Office 365 NextGen Portals – Opportunities in Knowledge Management
At the recent Ignite conference, Microsoft unveiled their development of upcoming Office 365 “NextGen” portals, one of several new CMS-like concepts being included in Office 365/SharePoint. These new “ready-to-go” portals include concepts like the Knowledge Management portal (codename “Infopedia”). These portals are a cross between a team site and a publishing site: you can roll them out quickly and immediately create sites and pages, however your customization options are limited.
NextGen portals, according to Kashman (senior product manager in the Office 365 group), are intelligent by design (utilizing machine learning through Office Graph), social by nature, leveraging Yammer, and accessible via mobile. NextGen Portals both pull and push static and dynamic content to users. In developing NextGen Portals, Kashman and his team looked for “repeatable patterns and types of sites and templates that customers had built on top of SharePoint over the past 10 to 14 years.” These insights and improvements are “landing inside Office 365 as NextGen Portals.”
The offerings included within the Office 365 service are based on Microsoft’s insight of how customers have used their products. NextGen Portals reduce time-to-market for businesses looking for a customized application: this means less time and less money for the same great features.
Now we have a tremendous opportunity to expand on the Portals portfolio and deliver new experiences that have taken weeks, if not months, to build, based on common patterns of valuable portal solutions we’ve seen customers put in place. Going forward, Office 365 will serve as a platform for us to deliver the NextGen Portals, which by design will be:
- Intelligent—Leveraging the Office Graph to deliver personalized, relevant information to users.
- Social—Integrating social interactions from Yammer to fuel participation.
- Mobile—Easy to access and consume content from any device, and anywhere.
- Ready to go—Getting you up and running quickly with highly functional, beautiful intranet portals. Use more, build less.”
Office 365 NextGen Portals are dynamic and social intranet sites (destinations) that bring machine learning and content curation together increasing relevancy and personalization, while decreasing potential for stale content experiences. NextGen Portals take cues from past customer custom portals built on SharePoint and land squarely within Office 365 as ‘ready to go’, mobile-optimized destinations. At the onset, they are not customizable by customers, but as we’ll highlight at the Ignite May’2015 conference, they will be (see the “Customizing NextGen Portals Using the New Video APIs, Doc Types and…” session).
Read more on NextGen Portals:
- Info and some thoughts on Office 365 “NextGen” portals – Microsites, Boards and the Knowledge Management portal
- The Future of NextGen Portals, with Microsoft’s Mark Kashman
- What’s Next for Office 365? A First Look at ‘NextGen Portals’