface that is appealing and user-friendly.
  • Reducing IT support calls by highlighting system alerts.
  • Providing a modern department hub site that demystifies navigation and branding confusion.
  • Ensuring compliance with well-defined governance procedures and training.

What Can Datavail Do for You?

We have been a Microsoft Partner for more than 20 years. Our consultants, architects, DBAs and development team have experience with the entire Microsoft stack.

Our Office 365 expertise allows you to take full advantage of your Office 365 installations. In addition, as a Gold Microsoft Partner, our experts can help you take advantage of SharePoint installations for enterprise records management, document management and search, contract management and dynamic collaboration.

When you’re ready to incorporate a SharePoint hub site into your organization, we are prepared to assist you with strategy development, requirements definition, change management, implementation, integration, support and maintenance.

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