Ensuring Microsoft Office 365 Administration Doesn’t Interfere with Productivity (part 2)

By Matthew Bretzius posted 08-29-2013 10:55


This is a guest post by Shyam Oza, AvePoint Sr. Product Manager

(Note: This is part of our series “Collaborate with Confidence”. Previous posts: Ensuring Microsoft Office 365 Administration Doesn’t Interfere with Productivity (part 1))

While the next few considerations might seem like a second thought to veterans of SharePoint, those new to SharePoint Online will definitely benefit from the lessons learned by the community since 2001.

Establish a Corporate Taxonomy

Nothing can be more important than getting this right from the start. You’re no longer just tagging content – you’re also tagging sites, users, posts, and more within SharePoint. Proper tagging will help users find subject matter experts, navigate them to the right communities, and ensure that they have the best possible search results. There’s a great starter guide within the AIIM e-book “8 things you wanted to know about SharePoint – but were afraid to ask” written by Jeff Carr and Seth Early.

Configure IRM

Information Rights Management (IRM) is a critical component to protecting your information. It isn’t enabled by default! Luckily, there is a guide on how to make IRM available for your SharePoint lists and libraries (including those in SkyDrive Pro).

Pick a Social Strategy

SharePoint Online has social built right into its DNA. However, you have to make a decision on which platform to use (Yammer or SharePoint Social). There are major differences in each platform and this topic requires a post of its own. Fortunately, this has been subject to heavy debate – a good place to start would be a post from Jeremy Thake, a SharePoint MVP who has exhaustively explored this crucial decision.

While these tips will definitely start you on the right path to success in Office 365, I highly recommend considering some of the other administration concerns that are currently major gaps:

Permissions, Configurations and Feature Management

There currently is no centralized location or interface for bulk managing settings, configurations and securities within SharePoint Online. There are no ways to enforce policies around versioning, IRM, or permissions inheritance.

Long-term Backup and Archiving

For organizations with strict retention policies, the need to improve SLAs on critical scopes of content, and/or the need to maintain a copy of content on-premises to comply with organizational policies, there is no out-of-the-box backup or archiving solution. Third-party tools are your only real option at this time.

Information Architecture Management/Restructuring

As the purpose, sensitivity, or relevance of SharePoint sites and content changes, the need to move and restructure is critical. There is no simple way of handling this out-of-the-box today.

Administration of the Microsoft stack is not always an easy task. While Office 365 certainly makes this a much more manageable experience, it still isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of system. Take your deployment seriously, be proactive, and consider third-party solutions when the requirements demand it in order to position yourself well for success.

#office365 #productivity #administration #SharePoint #sharepoint